There is a special feeling you get when you experience something for the first time. I’m sure you don’t remember the first step you took as a toddler. The softness of the carpet, the rush of blood to your head, the raptures of glee, the peals of giggles erupting from your lips. Although you were not able to explain the feeling at that time, that memory must linger with you in some form.
People don’t usually forget their first of anything. The first job. The first business. the first love. And the first sales. I remember when I received the first order for my e-commerce website, I jumped for one straight hour in excitement.
However, it’s only when the initial joy and thrill run its course, does the reality of what lies ahead creep in. For instance, E-commerce store owners face a good deal of trouble when starting their e-commerce store or generating sales.
The toughest part for an Entrepreneur is to take the plunge and outdistance themselves from their competitors.
Here are 8 challenges that e-commerce owners face while starting their e-commerce store and how to solve them:
1) Your loved ones already know, now what?
Don’t you have anything productive to do?
Why are you wasting time & money on a useless idea?
What is the point of leaving a viable job and walking on eggshells?
These are not just random solicitations. These are a few questions I was bombarded with when I told my family and friends that I was launching my own e-commerce website.
I tried to explain from eight different angles, but everyone thought I was wasting time and my hard-earned savings on a useless idea.
I took to my library, switched off my phone and even tried to avoid all the conflicts as much as possible.
If only I could peek into the future at that time and flaunt my future sales report to show them that I was not wrong.
I realized that at the end of the day, it was all about what matters the most. And thanks to some good old self-help books, I learned how not to sweat over the small stuff and look at the bigger picture.
Will these questions matter after 5 years? I guess not. And this is what kept me going day in and day out.
2) Piles of Products
You imported thousands of products just because you were too excited for your idea. Now, these products are lying forlornly in the recesses of your garage.
The core of the issue is that when you create a website using some e-commerce platform, right in the front it shows that you just have 20 products in the store. This makes you crazy. What? I’m just selling 20 products. And you take out your credit card and order tons of more products because your competitors have 500+ products in their store.
Good Entrepreneurs invest time in doing market research. Instead of ordering 200 products. Order just 25 products and make an ad on Facebook, pen down an attention-grabbing ad copy and you’re all-ready to make some sales.
3) Fear of failure
Most Entrepreneurs start to develop a fear of failure after the initial tremors of criticism.
The internal dialogue goes like this:
I’ve failed at so many things. What if I fail at this too?
What if people don’t buy my products?
What if people don’t trust my products?
The thing with failure is that, if you don’ experience it, how will you move out from your comfort zone?
If you don’t succeed the first time, there are so many other ways in which you have a room to succeed.
It’s all about the mindset. Instead of treating every failure as a setback, change your internal dialogue and treat it as a character building day.
Of course, you’re allowed to be sad for a night. But not more than that. Take the failure and fuel yourself for success. Instead of treating it as a failure, call it a preparation for your success.
4) Choosing the Wrong Products
You have this amazing product.
You started promoting it. No sales yet.
You wait for 2 days and still no sales. One week and still no sales.
If there are no sales, how you will pay the bills.
Maybe there is nothing wrong with the website design, the usability of the website and the marketing that you’re doing.
Maybe it’s just that you’re selling the wrong product or the right product to the wrong target audience.
There are tools on the internet which will help you search the top grossing products.
Never make the mistake of selling the right product to the wrong market and vice versa. Let’s be honest. Facebook won’t get you to skyrocket your sales if you are selling it to the wrong audience.
You must experience the products with different people. Diversify your target audience until you hit the target.
5) You Freeze Up
You spend the night dreaming about your online store.
And you did well in the start.
Suddenly you get the impression that something is not right.
You face a calamity and think that perhaps you missed out on something.
In short, you’re freaking out.
Brainstorming and turning your idea into reality are two different things.
Mostly, Entrepreneurs freeze up because they have bitten off more than they can chew. In a limited amount of time, they must keep watch on the competitors, generate new ideas, close some big guns, and synchronize the team on a single goal.
Whenever you feel like quitting, the best thing to do is to start breaking things into smaller chunks and analyze those blocks. Be it a grand project or a seasonal event that you need to handle, there is always a solution for it.
You cannot do all the things yourself which is why you need to hire people who are smarter than you. Assign tasks and trust your gut feelings.
6) Where to start?
This thought plagues most e-commerce store owners right before launching the store.
So many products, so many payment gateways, so many variables to deal with.
Who to trust? And who to fire right in the start?
One common trait of highly successful people is that they read a lot.
Buy every book you can and attend every seminar on how to start a business?
Listen, read, and apply the strategies that seem to be working for other people.
Simply reading the books won’t be enough.
You’ve to execute stuff fast. As Seth Godin quotes in his blog, ‘Even if the product is not ready, ship it fast and make it better later!’
If you think that some idea is not good enough. Execute it on a small scale and see the response.
Overnight success is a myth. You must work hard on every aspect of your startup.
7) Don’t get lost in the Blackhole of Negativity
It’s easy to lose your way in the vast chasm of negativity and question everything before the launch.
The sleepless nights might force you to delay your business launch.
One small problem can escalate and throw you in a cycle of negativity.
When you find yourself spiraling downwards, you can start asking questions to clear away the clutter.
Will this matter 5 years from now?
What is the best that you can do in this situation?
Who is responsible and what is your responsibility in the matter?
8) Create Engaging Content
You might be the greatest marketer, but if you lack useful content writing skills, you’ll be doomed.
In the start, Entrepreneurs might be apprehensive of writing stuff for the brand.
If you read good, you can write better.
Pick and choose writers who’re doing great. Subscribe to Copy Blogger, Seth Godin, Forbes, Fast Company blogs. Check how they are creating the content
Use persuasion to create attention-grabbing content.
Be it a company page or a product description, ask yourself. What will force the users to pick your product over others?
Inform, Educate, and tell your customers why your product or service can solve their problem. And write that for them to read.
As humans we all experience obstacles in out lives. The mental barriers that we create usually create a roadblock for us.
Sometimes the easiest way to move out from negativity is to ask yourself different questions.
Other times you’ll need a little practice to throw the negativity away and get back on track.
Failure is not a bad thing. But making the same mistakes again and again will cost you a fortune.