Recent numbers from the Centre for Retail Research that found e-commerce is the fastest-growing market in Europe, with sales expected to grow 18.4% from £132.05bn to £156.67bn in 2015. With the numbers only predicted to rise over the next several years, many more ambitious entrepreneurs are looking to move into the space. Here are the four biggest mistakes people make moving into the field.
Stand out from the Crowd
With the nature of globalization and the advent of the Internet, what has once been considered a niche market is now full of competition? If you want your business to be a long-term success story, you’ll need to stand out from the crowd. It’s not like dealing with business in a local community, where your store might be the only option in town, the Internet has put the power firmly in the hands of the consumers. You are just one of the thousands, if not more.
Don’t Try to Do Everything Yourself
Entrepreneurs often have a tendency to try and do everything themselves. In fact, not wanting to be a subordinate is often a catalyst for starting up your own business. While this might be admirable, it often doesn’t make good business sense. You’ll need to be willing to work with third-party companies and establish partners if you want to make sure your company can sustain long-term growth. Consider working with a specialist company to handle your logistics needs or a warehousing company to house your inventory.
Listen to Your Customers
While you may think you know it all, it’s actually your customers who are in the best position to tell you how to improve your business. In a world of instant messaging and social media platforms, it’s now possible to communicate with people no matter where they are in the world. Positive word of mouth can travel fast so it’s in your best interest to make sure your customers feel valued.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
Finally, it’s important to realize that successful businesses aren’t created overnight. It takes a lot of work to build a reliable customer base. In 2015, you likely aren’t the first to market any more so you need to forget about any illusions that this could be a get-rich-quick scheme. Attend local trade shows and events and speak to those who have experience in the industry. You may be an expert on the product you’re selling, but if you don’t have any experience running a business it won’t count for anything.