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4 Ways To Kill An Ecommerce Business

Nov 14, 2007
There are common mistakes repeated a million times daily in every industry, including the ecommerce industry. It doesn't matter whether the ecommerce business is selling on Ebay, teaching others how to succeed, an SEO management firm, or a corporate advertising agency with more than 100 employees, everyone falls victim to these mistakes from time to time.

The important thing is to learn how to recognize these mistakes in their 'many forms' and learn how to weed them out before they cost consumer loyalty and a decrease in profits.

Mistake #1 Not Communicating With Consumers

There is no reason why any ecommerce business needs to avoid chatting with clients. We've all seen it in the retail industry, stores who fail because consumers feel neglected. With all the Web2.0 developments and Social Networking tools available today, there is no reason why an online business cannot use forums, chats, blogs, message boards, and newsletters to create two-way communication with their potential customers.

Forum posters will comment in posts for as little as $.10 per post, just to keep the threads running, or $1 a post to keep the forum active and create new topics. The average forum can be maintained for as little as $20 a week.

Chats are also easy to manage. There are hundreds of people on the net who want a place to reach new customers. Chat scripts are free, or already built into many of the major software content management systems like Drupal.

Facebook, myspace, youtube, and places like Yahoo groups are creating environments where customers expect to talk to a live person. In fact, may sites are learning that a link to their forum is a much better sales tool than a sales ad page telling people all the great things you can offer them.

Mistake #2 Buy Ups

Once you find a customer, keep them. It is easy with newsletters, or offering discounts on other products in exchange for testimonials. Or, you can offer them a free blog, membership, or other perk that will keep them in touch with the ecommerce company as well as reward their loyalty.

However, today's customers are savvy. You cannot hide a buy-up. Send them an email within 20 - 40 - 60 days saying that the new version is out and they can have it for 80% up and the customer will translate it 'buy-up.'

Mistake #3 Affiliate Link Through

Many affiliate based sites make the biggest mistake when clients are ready to buy. If the site requires a user to link from one site to another before they can buy, then make sure the code takes them to a buy now page - not the site's home page - not a product page - not a sale page.

Then, make sure your website and the parent company's site look as similar as possible. The potential customer should receive no 'jolt' as they leave your site. If there is no way to create a 'front page' that mimics the parent company's page, then do not create a site that appears to be the parent company. Instead, create a community site, niche portal, or review forum.

Mistake #4 Stagnant Pages

Many web browsers hit a page three times before they decide to buy. This means that you need to give people a reason to return, again and again. One of the most overlooked tools is a feedburn. This tool lets people subscribe via a third-party tool. Subscribers receive notifications when something is updated in the company blog, which can also serve as the bottom half of the home page.

All of these mistakes can ruin an otherwise promising ecommerce business.
About the Author
Mark Walters is a third generation entrepreneur and author. He offers free training and investing videos designed to speed you towards financial independence at http://www.cashflowinstitute.com/videosignup.htm
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