You’ve got amazing products. Your prices are competitive. Your deals are irresistible. So why aren’t the online sales flooding in?
Creating a successful online shopping site is not as simple as uploading product images onto a web page. It takes planning, testing, more planning and yet more testing to turn browsers into buyers – and keep them coming back.
There are lots of mistakes that online retailers (even the big brands) make every day. But the good news is they are all avoidable with some careful planning and the right team on hand to help. Even if you already have an online store that’s committing these mistakes, they are easy enough to fix.
Here are the top e-commerce blunders businesses make and what you can do to fix them.
MISTAKE #1. YOUR SITE IS NOT MOBILE FRIENDLY
People use their mobile devices for everything, all the time. In fact, 29% of people’s daily screen time is spent looking at smartphones, compared to 5% five years ago (source). Plus, search engines like Google penalise websites in search rankings if they are not mobile optimised. It’s a huge mistake for any business to have a site that’s not mobile-friendly, but for online shopping sites, it’s a potential sales killer.
THE FIX: This isn’t about creating a separate app or mobile site. Your online shopping site needs to be mobile responsive, so it delivers an excellent user-friendly experience when visited from tablets and smartphones.
MISTAKE #2. CUMBERSOME SITE NAVIGATION
Imagine trying to buy a pair of socks online. Except when you use the menu, the socks aren’t where you think they should be. The categories don’t really make sense. And when you search “socks”, nothing comes up. After a few frustrating minutes, you simply give up and go to a different e-commerce site. This is what will happen if your customers cannot find what they want, quickly.
THE FIX: Your number one goal is to ensure it’s easy for shoppers to find what they’re looking for. Categories should make sense to your users. The site should be easy to navigate. And there should be a comprehensive search tool with filters. Above all, minimise the number of clicks it takes for customers to find what they want.
MISTAKE #3. POOR QUALITY IMAGES
Since online customers can’t pick up and feel the product, your photos have an important role to play in their decision-making process. Poor images don’t effectively do this. Your images need to show your products in their best light, so customers have no doubts about what they are buying.
THE FIX: Invest in high quality product photography. Show multiple angles of products and different colour options. It’s also important to make sure users can zoom in on the photo, especially on a mobile device.
MISTAKE #4. LONG & PAINFUL PAYMENT PROCESS
Your customer has reached the checkout page, but this doesn’t mean the sale is complete. There’s still a risk of losing the customer with a poorly designed payment process. In fact, this is one of the most damaging mistakes an online shopping site can make. Add too many steps, and you’ll only push them away from your site and straight into the arms of a competitor.
THE FIX: You must make it as easy as possible for your customers to give their payment details and complete their order. Create a single page for customers to check their order and enter billing and shipping details. Make it easy for people to go back and change things if they’ve made a mistake. And don’t ask for information you don’t need.
MISTAKE #5. NO TESTING
Without tracking and testing your e-commerce site, you are flying blind. Don’t assume that an online shopping site that you and your staff love is going to turn
browsers into buyers.
THE FIX: Start with A/B testing to run through your shopping site from start to finish. This will help you identify any hurdles that make it difficult for the customer, as well as work out the best calls to action for buttons.
MISTAKE #6. IT’S HARD TO CONTACT YOU
Customers want to know you’re there for them if they need help, especially through the payment process. However, many online retailers don’t make it easy for users to find contact details and get in touch. This means users are less likely to trust your business and spend money with you.
THE FIX: Include a phone number in the header or footer of your website, so it is easy to find on every page. Also, provide an email address for customer service and – this is the important bit – make sure someone regularly checks and responds to emails.
Successful online shopping comes down to proper planning from the outset. To truly tap into the power of e-commerce, you need to continually think about your customers and how to make it easy for them to buy from you. Only then can you expect to drive conversions and stand out from your competitors.
The good news is, with the right team on hand, these common mistakes are easy to avoid and fix. Informatix can create or improve your online shopping website with payment processing, usability techniques, marketing strategies, search engine optimisation, content maintenance, sales statistics, and automated notifications of orders and shipments. With experience working with Magento, BigCommerce and Shopify, we can help you take your online shopping site to the next level. Get in touch today!