It’s easy to see the golden opportunity that selling online brings through a kind of tunnel vision. You want to reach the goal so strongly that it can be easy to lose sight of the periphery. It’s at these edges of the road that potential pitfalls may present themselves, to varying degrees of detriment.
The three things worthy of consideration here are on their own not ultimately fatal to success (with the possible exception of the last one), but together they compound in such a way that failing to address each of these points could present a serious challenge to your journey towards success.
Innovation excites, usefulness delights.
When searching for the best product or service to bring to market, and then subsequently the best way to present your offering, striving for innovation is a worthy goal for anyone to have. It can create and drive demand like nothing else while creating lavish praise for the creator(s). However, failing that masterstroke of genius that presents the dream opportunity on a plate. Everyone else can rest assured that just being useful to your audience will be enough to draw people to your online presence, interact with you or your business and as a result secure a steady flow of interested and engaged traffic.
Questions to ask yourself: What did I last buy that I found really useful to have around? How does it make me feel when someone tries to sell something to me? How does it make me feel when someone makes a useful recommendation?
Neglecting to collect and review analytical data.
We exist in a world of big data. And there are tools out there that make collecting and compiling this data automatic, Google Search Console and Google Analytics to name but two. Benefits include things like knowing which search terms you are ranking for and which pages are the most popular pages on your website. Right up to leveraging powerful machine learning to create and use audience segmentation for high ROI remarketing campaigns.
Questions to ask yourself: How do I know which words my potential customers are using to search for products and services like mine? How can I track and measure my return on time/money invested in different marketing channels? Which pages have the lowest and highest bounce rates, and what could be a reason for that?
False Events Appearing Real.
The acronym of the above, F.E.A.R is the unseen enemy of every online venture. The most common ways in which fear presents itself to those of high desire to succeed is Procrastination, Worry and Doubt. Worry and Doubt tend to involve dual scenarios or possibilities of catastrophe and failure. Whereas, procrastination puts one’s own dreams into the realms of False Events Appearing Real by the decision not to activate them into reality.
Questions to ask yourself: Do I have all of the facts here? What is the most likely outcome? Can I do at least one thing every day to take me closer to my goals?
There are many success factors which could be considered when undertaking an e-commerce venture. But remembering to be as useful as possible, your customers, your suppliers, even your search engine of choice (by helping to tag and label your content correctly), will win most of the time. Whereas, too many times, the great innovative leap forward will suffer from a severe case of ‘the nobody wants’. Creating strong analytical review habits, or outsourcing the process can help steer you away from ‘gut feeling’ to provable insights.
Finally, mastering F.E.A.R is never easy, but remembering that the human mind has a tendency to try to model and predict reality and will, if left to run free, create many imagined scenarios of varying likelihood. No one can predict the future, if you could, then the chances are you would already be aware of that by now. When dealing with False Events Appearing Real remember that no good choice is made through fear, unless by accident. And, the surest way to banish these false events? A persistent and positive bias for action.