Starting an ecommerce business is exciting for so many reasons. The sense of freedom that comes with working for yourself is one great example…but as with any new business undertaking, it comes with more than its fair share of challenges. While setting up an online store is technically easy, there are several common mistakes amateurs tend to make that can impact their success for both the short and long term.

Let’s look at a few of those mistakes, with recommendations on what to do instead!

Lack of Adequate Security Measures

Security is critical in ecommerce, and newbies often overlook it—even when using a trusted app or platform. If you neglect putting proper security measures in place, it can result in data breaches, which can at best lose your customers’ trust in your abilities. You can also get in legal trouble, lose money, and lose your business.

When setting up your ecommerce business, make sure to prioritize robust security protocols to comply with industry standards, whether this is international payment processing, setting up SSL, and other basic actions to safeguard customer information.

Limited Payment Options

Offering diverse payment methods—like accepting PayPal in addition to credit cards—can accommodate customers from all over the world. You should think internationally when it comes to payment options, as this will encourage more customers to shop with you. There are so many times when we aim to purchase something from another country but become overwhelmed with the exchange rates and unfamiliar payment options. If you provide a variety for your shoppers, this could blow your customer base wide open!

Neglecting Customer Service

Because there is a screen protecting you from your customers, it can be easy to forget that there’s an actual other person buying from you, who may have questions or issues, or who just would like to be pointed in the right direction. Replying quickly and politely, while also taking the time to hear and understand their concerns, will go a long way toward garnering customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations. And over time if you find that shoppers are asking similar questions, having a comprehensive FAQ for your store can help to cut down on time spent with inquiries. Great customer service will be the thing that keeps people coming back to your store.

Skimping on Product Descriptions

Search engine visibility is critical for the success of your ecommerce store, and if you’re just starting out, you might underestimate just how important this is for driving traffic to your site. Write compelling and useful product names and descriptions, use relevant keywords throughout your store, and make sure that your site structure is readable, searchable, and easy to use by both humans and machines, on all devices. This also is helpful for sharing product links on social media, and of course helping shoppers find individual products even when they’re already visiting your store.

Neglecting Mobile Optimization

On the note of optimizing your ecommerce store so it’s easy to use across devices: a lot of amateurs neglect the mobile experience, assuming that if a store looks fine on a computer, it’ll look all right on a phone. Most of your online traffic is likely to come from mobile users, so if you’re setting up an ecomerce site, you’ll struggle to grow if it’s not mobile-friendly.

Avoiding some of these mistakes will ensure that your online business is not just successful, but sustainable. Best of luck to you!

Featured image by Igor Miske on Unsplash

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