Visualize the following scenario:
You are all set to buy a product online. Your eyes are meticulously studying the varied features of the product and your credit card is out within minutes.
You enter your credit number once. Then twice. And then thrice.
After all these futile attempts, the website crashes. You are left with nothing but annoyance, owing to the tedious experience.
This is one of the many e-commerce site horrors that prevent your potential customers from coming back.
12 Mistakes that Leave your E-Commerce Sites Dead and Buried
An e-commerce website can be a huge boon to your business. But there are a plethora of aspects to consider when designing an eCommerce site. It’s not as simple as using some shopping cart software and plopping products into a database.
Below are 12 of the most common mistakes that e-commerce sites make. These can undoubtedly leave your website dead and buried. But with a little careful planning, these can surely be avoided.
Take a look?
Complex Checkout Process-Most Deadly Mistake
- Asking customers for unnecessary information?
- Bad checkout design?
Nothing annoys customers more than these two problems on a site.
This gives users more reasons to click out and not finish the transaction.
The ideal checkout process includes a single page for consumers to check their order and enter their billing and shipping information and a confirmation page before they submit their order.
Anything more than that is only a hurdle in the completion of the checkout process.
One of the biggest turnoffs for any visitor shopping online: Poor Navigation.
Your customers want everything to be easy, intuitive and convenient. Don’t make it hard for them because when you do that, they abandon your website.
Don’t believe it?
According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned; out of which 25% are abandoned owing to complex navigation.
Your e-commerce site navigation needs detailed planning. Think very carefully about how you design your categories and navigation elements before you start putting products in your catalog.
Lack of Payment Options
You must provide as many payment solutions as it is practical to optimize the number of orders you get.
Different consumers have different payment preferences; when it comes to making online payments, catering to as many preferences as you can, means you can satisfy the needs of diverse customers.
Ignoring the Search Functionality
Internet Search Functionality is one of the most ignored features on an e-commerce site.
According to Andy Eades, an e-commerce consultant, Elevate Web, e-commerce customers who use on-site search to find products are more than three times more likely to convert than customers who don’t.
Hence, you need to make sure that the search feature on your site works well, and preferably has filters for letting customers refine their results.
Lack of Product Images/Poor images
Customers are giving up their tactile ability to inspect a product when shopping online. In this case, product images are of utmost importance.
It’s only through images that your potential customer will decide between buying the product.
What does that signify?
You need to provide multiple images of your products from various angles. Make sure the photo is big enough to zoom. By providing detailed shots of specific features, you can go a long way towards making a consumer more likely to buy from you.
Poor Cart Design
Adding multiple products, revising the quantities, maintaining transparency throughout- these are some of the difficult functions that your shopping cart is supposed to perform. Your shopping cart is one of the most incredibly important tools of your e-commerce site.
Ignoring the cart design would be one of the biggest mistakes.
To ensure your cart perfectly fits your e-commerce site, consider all the aspects- your functionality needs, feature requirements, integration requirements, budget, need for customizability and design/theme needs.
Bad Customer Service Options
Looking after your customers is one of your prime responsibilities.
By not providing a telephone number or email addresses on your site, you are going to annoy your customers.
You need to make it easy for them to get in touch with you if they have any questions about product use. Also, think about offering a help request form for customers to fill out; this can instill more confidence than just an email address.
Tortoise Pace Loading Time
According to Gomez, the application monitor from Compuware, every 2 seconds of load time on your site equals an 8% abandonment rate. On the other hand, if you drop your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, your conversion rate jumps up 74%.
Wasting your customers’ time can lead to a serious dent in your sales.
Loading time is a major contributing factor to the site abandonment. According to Dave Garr of User Testing, increasing site speed improved his conversion rate by 78%.
So speed up your site, if you don’t, its sales will plummet.
Underestimating Social Media
SEO and backlinks are essential to any e-commerce site. Social media plays a very important role when it comes to these.
You are missing out on big opportunities by not incorporating social media into your e-commerce site.
You can maximize your presence on digital platforms by making images on your website more pinnable. By leveraging Pinterest effectively, you will be able to boost your online business.
What will this lead to?
More traffic. More sales. More customers.
Fashion retailer Madewell creates pinboards that inspire through the use of color
Neglecting Product Description
Product descriptions are as important as product images.
Don’t take the easy route of copy-pasting product descriptions from the manufacturer’s brochures or websites. Just don’t.
That will only lead to:
- Google penalizing you for duplicate content.
- Your site ranking dropping significantly.
- You will lose customers.
Invest the appropriate amount of time in product descriptions. A robust product description allows customers to experience and familiarize themselves with your products.
Point to remember: For product description use descriptive words rather than technical terms, as it creates more impact on the customers.
Adding shipment charges at the very end
What if the customer is happy with the product description, the price and all the other aspects? But as soon as he/she is about to proceed with the payment, there comes the notification of unexpected shipment charges that just seem unreasonable to the customer.
The moment this happens, your customer abandons your cart.
Include the shipment charges right from the start. Don’t create any unexpected and unpleasant surprises for your hard-earned customers. That will only lead to a significant drop in your sales.
Don’t underestimate the need for having a FAQ page. Not providing your customers with one, might compel them to shop from some other site.
A dedicated FAQ page will help address the basic needs of your customers. This will also cut down on customer service requests, increase conversion rates and create a more balanced shopping experience.
Avoiding these e-commerce site mistakes will greatly improve the experience of your customers. Before embarking on a new e-commerce project or when thinking over your current eCommerce site, you must bear these in mind. This will surely help you in creating a successful e-commerce site.
John Siebert is the President and CEO of Tranquil Blue – Web Design Tampa that focuses on all kinds of website design, mobile app development, and search engine marketing.