10 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid
in Your E-Commerce Website
By Lesley Haught
Starting an e-commerce website is a great way to get your products in the market without having to deal with any of the difficulties one faces when opening a regular store. There is a direct line of communication between you and your customer and profits increase with very little effect on expenses since it is an online store.
However, many who start such websites tend to overlook some crucial aspects that need to be present in a successful e-commerce site. Without such aspects in place, your site will have very little reach and won't rank on search engines. To be one among the many successful ecommerce builders, check out these 10 common mistakes you should avoid in your e-commerce website:
1. Bad Site Navigation
Poor navigation on your website can drive away potential customers. Complicated designs, information that is almost impossible to access, and limited or excessive buttons are some of the things that put off customers when they visit an e-commerce website.
Create ecommerce website such that customers are able to get all the information that they need with very few clicks and simple site navigation can help with that. A site where you have to click on an image to get product information and then click on the header to get back to home page does better than a site where direction and redirection to different pages are difficult.
2. Desktop-Accessible Only
The number of consumers on mobile phones has increased in the past few years and a large percentage of those prefer e-commerce sites that are optimized for mobile phones and smartphones. Unless your site is accessible via smartphones as well as desktops, you would be facing a dearth of traffic and reach from your customers.
The best way to mobile optimize your site is to have it designed in HTML5. This ensures that your website can be viewed and accessed across all known devices without even a hint of trouble.
3. Lack of Product Images
Your customers need to know what exactly they are purchasing from your website. They need to see what you are offering and what it will be like. Product images can help give people an understanding of what products they can expect to be purchasing from your website. Be sure to keep more than one image of your product from different angles so that your customers are aware of how it looks.
4. Limited or No Customer Service Options
Customer service is a must, even if you are operating an e-commerce website. Consumers need to be able to approach you if they have questions about a product or file a complaint about one of the products. As a service and product provider, you will also need to have various policies in place, in the event of such occurrences.
5. Limited Options for Shipping
One might think that having only one shipping option is perfect but that is far from the truth. Your customers need to have more shipping options with variety in pricing and delivery time. This does not just benefit the customer, but also business owners since different shipping provisions have quite a few plus points.
In the event of a company crisis or a natural disaster, you have a larger chance delivering orders because of the presence of many vendors. Thus, it’s a win-win for both sides!
6. No Social Media Presence
Establishing your site’s presence on social media platforms can increase your reach among customers and their engagement with you. Facebook and Twitter can be used to give people information about your site and who you are as a brand and the information posted on these two popular platforms can be easily shared among both your current and potential customers.
Instagram relies on photos or visual content instead of blog posts and articles. However, you can use Instagram to promote your products and offers in the style of a catalog. Considering the fact that most of the content consumed is visual (photos and videos), Instagram would be the best place to establish your social media presence.
7. Lack of Descriptions for Your Products
When you buy a new smartphone in person, you check the make and model of the phone, the specifications (internal storage, warranty, and so on), and the pricing before you buy it. The same rule applies to e-commerce sites and if you have adequate, detailed descriptions for all the products that you offer, customers will be more likely to shop at your website.
Provide all details about the product starting from size and dimensions to warranty and pricing. The more information you provide about your products, the higher the chance that people will trust you and buy your products.
8. Low Searching Capability
If your website offers a great variety of products, you need to make it easier for your customers to search for what they want. Optimize all your product descriptions with keywords so that all your customers need to do is type in the keywords and the result shows up without any issues.
9. Improper SEO Strategy
When you search for a particular item in Google, you check the first page of results to find what you are looking for. Your customers will do the same when they search for your website on the search engines. It is not easy to be listed on the first page of results and to do so, you need to have a well-thought, clear-cut search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
This strategy is not only about keywords, but also about the structure of your website and the data that search bots go through to rank your page. If you have a strategy in place already, be sure to update by doing more research on SEO trends, what trends can boost your site’s visibility on the search engines, and the most effective way to implement them.
Be sure to use SEO tools such as Google Analytics to craft SEO strategy as they offer vital information that can aid you in your plans. Aside from being free, Analytics offers information on keywords, click-through rates, bounce rates, and everything else that matters in SEO. You can also compare your previous performances with your current performance to see what has improved and what you need to improve on.
10. Complex Check-Out Processes
The last stage of the transaction, the check-out process, needs to be as fast and as efficient as possible. Like wasting time at a real-life queue in the supermarket, customers hate to go through complex check-out processes that take up a lot of their patience and time. Keep your check-out process simple and easy so that your customers can finish their transactions quickly.
Some websites ask visitors to create an account or sign in to their site before making any purchases. This tends to drive away certain visitors who may not be interested in becoming long-term customers. With that in mind, keep a “check-out as a guest” on your site’s display so that visitors who are uninterested in creating accounts to make purchases do not need to.
Whether you are trying to learn how to create an e-commerce website or looking to upgrade your current one, you should avoid these ten common mistakes to ensure your success in the world of e-commerce.
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