The smartest business owners are those who learns from other’s failures and afterward moves forward. As we are focusing on ecommerce, which is presenting a new era in Bangladesh, there will be so many webshop entrepreneurs in ecommerce sector , it means high competition in this field. Handling and going forward being inside the competitive field is hard but NOT IMPOSSIBLE! And we do not want anyone to be as a failure! By realizing this issue, it comes in my mind to write an article about Do’s and Don’ts for the people in start-up phase of E-commerce Business in Bangladesh.
Setting up an ecommerce site is easy. Also there are ecommerce solutions in our country by now, which can help to create and develop your site in a short time. However, running an ecommerce business is a totally different like playing with lot of bubbles in the air at a time. Attracting traffic and generating revenue in the highly competitive market place is really tricky thing. BUT by avoiding these BASIC missteps can lead to have the place in market to generate profits.
Mistake 01. Lack of Standard Business Plan
Mistakes at the planning stage of an e-commerce project can reduce its chances of success. Here are some of the key issues you need to consider when introducing an e-commerce business system:
o Set realistic targets in the following sectors:
> Personal Resources > Market Analysis > Competitor Analysis > Sales & Marketing Plan > Management of Website > Payment system organisation > Financial Plan > Business Development
o Make real time budget- make the connections between reality and your application- no emotions!
o Ensure your targets are realistic and achievable by the locality.
o If you are good at ”sell percentage calculation”- try to calculate your percentage sell regularly by following the new customer connections.
Mistake 02. Have no clear Business focus- only emotional desire for new thing!
o Play around like you are enjoying it and look around for the possibilities offered by e-commerce, but don’t lose or change your focus on what your business is actually about.
o Understand how e-commerce will integrate with your overall business objectives. Will it increase sales or improve margins? Have a clear view on where it will add value.
o If you find that e-commerce is creating conflicts within your operation, re-examine your goals and rethink how e-commerce can best fit into your business.
Mistake 03: Not targeting customers
o Customer is like flooded blood inside the heart- so targeting customer is one of the biggest challenge that ecommerce business faces. Businesses without a system for targeting specific customers will lower down your business performance in a short time.
o Do not spend excessively targeting time for the wrong audience.
o To effectively target customers, capture your customer’s information. Know your customer needs, life style, age and income levels.
Mistake 04. Avoiding the hidden costs from real life budget + calculation
o Look at your total cost of ownership, including hardware, software, hosting, training, services, maintenance and support, upgrades, marketing and communications, and administration- from top to bottom!
o Understand the effect of increased sales – how are you going to process and dispatch orders? Will you have the capacity if sales take off or will you need to invest in additional resources or staff?
o Understand your postage and shipping costs – identify where you will ship to and where you won’t. Have a clear pricing policy for shipping – ‘Free Shipping’ is great idea, but only to certain locations.
o Be realistic about likely costs from the start and ensure you keep your budget under control.
Mistake 05: Not Building Customer Trust by serving Quality Products
o Make your doors and windows always open for the customers- your customers are not for one time, so you have to make a baseline of trust with quality product so that your customer comes to you again and again.
Mistake 06: Making no Instant Connection with Customers
o Use your business phone regularly for the service of customer.
o Receive customer call within 20 seconds of ringing! If you are late, it reduces customers desire.
o Answer to the customer questions in a simple and friendly way- nothing artificial!
o Answer the business e-mails frequently to the customers.
Mistake 07: Annoying Customers with Hidden Costs
o Never make any hidden costs for your customers like as: compulsory registration to make a purchase.
o Always be simple in transaction while it comes with money matter! Even no extra shipping costs.
Mistake 08: Making Things Difficult for the Customers
This includes almost everything that your customers will go away in a second, so:
o Make the website beautifully simple!
o Make multiple payment options for the customers.
Mistake 09: Not ‘Marketing’ Business Effectively
o You cannot sleep by sailing your ship in the deep water: you have to handle lots of things at a time, so Marketing effectively can help for your higher chances of sell.
o Marketing is the creative use of the true situation of your business- so advertise your products in social media e.g television, radio, mobile phone text, banner, newspaper etc. (Social Media: will be discussed later)
Mistake 10: Bad Domain Name
o The worst domain name, of course, is NOT domain name like www.therapist.com.
o Try to think something like something.com, and there are still plenty of good sort somethings are available, explore it!
o Simply see internationally, why Amazon.com makes more money online than other website based shops? Your first identification will come from your shop name. So make it simple which is easy to read.
o Try to have a simple name which makes customer curious and tend to surf your website which can make them interest to buy your products!
o Be simple, short and easy so that everyone can read and understand with good feelings about your site name and which is directly related with your business products and services.
Remember, your emotions have no place in business, unless you can do business with your emotions. So know your ”trends of making mistakes” with a realistic view.
to be continued…
(Next Article Topic: A Realistic Business Plan WorkShop Template)
Afsana Binte Hasan
Completed Master (MBA) in Management Information System and Bachelor (BBA) programme in Finance from University of Dhaka. Afterwards worked as a lecturer in a renowned private University in Dhaka. My friends and fellows knows me as Himi. I play around with Philosophy of IT integrated with Business in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). I enjoy connecting Human and Nature by technology and like to write articles from the real-time reflection. I like to imply creative thinking in the Technology. I believe life is an open canvas- you can draw it from wherever you want- it will give you a meaning! Currently enrolled as a MSc. Student (Information Technology) at IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. Specialised in Global IT Mediated Network Practices in Digital Innovation. You’re always welcome to ask for further information or consultation regarding IT and Business related issues Nationally or Internationally.
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