TOP 10 MISTAKES OF SMALL ONLINE RETAILERS

TOP 10 MISTAKES OF SMALL ONLINE RETAILERS

1.Testing the Water
2.Hiring the Retail Blind
3.Blind Leading the Blind
4.Dictated by Technology
5.Fishing Without Bait
6.If I Build It, They Will Come
7.The $10K Millionaire
8.The Clean Slate Mentality
9.I Don't Play Dress-Up
10.LA to NY Without a Roadmap

Testing the Water


Many small online retailers launch with the attitude that they're "testing the water" to see how well their product will retail online.

This mentality seems logical enough - invest a very small amount of money building a simple retail site and then see how well it performs. If it performs well, invest more money and take it to the next level.

It's a strategy that is often used in the "brick and mortar" world when a company launches a new product, referred to as "test marketing" to see if enough demand exists for a product to justify the costs of producing and marketing it on a much larger scale.

While it seems completely reasonable, relying on this strategy in an online setting rarely results in any meaningful sales volume.

When "testing the water," often times the retailer selects consultants, e-commerce software, and marketing based largely on cost versus expertise, features and value. Very little time is spent planning the merchandising strategy, understanding what information needs to be presented, and how. Corners are cut. Important e-commerce or merchandising features are missing. If an online marketing plan is developed at all, it's rarely comprehensive enough to be of any substantial value.

As a result, the newly launched site experiences very little revenue.

Eventually the retailer either pulls the plug, or just leaves the site to idle along but dismisses the possibility of it as a revenue center. If this is you, you're one of the few that realizes maybe some key factors were missed when your site was developed.

If you're considering "testing the waters" with an online retail venture you're planning - think again.

Instead, spend the small amount of money you planned to invest having a professional research the feasibility of marketing your product online.

The internet world provides so much available data to research. An accurate, credible analysis can be done. Data is available on what people are searching for on the major search engines. Are they searching for your product? Competition can be easily researched, and reasonable estimates made on how much business they're actually doing online. Marketing costs can also be estimated easily.

If the analysis results in proof positive that you're onto something good - then allocate the resources to do it right.

Online retail executed ineffectively rarely results in success. Don't count on getting lucky. Get educated.

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