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When companies sell things online, they’re running ecommerce businesses. Two of the top ecommerce companies in the world are Amazon and eBay, but there are plenty of smaller ecommerce companies that are successful too.

Say you’re excited about your ecommerce business and are ready to move ahead. You’re planning to create a website to sell your products or services online. First, though, take a minute to look over these common ecommerce business mistakes. They’ll help you ensure that you’re on the right track and are better prepared to avoid potentially costly errors.

Top Ecommerce Business Errors

As you’re crafting a plan for your ecommerce company, it pays to avoid typical pitfalls so you can start off on the right footing. These are some of the most common ecommerce business mistakes to plan around:

  • Not researching the market to make sure there’s demand for your product
  • Not testing your site
  • Not including sales promotions on your site
  • Having vague, boring or non-existent product descriptions
  • Providing unsatisfactory customer service
  • Not optimizing your website for mobile users
  • Building a website that’s difficult to navigate
  • Having a confusing checkout process
  • Trying to sell a product online that’s best sold in a brick-and-mortar setting
  • Not using clear, compelling language
  • Not using attractive visuals that engage consumers
  • Not including images of people using your product

How to Avoid Common Ecommerce Business Mistakes

You can avoid or overcome these mistakes by doing key groundwork before you set up your ecommerce shop. Follow these tips and examples to get ahead of the pack.

Research your market and the competition. Make sure the market you think will love your product exists and will respond to its advantages over the competition. Just because you’d buy it doesn’t mean others will.

Don’t try to do it all yourself, especially if something’s not in your wheelhouse. For example, hire an experienced web developer if you don’t have the necessary tech chops. A developer can create a well-designed site that’s easy to navigate, with a simple checkout and mobile-friendly capabilities. Make sure to get references and ask to see examples of the developer’s previous work.

Let your target market know what sets your brand apart from the competition. Make sure your tagline commands attention and quickly encapsulates what you have to offer and how it meets customers’ needs. Your website should reflect your brand and your market’s personality. Be clear about your product’s benefits to your market. Make it personalized to them, and remind them how your product solves a problem or enriches their lives.

Test your site to make sure its performance is up to par before you go live with it. Imagine yourself as a consumer who’s ready to buy or get more information about your product. Make sure people won’t encounter roadblocks to taking action. Get any bugs or glitches worked out first so they don’t frustrate consumers.

Don’t shy away from having a prominent, appealing sales section on your ecommerce site. Online consumers love sales. Need proof? When the online fashion shop Fashion Nova collaborated with rapper Cardi B on a flash sale before Black Friday, they snagged $10.8 million in sales.