5 mistakes to avoid in an e-commerce start-up

E-commerce businesses seem like a dream from the outside. It gives hope for so many passionate entrepreneurs that they can be successful doing what they love. Yet, it comes with its own pitfalls that entrepreneurs should steer clear of.

Suta has seen its fair share of ups and downs and the lessons learnt on the way have been very valuable for our brand’s growth. Here is a list of pointers to keep in mind straight from Su and Ta for aspiring entrepreneurs to take note of.

1. Do not overlook entry-barriers

It is a great thing that e-commerce is so easy to enter into compared to other kinds of business. The capital required is smaller, there are readymade tools to set up everything quickly, and the entry barriers are low. But, the downside to this is that it is equally easy for your competition to enter too.

So, always think about the high entry-barriers that you can create to ensure that your business is ahead of competition. One example can be to focus on customer engagement to keep your customers close to your brand. It is important to concentrate and put your energies into areas that will become your USPs and set you apart from competition.

2. Don’t make your initial decisions too rigid

When you start out, it feels very good to make decisions in the name of making your brand unique. These could be decisions like never giving discounts, about the channels through which you choose to communicate with customers, etc. Such decisions are not very good for business. Especially in e-commerce, the world is changing so fast that if you are not agile you will lose. One small technological update can change the entire ball-game overnight.

It is best to keep your eyes and ears open and make decisions to keep up with the rapid changes of this industry. The volatility of e-commerce is the best and the worst part of it after all. It all depends on how strategically you make decisions.

3.Avoid being biased to only one social media platform

Social media platforms are tricky. What seems trending one day will be completely outdated the next day. Yet, the sheer reach of these platforms is mind-boggling. The most common mistake that e-commerce start-ups make is thinking that only one or two platforms are suitable to reach their customer segments.

The reality is that all platforms are important and no one knows when the reach of one platform might boom suddenly and when it might fall. It is important to maintain consistent presence on as many platforms as possible. Monitor the ROIs and keep focussing on what works in each platform. Even the ignored ones like Quora and LinkedIn can be helpful in reaching out to the right people for your business.

4. Don’t look at numbers in silos:

In e-commerce, it is essential to look at the big picture mainly because the independent streams of numbers coming in can be very distracting and deceiving. Since various analytics will be monitored along with the financial data, it always helps to have a dashboard where you can see all of your numbers together and gauge the big picture.

This really puts things in the right perspective and allows e-commerce businesses to make smart decisions and spend money wisely for better ROI.

5. You don’t have to do everything on your own

Since there are so many tools available to build everything required for an e-commerce business, many entrepreneurs take it upon themselves to do everything on their own. Yes, it is definitely possible to do everything on your own and it might be cost effective too, but it is not the smartest ways to function.

There are so many service providers who can take away chunks of your work and finish it flawlessly while you work on areas that you are best in. Focus on finding the right partners and collaborators and it can just be a game changer in your business. It is important to use your energy judiciously because you ultimately bring down your efficiency when you try to take responsibility for every small aspect of the business.