Owning and operating your own business can be a thrilling experience. It’s also a lot of work. Some days, there will be frustrating days where nothing seems to go the way you planned it out in your head, causing you to throw your hands up in defeat and wonder why you even started your business in the first place! The following are some of the most common issues that arise when operating an online business, as well as some suggestions on how to address them
1) Not Understanding your Audience
Are you producing content your audience wants to read? If not, there’s no way they’ll share it or return for more. The first step is defining your target audience, not so you can design for them, but so you can learn from them. What do they care about? How do they engage with brands and businesses online? These are critical questions you must answer if you want to create content that resonates with your customers. You also need to understand how people discover new products, services, and ideas online. Social media plays an increasingly important role here: Your followers are where you can direct new audiences who might be interested in what you have to offer.
2) Selling Products That Aren’t Unique
By definition, your company has competitors—and if you’re selling something everyone else is selling, you’re creating an environment where it’s hard to stand out. Avoid selling products that are already being sold by large corporations by offering something similar with some kind of special sauce on top (e.g., new features or additional services). What can you do to set yourself apart from others who are also offering products and services?
3) Not Adding Value To Your Customers
Customers are looking for solutions to their problems. If you’re creating something they don’t care about, or if you can’t solve any of their problems, they won’t be your customers for long. Make sure every product or service you offer is valuable to your customers and makes life easier—or more fun—for them. This ensures that people will pay for what you sell and come back again and again.
4) Lack of Brand Identity
If you’re not sure what your company stands for, it’s hard to know who you are marketing to. If you can’t easily articulate what your brand is about, then how can you expect others to buy into it? It’s impossible. Without a strong brand identity, consumers will question your company’s credibility and judgment. This makes them less likely to purchase from you. So before jumping on board with any new product or service, ask yourself: Is there anything special or unique about my brand? What sets us apart from our competitors? These questions should be easy to answer—and if they aren’t, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate your branding strategy.
5) Ignoring Complaints and Reviews
When customers have complaints or negative reviews about your product or service, you need to listen and act. This is one of those seemingly obvious dangers, but trust us: It happens all too often. Customers have some specific expectations for your brand (after all, they chose it over other brands), and you need to listen when they don’t meet those expectations. Otherwise, they may go elsewhere. And if you ignore them, then you risk being labeled as unresponsive—or worse yet, untrustworthy. Remember: There are plenty of other companies out there waiting to take their place. So make sure your customers know they can count on you to listen and respond appropriately.
6) Failing to Build Relationships With Others
While there are a number of ways you can go about building good relationships, remember that trust is always essential. Whether it’s dealing with customers or working with your employees, trust is crucial to every aspect of your operation. Without it, there can be no effective communication and interaction between members of your team—and without effective communication and interaction, you won’t be able to continue growing your company. The best way to build trust? Be honest, open and sincere. Also keep in mind that personal values often play an important role when it comes to relationships: It might sound clichéd, but honesty really does pay off.
7) Not Paying Attention To Details
If you don’t pay attention to detail, you won’t make much money. From typos to pricing errors, there are plenty of ways your ecommerce business can lose money if you aren’t meticulous with every step. It will take extra time, but it will be worth it in the end because customers don’t like an unprofessional image and they won’t spend money with companies who look disorganized. Even something as simple as spelling errors on social media posts or product descriptions can cost you sales. A lack of attention to detail is one of those mistakes that may seem small at first, but it’s actually huge when you consider how many customers come across these details over time. Don’t let little mistakes cost you big sales! Check all areas for misspellings before making your store live online so there aren’t any surprises later on down the road.
8) Focusing On The Numbers Too Much
There’s no getting around it. Numbers are important, and they provide valuable information about your business and its performance. But it’s also possible to let numbers become too much of an obsession. The need to keep growing or surpass your previous results will inevitably lead you down paths that aren’t necessarily good for your company. Instead, focus on long-term goals—things like expansion or profitability—rather than short-term numbers.
9) Not Tracking All Stats and Numbers Related To Marketing Efforts
You don’t want to analyze every last detail, but you should be keeping track of at least some important numbers and statistics. For example, if you’re using Google AdWords to promote your content, you’ll want to monitor how much money you spend on each campaign. You should also pay attention to return-on-investment (ROI) data; for example, how many new customers does it take for you to break even with your monthly cost?
10) Neglecting SEO Efforts
SEO, or search engine optimization, is an important facet of your digital marketing strategy. Customers want to find businesses online by typing in keywords related to their industry and location. With proper SEO implementation, you can help ensure your brand comes up in searches for customers interested in what you have to offer. If you’re not doing SEO correctly, however, you could be missing out on potential revenue. Learn more about how to optimize your website for search engines here.