Despite a tremendous growth rate, ecommerce is still in its early stages.
While more and more businesses are turning towards the Internet to sell their products or services, they are facing a lot of challenges because the dynamics are quite different when it comes to starting and running a successful online business.
One of the biggest challenges faced by online companies is the marketing and reputation management.
Internet and social media is a relatively inexpensive marketing medium, but it is a lot more competitive and challenging to make a mark.
You will be competing against businesses from all over the world, and not just your local market which is the case in a brick and mortar store.
The following are five common marketing mistakes made by online businesses:
Not Optimizing for Search Engines
You can invest on banner ads, social media marketing, and PPC campaigns all you want, but none of these mediums are as effective as Search Engine Optimization as far as Return on Investment (ROI) is concerned.
Some of the most successful online businesses are actually run by SEO experts. Spending money on your website’s design, content, and navigation will go in vain if you are not paying the utmost attention to SE optimization.
Conversion is important, but first you need to have a good number of visitors on your website before you can worry about the conversion rates.
No Trust Building
One of the biggest drawbacks of running an online business is the lack of trust.
When you are running a brick and mortar store, the trust factor is not really an issue, mainly because the customers know that they can come back to your shop in case the product or services don’t give satisfactory results.
But in case of an online store, they are afraid of ending up with a product that is not as good as it appears in the images or description on the website, and even if there’s a refund policy, they will usually be paying for the shipping charges.
So the first thing, you need to work on for your online company is the trust building. You can do so by adding a blog to your online store, having an active presence on social media, and appearing gracious in your customer support.
Ignoring Offline Mediums
Just because you are running an online business, it doesn’t mean you should totally boycott the real world marketing mediums.
In fact it’s quite the opposite. The Internet has become pretty much a part of our daily routine. And while all offline businesses need to incorporate internet marketing into their marketing mix, similarly online businesses need to make the most of offline mediums like classified ads in newspaper, pamphlets, business cards, packaging, and the likes.
- Poor Customer Support
As earlier suggested, customers are quite hesitant while shopping online, and the quality of customer support will play an important role in strengthening (or weakening) their trust. In case some customer gets in touch with a pre-sale enquiry about any of your product or services, and gets a response which is not gracious enough, they will never be making a purchase.
Same goes for the customers who have already made an order. You need to respond promptly to their queries about the shipment, or even when a customer is looking to return a product for any given reason.
Remember that an angry customer can go to a relevant forum or community and vent out his frustration regarding your products or services. In case these negative comments are indexed by Google (and they usually are in next to no time), it will make a negative impact on your reputation which is disastrous for an online business.
- Not Tracking
One of the biggest advantages of online marketing is the availability of all those tracking tools.
The best part is most of these tools are free, (e.g. Google Analytics), which means you can keep tabs on your progress and see which medium is working and which one is not.
You can track the visitors and every link on your website that they click on.
You can assess and improve your bounce rate, conversion rate and much more.
Still many online businesses and stores do not actively track their progress.
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