Dot the I’s and cross the t’s: Don’t make these 5 common ecommerce mistakes!

You know, running an ecommerce business is by no means a walk in the park. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it, but the reality is that only the very determined stick at it and see real success.

That’s why it’s important that you ensure you dot all your i’s and cross all your t’s to give yourself the very best chance against the competition.

So, here’s a run-down of 5 of the most common mistakes made in ecommerce – and how to avoid them!

It’s the weekend so I don’t need to answer customer queries until Monday…right?

Nope! Wrong.

If you run any sort of online retail business then it’s vital you respond to customer queries promptly – and that includes weekends!

If you can’t do it yourself then employ a freelancer to monitor emails at weekends, but don’t keep your customers waiting. Impatience is the norm in the 21st century and I guarantee your potential customer will shop elsewhere if you don’t respond promptly.

Super Tip: On Amazon delayed responses lower your chances of winning the Buy Box.

What my feedback says isn’t important – as long as it’s building up my score…right?

Nope! Wrong again. Feedback on eBay and Amazon was always meant to be a reflection of your customer’s buying experience rather than about the actual product. So, feedback should reflect your service and how you handled the order.

This is the most important part of building trust and getting repeat custom. Of course, quality products are vital too but you want your buyers to write positively about your service in the first instance.

If you’ve given great service and a buyer has written negatively about your product this will damage your reputation so, make sure you check your feedback and reviews regularly because…

Super Tip: Amazon will remove negative feedback that is purely product-focused. eBay will also remove inaccurate feedback at their discretion.

If my customer really wants my product they won’t mind paying for delivery…right?

Nope! Wrong. Customers generally expect free delivery now as standard and finding a delivery charge is applicable at checkout is the main cause of abandoned virtual shopping baskets. Free shipping is a must or you will lose out to competitors.

Super Tip: If you can’t offer free shipping permanently, make sure you offer it for seasonal specials – such as Easter, Christmas or for events like Black Friday.

I don’t need to worry about the small print. If a customer wants to return something I’ll explain the details when they contact me…right?

Nope! Wrong. Consumers expect to be able to return goods if they are unsuitable or faulty and they do have legal rights to do so. Many also expect to be able to return the goods for free. So, state your returns policy up front and make it crystal clear to avoid confusion down the line.

Super Tip: Consumers are more likely to purchase from you if you show a clear money back guarantee and returns policy. Don’t worry. This does not mean they are more likely to return the item!

Once I’ve listed my product online I can just sit back and wait for the customers to find me…right?

Nope! Wrong. This is the very reason many online sellers don’t get page views or sales. Relevant and optimised search terms are vital when listing your products. Poor visibility means no customers so to enhance visibility, spend time researching keywords, put yourself in your buyers’ shoes and optimise every aspect of your product titles and descriptions. I can help you with this if you’re stuck.

Super Tip: Don’t forget mobile shoppers. One third of all eBay transactions take place via mobile so keep your title keywords short and to the point!

It’s ok to move on and concentrate on other products once my first product is listed…right?

Nope! Wrong. Whilst you must of course move on to a second, third or fourth product once you’ve set your first product live and it’s starting to be profitable, this does not mean you can abandon it to its fate – success or failure! You must keep an eye on what your competitors are doing at all times – for example, are they offering something that will take sales away from you – and then tweak and adjust your listing to ensure you stay a step ahead.

Super Tip: Utilize metrics and reports including click-through and sell-through rates provided within your eBay account to see just how effective your listings are.

As you can now see, the dots and the crosses are extremely important, and, whilst sometimes they may appear insignificant, they can actually be the key to your success.