James Douglas Burbank

James D. Burbank has been in marketing for more than a decade. He has worked in traditional as well as online marketing and he has seen it all. He is also a huge Utah Jazz fan.

James Douglas Burbank has written 12 articles for SB Informer.
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Ecommerce Business Growing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Avoiding the most common mistakes when growing your ecommerce business

James Douglas Burbank

December 14, 2017

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The most difficult thing for ecommerce business owners is surviving the first few months and make enough sales to put their new company on its feet. However, it can be just as difficult to grow an ecommerce business the smart way, especially since there are so many ways in which one can mess this up. Today, we will be looking at these mistakes and how to best avoid them.

Sticking with the same website

For most new ecommerce businesses, an expensive, overdesigned and complex website is not the best option. Most successful online stores begin with a basic site which sells stuff while not requiring a lot of money to do so. And while this kind of a setup is perfect for the early days, once your ecommerce business starts to grow, your website needs to grow too.

Once you start feeling that your website is lagging behind your brand or that you have hit a wall, it might be time to do an overhaul. Perhaps you will want to bring in professional designers. Perhaps you will want to tweak your website for better conversion rates (this article from ecommerce web designers Quikclicks has some great advice). Perhaps you will want to take advantage of some advanced options and apps for your online store.

The important thing is to upgrade your site after a while.

Not hiring people

A vast majority of ecommerce companies start off as single-person operations, maybe with another person involved for certain things. This is a great setup at first because it allows the company to operate with minimal costs when it comes to workforce. Once an ecommerce business starts to grow, however, one person simply cannot handle everything.

The biggest mistake is thinking that you can still handle everything and it is something you simply must avoid. You may have been able to handle 40 orders a day, but when that number grows to 400, no amount of automation and tools will enable you to still do it all yourself.

Hiring new people is more difficult than it seems and you need to be smart about it. Really, really smart. You have to identify your needs (order processing, marketing, website maintenance, etc.) and you have to find the best person for the job. Not your cousin, not your best friend; the best person for the job.

Not rethinking marketing

There is very little space for maneuvering marketing-wise in the early days of running an ecommerce company. It all comes down to spending every single dollar you have on bringing in new traffic and this usually means sticking almost exclusively to paid ads and thinking about every single ad you spend on. And early on, this really is the best tactic. You just do not have the time nor the money for brand-building or anything more ‘organic’.

After a while, however, this changes. Once you have a steady stream of revenue coming in, you can start rethinking your marketing efforts and introduce new tactics that will help your ecommerce brand grow more naturally, building lasting relationships with your customers.

For instance, you can start thinking about content marketing and some advanced SEO that will help you grow your organic traffic. You can also start thinking about doing some advanced email marketing where you really tap the powers of this kind of ecommerce promotion.

Of course, you will also want to modify your ad spend according to what you wish to achieve and how you wish to achieve it.

Experimenting too much

As you may have noticed, the majority of the advice so far has been about not getting stuck in your ways and doing the same old thing as your ecommerce business grows. And while stagnation truly can be a growth-killer, so can too much experimenting.

There have been innumerable ecommerce stores that worked perfectly well and then started doing too much that they soon lost their most loyal customers while failing to attract new ones.

Simply put, people like familiarity and if your ecommerce store changes far too much, it can drive people away. This is never a good idea, especially since regular customers are worth so much more than first-time buyers.

Make sure you understand what your ecommerce brand is about, why people love it and why they buy from you. If you lose that, no one can guarantee they will stay with you.


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