If you own a retail business and haven’t turned it into an e-commerce website yet, then you might be doing something wrong. E-commerce ensures you can reach your customers both day and night.

While looking for advice on how to successfully run an e-commerce business, you’re bound to find a ton of information online. However, this guide tells you what NOT to do when running an e-commerce website. You’ll find that the do’s are just as crucial as the don’ts.

Give Out Too Many Freebies

Promotions, sales, and freebies are a very effective strategy for driving traffic to your website. However, you have to remember to respect your limits. Large businesses can afford to drive prices lower, but you might not have that luxury. It’s more likely that your profits and loss are in a tug of war, and you’re trying to make things work.

If that’s the case, then you need to approach promotions with caution. For starters, you should understand that freebies are more effective at building your brand awareness and getting your name out there than they are at generating sales. For example, ask yourself this question: how likely is it that you’re going to buy another unit of something you just got for free? But then, also ask, how likely is it that you’re going to revisit the website a second time?

Offer Limited Payment Options

Since you can’t accept cash over the Internet, it’s a no-brainer that you need a payment processing platform. However, many people shoot themselves in the leg with the kind of payment processing they use. These days, credit cards aren’t the only options available. There’s also PayPal, Venmo, Apple Wallet, Google, and let’s not forget, cryptocurrency.

Your goal should be to remove as many obstructions from your customers’ way as possible. That way, they have very few reasons NOT to buy from you. The best way to start is to find out all you need to know about a merchant acquirer.

Try to Scrape by With a Cheap Hosting Plan

This is a total no-go area for you if you want a successful e-commerce business. The fact that you’d even consider you could get by with a low-cost hosting plan says a lot about your business strategy or lack thereof. Understandably, you might want a cheap one to launch your business and test things with. After all, no one can expect you to pay hundreds of dollars to host a site nobody knows about. 

However, at some point, you have to understand that your hosting becomes vital because it can have a significant impact on your users’ experience. Knowing when that point arrives is almost as important as actually doing something about it. Better yet, don’t wait until it comes. Simply think ahead, and find a great host.

Offer Too Many Products

Here’s the fact that every e-commerce owner needs to hear: you’re not Amazon, and you may never become Amazon. Trying to stock a wide range of products just because your competitors are doing it is a terrible idea. You have to understand that these massive enterprises have billions of dollars and tons of suppliers behind them.

If you run a small outfit, you’re going to have much better chances of finding a niche in your environment and filling it. It doesn’t even have to be something that people go to Amazon to buy. It can be something as niched down as CBD oil. Remember, the more differentiated you are, the bigger your chances of success.