Getting an ecommerce site up and running has never been easier. With so many free templates and customisable platforms available, for smaller businesses and start-ups, it’s often simply a case of search, click and go.

But before you rush off to launch your dream business selling custom pet accessories online (who doesn’t want a handstitched holographic waterproof cape for their pooch?), there are a few things you need to consider. Keep reading to find out how to avoid some of the biggest ecommerce blunders made by small businesses – they’re more common than you think…

1. Not researching competitors

Do your homework. Where and how do your competitors sell their products online? Do they use one (or all) of the most popular online marketplaces, Etsy, ebay or Amazon? Find out as much as you can about your competitors before you launch your store. Make sure that you have a strong sense of how (and where) your products will appeal to buyers.

2. Ignoring your USP

You’ve researched your competitors, and that’s great. But what sets your business apart from the rest? In other words, what’s your unique selling point (USP)? Whether it’s the price point, craftsmanship, speed of delivery, country of origin, charity affiliation or money-back guarantee, finding (and promoting) your USP is key to getting noticed online.

3. Your template sucks 

A bad ecommerce template won’t do your business any favours. Remember: a poorly-planned ecommerce website can destroy an otherwise sound business plan. Just because you can use a free website template, doesn’t mean that you should – or that it’s the right choice for your business. Do your research and speak to a professional if you’re unsure which features you’ll need.

4. Not using social media

Social media platforms are INCREDIBLE promotional tools for any business – large or small. As reported by Marketing Week last year, 56% of consumers who follow brands on social media platforms do so to view products, and 31% of online shoppers use social media channels to browse for new items to buy. Make sure your products are out there to be seen.

5. Failing to take mobile shopper into account

Mobile shoppers (people who use their smartphones or tablets to make purchases online) are transforming the way businesses sell online. With over half of UK online sales now coming from mobile shoppers, making sure your website is optimised for mobile is pretty much a no-brainer. An optimised, responsive website will ensure that your website and products appear perfectly, no matter what type of device they are viewed on.

Nettl of Bury can help

New to selling online? Unsure which platform to use? Fear not, Nettl of Bury is here to help. Whether you’re an established business branching out into ecommerce for the first time, or you’re launching a new brand, we will help you find the best possible solution for your needs. We offer a wide range of ecommerce services to suit all budgets. Tell us what you need and we’ll get to work on a proposal for you.