E-commerce is a huge industry. Although it can be difficult to compete with commercial giants like Amazon, setting up your own e-commerce site has never been easier. If you’re in the early stages of launching your e-commerce business, below are some dos and don’ts to be aware of.

Do: Research Your Products

No matter what you decide to sell, one of the first things to do is research your products. In other words, identify your market and find out if your products and services are in demand. Even if you are offering top-notch items, you won’t sell them if there is no demand. To find out whether there is demand, identify the problems in your niche market and how your products can solve them.

Don’t: Expect Customers to Come to You

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait for customers to find you. With so many companies out there, you’ll likely get lost in a sea of commercial noise. To ensure that customers can find you, you’ll need a solid plan that includes setting up search engine optimisation (SEO), creating email lists, using display ads and pay-per-click so that you can drive traffic to your site.

Do: Set Aside a Marketing Budget

Be sure to set aside a marketing budget. While it may be possible to do some of it for free, no-budget marketing is not scalable and will likely only take you so far. Setting aside a marketing budget means you can invest in tools to help you track and measure analytics, test different channels, and try out multiple strategies to see what works best. Along with tools, you’ll also need a budget for testing. Or, if you are in doubt, use those funds to hire a marketing professional who can help.

Don’t: Try to Be Everything

Another mistake to avoid is thinking you can be a jack-of-all-trades. While it’s tempting to sell everything under the sun, this waters down your brand and your ability to specialise. Most successful e-commerce sites focus on a particular niche and then spend their energies marketing specific products that fulfil that niche. Remember, running an e-commerce business is not easy. Start small, narrow it down, and then scale up.

Do: Listen to Your Customers

One of the biggest ways to see success is to listen to your customers. Client feedback can provide invaluable information about your products and services, including payment security, site navigation, and how efficient your shipments are. For example, if you need to provide a speedier and more efficient service after asking your customers for feedback, you could consider using Shiply for shipping jobs. At every stage of your business, make sure you’re listening to your customers and adapting where needed.

Don’t: Give Up

Lastly, e-commerce can be a difficult ride, but don’t give up too early. While it may be slow going initially, be consistent and keep at it. Most profitable businesses don’t become an overnight success; many of them work tirelessly day and night to get there. So, don’t give in when times get tough. A little bit of hard work and perseverance can go a long way.