If you want to win in the competitive eCommerce industry, you need to avoid the pitfalls that will cause your businesses to fail and lose sales.
Although mistakes are learning opportunities, it would be better not to make the mistake in the first place because even just a simple mistake can send your customers in the opposite direction of your checkout and straight into the arms of your competitor.
So, whether you are just planning to start an eCommerce shop or already have one, these are the 10 common eCommerce mistakes that you should avoid or fix to help you grow your eCommerce business and gain more sales.
1.Not using the right theme
Your website theme is the overall look, feel, and style of your website. This includes things like the color scheme, layout, and style elements. In essence, your website theme is a direct representation of your brand and has a direct impact on your users’ experience.
Themes are built to be used as an online shop but others are designed for other industries, such as photography, journalism, or blogging. Some webshop owners nowadays carelessly choose a website theme that isn’t fit the kind of business they have.
The right theme can either make or break your business so, if you aren’t using the right theme for your business, you might get your customer confused about the services you offer and missed out on major revenue.
How to choose the right theme?
The first and most obvious consideration in selecting your website theme is you must be very clear on the type of website that you want to build. Understanding the features of your website will help you choose the right website theme.
You should also look for a theme that has more flexibility and customization options. Depending on templates only, without much of your own original input, will never make your website stand out among thousands of site competitors that are also using the same template.
Lastly, always choose themes that are responsive. Responsive themes make it possible to adjust the layout of your sites across different screen sizes and devices.
2. Insufficient Product Description
Images are a great presentation of your products but they are not enough. There are other things that images won’t be able to tell your customers such as the size, material, or texture of the product. Also, not everyone can see those images since there’s a possibility that a visually impaired person is browsing your website. That is why you need not just a product description but a detailed one.
Bare minimum product descriptions are the common mistake that many eCommerce website owners make.
A great and detailed product description will make users feel confident about a product’s quality and suitability, helping them to make a decision to purchase that product. However, insufficient product information would cause users to make incorrect assumptions about your product and will most likely abandon the product page or worst the website itself.
Along with destroying your conversion rate, lack of product description will also most likely result in greater dissatisfaction to your consumer upon product delivery. If the customer feels as though they’ve been scammed or mis-sold an item, it can be extremely damaging to your brand reputation and will definitely have an impact on the rate of returns.
So, as much as you can, give a detailed product description, covering all the selling points of the product. You can also answer additional queries about the product like how it is made and how it functions.
Moreover, make a list of materials that are used to create the product, the manufacturing process, and inform the consumer whether or not the product comes with a warranty and more.
3. Lack of Quality Product Image
The worst part about shopping online is that you can’t physically hold and inspect the product before buying. Because the user cannot touch or test the product, it’s important to have images of your products on your website to help them discern the quality of your products.
Images play a big role in helping consumers make decisions in making an online purchase. According to a survey by Marketingsignals, two-thirds or 61% of online consumers said that insufficient or poor-quality product imagery is a deterrent to making a purchase.
However, most shop owners think that having just one or two images of their product is enough. Some don’t give attention to the quality of their product image and that’s why they lose some of their consumers.
In addition to the quality, you also need to have more pictures. No matter how good the image is, a single picture will not tell the whole story. Make sure you have multiple images to highlight the product.
Provide multiple angles of your products, color variations, or options. Also, don’t upload tiny photos. You would want your customer to be able to zoom in on the pictures to get the sense of “holding and inspecting” the product before buying it.
4. Complicated and Time-Consuming Checkout Process
After a user has made up their mind to purchase a certain product, the next step is the checkout page. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of eCommerce businesses see abandoned carts. This can happen because of different reasons but mostly it is because of a confusing checkout process. Your customer will most likely get frustrated and leave your website before making a purchase if they can’t understand your checkout process.
Here are some ways your cart could be too complex:
- Forcing customers to repeatedly enter information.
- Requiring accounts to be registered before checkout
- Multi-step cross-selling and upselling before getting to the checkout
- Making it difficult to determine shipping costs and final purchase costs
- Excessive form fields and requiring too much information
According to a study by Baymard Institute, having a complicated and long checkout process is the third most common reason why customers leave your site. This can cause potential consumers to abandon your website and directly impacts your conversions.
That’s why you have to make sure that once a visitor has chosen your products, they can make a purchase easily in just a few steps.
Eliminate as many steps as possible from your shopping cart process, and do not force them to set up an account in order to make a purchase.
Keep buttons big and text small, and remove any unnecessary fields. A fully optimized checkout can be as short as just 7 form fields.
Make the check-out process as uncomplicated as possible. Create a check-out process that is on a single page to bring in more conversions.
5. Lack of payment options
The days of “cash or credit” being a customer’s only option are long gone. Nowadays, there are dozens upon dozens of ways eCommerce consumers can pay for their orders. However, some webshop owners don’t make use of these payment options resulting in a higher rate of cart abandonment.
