If you’re interested in starting your own e-commerce website, there are many pitfalls to avoid. While it would be difficult to discuss all of these in a single article, we’ve endeavored below to provide an overview of the clearest path to success in the field. This overview is greatly helped by the example set by Jesse Willms. The entrepreneur has long been one of the leaders in the field of e-commerce and has shown himself not only capable of finding success, but redefining the bar for what success in the sector can mean. Read on for a look at some best practices in the space drawn from his career and other insights.
Jesse Willms Prioritizes a Direct Call to Action
One of the biggest mistakes that an e-commerce site can make is not having a direct call to action on the main page. Consumers navigating to the site may sometimes have a limited attention span and one of the last things we want to do as an e-commerce professional is to make it difficult for them to figure out how to buy the main product. This can occur when a company puts too much effort into selling the idea of the product with flashy ad copy and other marketing materials and doesn’t put enough time into providing a clear and easy way to make a purchase.
To avoid this potential trap, put a clear and present call to action on your main page that will allow consumers to jump directly to a purchasing page. Here, your customers will be able to directly peruse your offerings and select a product that makes the most sense for their needs.
Jesse Willms has long been a proponent of this type of direct call to action, regularly building such mechanisms into his e-commerce efforts. By doing so, he has been able to provide his customers with a direct path towards making product purchases and availing themselves of his product offerings. Rather than spend excessive precious website real estate on advertising copy, he’s known for making sure that his marketing materials serve as a means to inform and incite the purchasing decision.
Keep Product Details Informative
From the example set by the e-commerce entrepreneur, we can also see how some of the most successful business owners in the space portray their products. There can be a temptation by some novice entrepreneurs to describe products with overly flowery language that may sound poetic but actually does little to describe the nuts and bolts of a particular product. Doing so can dissuade customers from purchasing a product in multiple ways. First, it can detract from what the product actually can do by turning the focus to something else entirely. It can also make consumers feel that the product may not be worth their time since they can’t get a clear picture of what it provides them.
To avoid this type of customer confusion, be direct with the details about your product. The more informative you can be about how the product solves a problem for consumers, the easier it will be for them to see the value it provides. Understanding this value is a key part of the consumer journey and is, ultimately, what will typically drive the purchasing decision. In the absence of clearly demonstrable value, a consumer will often leave your site without making a purchase.
Product Focus of Top Importance to Jesse Willms
One way in which an e-commerce company can demonstrate value to their customers is by maintaining product focus. This refers to the scope of the problem that a product seeks to solve. If that scope is too broad, it may dilute the product’s ability to accomplish any of its tasks convincingly. By contrast, when the scope of a product is narrow, it can focus on accomplishing its singular focus much better than competitors.
This concept is on display with the latest venture by Jesse Willms — a network of sites offering free vehicle history reports. The idea arose after the entrepreneur witnessed the difficulties that accompanied the purchase of a pre-owned vehicle. Rather than take a scattershot approach to resolving these difficulties, the entrepreneur focused on providing greater access to information about the histories of the vehicles themselves. By providing access to free vehicle history reports, he’s been able to vastly improve the purchasing process for pre-owned vehicles, doing so with the same revenue model that is used by free credit report sites.
Consistency in Brand Focus
In the same way that a product will often get the best results when it is more focused, an overall brand can also make its biggest impact by maintaining its focus. Many consumers already have an inherent understanding of this concept, even if they themselves are not business owners. For instance, many consumers would likely be reticent to go to a restaurant run by a company whose primary focus is selling boating supplies. However, those same consumers would likely be fine turning to that company for their boating needs — the brand’s primary area of focus.
This kind of focus speaks to the consumer understanding of building a specialization and sticking to it. This concept can be of critical importance for e-commerce entrepreneurs. Consider building your own expertise in a specific area and honing in on a corresponding customer demographic. Eventually, you may be able to expand your business into adjacent spaces, but to start, this type of directed focus can pay off hugely for a brand seeking to make a name for itself.
While there are very few hard and fast rules for finding success in the world of e-commerce, there are a host of guidelines that can make success more likely. This can be especially true for novice entrepreneurs just starting out on their business journey. The overview above of efforts by Jesse Willms can be a key way to accrue an understanding of these guidelines. Through the entrepreneur’s example, we can better incorporate direct calls to action, informative product details, and product and brand focus into our offerings. In doing so, we inevitably work to improve our chances for success in e-commerce and bolster our ability to provide consumers with a valuable product solution to address some of their most pressing needs.