Are you worried about the poor performance of your online store? The amount of time and money invested in building an eCommerce is quite important, so if it doesn’t work, you have to understand why, you have to make an effort to identify the cause, you have to understand what ecommerce mistakes you are making.
The reasons could be many, they could be technical or small neglected details that make your visitors uncomfortable who consequently are reluctant to close the purchase.
From choosing the wrong eCommerce platform to not considering the user experience, in this article you will learn which ecommerce mistakes to avoid and how to go about improving your store.
Table of Contents
Mistake n. 1: choosing the wrong e-commerce platform
Whether you are just starting your ecommerce business or have been running an online store for some time, your ecommerce platform can really determine the success of your business.
Your eCommerce platform not only determines how you display your products and sell to customers, it also plays a role in how you attract users and grow your business over time.
The last thing you want is to choose a platform that limits the growth of your business, one that doesn’t integrate with your existing systems, or offers the level of control and customization you want.
Choosing the wrong eCommerce platform can lead to a number of problems such as lost revenue, lower conversions, reduced traffic, security issues, poor design, and much more.
This kind of mistake could mean having to invest even more time, money and energy in upgrading the platform or migrating to a completely different one.
Don’t rush, make sure you choose the right ecommerce platform for your online business.
Mistake n. 2: don’t define and understand your target audience
You have products, you have a business plan and you have a website – do you need more?
Unfortunately, having an offer and a place to propose it is not enough to be truly successful with eCommerce (as in any type of business).
One of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is not defining their type of clientele and taking the time to understand what drives them in their purchasing choices.
Ideally, you can do some market research to make sure your audience actually needs your product and understands what you’re talking about.
Defining and understanding your target audience will help you create an attractive communication and message that prompts them to buy over and over again.
Take the time to understand your ideal customer, do the research I suggested for:
- Learn your customers’ pain points
- Hear what solutions they have tried in the past (and why they haven’t worked)
- Know which values are important to them
- Understanding where and how they interact with online content
- Test what type of communication they receive
- Choose how to communicate what problems your products solve for them
- With this information, you’ll be in a better position to showcase your products to the right people and communicate why your products stand out from those of your competitors.
Mistake n. 3: Don’t use a scalable website
Selecting the right e-commerce platform sets the stage for your business success. This includes using a website designed for future growth.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking small. If you have a vision of expanding into new markets, integrating complex functionality and offering a wider range of products, then your website should be set up to gradually adapt to your future needs.
Talk to your platform manager to make sure your website design can evolve as your business grows. If not, you may face costly (and time-consuming) obstacles in the future. Click here for more profitable small business ideas to start today.
Mistake n. 4: complex navigation and poor usability
Your e-commerce website should represent the right combination of functionality and design. Ok, you want a website that looks good but remember that the most important thing is that it converts visitors into paying customers.
If your site’s navigation uses confusing terms, your content is hard to find, or if some features aren’t practical, users will get frustrated and go elsewhere.
To prevent this from happening, work with a usability expert to optimize your website for smooth navigation and a pleasant experience. This will help users find the information they are looking for faster, which means more sales for you.
Mistake n. 5: The website content is not SEO-Friendly
If your e-commerce business relies on organic traffic to attract customers, your website content must be written with both user experience and SEO in mind , that is, search engines like it .
Many companies make the mistake of considering their content as if they were going to constitute a simple catalog, without giving it the right value by considering it an opportunity to attract more traffic and acquire customers.
From the home page to product descriptions, you need to offer content that is suitable for your target audience and optimized to receive traffic from search engines.
Whether you work with an SEO agency or go the DIY path, it’s worth investing in SEO friendly content. This means using the right, high-quality keywords for your niche and writing a page with title and descriptions designed to sell.
Mistake n. 6: complicated payment procedure
Once users have gotten through the initial steps of your sales funnel, it’s time to close the deal. Unfortunately, this is the stage where many users decide to give up and abandon their carts.
This can happen for a variety of reasons but the main one is that the checkout process is confusing.
