In this article, we look at some common eCommerce mistakes businesses involved in eCommerce make. These eCommerce mistakes concern some quite fundamental aspects of eCommerce. A good understanding of these issues should assist you with overall eCommerce business strategy and place your company on the path to success.
Frequently asked questions from marketers:
- What are 5 of the most common mistakes that occur when integrating a CRM with eCommerce platforms?
- Ecommerce seo mistakes and how to fix them?
- Ten eCommerce mistakes and how to avoid them-Shopify?
- What could be wrong if I chose a bad platform for an online store?
- Frequent mistakes in the usability of eCommerce ?
- Common mistakes affect conversion in eCommerce ?
- What mistakes do novice online store owners make?
Let’s look at some of the mistakes a small business can make when ordering an eCommerce store.
What is ecommerce?
Ecommerce means transactions or business carried out electronically on the internet, such as buying and selling goods and services. One of the most obvious forms of eCommerce is online shopping conducted either by consumers to businesses (b2c) or between businesses (b2b).
Why is it important to get eCommerce strategy right?
It is no secret that consumer behaviors have evolved in recent years as more people have turned to the internet to do business in place of, or in addition to, traditional methods.
The success of some well-known online marketplaces has contributed to this trend and attracted shoppers for reasons, from convenience to bargain hunting.
With research showing that approximately 81% of consumers go online before heading out to the store, it is clear that having an online presence is a vital marketing and sales eCommerce strategy for any business to have in current times.
There are benefits that both businesses and consumers can achieve from eCommerce, but there are pitfalls. Here are ten common eCommerce mistakes, put together to help you avoid making the same eCommerce mistakes:
1. Poor search engine optimisation
We have written extensively on search engine optimization (SEO) and its importance for online businesses cannot be overemphasised.
SEO refers to various techniques that enable web pages to rank highly on search engine pages and generate traffic to websites. It is vital that the website and all the individual web pages are optimized for search engines.
As more and more people go online to carry out research and make purchases, these potential customers must find business online.
Interesting research revealed that a whopping 43% of ecommerce traffic comes from Google search, which is a very good reason to take SEO seriously.
We explain some simple SEO tactics you could adopt for maximum benefit in our blog. One example is identifying what keywords or phrases target customers are likely to use when searching the internet. You then need to optimize a website by using these keywords in phrases and regularly uploading content such as blogs and articles that contain these relevant terms.
Also, be sure to optimize the website to be accessed on mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones.
2. Slow loading web pages
Now that customers have located website, it is a really big turn off that it takes ages to load.
There are some quite interesting statistics that show how a slow loading web page could affect ecommerce business. According to research:
- 39% of consumers stop trying to access a website if it takes too long to load.
- 47% of customers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
- A quick loading web page is important for continued loyalty of 52% of online shoppers.
- 14% of consumers will begin shopping at another site, and 23% will stop shopping or walk away from computer.
It isn’t surprising that consumers give up after some time trying to access a website. But, if you think about it, people are attracted by the ease and convenience of transacting online.
Unfortunately, the longer it takes for a site to load, the more likely people are to lose patience and look elsewhere. As a result, a business will be losing customers, which is not what you want!
3. Too many products, no clear niche
Imagine physically walking into a store selling so many different products without any clear theme connecting these items.
You walk into a showroom selling cars only to find they sell other products like pet supplies, hardware, beauty products, school uniforms – the list could go on!
Or maybe you are involved in affiliate marketing, and you stockpile sites with such affiliate links reviewing a ton of products and services, some of which may conflict with each other.
This immediately creates a branding issue for businesses. Consumers can become confused about what you as an online retail business stand for and where expertise lies. As a result, consumers could easily lose confidence in such an arrangement, which could ultimately cost you that valuable sale.
Suppose you are interested in offering a wide range of products and services. In that case, it is best to think of what categories these fall into and consider setting up a different website for any product or service that does not fit together.
4. Poor quality images
Aesthetics is very important when doing business online, especially when shopping for clothes, vehicles or hardware.
Since consumers cannot try on items of interest or feel the fabric before purchasing, you must provide pictures that fulfill these objectives as much as possible.
Poor quality images that may be blurred or grainy are less likely to be as persuasive as clear, sharp and colorful pictures. The number of pictures you upload is important, especially where you provide images taken under various lighting, different weather conditions and zoomed in.
5. Poor product descriptions
Most consumers generally have an idea of what they are looking for before they start their online search.
A consumer who searches for an all-in-one printer and scanner is looking for an item that fits that description. Therefore, one important reason a consumer will choose to buy the all-in-one printer and scanner you offer, rather than the one competitors are selling, is how you describe the product.
The grammar you use should be free from error, and the language and tone used are suitable for the audience. You want to cover the technical stuff like the item’s specification in sufficient detail but emphasize how a product will benefit the consumer.
6. Poor customer service
Poor customer service can be a deal-breaker. No matter how user-friendly the website is and how well it ticks all the other boxes, if customers do not have a good experience when communicating with you, that could cost you a sale or prevent customers from returning to the site in the future.
It’s worth having a clear contact page and a procedure for receiving communication from consumers and responding promptly. The same applies to the return and refunds policy. Some sites make it very easy to make a purchase but then have a complex return and refund policy (or worse, no policy at all) which can be quite frustrating.
7. Poor marketing strategy
Running an online business is, in ways, similar to running a physical one. As with most businesses, it takes time and effort to make sales and a key aspect of ensuring this happens marketing strategy. It is a mistake to think that customers will find stores, buy products and remain loyal with minimal effort from you.
A marketing strategy will usually be poor if it is not suitable for the targeted audience. An example could be opting not to use social media to market products when the products you sell are mainly used by people who consume social media.
8. Insufficient shipping options
The competition for customers online can be intense, giving eCommerce business advantage by providing a wide range of shipping options at the checkout. Shipping options could include increasing free shipping to more expensive shipping, usually when offered a shorter delivery time. Failing to do this could be costly.
9. Insufficient payment options
Similarly, restricting payment options to say payment by cheque only, for example, could be equally costly. Bear in mind that consumers who shop online are usually attracted by the convenience and speed of online transactions.
A good step will be to include a range of much quicker methods of payment.
10. Lacking awareness of rules and hidden costs
If you decide to trade via an online marketplace rather than on your website, be sure to familiarise yourself with the rules and costs that come with many of these eCommerce platforms.
There are usually rules about what you can sell, how you describe products, deadlines for paying invoices and others. Failing to observe the rules could lead to accounts being suspended or closed.
It would help if you considered whether it is profitable to trade on these online retail platforms when considering the fees and other costs of using these eCommerce solutions.
We offer a wide range of products and services here at Plerdy specifically tailored to eCommerce businesses. Contact us today to discuss options.