Strikingly blog banner: Build Your Online Store: Avoiding the Pitfalls of E-Commerce

Building an online store is a thrilling adventure, but watching out for the pitfalls and traps many e-commerce enthusiasts fall into is essential. From skipping market research to overlooking the importance of mobile optimization, these mistakes can lead to a dead-end for your online store. But don't worry! We're here to guide you through the process and help you avoid the common mistakes that can set your store up for failure.

You'll find a list of ten common blunders frequently made in building an online store. You must steer clear of them at all costs! But before we delve deeper, let's discuss what an eCommerce store is.

What is an Online Store?

An online store, also known as an e-commerce website, is an essential tool for businesses in today's digital age. It provides a platform for companies to showcase their products or services and sell them to customers globally, from the convenience of their homes or wherever they have internet access.

Strikingly website Bahia Blanca landing page

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website Bahia Blanca

An online store functions as the digital storefront of your business, allowing customers to browse through your products or services, select the ones they want to purchase and complete the transaction all within the same platform. This method to sell online eliminates the need for customers to physically visit a brick-and-mortar store, saving them time and effort. With the pandemic that hit globally, building online stores became an unstoppable trend.

One of the key benefits when you build an online store is the cost-efficiency it offers. Traditional on-site stores come with significant overhead costs, such as rent, utilities, and other expenses associated with maintaining a physical location. An online store, however, eliminates these costs, providing businesses with more room to grow and expand their operations.

Another thing, an online store never closes, providing customers with the convenience of shopping at any time of the day or night. Setting up an online store is especially beneficial for customers who may not have the time or ability to visit a physical store during regular business hours.

When you build your online store, it is the perfect way to reach a global audience and elevate your business to new heights. With the world becoming increasingly digital, to sell online is a must-do for corporations looking to stay competitive and grow their customer base. With an online store, the world truly is your oyster!

Now that we know what an online store is and how it can help take your business to the next level let's talk about the elephant in the room - mistakes. Yes, mistakes happen, but don't worry; we're here to ensure you avoid the most common ones when you build your online store. Let's jump right in and learn how to avoid these pitfalls:

1. Outdated Content

It is common to come across online stores that feature content that needs to be updated, such as allusions to feasts that have since passed, notices that the store will be closed on holidays that occurred weeks ago, or promotions that have long since ended. Hence, when you build your online store, you should routinely examine all of your website pages, not just your homepage, and post new information that is up to date. The same rule applies to your auto-reply; ensure that you turn it off after each time you shut down your computer.

With Strikingly, you can easily add social media links to your website. Adding social media links on the footer of your online lets your visitors connect with you on various social media platforms and stay updated on your latest content and activities. Adding social media links can also help you increase your audience and drive more traffic to your website.

2. Cluttered Navigation Menu

Minimalism is powerful. Instead of squeezing a lot of categories on your navigation bar when you build your online store, limit your menu to at most eight to ten options. Be sure they can all be displayed on a single line in the navigation bar. Otherwise, your site visitors will need help knowing where to look and may even become disoriented while navigating your website.

Strikingly dropdown menu

Image taken from Strikingly

Use our dropdown menu feature to avoid cluttered navigation on your Strikingly website when you build your online store. A dropdown menu is a perfect solution to streamline your navigation and make it easier for visitors to find what they're looking for. You can group similar items with a dropdown menu, making your website more user-friendly and visually pleasing. Say goodbye to messy menus and hello to a sleek and organized dropdown.

3. Poor Quality Image

Strikingly website landing page Amelia

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website Amelia

One of the most critical elements when you build your online store is the graphics you provide for your products. Customers who shop at online businesses, as opposed to customers who shop at physical stores, do not have the option to take in the ambiance or physically hold the products. Because of this, the pictures you use on your website should provide customers with an accurate depiction of the goods (check out the image specifications for your website here). Even though it may seem like stating the obvious, we frequently come across websites with blurry, grainy, dull, or incorrectly (re)sized photos.

4. Flawed Legal Documents

You should follow the legalities when you build your online store. Remember that flawed documents constitute an infringement of copyright, even though it could be tempting just to cut and paste the general terms and conditions of another store comparable to yours to save time and money.

Keep in mind that such terms and conditions are not adapted to your shop's specific needs. We frequently come across retail establishments that either need a returns policy or have one that is difficult to locate. Do not build your online store half-heartedly because it will surely not cut it.

5. Poor Customer Service

Neglecting customer service when you build your online store is like a chef forgetting salt in a recipe- it may seem like a small detail, but it can make all the difference. When building an online store, customer service should be considered a key ingredient to the recipe for success.

Just as a chef meticulously chooses each ingredient and measure to create a delicious dish, a business owner should carefully select and implement customer service strategies to ensure a satisfying customer experience. Neglecting this vital aspect of the business is like a chef forgetting the salt in a recipe; the final product may still look good, but it will lack that essential taste that makes it truly satisfying.

