One of the best ecommerce philosophies is “in it for the long haul”; start out the way you plan to continue. At Tech & Bowery we’ve seen too many companies come to us after they have discovered their short foray into the digital commerce world has left them confused and left them with a whole warehouse of insolvent products. This post will outline some of the mistakes to avoid and the approach companies and individuals should take when they decide to expand into digital markets.
Mistakes to Avoid:
- All of your inventory and variations are uploaded in one shot to an ecommerce platform with minimal data so that the products are ‘live already’. What usually follows are sparse product pages that don’t convert well, sitting on page 1000 where no one ever discovers them.
- A lone enthusiastic salesperson jumps into a digital marketplace with a small quantity of leftover goods that sell out quickly. In a bid to increase revenue, tons of Leftover Product A is produced and stocked, only to find that the product doesn’t sell as well the next time its placed online.
- Inconsistent products that confuse customers and prevent them from buying again and encourages them to leave bad reviews that daunt new customers.
What happened? Most of these mistakes are a symptom of not understanding the larger ecommerce world. When Tech & Bowery take on a new clients several meetings are created not only to understand how a company works, but also so that we can research where a company best fits into the many different digital spheres. Is a company suited to a wholesale relationship with Amazon or a more speed oriented discount Groupon page? Perhaps both or neither.
Why didn’t my product sell at all?
- Product pages aren’t content rich.
- The upload is not filled with filterable data.
- You’re selling on the wrong ecommerce marketplace for your product type.
Why didn’t my product sell as well the second time I posted it?
- You aren’t leveraging the momentum from the first time you sold out. This can include: loosing the search ranking, pricing the product higher, selling the product with different packaging, and not checking the reviews for things to correct in the next run.
- You’re undercut by a competitor. For example: Someone copied your product and sold it at a lower price.
- Your seasonal product is not in demand as of last week and won’t be in demand again for another 6 months.
Going forward you should consider following these tips. These are also the first pieces of advice that we offer to anyone who is considering the move to commerce.
How do I do better ecommerce?
- Get Organized – Each part of the commerce process needs attention. From shipping in the goods in a timely manner to having content at the right time. Make sure you consider everything the customer will need to feel confident in your product. You should also consider how much inventory you need on hand versus how much you can bring in later. At minimum you will need people to plan which products work on which sites, look at sales, measure restocking needs, create product listings, and populate the listings with rich content.
- Get Knowledgable – Learn about the nuances of each marketplace. Whether its Amazon, Overstock, Walmart, or Ebay – learn the platform, how its search function works, and what appeals to the customers on each site. If you’re selling on your own site, learn who your customer base is, how to reach them, and how to retain their interest.
There is a more nuance to digital marketplaces that are completely different from traditional business. The best way for companies to approach their ecommerce efforts is by being thoughtful and planning not only the launch into ecommerce markets, but also planning how their continued success will look.