5 eCommerce Lessons Learned From 2 Failed Startups

ecommerce lessons
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Opening a shop is easy but keeping it open is hard. If you’re an entrepreneur you can relate to my situation. I was about to lose all hope. My second venture failed massively. Sometimes, failure gives us a new perspective. And that is what got me going on my third venture.

I sat down in my garden and started thinking for three straight hours. The conclusion was simple. I made silly blunders which cost me both of my ventures.

So, here I am, after four years of running my third venture, I can tell you what didn’t work in my last two ventures.


Lesson 1:  Social Proof is Important

When I started my first venture I thought if I give my best service, my products would sell like hot cakes. Well, I was wrong. People didn’t care about what price I was offering or about the quality of the product. People cared about what other people were saying about my brand.

Ask yourself: how many friends you refer before buying a product online. Products with 20+ reviews have an 83.85% higher conversion rate than products without reviews.

Make the most of the product reviews and customer testimonials. Put the testimonials on the main page, or on the shipping page, where the customer is about to place an order on the website.

Once you realize the importance of social proof, you will be thrilled to share every review you get.


Lesson 2: Learn from Mistakes and Move on

One of the mistakes I regret was the launch of my second venture.

I took so much time to launch the product. In the end, I lost massive business because of it.

One thing I learned was to learn from your mistakes and move on.

For instance, if you mess up an order, tell the customer what went wrong.

Staying true to your customer will establish trust. You need to apologize for your mistake, and you need to tell them what you will do to overcome the mistake.

The same goes for every aspect of your website. If you find something wrong admit it, and get busy making it right.

Don’t wait for anyone to point out what is wrong. Make the necessary corrections yourself.


Lesson 3: Slow Websites Suck

No matter how intriguing your website design is, if you haven’t worked on page load time, you will be doomed.

One tip when you go for a website design agency, or hire a website developer, is to ask them to keep the page load time to a minimum. Don’t just request them. Force them.

The time it takes for a page to load can impact the buying decision of your user, big time.

The experts propose that the main page should load within two seconds. Yes, this is the ideal page load time. Anything more than that will cause problems for the user to stick to your website.


Lesson 4: Use Customized Orders to Drive Sales

Sure, you can use your own ideas to develop the product, but try out custom orders and see what happens.

This comes from a place of experience. The day I started taking custom orders, my sales went up by 46%. Just because I was giving customers what they wanted me to give.

I didn’t design the product. The product was designed by our customers for themselves.

Use the custom design approach to figure out the needs of your customers and develop your products based upon those needs.


Lesson 5: Use Big Data for A/B Testing

“If you double the number of experiments you do per year you’re going to double your inventiveness.” ~Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com

In e-commerce, everything is about testing. The more you test your product, the better you will know how the customer is responding.

Check every phase of your website right from sign-up. Why are customers signing up to your website in the first place? What is encouraging them to order on your website?

Use heat maps to identify the behaviors of your customers. See what colors are attracting more traffic. What colors are converting the customers?

Compare different fonts to see which one is working for your brand. Use Google Analytics to analyze data and make your decisions based on that data.

Use social media channels to A/B test your campaigns. Leave out what is not working for you. Use what is working again.

Interact with the customers to see what they think about your brand and what problems they face while placing an order on your website.

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Mohammed Ali

Mohammed Ali

Mohammad Ali is an experienced digital marketer and a search engine marketing specialist who is currently a senior digital marketer with Branex, a brand strategy agency.
Mohammed Ali

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