Using your website to sell your products can be a great moneymaker. Instead of paying rent and utilities on a storefront and hiring people to staff it, you can virtually open a store online and sell to everyone everywhere with very low overhead. Although similar to starting a physical store, simply starting a website won’t guarantee sales in and of itself. Many people assume that an ecommerce store is a slam dunk when it comes to moving product, but there are many things that can go wrong that require contingencies that website owners don’t necessarily think about.
Buying and selling products over the internet has gained huge momentum as evident from the growth of ecommerce stores in the past of couple years. Building an online business can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time. However, just because it’s your first time doesn’t mean you need to make first-timer mistakes. Ecommerce marketers have four basic objectives. To start, they must bring new visitors to their store. Next is to convert more of these visitors into customers. Then they must look at ways to increase the average revenue earned per customer session.
Finally, they must create incentives for these customers to return for future purchases. Apart from bringing new visitors to your store, the rest of the marketing objectives are all directly influenced by a store’s conversion optimization strategy. Conversion Rate Optimization, or CRO for short, has been a key component of ecommerce marketing for over a decade now. Yet, a lot of businesses continue to make serious mistakes that could impact their store’s conversion rate.
E-merchants often make trivial mistakes when it comes to setting up their sites. They may seem silly but cause a lot of damage to your eCommerce site! These mistakes may not be obvious and there is a high chance that you might have missed them! Some of these mistakes are annoying pop ups, bad quality pictures, absence of product descriptions, bad search filters, forcing your customer to register, bad customer service, mobile optimized websites and hidden checkout costs are some of the most commonly made mistakes.
Technological advancement has brought a new dawn to the world of business as e-commerce has dominated the market for over a decade. Thus, no wonder why companies have jumped into the business of online selling. However ecommerce is not just buying and selling your products; it’s a full-fledged way to run a business online. So, this goes without saying that, companies have to pay proper attention towards the development and maintenance of their e-commerce websites too.
Here are some common mistakes that ecommerce website owners usually make, and must be avoided:
Poor Design & Navigation
One thing that discourages the consumers the most is poor navigation of the website. The more time it takes to load the site, the quicker user will close the tab. Hard-to-find information, lack of buttons and too many font types, all lead to consumer frustration. Companies, especially startups often get confused while choosing a platform for e-commerce website development. However, it all hinges on business requirements and user experience goals. In the end, what matters to businesses is which platform allows selling in the best possible manner.
Never try to do photography yourself. Spend the time, effort and money to use a professional product photographer and you will gain so many more customers if your product look stunning. Though there may be a tendency to think that the product speaks for itself, this is a misconception. A well written product description may be what directs a customer to the website and what convinces them to actually buy. Every word counts and often it may be a good idea to hire a professional to develop sound, SEO strong content for the website.
Once a website has been developed, it needs constant attention and cannot be ignored. New items need to be added, out of stock things need to be removed and special holiday sales and promotions required to keep the content relevant. An accompanying blog that features related posts is a good way of keeping the website interesting and alive.
Scrap all the unnecessary checkout points. This only makes the customer angry. Having a complicated checkout process can cause more damage than you can imagine. The best way to help them checkout is by keeping it simple. Place all the details on one page and guide them through the payment process. Keep one-page checkout process. Your customers have already gone through a zillion pages of products, they do not want to be taxed with another zillion pages just to pay for what they like.
Once a purchasing decision has been made, the customer should be able to make their purchase quickly and with as few clicks as possible. Make sure to offer a “check-out as a guest” option so that people who don’t wish to create an account don’t have to. If possible, keep your checkout process to one screen. There is a great way to turn customers away at the checkout – not allowing customers to pay on their terms. Which means that they will not buy from you. Just offering one method of payment, means that if they do not have that method or don’t want to use it, then they cannot pay, so they walk away.
By choosing a good online payment gateway, one that will let your consumers to pay with the credit cards, electronic checkout, PayPal and anything else you could offer is the only way to go. When it comes to making an online payment, offering many opportunities automatically builds trust, which is something you need.
Lack of Information
Your customers need to know what you are selling and product descriptions are the best way to do it. Inadequate products descriptions are going to leave your visitors confused. This is the best way to give your competitors business. Have a detailed product description. Do not plagiarize content. Write a nice detailed essay describing the perks of your product. The customer will feel informed which in turn will increase their faith in your brand. These are just as important as the product images.
You want your product description to cover all of the selling points, but also answer questions about how the product is made, what it does or how it works. Whenever possible, include a listing of the materials used to make the product, any manufacturing processes or techniques and if it comes with an automatic warranty. Product reviews help people make their buying decisions by highlighting what others think of your products. Doing so will enhance your credibility, and undoubtedly lead to an increase in conversion.
Whenever you visit a high street store, you will see items that are similar being grouped together. This makes it really easy for a customer to buy something else other than what they initially wanted to buy. The same thing needs to happen within your online store. Your store should allow you to choose exactly what related products are added and offers a huge advantage since people can easily see other products connected to what they are currently viewing.
Make sure you install an efficient search bar that helps your customers choose products easily. Offer advance search that gives suggestions, as well as customers, can find from SKU, Brand or Name in particular category. It is good practice to showcase your most popular products on the store homepage. But they may find it difficult to narrow down their inventory to a select few products that can take up premium space on the homepage.
Most ecommerce stores let visitors sort their listings by price. This helps them narrow down the listings to only those products that fit their budget range. One mistake that many stores commit however is in combining the price sorting feature with other filters like customer reviews or product attributes. Since the cheapest products may not always come with the best of features, this could potentially hurt conversion.
If you have a multitude of products, it’s important that customers can search using a few keywords and find the information they need. With this type of conversion rate, you don’t want to miss out on these customers because of a faulty search engine. Most website platforms offer a search engine plug-in, but make sure you’ve optimized your product descriptions with keywords and tags as well.
No SEO Strategy
If you don’t have SEO strategy for your ecommerce site, how are people going to find you? There’s a good chance they’ll search for your company or product using one of the major search engines like Google. In order for you to be listed in the first few pages of the search results, you must have a solid SEO plan for your site. Search engine optimization is about more than keywords; it also focuses on how your site is built, how images are tagged and what data is parsed by search bots that conduct those ridiculously quick searches.
A typical kind of mistake one makes in the marketing and optimization of your business. A lot of firms focus on advertisements to target and focus on their audience which is good in the beginning but might not survive in the long run. SEO is a tool to create visibility for your website. In the long term, SEO is an impactful tool which roots target audience to the site. Be a smart entrepreneur; never waste your valuable time, energy, and other resources on running without any strategy. Make sure each part is clearly outlined and in the best interest of your business.
Identify your market and buyers. ask customers to leave feedbacks, make every process transparent, plan to ensure smooth supply management, target mobile audience, plan to provide uninterrupted service and support, prepare policies. Beyond a good website and SEO, a site owner will need to focus on the right marketing and promotion tools to reach the right audience at the right time. This needs to be an ongoing activity because lots of traffic to the site will be meaningless unless it is the intended audience.
Unavailability Of Trust Badges/Seals
Furthermore, you have to ensure your visitors that their personal information will be kept highly confidential. And to build your trust factor even more with a professional website, you may want to keep in mind to keep the design simple yet effective, provide a clear product category and easy navigation, align you CTA with your content and adding a section for product reviews too.