Since the advent of the Internet, millions of entrepreneurs have taken a stab at getting their share of the wealth of profit to be acquired online. While there is money to be made, there are ten common online business strategy mistakes that almost always leaves the web owner disappointed.
1. The Dream That Never Comes True
It is relatively easy to develop a website. Unfortunately, too many who are new to online marketing fail to realize that, even though the website may be aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, no one will know about it if they don’t realize it exists. When it seems too good to be true, it normally is, and it takes much more effort to driving traffic than simply making a website available. New web owners should plan to devote half of their resources toward the development of a steady customer base.
2. Understanding Your Audience
The beauty of the massive audience the Internet caters to is the fact that niche topics can be targeted with the expectation that there will be enough potential traffic to make it worthwhile. However, it is much easier to target to some niches than others. In order to make an online endeavor a success, the web owner must devise their online business strategy in a way to precisely define their customer base.
3. Give Customers a Unique Reason to Buy
In the world of the Internet, people have an array of options. No longer are entrepreneurs competing with local businesses. As a result, websites must offer a unique proposition in order to pique the interest of every visitor. Offer motivational benefits that will give the customer a reason to try the product or service. Money back guarantees are popular since the products offered online are not tangible until after the purchase is made. Proper articulation is a key in convincing online consumers to buy.
4. Don’t Over Complicate Your Offer
While it is very important to clearly state and articulate your unique business offer, it is just as crucial not to make it too complicated. Online shoppers want pitches to be as short and sweet as possible. If there is too much elaboration, they are likely to leave the page and search for something that takes less time to read and review. A great way to offer additional information outside of the sales pitch is to offer links for potential customers to click on if they would like more information. Don’t include it all on your landing page.
5. Proper Product Selection
The Internet has given entrepreneurs the chance to offer many unique and exciting products; however, hundreds of people have made the mistake of thinking that they can market anything online. Website such as Pets.com, Furniture.com and Living.com all fell victim to this common problem. They were trying to market products that simply did not make sense to the average online consumer. The best way to avoid the selection of the wrong product is to carefully review your online business strategy prior to launching a new online campaign.
6. Compromising Quality for Speed
In today’s market, consumers crave instant satisfaction, and online entrepreneurs feel the urgency to cater to this need. A certain degree of haste is necessary for those doing business online. However, making promises that will compromise the overall product quality will quickly kill the business. The three main components that consumers are looking for in the products and services they choose to purchase are price, speed and quality. Online marketing campaigns should carefully consider the time it takes to produce an exemplary product in relation to the time and cost it will require to deliver.
7. Over-Anticipation for Quick Growth
Business owners want to be successful, and many who have seen exponential growth make the mistake of assuming the trend will immediately pick up when the product or service is made available online. Big expectations can be a good thing, but when online marketers rush to make their online presence in hopes of seeing an unreasonably high profit margin, the entire endeavor often ends in shambles. Known as first-movers, business owners who anticipate fast growth as soon as their websites make their entrance all too often find themselves very disappointed.
8. Treat Consumers as Customers, Not Numbers
It takes customers to make an online business venture a success. Unfortunately, too many web marketers take the customers they get for granted. Customers should always be the number one priority. Therefore, it is crucial to have a skilled and personable customer service team to cater to the individual needs that consumers require to help develop a good reputation. When one customer has a bad experience, they will tell, on average, ten friends. Failure to implement a strategic customer service plan can quickly tarnish an online endeavor.
9. Frugality and Money Management
As with any business, e-commerce companies must have a solid and frugal approach to the financial side of the business. While it can be easy to get caught up in the fun of running a business such as adding new facilities, throwing company parties and offering perks, over-indulgences can quickly lead a company to its demise. Rather than splurging, take the approach of the president of NetBank. The success of this website is largely due to his penny-pinching ways such as purchasing used computers and utilizing low-rent office space.
10. Don’t Be Afraid to Test Your Products
A large number of online business owners fear that testing their product will bring a negative connotation. They feel that their customers expect a company to know all of the potential product flaws in advance. On the contrary, it is essential to test products prior to offering them online. In fact, those who go the extra mile and continually test their products and services to ensure their quality often prove more successful. To ensure continued growth and success, approximately 15-20% of a companies marketing budget should be allocated to continual testing.