It’s no surprise that the eCommerce industry is growing at such a rapid rate thanks to our expectations as consumers to get everything quickly and with as little ease as possible.
However, not all eCommerce stores will be successful, despite there being lots of opportunities for growth in this market. So where do new eCommerce stores go wrong when it comes to finding success?
In this guide, we’ll look at how the eCommerce market has grown and several common reasons that often lead to an eCommerce store falling at the first hurdle of business growth.
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The growth of eCommerce
eCommerce refers to the buying and selling of products or services over the internet. Since the internet has grown in popularity and more users from around the world have created a digital footprint, more of these stores have started up in the hopes to get a slice of that financial pie.
Those businesses would be right in giving it a go, especially with so many out there already finding success. There are also many benefits to eCommerce, such as the lack of bricks and mortar needed that can add to the expense of running a business. The global potential that eCommerce stores provide is beyond anything that a shop on the high street could achieve.
All parts of the world are embracing eCommerce with China accounting for $740 billion and the US accounting for over $560 billion in sales back in 2019. For the US, this figure is expected to reach $735 billion by 2023.
The same goes for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with many of them embracing eCommerce as the future of shopping.
7 common reasons why new eCommerce Stores fail
So why is it that new eCommerce stores fail to garner the same success as some of those businesses that make millions within their first year? Despite it being easier to set up and run a business, the same challenges present themselves when it comes to informed decision-making. Not everyone gets it right, which is why things can go wrong easily.
We’ve put together seven of the common reasons why eCommerce stores will fail so that hopefully, future businesses can find success within this market.
- The shopfront lacks an eye-catching design.
Users love the experience of clicking onto a site for the first time and if it’s designed well, you’re going to get that same enjoyment each time. Many eCommerce stores will fail because attention hasn’t been given to one of the most important aspects of the site – the visuals!
As humans, we’re naturally more attracted to visuals than we are to big blocks of text. If your shopfront lacks any form of quality design or visuals that aren’t eye-catching, then the chances of the user clicking off are high.
When it comes to web design, be sure to invest in the best and to consider where you want your customer’s eyes to be drawn to. Customers are also more cautious about their data now than ever before, especially with 74% of shoppers saying they’re most concerned about the security of their information.
Therefore, the design of your shopfront can influence whether or not they trust your site to buy from you.
- You’re selling the wrong products.
You may be convinced that the products you’re selling are the best for your target audience. That’s why it can be a hard pill to swallow when you realize that you’ve actually got the wrong products and your customers are looking for something completely different.
No one wants this outcome and therefore some businesses may ignore the big elephant in the room and continue trying to sell the wrong products. Ultimately, it’s going to fail and then you’re left out of pocket and wasted stock if you’re selling physical products.
Be sure to do your market research and understand what your customers need when it comes to your products. It’s a constant learning curve and something you’ll need to adapt to as and when your consumer needs change.
Even if the market is saturated with a particular product or service, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t a gap for you in that area. As long as you market it correctly and have a value proposition, you’ve got every chance at success.
- Products and services are hugely over or underpriced.
There are often eCommerce businesses that are naive when it comes to pricing up their products or services. Some value and price the amount depending on how much effort goes into the product/service whereas others will total up the cost of creating the product and add on what they believe is right for the RRP.
However, this can be wildly inaccurate in comparison to other sites that may be selling the same product or service at a fraction of the price. A lot of businesses will succeed by offering a product or service for very little and whilst that might not necessarily be the most beneficial for the business, it’s making them money.
Of course, you don’t need to follow the same approach but it is important to make comparisons when it comes to your competitors so that when it comes to pricing up your products, you’re doing it with accuracy.
After all, you’re looking to attract your customers into converting from window shoppers to real customers. Overpricing may deter them away, as will underpricing them too much that it seems too good to be true.
- There are no marketing strategies or marketing analysis tools in place.
There can often be issues with eCommerce stores that did not go beyond the storefront itself. When you exist online as a business, you need to be willing to spend the money on marketing and advertising.
A marketing strategy is important to have in place so that you’re promoting your products or service pages and adapting to new trends or approaches when marketing. The online world is constantly changing, meaning your marketing strategy should constantly be reviewed and made better.
It’s also worth using market analysis tools to understand what marketing initiatives you’ve used and which ones performed best. That way, you’re not wasting your budget on marketing by investing in strategies and campaigns that are simply not providing you with the traction you need.
- Product photography or videography is lacking.
Product photography and any videography you place on your shopfront are important. As we mentioned earlier about visuals, the quality of those visuals is critical. Rather than just slapping down a few stock photos, think about how you could photograph or video your own products to display on the site.
Consider a budget for these visuals because pictures can say a thousand words and they could be the thing that convinces your customers to put the product or service in their basket.
A poor-quality image isn’t going to give much to the customer’s imagination. Instead, a few high-quality pictures of the product from all angles, as well as how it’s meant to be used, can be much more effective. Companies like ASOS for example, take a number of great photos with the clothing on the model but then also have video footage of the model wearing the garment to show it in action. It’s very effective at generating those extra sales!
- More promotion and newsletter inspiration
When it comes to promoting your eCommerce store, there has to be extra effort put into advertising your products. Whether that’s new customer discounts to regular email marketing in the form of newsletters to help convince your existing customers to head back to the store.
You can click here for great newsletter inspiration which can improve the rate of return of your customers. It’s moreso about creating a regular customer base with your business, rather than just being about a single transaction from that customer.
Using a platform like Flodesk can help you create high-quality email marketing campaigns that can introduce customers to new product launches and inform them of sales and last-chance offers. Your customers are unlikely to be on your storefront every day so they need to be updated regularly where possible.
- A lack of SEO to rank the website or web pages.
Finally, SEO is a missed opportunity by some eCommerce stores that can result in failure. If your web pages or website, in general, are not ranking well, then that can scupper your chances of finding success as a business.
There are lots of tips and resources online that can help improve your search engine optimization as of 2022. Make it part of your marketing strategy to focus on improving your website’s ranking on the search engines. The higher you are ranked, the more traffic is likely to come your way.
Don’t let your new eCommerce fail this year
Now that you’ve got the helpful advice, put these tips to good use if you’re planning to open an eCommerce store or you’re still in that first year or two of your store being active. The eCommerce industry is a place to be for any new businesses and existing ones that are looking to transition over to the online domain.