If your customers find themselves disoriented during the checkout process, they are likely to get frustrated and decide to abandon the purchase.
Make it simple!
To increase conversions, make the checkout process as simple as possible.
Customers do not need to set up an account before purchasing a product. Get their payment first and add them to your email list. Eliminate all possible obstacles, ask later to fill in your billing and shipping data.
The payment process must be clear, detailed, serious and concise. This is not a suitable stage for using funny and bizarre language. Describe the exact steps they need to take to close the purchase. Use large, eye-catching buttons.
Finally, make sure you don’t block them with unexpected terms or fees. Everything has to be defined in the beginning. Making a purchase involves a certain degree of trust and you don’t want to give customers any reason to doubt you.
Mistake n. 7: no strong message of identity
A product alone does not make a brand.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your products are so good they can sell themselves. In order to create a thriving business, you will need to cultivate a strong brand identity that is identifiable with your audience in order to help create viral brand awareness.
Be authentic, be consistent
If you’ve done your own market research, you should have been able to get a solid idea of what your audience is looking for and what kind of language to use with them. So it’s all about being authentic and consistent in your communication.
If your brand represents high quality, reliability, fun, affordability, etc., these values should be evident in all of your content, branding and marketing.
Having a strong identity increases customer loyalty and increases brand potential.
Mistake n. 8: poor customer service
Customer service includes a lot of different things.
It includes how you respond to user messages through your website. It is how you respond to questions and comments on social media. It’s how you resolve customer complaints over the phone and via email. It is any interaction you have with a customer that requires your attention and support.
Poor customer support (including slow response times, impatience, no refunds, etc.) is the surest way to lose existing customers and prevent getting new ones.
You have to be there when they need you.
You should be accessible to your users and customers at every stage of the sales process: from information acquisition, to checkout, to follow up. This ensures that they don’t have any problems or, if so, you can fix them quickly and professionally.
If you take forever to respond, rely on automated replies, or send one-word replies, you get only one result: you create a long trail of unhappy customers.
Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Not only is it easier and more profitable to keep an existing customer, but it increases the likelihood of getting free advertising through word of mouth.
Mistake n. 9: Poor image and video quality
Users are really drawn to the images and videos that describe the products.
They are easy to understand and make objects more real. But all of these benefits can turn into a loss of confidence if the quality of the images or videos is poor.
Grainy videos with indistinct sound quality, blurry images and horrible backgrounds hardly sell your products.
So always try to insert quality images and videos but remember that they must represent your real product, otherwise you risk getting the opposite result.
Mistake n. 10: Typographical errors and poor grammar
The written content, or copywriting, of your site talks about you and is also the image of your business. Many times small typos or grammatical errors are overlooked.
Some misspelled and misused words could even damage your reputation.
Do not neglect this part even if you find it boring and trivial, double-checking your texts or having someone do it for you, maybe it will not lead you to be seen better but it certainly will not lead you to be seen worse.
These were the main mistakes that over time I have seen many activities commit. Now you know them too, I hope they can be useful for you to sell more and grow online.
Mistake n. 11: Poor graphic design
In my long experience as a customer, I have rarely come across a shop that is dirty, smelly or painted in strange colors.
I am not saying that such shops do not exist, but I simply do not like to shop in such places. I’m not sure I want to give my credit card to the cashier of a bargain.
Several academic studies – including Jennifer Chen’s “The Impact of Aesthetics on Attitudes to Websites“, written in July 2009, and “Aesthetics and Trust: Visual Decisions on Web Pages” by Patrick Lynch (written in 2010), indicate that
“Customers judge the design of a corporate site and decide whether to trust that company based on the appearance of the site itself.”
“ The visual factor is fundamental in the design and presentation of a site: users are known to formulate aesthetic judges on it very quickly, ” according to Chen. “When the rate of appreciation on a site increases and its credibility increases, the likelihood of buying on that site also increases.”
The aesthetics of a site is important to build trust in the customer.
Mistake n. 12: Items not working
Broken links, missing images, and a more general disappointment of expectations can result in a rather negative user experience.
