Business owners in this day and age are pretty lucky. They've got a lot of tools, methods, and techniques at their disposal. They can utilize search engine optimization to get the most from search engine directories; they can also use computers and computing technology to automate tasks for optimized productivity and efficiency. There's a lot going for business owners who are competing for market share in the 21st century - they have everything they need to to do to fulfill their hopes, dreams, and goals in business. If not that, they have everything at their disposal to run a decent and tidy business venture.

One of these useful tools is the ability to sell through internet portals. While the internet is not a physical marketplace, it is capable to sell from vendor to customer via certain tools. These tools are plugins to websites known as e-commerce. While e-commerce is an increasingly archaic term very much rooted in the turn of the Millennium, it's incredibly important. E-commerce led to the rise of giants like eBay and Paypal, but it also allows vendors of any size to dispatch and sell goods through specific tools and platforms. If you want to sell your products to someone, e-commerce advancements will allow you to do just that in an incredibly simple, yet sophisticated, manner.

However, every tool must be used in the correct manner. If a laborer doesn't use their saw or hammer safely, they cannot do their job and will make mistakes. The same follows for internet tools for business such as e-commerce platforms. If they are not used correctly, mistakes and critical errors will be made. E-commerce platforms are a crucial tool to use in business, especially so for businesses that pride themselves on their internet presence and their ability to wield the power of the internet as a tool to further business goals. Mistakes made with e-commerce can ruin that.

Mistakes must be avoided in business - but importantly they are something that a business must learn from. Mistakes do happen, but if a business doesn't take the crucial knowledge that should be gained from making a mistake, it could fall into the trap of making that mistake over and over again. This is what needs to be avoided, and we can help you do just that, without the part where you make a mistake that could lose you money, or worse, customers. We'll take a look at what we can learn from key and critical e-commerce mistakes so that you can build an e-commerce platform that doesn't just work for you, but the people using it to buy stuff from you!

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For many, the main problems found in e-commerce are construction and design. Flaws found in the setup stages can disrupt internet sales. E-commerce isn't just about buying and selling goods, for many businesses e-commerce is all there is. It's the business online. If a business doesn't pay attention towards the planning, construction and maintenance of its e-commerce efforts, the web presence and the business can suffer.

For many, the main problems found in e-commerce are construction and design. Flaws found in the setup stages can disrupt internet sales. E-commerce isn't just about buying and selling goods, for many businesses e-commerce is all there is. It's the business online. If a business doesn't pay attention towards the planning, construction and maintenance of its e-commerce efforts, the web presence, and the business can suffer.

E-commerce can be utilized through specific platforms and picking and choosing between the right platform for your business is something that will define your e-commerce for the foreseeable future. There are a lot of platforms with their own benefits and negative points. Some e-commerce platforms are great for startups, some are incredible for being the focus of a web-presence, while others will be better for being a plug-in to an existing website. The platform you choose will depend heavily on what you require from an e-commerce platform. There are plenty of ways to trial e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce, but speaking to the WooCommerce development experts about your needs might be something you need to do to ensure that you're choosing the right platform. Rushing into a decision and committing to a platform could be an error if you find it doesn't offer your business everything that you'd hoped it would. In the first instance, do your research and find out what you need from an e-commerce platform before rushing into a decision.

You want to know the single biggest mistake that your e-commerce operations - or a website, in general, can make is ignoring any kind of security.  In the first instance, we need trust. In the physical world - deals and sales are built on trust. 'Will this product or service hold up to my expectations and be worth my money?' This same law applies - but with a focus on safety. Customers will ask one question.'When I hand over my details to this website, will it keep them safe?' If the answer is no, a customer will turn their back and find a business who can keep their information safe and protect consumer rights. Businesses that don't have terms and conditions - even if nobody reads them - businesses that don't have internet HTTPS security and valid SSL certificates, businesses that don't have any kind of refund policy - or an exchange policy - or businesses that allow others to snoop on web browsing activity are in breach of the trust that defines any good vendor/customer relationship. A business needs to make sure it works to protect consumer rights, and digital safety - at any cost. Customers that do not trust a business on the internet will turn their attention elsewhere. Avoiding a focus on safety could be a fatal flaw.

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We can access the internet on all manner of devices these days. Laptops and computers are not the only portals into the web - not at all. Through smart TV sets, mobile phones, tablet computers and wearable devices, internet pages and applications can be booted up on almost everything. This means that you need your site to work on a wide range of devices. An e-commerce site that works for computer users is great, but never discount the mobile experience as it could be losing you an unseen majority of your sales. Rigorous testing and optimized design are a must have for any website, so test your e-commerce operations across a number of platforms to ensure sales can be completed on each and every one of them. A business that refuses to adapt its site for mobile users is making a critical error that could seriously cost it - a large bunch of web users are mobile only. 

If you've excelled at planning and developing your e-commerce site, well done, but remember that's only one part of a big job. The performance of your e-commerce site needs to be examined on a daily basis. Because it's easy to browse your products on the internet doesn't mean that you shouldn't change things. In fact, the internet gives you a lot of options in terms of changing things up! For one, you can gain insights and visitor data from your website with analytic tools like Google Analytics. These tools can show you where you are going wrong, the hotspots of your site and other things - meaning you can quickly identify where you are going wrong, and where you are going right. A business that simply exists on the internet and doesn’t use information to optimize its performance and react to events isn’t going to make the most of an ever changing platform, and in actual fact, it is missing the point of being on the internet in the first place. One of the most dynamic markets a business could ask for, but not reacting or changing to boost performance? That’s a huge mistake. 

Another big mistake with e-commerce comes in the form of shipping. Any business that sells goods has a responsibility to do its best to ensure that goods get to the door of a customer in a safe and timely manner. A business that sells also needs to take ownership of any shipping issues and do its best to rectify them. Online businesses need to pack goods safely and ship them on time; anything else is less than acceptable. It's in the power of e-commerce businesses to perfect their shipping efficiency and their product safety to ensure that goods arrive intact. It also might be in the best interests of an online business to subsidize shipping costs. Not only is free shipping an attraction, but if you can eat into international shipping rates, you'll make the best use of the global customer base that a platform like an internet affords to a business. If a business takes no responsibility with these areas, it might be failing its customers, and making a huge mistake. Get your shipping right from the get go.

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E-commerce can be a minefield, but with this advice, you should be able to dodge the biggest blows to your online business efforts.