10 Mistakes to Avoid When You Build Your Online Store

With the vast selection of website builders online, it has become easier for businesses to create a website or an online store for conducting their operations over the internet. It helps save cost and rids business owners of the headaches and tension involved in dealing with a web developer.

However, the experience of building online stores on your own has its own disadvantages. Business owners and individuals inevitably make inevitable mistakes, which do not let their website or online store run successfully.

In this article, we will be discussing some of those mistakes. If you can steer clear of these when you build your online store, you will be setting yourself and your business up for success.

Common Mistakes When Building Your Online Store

1. Ignoring the Competition

Before you start any business, it is imperative to conduct a competitor analysis. You need to know what kind of products your competitors are selling, how they are doing their marketing, what prices they are setting, and how fast they adapt to the changing market trends. Ignoring these factors could set you up for a loss. To penetrate into any niche market, you need to do your research first, and finding out about the other brands and businesses that sell in that niche is a crucial part of that research.

This is a step that needs to be taken before you build your online store. If you delay it until your online store is ready, it might cost you money and time to make the changes needed to cope up with the competition. You might also want to check the kind of features available on your competitors’ websites and incorporate those into yours. To sell online successfully, your online store needs to be as good as, or even better, than others in the niche.

2. Not Preparing a Solid Marketing Strategy

The marketing strategy of any business is the key to its success. Not giving it as much importance as it deserves will lead you to losses and failures. After conducting your market research, you need to come up with a solid marketing plan. You need to decide what marketing channels you are going to use. You need to decide on your monthly marketing expenses and your overall marketing budget to kick off your online store.

There are different types of marketing that you can consider for your business. When you build your online store, you will have to create all the features that enable you to implement your marketing strategy. For example, if you plan to promote your products through content marketing, you should attach a blog to your online store. This blog will be the platform where you publish information about your products and generally about the industry you are operating in. This will help you solidify your place as an expert in your niche. This strategy is perfect for building brand equity.

3. Choosing a Lousy Website Template

Your web design will determine whether or not your site visitors feel like browsing around your online store after opening it. When you build your online store, make sure you select a website template that’s user-friendly, mobile-friendly, appealing, and attractive in the eyes of your potential customers.

Screenshot of a Strikingly user's website/store

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you build your online store in Strikingly, you will have various website templates to choose from. Choose wisely and select one that suits your business needs. Build your online store in a color theme that goes with your brand.

Screenshot of Strikingly template selection page

Image taken from Strikingly

4. Uploading Low-Quality Product Photos

The quality of your product photography plays a significant role in your site visitors’ buying decisions. When you build your online store, you could write fabulous product descriptions, set competitive prices, have feature-rich products, and even have a well-designed website, but if your product photos do not look good, your sales will not skyrocket.

When you sell online, your product photos are the means through which your customers visualize your products. They cannot touch or taste or smell them. They rely on the pictures that you upload. Plus, it’s not even tricky these days to come up with good-quality product photos. You can simply use your smartphone to take pictures, but make sure the shots you take are clear, bright and show the products from different angles. Do not take the images lightly because your buyers will depend on them.

 Screenshot of a Strikingly user's online store showing its product photos

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

5. Failing at Writing Concise Product Descriptions

After your product photographs, the next thing your customers will look into is your product description for each product. These need to be thorough and catchy. Your customers must be able to know the following:

  • What features your product has,
  • What problems it can solve,
  • In what variety it is available, i.e. the different sizes and colors,
  • How old or new it is.

Without knowing all these, it will be difficult for a customer to decide whether or not they want to buy the product. If you are selling perishable products, then your product description must also include the expiry date.

When you build an online store, you need to be thorough in your products section. Don’t be lazy in typing out the details about your product. If you build your online store in Strikingly, you will find it easy to key in all the product information you want when adding a product into the store.

Screenshot of Strikingly dashboard to upload product photos to your site

Image taken from Strikingly

6. Forgetting About Good Customer Service

Customers need to be given good customer service at each stage of selling to them. They might have queries before, during, and after buying your products. When you build your online store, you need to develop mechanisms that enable your customers or site visitors to contact you. The more instant your customer support is, the more satisfied your customers will be.

The best way to provide good customer support is to build a live chat feature on your online store. This way, you can literally chat your way to more customers. At Strikingly, we offer 24/7 live chat support to our users.

Screenshot of Strikingly live chat feature

Image taken from Strikingly

7. Making a Complicated Checkout Process

When a customer has decided to purchase from your online store, the last thing they want is to go through a complicated checkout process. If your checkout page compels customers to fill out a lengthy form, they might get frustrated and back off from the purchase. This can make your entire marketing effort go to waste. It can also cause a rise in your online store’s bounce rate.

Try to build an online store, particularly its checkout page, very neat and easy to navigate. You also need to make sure that there are no technical issues on the checkout page. Suppose you build your online store in Strikingly. In that case, you can select suitable payment gateways to accept credit card payments from your customers and provide a smooth checkout experience to your customers.

8. Having a Poor Site Search Functionality

Building online stores require you to be careful about all aspects of the website. Your online store’s search functionality is one of them. If your customers are to interact with your products, they need to search for them with keywords. This is when they will use your store’s search feature.

If your search feature is not functioning correctly, your customers might not find the products they are looking for. This can cause you to lose potential sales, and to some extent, your brand image too. Therefore, when you build your online store, make sure its search functionality is good.

9. Not Thinking About Responsiveness

More than 50% of users view websites and online stores on their mobile devices these days. It is, therefore, almost necessary for your online store to be responsive and mobile-friendly. If your product photos start overlapping with each other, or your text becomes scribbly, when users browse the mobile version of your site, they will barely ever want to revisit it.

When you start the process to build your online store, keep its responsiveness in mind. Users should browse your site from any device they have in hand without facing any technical issues or site design issues. Make sure to optimize the mobile version of your site.

10. Avoiding Website Maintenance

When you build an online store, you need to keep on monitoring its overall functionality. Along with tracking your site visitors through your website analytics, you also need to check any technical errors that you or your users might face. Avoiding this can cause problems for your brand image as well as your sales.

Now that you know how to set up an online store and what mistakes to avoid, you can build an excellent ecommerce website and start selling your products online. If you are looking for a straightforward website builder to build your store in, you can try out Strikingly. It is absolutely free to create an account in Strikingly and check out its basic features. We have a variety of online store templates for you to choose from. We also have the drag-and-drop feature on our editor, enabling our users to develop a full-fledged website without writing a single line of code. It has never been easier to build your online store!