E-commerce requires a lot of resources, especially a lot of images and a lot of links. With so many elements at play it is not uncommon for something to go wrong: for example, using an absolute path in anchor tags versus a relative path can result in a broken link.
Online retailers constantly have to test their site to make sure everything is working perfectly.
Missing images make a site look unprofessional.
Mistake n. 13: Don’t forget the importance of having a blog.
Maybe it’s not as obvious a point as broken links and bad site design, but the fact remains that without a blog you will be missing something very important.
When I shop online I want to be able to connect directly with a retailer, which the product page does not allow me to do.
Additionally, blogs can be a great source of content that will keep buyers coming back.
Don’t worry about the “about us” and “contacts” page
Many shop owners underestimate the importance of the sales potential of their ‘about us’ page. Take a look at the About page in your login reports and often find it in the first three page views of an Ecommerce.
While this is one of the most important pages for visitors, many new sellers save money on this page.
Don’t do it.
Let’s look at some of the mistakes people make on their “About Us” and “Contact” pages
a # No story
Who are you exactly? How did the store become what it is? What products do you sell and what is their story? It is not necessary to create an elaborate story, but some paragraphs in which your visitors can become passionate, delving into themes related to you, the store and the products, are very beneficial.
b # No details on the place
Yes, that’s right, you’re an online store, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t looking for an address. Many visitors still want to know where your store or warehouse is. For many visitors it is about trust, for others about customs duties and origin of the products.
c # Use a generic email address
Gmail works very well, but it’s not cut out for business. It looks like a disposable address. not a guarantee. Set up a correct domain name and use appropriate email addresses with the domain name, to make yourself identifiable by customers.
Mistake n. 14: No element of social influence
We all know that social influence can help with conversions. It’s not because they haven’t tried that many merchants fail to bargain the social influence of their Ecommerce. Most of the time, social influence is trying to get it the wrong way or by forcing it.
Let’s look at two wrong ways of implementing a strategy to socially influence visitors.
A # Reviews. What reviews?
Often adding reviews to the online store can help with conversions. But they can also lead to diametrically opposite results.
Before you begin, you will probably need to consider leaving out the reviews section on every product page until you have enough customers who can do reviews. Especially if you have a large product catalog, to avoid the risk of having most of the products in the store with ZERO comments and reviews. That you don’t make a good impression on us.
As a visitor, what would you think of a site with product comments… all zero? That no one has bought it before, probably …
Such a case has the opposite effect compared to that hoped for … and the social influence leads to the abandonment of the site.
B # Social account with no followers
Just like reviews, many online shoppers use social media as an indicator of trust when buying from a store for the first time. You can open an account in any social network, but if you don’t put in effort and resources to increase your followers, you can do more harm than good.
So… what’s the solution? Instead of highlighting all of your new social media accounts, wait and work on increasing followers until you get to a decent number. So, at that point, highlight them on the site. In this way you will also have explored the potential of the various social networks, getting to work.
SEO mistakes of e-commerce site
One of the mistakes that online sellers make when they want to open or have already opened an e-commerce is to think that simply by listing hundreds or even thousands of products on their e-commerce site, search engine traffic will arrive as if by magic. but after some time they realize that this is not the case and worse still the sales do not arrive then they start to think that there is some problem: I have grouped these critical seo errors that online sales sites usually have.
The fact is that the optimization of e-commerce sites for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is much more difficult than it is for blogs or simple business websites. This is because we are faced with so many product pages constantly mixing on and off the site, numerous problems arise that make it very difficult for SEO.
Today we see the 7 common SEO mistakes of online and e-commerce stores.
Lack of Product Description
From my experience, this mistake usually consists of online gift shops and online clothing stores. Unfortunately, the complete lack of a textual description of the product virtually puts an end to the chances of the page being in the top 10 of a search engine search. Therefore, we must be sure that we have added a description to the item card.
