Any ecommerce site is imperfect, especially when it first goes live. Even if you choose a seemingly straightforward or turnkey ecommerce solution, issues are bound to occur. And while it’s hard to forecast problems, there are certain common ecommerce issues, say the experts, which can be prevented or repaired relatively easily.
Here are 9 of the most frequent ecommerce errors – and how to prevent or fix them:
Mistake No. 1: Selecting the incorrect ecommerce shopping cart. Before choosing an ecommerce shopping cart, do your research. “Don’t just select the first cart which you believe will suffice,” says Amad Ebrahimi, founder, Merchant Maverick, a comparison website that reviews and prices credit card processors, POS software businesses, shopping carts and mobile payments providers. “Think about your performance needs, feature requirements, integration requirements, budget, need for customization and design/theme requirements.”
Additionally, ask yourself: Is the cart easy enough for you to work with without needing to go through a big learning curve? How is the customer support staff? Read some customer reviews to see what others are saying,” he advises. Then”choose the cart to get a spin. Most e-commerce platforms provide free trials, so make certain to take advantage of these,” he says. “I’ve worked on several client sites and it usually is not until we reach the free trial or demo we realized that the cart may or might not be a fantastic match”
Mistake No. 2: Not making sure your site is secure. “Studies show that up to 25 percent of consumers have stopped an internet purchase due to website security issues,” says Flavio Martins, vice president of Operations,” DigiCert, an SSL digital certificate authority. Nevertheless”a lot of ecommerce sites, especially smaller ones, fall short of getting clear trust signs that consumers can trust and know that their data is protected and protected from HTTPS,” he states. “A digital certificate offers authenticity of your site and an encrypted link to protect sensitive data – and you can get one fast and within budget” It also”communicates to customers that your site is trusted and information is secure.”
Similarly,”demand security from third party providers,” he states. “Many ecommerce vendors outsource Web hosting, IT service and Internet security tasks to consultants. But too frequently merchants do not require strong security out of their outside service suppliers,” he notes. “Some significant hacks have come straight from stolen third party logins or through third-party service.So when choosing a service provider, companies should demand strong security best practices, preferably verified through business certifications and constantly ensuring that their support suppliers secure their own information with https.”
“Clients will leave your website if they can’t locate what they want quickly]” says Dan Hutmacher, senior electronic adviser, Lyons Consulting Group, a digital agency. So be sure to make navigation menus – instinctive, minimizing the amount of clicks it requires for clients to get what they’re looking for.
To enhance navigation, review your analytics to view “where your clients are falling off and optimize the site accordingly.”
Mistake No. 3: Poor or no search capability. “So it is vital to make sure customers get relevant results and quickly. Many out-of-the-box systems work poorly on search, so speak with your programmers about how you can make tweaks to your existing system, or look into more advanced solutions like solr or sphinx,” he advises. “There are plugins available to integrate these search options into several of their hottest shopping carts at a comparatively low cost.”
Mistake No. 4: Poor images/photography. “When people are buying online, since they are giving up the tactile ability to pick up and maintain a goods and inspect it, you need to have great product photographs,” says Rick Wilson, president, Miva Merchant, a provider of ecommerce software and hosting. “It’s important to show many angles, and should the options change the appearance, such as the colour, multiple choices”.
Mistake No. 5: Applying stock merchandise descriptions. “The biggest mistake that ecommerce merchants make would be to copy the manufacturers descriptions to the products they stock,” says Mat Durham, manager, Skyblu Web Design. When you do this, it makes it tough to differentiate yourself from the competition, particularly to search engines. “The solution is simple, however” he continues:”write your own product descriptions, at least to your major lines, or use a good freelance copywriter to do it.”
“Not only do product descriptions include articles to your site, they are a way for clients to experience your merchandise online also,” adds Ashley Orndorff, director of Marketing for ParadoxLabs, a Web development company. “A customer cannot pick up your product and analyze it on your site exactly the same manner they could in-store, a robust product description (with accompanying pictures ) allows customers to experience and familiarize themselves with your products,” she explains. “Your descriptions don’t have to be as short as a tweet or provided that a book, they just have to be descriptive. Engaging, informative product descriptions show your clients how your product will solve their issue and why it’s so great.”
Mistake No. 6: Using a confusing or lengthy checkout procedure. “Asking clients for unnecessary info and inadequate checkout design can result in increased abandonment rates and consequently lower ranks,” states Eades. Thus “make certain you remove any fields not essential for the checkout process.”
“Make it effortless for the customer to check out and do not complicate the process,” adds Alexa D’Agostino, CEO, Black Rhino Solutions, a provider of marketing and Web design solutions. “Websites that have multiple voucher pages give people more reasons to click out and not complete the transaction,” she explains. “If it is more challenging to be responsible for the items than locate the thing you have done something wrong.” The fix:”Utilize a one page jQuery checkout that readily allows you to experience different measures of accounts creation/guest checkout, shipping, billing and credit card information all on one page”
Mistake No. 7: Having just 1 shipping option and/or carrier. “One of the biggest mistakes we see from ecommerce companies is relying on just one carrier to meet all their transport needs,” states Amine Khechfe, general director and cofounder, Endicia, which offers ecommerce transport solutions. “Actually, each carrier provides unique perks. For example, I often inform the business that if they’re not using the U.S. Postal Service, they are leaving money on the desk. That is because the USPS provides the most economical rates for packages weighing less than 5 pounds. And with the new Priority Mail cost decrease happening in September, ecommerce companies have still another affordable alternative for their 5 to 15 pound shipments.”
Likewise because customers have come to expect two-day or fast delivery, it’s very important to ecommerce companies to provide multiple shipping options.
“Statistics reveal that more and more individuals are doing their research and purchasing on cellular devices. In fact, 57 percent of consumers will not recommend a company with a poorly constructed cellular website,” he states. “Similarly, 40 percent of customers will go to a competitor’s website after a bad mobile experience” Therefore, if you want people to buy from you,”don’t forget cellular!”
“it is a massive mistake because Web traffic is quickly moving to the mobile platform. In fact, search engines like Google penalize sites in search position if they are not cellular optimized,” he states. Moreover,”it’s important to understand that mobile optimized does not mean ‘my notebook version looks ok on the phone.’ Rather, it is a well thought out plan that develops a leak to the mobile platform.”
Mistake No. 8: Not making content easily shareable on social media, especially on Pinterest. Too many companies”underestimate the social share button,” says Apu Gupta, CEO, Curalate, a promotion and analytics suite for the visual Internet. “Thirty-three percentage of the best 100 internet retailers Curalate surveyed, have yet to put in Pin It buttons on product pages, so they are missing out on a considerable chance to drive referral traffic back to the website,” he notes.
“Maximizing your existence on the visual Web starts with sharing. By making images on your site more winnable, and by then maximizing the size and placement of discuss icons, you can finally drive awareness, aspiration and sales,” he explains. “BuzzFeed, for instance, increased pinning by 10 days after enlarging the Pin It button share bars and overlaying the icon on individual images.”
Mistake No. 9: Making it hard to contact you, the vendor. “Clients shopping online want to know they are not going to be left holding the bag if they need help,” says Wilson. “The easiest (and free) way to do this is a contact number in your website in the header or footer.” Also, be sure to present an easy-to-find email address for customer support, and that someone is checking and responding to email regularly.
If you listen to the news, you might be a little reluctant to begin investing in the stock…