News flash: if you’re starting a business, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s just a fact. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs, who have run businesses for years, still make costly blunders.
One of the best ways you can protect yourself from making mistakes is by learning from others’ misfortunes. Here are five common errors made when you buy and sell online that you need to avoid at all costs:
1. Not knowing your target market
If you don’t know who you’re trying to reach, you’re shooting in the dark. The first step is to identify who your customers are and what they’re looking for. Then, you need to look at the language and tone they use to communicate, as well as their culture, values, and interests. For example, there are some products you can buy and sell online only when you are in a particular location, while other products can be purchased at any time. What do these products and features mean to your customers, and what questions do your clients have? You need to know that before you do anything else. You can find this information in exciting places like Google Analytics.
Keyword research is essential in this stage, too. Aside from identifying the language and tone of your customers, when buying and selling online, it’s important to know what products they could be interested in, as well as which categories fit those products. Use an out-of-the-box eCommerce platform like Stor to help keep your SEO in top-notch form.
2. Not managing inventory effectively
Inventory management is a huge part of online business management, and knowing how to manage it well is crucial to it running smoothly. When it comes to inventory management, here are some things to know:
Your profit margins
Your inventory turnover
Your average inventory level
Your website visitor behaviour
If you think that you can just casually keep an eye on it, that’s a mistake. You need a software tool that can help you look after your website. Stor comes with stock management features, to keep track of your inventory directly on the platform, and manage your shipping options.
3. Not using the right payment processor for your business model
When you’re starting a business, it’s easy to think about the business model and the product you’re building, but it’s just as important to think about how you’re going to charge for your product or service and how easy you make it for your customers to purchase both online and in-store.
It’s best if you use a payments processor geared for your business that offers multiple payment options you can experiment with. Start with accepting debit and credit cards, and build on this with other payment options like PayPal, eWallets (such as Google and Apple Pay), and Buy Now Pay Later options.
Using Stor will not only help you offer the best and most secure payment options but will also offer some much-needed add-ons, like abandoned cart reminder features, personalised discount add-ons and optimised checkouts, so your customers can comfortably complete a purchase in minutes.
4. Ignoring feedback from customers
When you buy and sell online, don’t get defensive if someone criticises your product or service. It’s a great sign that you’re doing something right if you’re getting criticism. First and foremost, it means you’re getting noticed. Of course, it’s good to respond to negative comments as well, but when you’re first starting out, you just need to build a solid base of business protection. When promoting your online store, always remember to be the good guy and never the antagonist. To encourage sales, use customer product reviews to help your customers to engage with you, as well as with each other.
5. Failing to deliver on your promises and not guaranteeing customer satisfaction.
Your customer service can make or break your reputation. You need to deliver on every promise you make to your customers. So if you say your product is going to be out by a specific date, then it needs to be out by that date. If you promise a sale but don’t deliver it, customers will not return. Your delivery team needs to deliver, but more than that, they need to be responsive. If you can’t deliver fast, cancel your sale immediately and notify the customers. If your customer service team can’t find and notify your customers about the problem or fix it within a reasonable timeframe, then no amount of words will solve the loss of an actual sale.
If your sales are going well, you can think about accepting pre-orders for a product before it’s ready to be released. Stor’s platform can help you specify a release date and we’ll notify your customers when their product is ready.
Security is our top priority at Trust Payments and we strive to ensure that all data is kept secure at all times. We keep all customer data safe with AES256 encryption, SSL Certificates, and a minimum of TLS1.2 between your website and our datacentres.
Our systems are scanned quarterly using the Qualys PCI Platform, an independent Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) and approved vendors – Omnicybersecurity (UK) & Forgenix (US) – to ensure compliance with the security requirements of the card schemes.
We follow a number of rigorous security procedures on a daily basis including, but not limited to, continuous monitoring of our perimeter, dark web monitoring, and internal checks to ensure that CIA triad is maintained at all times.
Trust Payments Ltd 2023
Trust Payments Ltd, No.1 Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3DG. A company registered in England and Wales with Company Number 11976895.
Trust Payments (MALTA) Limited, Reg. No. C 56013, Ewropa Business Centre, Triq Dun Karm, Birkirkara, BKR 9034, Malta VAT number: MT23440004