We all know that no matter what kind of business we are in, some mistakes are unavoidable. However, learning from our past mistakes and avoiding them in the future is the key to success. So, with that in mind, here are some of the biggest mistakes online retailers routinely make – and how you can avoid them.
1. Collecting data without knowing what to do with it
Data hold power you must have heard this number of times and that’s the reason so many online retailers are collecting it rampantly. But, when you collect more data with no clear point of view, you put your data analyst team into paralysis. They have no idea how to dig through it and what to do with it.
To use your data efficiently, it is essential to create a straightforward plan for what to do with it. “Consumer data will be the biggest differentiator in the next two to three years. Whoever unlocks the reams of data and uses it strategically will win,” says Angela Ahrendts, Senior VP of Retail at Apple
Capturing everything is not bad as long as you are clear about what matters the most.
2. Jumping on new marketing channels and ignoring the older ones
As marketing continues to evolve, new channels emerge all the time. For marketers, one of the toughest parts of the job is to move fast and use these channels to engage their audience before the competitor does. Using new channels quickly is a good way to gain first mover advantage, and that’s why so many B2C marketers are focusing a lot on new channels. But you’re ruining your chances of getting a good ROI from your marketing spend if you’re only focusing on new channels. For example, SMS marketing is one channel, which a lot of e-commerce marketers are ignoring these days but they shouldn’t. Why? SMS marketing has a very high return on investment and still “80% of consumers say they have not been marketed to via SMS by their favorite brands” and “64% of consumers believe that businesses should use SMS messages to interact with customers more often than they currently do”.
Focusing on new channels is essential, but don’t ignore tried-and-tested channels that have been proven to work over and over again.
3. Chasing after AI-driven technologies
Before you adopt AI-enhanced tools, think what you want to achieve using them, will they be beneficial for you to use, and whether you’ve everything you need to implement these tools? For example, if you want to use AI to improve your marketing efforts you must have a large volume of trackable data to train your AI systems.
Where most businesses go wrong is adopting AI without analyzing whether it will be profitable to leverage AI or not. Do you know given the current state of technology implementing AI won’t be profitable for most businesses until the next two years? If you’re an SMB can you afford that? The chances are that you can’t.
Don’t adopt AI because it’s available for your business; adopt it if you know that it will be profitable for your business.
4. Focusing on personalization instead of improving customer experience
Most e-commerce businesses think that personalizing user experience is the key to better conversions’ that’s why they’re blatantly copying Amazon. However, showing recommendations based simply on history will not increase your sales, it is important to understand how that is going to improve your customer experience. For example, a customer purchased a product from your site during the holiday season, and you started showing him recommendations based on that product – will it enhance his experience? Probably not. Maybe he had bought it for gifting purpose. It was the holiday season. If you’re not focusing on all these critical questions personalization will not enhance your customer experience.
Remember, the aim of personalization is to make shopping more convenient and rewarding for shoppers, not just to show them that you know them.