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Launching a Store? Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes

Posted by Speed Commerce

Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes

Setting up an online store may seem easy, considering there are considerably fewer barriers to entry than traditional retail: no store footprints to lease or buy, no retail staff to hire and pay, no utilities to owe, and no set hours to operate. But with fewer barriers comes greater competition, and in today’s market, an underprepared ecommerce retailer is one that doesn’t last long! With that in mind, we’ll share 4 major mistakes that many failed ecommerce merchants have made with the hopes that you won’t make the same ones!

Not Embracing M-Commerce

New reports indicate that mobile is emerging as the most popular way to shop, beating out PCs and ecommerce apps. In fact, shoppers use their smartphone browsers to compare and research while shopping in-store, serving as an excellent entry point for an online retailer to steal a customer from a brick-and-mortar competitor. In 2012 alone, mobile usage grew by 81%, and show no signs of slowing down. Are you seeing where we’re going with this? If your ecommerce site doesn’t have a mobile version that’s compatible on smartphones, you’re missing out on a whole lot of potential sales. Some might still shop with you, but if it’s easier to click to another site or buy the product that’s sitting in from of them on the shelf, many customers will take the easy route.

Failing To Train Your Customer Service Team

The contact center is oftentimes the one point of human contact your customer has with your business. You staff, whether outsourced or in-house, needs to know everything about your operations and your products inside and out, and they also need to have access to necessary information and know where to look for it. Your team should be trained in problem resolution and be empowered to handle irate and angry customers without needing to escalate every situation. They also need to speak in your “brand voice”, keeping everything they say in line with the tone, verbiage, and promises that you use and make on your ecommerce site. Long wait times on the phone, transferring calls incessantly from one department to another, and slow response times are indicators of an ill-trained contact center. If you view your customer service staff as the gateway to real conversations with your customers, you’ll never stop improving!

Not Setting KPIs

It’s not enough to just sell your inventory – you need to what’s actually going on inside your warehouse and your contact center, how you’re executing, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. The only way you can truly gauge your performance is to set up some KPIs (key performance indicators,) and measure against them. It serves as a quantifiable point to check whether you are reaching your goals. Select a few data points- specific indicators which really impact your business, not just arbitrary tasks that don’t mean anything – and use those KPIs to track growth and improvement. If they decline, you can identify methods to counteract it before the problem gets too big to handle.

If You Build It, They Will Come

It’s not enough to have a great store with good products, beautiful photography, rock-star fulfillment, and a response contact center. You’ll never get a sale if customers can’t find you!! Building a great site is just the beginning, but getting the word out and marketing your brand where your potential customers are is one of the most crucial points in ecommerce. Set up the social media presences that make sense, create an enticing email marketing program that encourages customers to sign up, and identify paid advertising opportunities such as search ads, social ads, and blog partnerships that will get you in front of the target markets you need (if you don’t do your due diligence, you’ll be wasting your time – and money!).

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