We understand that your job as a retail merchant is extremely demanding and time-consuming. If you have tried and failed to manage an e-commerce shop and are frustrated by the lack of ROI (return on investment), you are probably making a few common mistakes. There are many reasons that e-commerce websites do not live up to their potential. We will share the top 10 mistakes that online merchants most commonly make and how they cause e-commerce shops to fail.
Poor Quality Images & Descriptions
You have heard it time and time again: Pictures are worth a thousand words. This old phrase is extremely important in the world of e-commerce. If you expect customers to purchase your products online, you better have good pictures if you expect to make a sale. This means clear, crisp images from different angles. Nordstrom’s online store is a great example of this practice. For each product, they have multiple pictures with great zoom capability. Anytime I purchase something from their online store, I’m confident in my purchase because of the great quality images. Product descriptions and dimensions, depending on what you are selling, are also extremely important for the buyer! Having all of the details laid out for them will decrease the chances of them abandoning their cart.
Missing Contact Information
Make sure your contact information is easily accessible for customers. If it is missing or customers have to dig for it, that is a bad sign and customers will leave your site. If you have a brick-and-mortar store in addition to your e-commerce shop, make sure your location and hours are also easy to find in the contact section of your website.
Have an Easy-to-Use Check-Out
Avoid the sadness of abandoned cart syndrome. This is where customers add things to their cart, but never finish checking out. Thus they abandon their cart. One of these reason people do this is because an online shop’s check out is too complicated. Having a complicated check-out does not instill confidence in customers that you care about their online security. If a customer feels like they have to jump through hoops to make a purchase on your site, they will probably get scared off and never come back. Make sure your check-out is easy to use and secure. We cannot stress that last point enough.
Hidden Fees Are No Fun
Hidden fees are like a cyber slap in the face for customers. Try to be upfront at all times with the costs of your product as to not turn people away from your business entirely. Word spreads fast on the Internet and if other customers hear that you are imposing hidden fees, consider your online shop closed.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
E-commerce on the mobile platform is spreading exponentially. There are no two-ways about it, your online shop must be mobile-friendly. If I have to zoom in on your products because your website is not responsive to my smartphone, chances are I won’t buy anything.
Do Not Confuse Your Customers
If a customer is confused by your website, they will never buy anything from you. Period. My favorite example of this is the website for streetwear clothing brand Comme des Garçons. I am intrigued by their products I see on fashion blogs and other e-commerce sites. But when I go to visit their website to learn more about their brand, I feel like I have entered the matrix. And they have lost me as a customer entirely because of it.
No Online Marketing Strategy
You can have the best customer service and e-commerce shop, but if there is no online marketing strategy you are going to fall flat. Set your business up on Google and any social media accounts you deem appropriate for your brand. Make a marketing calendar for your business so there is some strategy behind how you are promoting your products. It will make all of your efforts in your e-commerce store worth it.
You Don’t Engage with Customers
If people leave reviews, respond to them. If people tweet at you, tag you on Instagram or mention you on Facebook, respond. Have a hashtag that customers can use to engage with your business on social platforms. This will keep people coming back!
Target Market Audience is All Wrong
If you have an online marketing strategy, that is great to hear. But make sure your efforts are pointed in the right direction. What we mean is, identify your target audience. Understanding your key demographic and where they are geographically is extremely important with e-commerce websites. You could be putting a lot of work into your online marketing strategy and totally be missing the mark because you misidentified your target audience.
Your Pricing is All Wrong
Don’t sell yourself short. And also don’t scare people away by your prices. Finding the right balance in pricing your products is crucial. If you plan on running a success retail business – whether it be a brick-and-mortar shop or entirely through e-commerce, you should be able to price your products accordingly.
Our Experience with E-commerce Websites
There are many areas where e-commerce websites could go off the rails. And as a business owner, it can be hard to realize these mistakes before it is too late and your online shop has sunk. We have a lot of experience in assisting business owners with their e-commerce website and we invite you to visit our merchant services page for more information. We look forward to assisting you with your e-commerce site!