It’s the 21st century, and one of our all-time favorite things to do is online shopping. We’ll peruse everything and anything, from books, gardening tools, to clothes online and have it all conveniently delivered to our doorstep. In the process, e-commerce business has flourished and enabled thousands of businesses to open up their digital stores and impress their customers across the globe. In that frenzy of growing demand, better tech resources, and increasing confidence, entrepreneurs often find themselves making mistakes they cannot afford.

Yes, the market is thriving, and yes, chances are that your business has its own demographic just waiting for your ideal and innovative products to improve their quality of life. However, you can still make mistakes such as underfunding your marketing campaigns, missing delivery dates, and the like. Some are expected and come with a learning curve that will help you improve your business, but others are just damaging. Here are a few ways to help you prevent such business disasters with your very first online store!

Build a speedy, reliable website

No matter if you have a handful of products displayed on the site, such as when selling custom-made arts and crafts, or if you have hundreds of different products in different sizes and colors, such as clothing, the speed and ease of navigation of your site should always be a top priority. 

Make sure that your website design and code function perfectly and are in line with your customers’ expectations. The offered languages, shipping details, pricing, product information, and all that vital data should be readily available and quick to load. If your site crashes during the holiday season, your customers will head over to your competitors. 

Choose the right domain for your site

Too often, business owners neglect the importance that the domain name can have on their business’s reputation and success. Choose the wrong one, and your image may suffer, but with the perfect pick up your sleeve, you have the chance to strengthen your position in your industry, especially if you’re a one-person show selling unique items that are your specialty. In such instances, your name is your reputation and your brand, which means that selecting a .me TLD provides numerous benefits for branding and authority. 

When you allow your name to be associated with your business and give your e-commerce site a personal touch with the help of that .me extension, you effectively boost your brand’s relevance and give yet another reason for your customers to trust your business. 

Keep your stocks in check

One of the most common mistakes many e-commerce owners make is underestimating the need for their product. If your orders skyrocket and you have no means to meet the increasing demand, chances are that your unhappy customers will rush over to your competitors never to be seen again. This is especially common during the holiday season, although no time of year is “immune” to such changes. 

With that in mind, if you are selling something hand-made, limited in amount, and if you have limited access to materials or the products themselves, you need to make sure to resolve this issue in advance. By announcing that you have something in limited amounts and letting your customers pre-order or join a waiting list, you’ll not just add a level of exclusivity to your products, but prevent disappointed customers from abandoning your brand. 

Don’t mimic your competitors 

While analyzing your competitors does fall under your main responsibilities, especially in the first few years of your store’s existence, you also need to remember that your business needs to stick to its own lane. What that means is that the knowledge and data you collect on your competitors shouldn’t be used for you to become a copycat of their services or their brand.

Transparency and honesty are the pillars of modern-day businesses, and you should make sure that your brand has its unique look and feel, even though the products you’re selling might be similar to what your competitors are offering. 

E-commerce may be flourishing and it might provide ample opportunities for people such as yourself to kick-start their own online store, but you should keep in mind that certain mistakes can cost you your reputation and your success. Instead, prevent potential disastrous outcomes with these preventative measures, and you’ll give your store a fair chance to grow in the years to come. 

Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist – turned blogger, currently writing for Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and mean to people.

Avoiding disaster stock photo by Gearstd/Shutterstock