Long gone are the days when a cash register and shop front were the only things you needed to sell your goods. Online is the smart way to sell, but you could still be making 10 classic e-commerce mistakes.
Poor Product Description
No one wants to take a guess at what they’re buying. If your product description isn’t detailed enough, you won’t attract customers to buy your products.
Due to the nature of online shopping, you must provide a thorough experience to incentivize purchases, which includes showing the item from every angle as well as up close. If you don’t have the photographic know-how or technical capability to translate photos into a useful slideshow, then it might be time to turn to third-party shopping carts or expert web developers for help.
Your products can be hard to find for one of two reasons: Either your site is hidden away in the depths of a Google search, or your products themselves are hard to find on your website. Regardless of the reason, a little hard work in terms of making your product search engine optimized or improving your internal search functionality will do wonders for your visitor experience.
If your website’s primary function is to sell products, preview them on the home page with a “More” button so visitors don’t have to guess where your products are showcased.
Bad Website Design
If search functionality isn’t your only problem, then you could be looking at a complete overhaul of your online store. While there are a plethora of DIY website builders, not all are created equal, and for the amateur builder, they may not quite match the specifications you need for a successful selling site.
If you’re scratching your head, we don’t blame you. It can be overwhelming. That being said, it isn’t worth the effort and costs to build an online store if it isn’t user-friendly. Take the time to learn about optimization techniques if your goal is online ROI.
Terrible Customer Service
As tempting as it might be to sit back and just watch the orders roll in, it’s not enough. If you’re not responding quickly enough to customer comments, complaints and queries, your reviews — and ultimately your name — will reflect poor service. Make sure to offer an FAQ section on your site that’s easy to find and helpful, saving both you and your customers time and increasing your conversion speed.
Lack of a Master Marketing Plan
Websites, like your business itself, need to grow and evolve. Content can quickly become out of date and require refreshing. You’ll also want to consider how your marketing strategy fits into everything. Will you run special offers, flash sales or discount days? If so, how?
These can’t just be done adhoc; you need to carefully plan and decide how to maximize your content before and after offer periods to get existing customers returning for more.
Limited Online Presence
You may not want to admit it, but without a decent social media presence, chances are no one will even know you exist. This is especially true for B2C businesses. If you’re not used to dealing with online platforms, then it may take a little time to make sure you’re posting to the relevant audience, but by conducting some audience research, you’ll be able to ensure that the right customers find you.
There’s nothing more frustrating than going through the long process of selecting products online only to get stuck at checkout. Worse still is paying by credit card and facing a time out, unsure if your payment went through or not.
The best way to deal with this hiccup is to go through your checkout process yourself. What issues did you face? Was the process intuitive? Did you encounter any bugs that could cause frustration for your customers? This exercise will help you identify pain points and make improvements to the process and overall logic.
As tempting as it might be to try and sell your baked goods online, can you really guarantee freshness to your international customers? Perhaps you’re selling bespoke furniture but don’t have a clear plan on how to ship your inventory. Either way, it’s just a fact that some products just do not sell well online and, despite the appeal of online shops, a more traditional storefront may be the preferable method.
Perhaps you feel like your sales will be slow to grow and are preparing for light sales those first few weeks. While that might happen, be prepared for the exact opposite. If you get everything right and find your business not just growing but thriving, be prepared to fulfill your orders quickly to make a great initial reputation for yourself. Letting customers down during their first purchase experience will have the opposite impact.
Often, people are caught unaware by their popularity, and it can lead to problems with order fulfilment and shipping. Prepare to succeed, and you’ll avoid that pitfall.Stephen SwannE-commerce consultant at 1day2write and Write My X
Failing Customer Security
Whenever you buy online, you always want to be reassured that your details are safe and remain with the vendor — not just your credit card number but also your name and address. Cybersecurity is a priority, and any breach will drive customers away faster than they arrived.