Once your customer has finished adding products to their cart and is now ready to pay for it, but then can’t find their preferred payment option, they will most likely leave your site and turn to other competitors that offer more payment options.
While you don’t necessarily need to offer all of these options, the best thing you can do is to do some research or survey into what method does of your target customers preferred, and focus on catering to as many of these expectations as you possibly can.
6. Lack of Shipping Options
Not all customers want the same thing in terms of delivery and fulfillment. Some want their package to be delivered as soon as possible, no matter the cost, while others don’t mind waiting a few extra days, as long as the shipping is free. There are also others who want to have a say in when, where, and how their products are delivered.
That’s why it would be a big disappointment to your customer when they buy from your store and there’s only one shipping option available or the cost of shipping are the same or more of the amount of the product they are purchasing.
Sadly, this is one typical mistake that eCommerce owners make.
A recent survey carried out by digital marketing agency Marketingsignals revealed that the lack of delivery options on eCommerce sites is one of the reasons why they don’t finish their purchase and abandon their carts.
Although shipping items domestically or internationally can be costly and time-consuming for business owners, it helps in reaching a much larger market.
That’s why it is vital to provide customers with a variety of shipping options in terms of delivery time and price.
7. Depriving Customers of Free Shipping
The word “free” has an amazing effect on your customers’ purchasing behavior.
You can’t deny the fact people love freebies, and if you provide them free shipping, then sales conversions are more likely to happen on your e-commerce site.
A survey unveils that around 73 percent of online buyers considered free shipping as a decisive factor to complete the purchase. And, if you offer the same, then it could improve your sales dramatically. While those who don’t, are likely to face high shopping cart abandonment rates since according to a survey performed by Usabilla, the top cause (58%) for cart abandonment is high shipping costs.
8. Hiding Return and Exchange Policies
Unfortunately, some eCommerce business owners do not maintain complete transparency with their customers and lose a lot of business in the long run.
That’s why it is important to make the company policies crystal clear to the customers. Mention all the company policies along with the terms and conditions of returns and exchanges so that the users know all about it. Mentioning all these policies on the website would avoid any problems that might arise later on.
9. Failing to Earn Customer Reviews
According to Trustpilot, 92% of consumers read reviews on the internet, and 80% of shoppers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations. This means customer reviews are crucial to conversions, and you simply shouldn’t ignore them.
Even though you already have a section on your product page where your customers can post a review and see what others say about that product, it still won’t guarantee you that customers will take their time and post their reviews. That is why you have to earn it.
One way is to reach out to your customers via good old-fashioned email and request that they take a minute to share their thoughts about the product that they have purchased. You could also encourage your customers to give their review by giving them a reward or a voucher that they can use in their next purchase, in exchange for leaving honest feedback on your website.
10. Poor Customer Service
Customer service is the act of providing support to both your potential and existing customers. It includes how you respond to user messages through your website. It’s how you respond to questions and comments on social media, how you address customer’s complaints over the phone and via email, and it’s any interaction you have with a customer that requires your attention and support.
It is an essential part of any successful business. Negative customer experiences can greatly impact your business’ success.
Most eCommerce owners don’t give too much attention to customer service since they are too focused on marketing their products and making more sales. However, no matter how amazing your product is or your marketing strategy is, if you are not meeting the service expectations of your customers, they will never be satisfied with what you are offering them.
Poor customer support like a slow response, showing impatience, not offering refunds, etc. is the surest way to lose existing customers and hinder getting new ones.
It will also ruin your business image since disappointed customers will more likely to share their dissatisfaction with their friends on social media or will post angry reviews for other prospective customers to see.
So, make sure to have great customer service to help your customers with their concerns and make sure they leave your webshop satisfied and with a great review.
Avoid These Common eCommerce Mistakes to Sell More and Grow Online
Making a mistake when planning and building an eCommerce site can prove to be quite costly in the long run.
That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for success by avoiding common mistakes that other entrepreneurs make on their eCommerce journey.
So, if you’re just starting an eCommerce website or already have one, make sure that you stay out from these at all costs to avoid unexpected costs that can hurt your revenue and avoid mistakes that can hinder you from being above your competitors.
If you avoid these mistakes from the start of your business, you have saved yourself time and money that you have to spend in the future in fixing those mistakes.
However, if you already have committed those mistakes, it’s not yet too late for you to fix it and gain back the customers and sales that you have lost. Once you did fix it, you will see how being aware of your audience, customer service, website design, and checkout process will help you in making more profits and achieving your place in the eCommerce industry.
So, fix the issues that are addressed above now to improve your engagement and user experience, and you’ll begin to see a steady increase in both conversions and revenue.
Contact us If you need help in fixing or building your eCommerce website. We have professional web developers who are well experienced in developing eCommerce websites and that are ready to help you!