Keep your e-commerce business in top shape by avoiding common pitfalls that can impact your image and, ultimately, your profits. Here’s what not to do.
Mistake #1: Not keeping up appearances.
No matter how enticing your products are, shoppers won’t stay on a site that’s unattractive or outdated. Keep your site fresh and welcoming – for inspiration, watch what your closest competitors and the big names are doing to make their sites professional and pretty. And, of course, be sure your products are being portrayed in their very best light – don’t skimp on photography and offer lots of views as well as the ability to zoom in on special details.
Mistake #2: Poor page design.
Nowadays, it’s simpler than ever to create a site that’s easy to navigate, or find a web developer to help you. Minimize the need for using the back button, and consider code that means fewer clicks for customers to reach checkout. And remember, your product pages should present the information your shoppers seek with copy that’s thorough but easy to follow. Asking a family member, trusted friend or business colleague to critique your design can result in valuable feedback that can improve your site’s look and functionality.
Mistake #3: Slow loading pages.
Graphics can enhance your website’s look, but don’t let them compromise its speed. Keep in mind that what looks terrific on your screen during the design phase isn’t affected by modem speed – stay away from big images on your home page especially, because your potential customers may not stay around long enough to find out what comes next.
Mistake #4: Shopping obstacles.
Don’t put up hurdles that customers will have to jump in order to shop, or even browse! Early in the e-commerce game, some big names insisted on visitors creating an account just to put items in a shopping cart. Consider letting shoppers choose to check out as a guest (then give real reasons why registering as a shopper may have benefits).
Mistake #5: Not supporting your customers.
The first step, of course, is laying out your policies – returns, payment, shipping & handling – upfront where they’re easy for shoppers to find. But provide options for customers to connect with you, too. Features such as feedback widgets and phone numbers will make your shoppers feel better about the overall shopping experience.
Mistake #6: Not being a trustworthy site.
You know you’re trustworthy … but that doesn’t mean shoppers will see that. Highlight customer testimonials and offer up the history of your company. Put in writing that you won’t sell or share their information – and make good on it.
Mistake #7: Ignoring social media.
Today, you can’t afford not to implement a proper social media strategy. Doing so helps create brand awareness and builds a community that has been proven to be loyal to e-commerce sites. Social media allows customers to interact with you in ways that are convenient to them, and good buzz on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other sites can help generate future sales for you too.
The Bottom Line
Don’t fall prey to common e-commerce pitfalls! The tips above should serve as a reminder to look at your site’s design and functionality, keep engaged with shoppers and stay relevant in the world of social media. Continue to pay attention to this advice, especially if your site undergoes a redesign or your marketplace format changes, and watch for downturns in sales that could point toward a problem you can easily solve.