This problem, in my opinion, arises from the fact that some very large online sales stores do not have them, so everyone can afford not to wear it, but unfortunately this is not the case. Google has accustomed us that many times it uses two different weights to evaluate a website.
However, we must stand out from the crowd, our shop must be different from the others and not only graphically. A great way to measure the amount of unique content you need is to measure the default word count of a blank product page.
Count all the words that are used in navigation, sidebar, footer and the text that is present on a blank product page. We need to make sure that your unique text is higher than the “default” one.
We should only write quality content that helps customers make purchasing decisions. Do not copy content from other websites. Search engines penalize you for doing this. Check which keyword can help increase conversion. Too much content could hurt.
Use of product descriptions by manufacturers
If you want to be filtered by search engines, simply add a description copied from the manufacturer’s site. The problem is that these descriptions are, in most cases, already copied by many other online stores, and all this leads to a series of pages with non-unique, duplicated content and it is possible to incur a penalty. We must, first of all, consider that these descriptions are usually not written to sell the product online.
Rule number one is always the same: create unique content.
If you have thousands of product pages that you cannot update and make unique then you should consider keeping them out of search engines. The point is that the success of an e-commerce is not based on the fact of having thousands of pages but it is based on many other factors including the service, assistance, the product and many other factors that point to quality rather than quantity.
Lack of Product Reviews
About 70% of shoppers are looking for product reviews in online stores or forums before making a purchase. This means that if your site doesn’t have those reviews, you’re losing a large percentage of your audience and potential sales.
Product reviews have several points in their favor:
In this way, users create unique content for your online store.
It keeps the product page “alive”, which can help lead search engines to visit our site more frequently.
Do not optimize product pages based on keywords searched for.
We must be sure to take into account the keywords searched by users in search engines and adapt the titles and descriptions of the products. If not, you can create a situation where you are promoting something that no one is looking for and will never seek.
This is a common mistake of shops with a large number of goods of various kinds.
Let’s see some “little” tips to help improve product page optimization:
Use model numbers in title tags and H1 headers.
Use brand names in title tags and H1 headings.
Don’t forget to fill in the alt tag of the images.
Don’t put up a keyword list.
And never (unless absolutely necessary) use iframes to display content.
All Equal Titles
Another problem with large online stores are titles which are all alike; this could be a big problem and we must try to avoid identical values.
It is difficult to create unique titles when selling multiple items from the same or similar brands from many brands.
For example, the title tag could be structured as follows: Brand – Model – Type of element
Lack of “talking”
This factor is very important in SEO terms to create for example a url for all products. There are only three reasons why language URLs should be used:
Semantics: Makes it easy for the customer to know what to expect when they click on the url. If you have an incredibly long URL full of numbers and nonsense it can look like spam.
Anchor keywords and links: There is a possibility that the URL will be taken from another site and resubmitted, so it is important that the url is “talking”.
Relevance: Google is starting to put less priority on this, but it wouldn’t hurt to have relevant keywords in the URL for product pages.
Lots of Duplicate Content
Pages to print, archives with different sorting elements, tags and more are all things, which create duplicates, shouldn’t be indexed by search engines and meager deleted via robots.txt. This is important because the site can be penalized due to duplicate pages (particularly on large sites, such as many online shopping sites).
Here are some tips for eliminating duplicate content:
Use robots.txt to block “zones” that create duplicate content, such as archives, variables and even category pages in some cases.
Use the canonical tag to indicate which web pages are the pages you want to index.
You can add nofollow attributes to links pointing to duplicate content areas. However, you have to be extremely careful to make sure you find every single link that needs to be nofollowed.
The Golden Rule of SEO – Usability Must Be a Priority
As you know, Google is a search engine that is very concerned about its users and their experience. First of all, you should make your own online store convenient and useful for customers in order to achieve its respect. What is good and unique for your customers is good for Google and not the other way around.
The more time people spend on your site, and the less you click back to search results page is a great indication that Google might be considering or maybe already.
Finally, people who love your website and what it has to offer are much more likely to give you links.
What optimization errors in your online store did you find that you did not know about?