The road to successful E-commerce can be riddled with pitfalls. Armed with the proper knowledge, you can avoid the costly mistakes that have put many online merchants out of business, even before they really got started. In this article, the E-Commerce Times identifies the seven main stumbling blocks to E-commerce and offers easy solutions to ensure the survival of your online store.

The First Deadly Sin: Over-Engineering

A common mistake is to attempt to develop a site that turns out to be too complex to ever be implemented. Often, well-intentioned projects never get off the ground due to unrealistic and convoluted plans.In many cases, the challenges created by new and unfamiliar technologies may be too great to overcome initially, and the new online store can be greatly delayed or abandoned altogether, as technical costs mount.

To avoid over-engineering your online store, start simply by identifying the most basic goals of your online store and first implement those. When the basic system is in place, you can always add on all the bells and whistles.

The Second Deadly Sin: Biting off More Than You Can Chew

E-commerce can involve a highly complex combination of equipment choices, Web site building and hosting issues, as well as security and billing technologies ... And the list goes on. It is easy to attempt to resolve all these issues when setting up shop, but the smarter strategy may be different. Instead of biting off more than anyone can chew, we recommend choosing hosting services that provide turnkey solutions.

For example, when starting, why not use a service like Yahoo! Store, which takes care of all the "big decisions" and highly technical issues? Instead of trying to become an expert in all these areas, let Yahoo! Store, or any other high-quality store-hosting service worry about fending off Internet hackers, as well as hardware and software issues that only the top computer networking gurus can handle. In this way, you can concentrate on selling your product while delegating much of the technical chores to others.

The Third Deadly Sin: Forcing a Square Peg into a Round Hole

Just because a particular product sells well in retail stores, it is easy to think that it will, by necessity, sell well online. Not so ... In fact, many products cannot be sold easily over the Internet because of factors like high shipping costs, high product liability issues or the need for personal salesmanship. Before opening your online store to the public, evaluate your products' suitability for online sales. Ask yourself some questions like:

  • Would your prices entice shoppers to purchase your product online rather than from retail stores?