Anything connected to the internet — from smartphones to power plant controllers — can be manipulated. – © AFP/File JUNG Yeon-Je
Creating an own e-commerce business at the best of times can be hard. Creating one in 2021, while many are still recovering from the impacts of COVID-19, becomes even harder.
Olivia Starling, founder and CEO of jewelry brand Starlette Galleria tells Digital Journal: “The difference between a successful and an unsuccessful e-commerce seller is consistent perseverance through adversity. You are bound to fail more often than you succeed. Fail your way to success.”
For those experiencing the harder side of navigating their e-commerce journey, or those simply looking to get started, Starling outlines three key mistakes e-commerce entrepreneurs should avoid making when starting their business.
MISTAKE #1: If you build it, they will come
Many people believe that once they build a website, sales will start flowing in. Don’t be surprised if on the day you “go live”, the only order you get is from your mom. When you first launch your website or idea into the world, you need to drive traffic. It’s a slow start, and that can get discouraging for new e-commerce sellers.
MISTAKE #2: Done is better than perfect
Many e-commerce store owners take way too long to “launch” their product and begin their business. Throwing an ugly first copy of something out into the world is better than waiting for it to be right and never sharing your gift with anyone. One of my mentors once told me that if the first thing I put into the world was pretty, I waited too long to share it. Don’t be afraid to share your ugly first draft.
It can only get better from there. You don’t have to have perfect images, a beautiful website, or really even know what you are doing to start. Just start and you can figure it out along the way. I had a terrible website, ugly images, and no clue what I was doing when my business did its first six figures in sales.
MISTAKE #3: You don’t have to reinvent the wheel
I own a jewelry store. Do you know how many jewelry stores exist in the world? If I would have thought, “Oh, I can’t sell jewelry, Tiffany’s sells jewelry.” Then the world would have never had the opportunity to see my take on jewelry at Starlette Galleria. It’s ok to sell a product or service that other people provide. It won’t ever be identical because it’s your creativity that will set you apart.
Starling adds that a budding e-commerce starter should not rely on one source for sales. She explains: “Many people (myself included), are guilty of relying heavily on one stream to generate sales in their business. This can be detrimental when things go wrong.”
She adds: “A few months ago, I became reliant on Facebook Ads to create most of my sales, when my ads account was unexpectedly shut down. Quickly, my business halted and I was under pressure to get things back up and moving. This is when I realized that at any given time, I should have multiple sources fueling my sales. Today I use SMS, emails, Facebook Ads, Tiktok Ads, deal sites, influencers, Etsy, and a few other sources to make sure my business continues to grow.”