Running your own e-commerce site sounds like a dream come true, but beware: 90 percent of all online businesses will fail, according to Venture Street. This is the same failure rate as brick-and-mortar marketplaces, demonstrating that even though the barrier to entry is much lower, there are still many challenges. Here are just a few things that merit careful consideration before you waste your precious time on projects that don’t take off.
The Product: Do You Have the Experience?
If the product or service you plan to sell is an extension of a product or service you already sell, such as the e-commerce portion of an already existing business, you should already have a good idea of pricing and competition. This is not true, however, if you have chosen a product specifically for e-commerce. E-commerce is highly competitive, and the only true way to ensure success is by finding a product that is not offered on many other websites. You can use the Google keyword tool to analyze whether a product is sought enough to sell and niche enough to succeed.
The Design: Will It Grab Them?
The design of an e-commerce website needs to work hand in hand with your advertising techniques. Many companies develop specific design elements, such as “squeeze pages,” in an effort to make sure users who come to the website don’t just bounce off it. You will want to make sure the design of your website is professional, clean, simple and geared to conversion. Conversion is the process of actually getting users to purchase an item, and it can take many years of experience in the industry for someone to develop the skills necessary to promote this. It’s often best to get a professional design for an e-commerce website, or to use templates provided with your e-commerce package.
The Tech: Do You Have What It Takes?
Before you launch your website, make sure your Web hosting is up to par. What is hosting? Web Hosting Blue Book defines it as the connection between your online business and users all over the world. If you don’t secure a solid Web host before you go live, your website will crash when too many users visit it.
Exceeding processing time or bandwidth is extremely dangerous for a website for two reasons. It loses potential clients who were attempting to make a purchase, and it discourages them from coming back to visit you again. You will want to plan your hosting service for the amount of volume you anticipate going through your website, not the amount of volume you are starting out with. This is because the exposure of your website can change rapidly, and you don’t want to be left behind when it occurs. You can also consider using third-party e-commerce sites.
E-commerce is set to grow 13 percent in 2013, Internet Retailer reports. It can be a thrilling game; however, just like any other business, it takes careful planning and consideration.