A well-crafted customer service strategy to sell online can help to retain existing customers, attract new ones, and build a positive reputation for your online store. Providing excellent customer service can ensure that your customers leave your store feeling satisfied and eager to return. On the other hand, poor customer service can lead to unhappy customers, negative reviews, and a decline in sales.

6. Unresponsive Website

A non-responsive website can be challenging to navigate on mobile devices, leading to a poor user experience for potential customers. And this can lead to high bounce rates and low conversion rates.

Many people now use their mobile devices to browse the internet, and a non-responsive website will not be accessible. If the user cannot access your online store, it can lead to losing potential customers. You also have to consider that search engines like Google prefer mobile-friendly websites and may rank them higher in search results. A non-responsive website may be ranked low, resulting in lower visibility and traffic.

Good thing Strikingly is optimized for different devices. Our platform uses a responsive design, which means your website will automatically adjust to fit the screen size of the device it is viewed on. And this includes smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.

With Strikingly, you don't have to worry about creating separate versions of your website for different devices. We take care of that for you, ensuring that your website looks and functions well on all devices. As we all know, it is vital for site viewers to have a seamless user experience regardless of the device they are using to access your website. Strikingly ensures that your website looks great and is easy to navigate on smaller screens. Optimization for different devices is a critical feature that helps businesses provide a smooth user experience and improve their website's performance on all devices.

7. Bad Product Descriptions

In building online stores, trust is currency, and a good product description and photo are the foundation of building that trust with your customers. A product description and photo combo that is both thorough and concise is a non-negotiable must-have. When you build your online store, your customers are essentially buying blind - they can't see or touch the product before making a purchase. Therefore, it's your job as the seller to ensure they have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

A good product description should be like a trusty sidekick, providing customers with all the details they need to know about the product. From the materials used to the dimensions and even the care instructions, customers need to know exactly what they're getting. And let's remember the all-important matching photo; it should accurately represent the product, showcasing it in all its glory and giving customers a sense of what they can expect to receive.

Please don't skimp on the details; always pair them with a quality photo. It's a small investment that will pay off big time in customer satisfaction and repeat business.

When building online stores with Strikingly, you can add product descriptions for each item you sell. Writing a product description allows customers to learn more about the product before making a purchase and can also help with SEO. With Strikingly, adding product descriptions to your e-commerce store is straightforward. This feature can help you increase sales by providing customers with the details they need to make a purchase decision and also help improve your website's visibility on search engines.

8. Insufficiently Detailed Call to Action

A "Call to Action," abbreviated "CTA," is a button that you want visitors to your website to click on. It typically has a "Buy" button label for internet retailers. Make sure that this call to action is easily visible and provides an accurate description of the action; also, use a color that contrasts with the background and bigger font size to make it stand out.

9. Too Many Product Displays

When it comes to product offerings, less is definitely more. Sure, it might be tempting to start with a funnel of options, but trust us, it's better to begin with a curated selection of high-quality goods. Like starting a marathon, you don't want to burn out before you even hit the halfway point.

Starting with a smaller amount of products allows a store owner to get a handle on the whole process and gauge market demand. It's like a test run, a chance to see what works and what doesn't. And if the business takes off, it's time to expand the product line and run with it.

When you build your online store, don't bite off more than you can chew; start small and build up as you go. It's an innovative and sustainable way to run a business. And yes, variety is the spice of life, but too much can make your customers' heads spin.

10. Not Doing Enough Promotions

Okay, so you've built your online store, got all your products listed, and are ready for customers to start rolling in. But then, you realize that only a few people visit your store. Why? Well, one reason could be that you need to do more promotions.

Let's be real; building an online store is just the first step. You also need to make sure that people know it exists, and that's where promotions come in. Promoting your online store lets people know about your products and services, attracts new customers, and increases your sales.

Promotions can come in many forms, like social media ads, email marketing campaigns, discounts, and more. Finding the best promotion method for you and your online store is vital. Remember that a promotion is not a one-time thing; it's an ongoing process that requires effort and creativity. Building an online store is just the beginning; you must also let people know it's out there. And the best way to do that is by promoting it. It's not just about getting more customers; it's also about building your brand and increasing customer loyalty. Don't miss out on potential sales; make sure you're promoting your online store regularly.

Now that we've covered the don'ts of building online stores, it's time to focus on the dos. Take a look at the steps below to build an online store with Strikingly:

How to Set Up an Online Store with Strikingly

Strikingly store section

Image taken from Strikingly

1. To get started, create an account on Strikingly if you don't have one yet.

2. After successfully logging in, navigate to the list of available sections and select "Simple Store" to create a new store.

Set up the essential information for your store, such as its name and the currency it accepts as payment.

3. After that, click the "Add Product" button to add items to your store's inventory. You have the option of including the product's name, as well as its description, price, and images.

4. To add categories, go to the settings for your store and select the "Categories" option.

5. Last but not least, publish your website to go live.

Congratulations! You can now start to sell online. Build your online store and make it accessible to customers by posting it to different social media channels and providing them with the link.