Failure and Ecommerce: Where Many Online Businesses Get it Wrong (and How You Can Avoid it)

It’s hard to face the fact that your business can or will fail. But the truth is that failure is but a part of the process of running an ecommerce business.

However, what many do not realize is that the factors that lead to such failures are often within a person’s very own sphere of influence and control. From pitfalls that many starting owners get lured into and even important matters that they fail to account for, there is no shortage of means to fail in an online business. And below are some of the major ones that you may (or may not) encounter.

1. Zero Effort/Commitment

Websites like Amazon, eBay, Shopify and Etsy make the act of setting up your own online business relatively easy. There’s also plenty of help available online. However, where many online business owners fail at is in going beyond that initial level of investment.

For some reasons, many equate the low entry requirement for minimal effort. In short, since an ecommerce business is easy to put up, it’s equally easy to abandon if things don’t go as planned.

To really succeed with an online venture, you need to give it the same respect as a brick-and-mortar business. You’ll have to invest the proportionate time, effort, and money to make it attractive to customers and sustainable on your part.

2. Website Optimization

In as much as a physical store has to look good in order to entice customers, an online business’s front should also be optimized in order to draw in traffic and then convert it. When designing your website, you should find a perfect balance between beauty and functionality.

Clutter is a main problem in website design as starting business owners tend to dump a lot of useless scripts into the code. This results in pages with messy layouts and frustrating navigation.

It’s imperative, then, that you constantly have your website fixed to make every section as functional as possible. Fortunately for you, there are tools out there that can help you do that even if you know next to nothing about coding languages.

3. No Marketing

A common misconception in online business is that people will just start visiting your website as soon as you have it set up. The truth is that online businesses can still benefit from having a marketing plan.

First, you have to know who you are targeting and where they congregate. Next, choose from several marketing techniques to use to reach out to these people. Your marketing plan should be a combination of tested and proven marketing ploys such as cold calling and video advertising as well as online-specific techniques such as search engine optimization, social media, and content creation.

4. No Target Niche

Establishing a foothold in the market requires you to identify to who you are catering your offerings to. The problem is that many starting owners fail to identify who they are targeting right from the start.

In fact, many venture into ecommerce with a rather broad, mass market approach. This might work if the service is meant for multiple demographics but it can be risky if those markets are already crowded.

The more sensible thing to do is to establish your niche first and then work your way to other markets from there. Even the biggest marketplace right now, Amazon, started as a small platform where people can buy and sell books.

5. Impatience

Being able to set up your own online business in half a day does not mean that results will be seen within the same span of time. Things like reputation, visibility, and even communication channels take time to be established. Aside from time, they require actual effort and financial investment on your part.

Consistency will also play a huge role in keeping your business sustainable. You must not only provide good value to your buyers once but at every opportunity that they visit your online front. Does it right and that customer might just make repeat transactions.

At best, your ecommercebusiness should experience returns in investment within a few months. All of this depends on how well you can address problems in your operations or, better yet, prevent them from ever occurring in the first place.

Image Credits: Failure and Ecommerce from Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock

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