If you want to grow your business, your goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible, ideally all at once.

Joining an online marketplace could be a viable solution for you. Marketplaces are online places that facilitate buying goods and services from many different sources – like eBay, Amazon Marketplace, Fiverr, or Newegg.

Since they are very convenient for customers, online marketplaces are becoming increasingly popular over the last couple of years.

They can be a very convenient place for doing business, too, as long as you avoid these cardinal mistakes.

Trying to cover too many niches

When you are trying to get your business off the ground, it is natural to cover as much of the market as possible. Your instincts might be telling you to aim to be present in as many niches as possible.

Believe it or not, this is a wrong thing to do.

When choosing a product category, go to the field that interests you. In the beginning, focus on  a couple of niches.

That way, you will be able to grow your online store. Also, focus all your efforts on one marketplace – say, Etsy if you are an artisan – and move onto others once you get the gist of how things work.

Poor customer support

Even if your business is a one-person operation and your passion product, you still have to consider the importance of good customer support.

Once your enterprise gets going, you (and your employees) will be overwhelmed trying to cover many aspects of providing the product and service. When this happens, you will need a dedicated person to deal with the customer support queries.

Or, you could go a more sophisticated and equally effective route and rely on a virtual assistant like Servisbot.

Failing to understand your target audience

Sadly, just having a good product, a business plan, and a website isn’t enough to make your business profitable.

You will need to understand and define your target audience.

Do the required marketing research to ensure that your audience needs your product and that you know how to reach them.

Finally, develop a marketing strategy that puts your target audience front and center. Doing so will increase your customer retention and ensure that you have plenty of satisfied, returning customers.

Poor user experience

Your website must be easy for your visitors and potential customers to navigate and use. Otherwise, they won’t stick around long enough to make a purchase.

Ensure that your site is quick to load and that content such as images representing your product is high-quality. Visual representation matters much more than text when it comes to attracting potential customers.

Also, make sure that your site is mobile-friendly and easy to search and navigate. Otherwise, people will get frustrated by your site and leave it.

Finally, make sure that the checkout process is easy to complete. The more payment options you accept, the more likely it is that you will be able to sell your product.

Ignoring analytics

Analyzing your website performance will help you improve the website and increase traffic and profits.

Use Google Analytics to learn about your customers’ behavior with your e-commerce website and Google Search Central tools to see your website’s SEO performance.

With these tools, you can easily track your customers’ status with different details like their location, browsers, landing page, etc. These will show you which web page or product is getting higher traffic and which page results in low traffic.

Then you can make changes to the low-traffic web page and make it more attractive.

Failure to build a brand

Now you know most of the things you need to do to make it in the digital marketplace. But, there is more to it. You need to build a brand if you want your business to be long-lasting.

This is not as scary as it might sound. Once you know your target audience, be consistent in offering to the people what they need.

A strong brand identity increases customer loyalty and increases your potential for widespread brand awareness.

Choosing the wrong marketplace

As stated above, it seems that new online marketplaces are popping up every day. You need to choose the right one for your business.

Consider your target audience together with the market positioning and market share of each marketplace. That way, you will be able to find the marketplaces with the best fit and most significant opportunity for your business.

Once you do that, slowly build your brand, and success is sure to follow.