E-commerce is booming. In fact, it’s the fastest-growing retail segment with sales projected to grow from $4.9 trillion in 2021, by up to 50% over the next four years. But with all that growth, comes high failure rates too. A recent report from CB Insights found that 42 percent of e-commerce startups fail within the first year, and 62 percent tank before reaching their fifth anniversary. The reasons for failure are many, but one thing is clear. Many e-commerce sites don’t test their designs and functionality thoroughly before going live. Luckily, there are several things you can do to avoid the biggest mistakes e-commerce sites make. Let’s take a look at the different types of errors in e-commerce and how to avoid them.
Lack of Real User Testing – One of The Major Mistakes E-commerce Sites Make
A majority of e-commerce sites rely primarily on surveys and data to create their designs. While such data can be helpful, they don’t put a real person into the process. You can easily find people to survey, but their answers are often theoretical. Surveys don’t put someone in your shopping cart or ask them to navigate your site to purchase something. So, when you design the e-commerce website based on survey data, often it fails to fit real-life scenarios.
On the other hand, real user testing puts potential customers into a real-life scenario. This puts you in a much better place to understand how your site flows and where there are points of friction that need to be rectified and improved. If you are doing design work for your e-commerce site, try to get a few people to sit in front of your site with a script and follow what they do and how. Thus you can access a lot more actionable data than simply asking people to take part in an online survey.
You Have an Incredibly Confusing Checkout Process
When you are trying to create a seamless shopping experience, you should be more careful about designing the checkout process. Often it is seen that a poorly designed checkout process is one of the biggest mistakes e-commerce sites make, without even realizing the issue.
You are likely to lose potential customers if you’re not making it easy for the user to reach that final purchase point. There are a few ways to make your checkout process less painful :
- Make sure your product page is simple and easy to read. If customers don’t understand what they’re purchasing, they can’t go to the next step. So, you need to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for.
- Use the search box to help customers find what they want.
- Make sure the navigation bar is easy to see.
- Keep the checkout process short and easy to complete. If you’re asking for information a customer doesn’t need to provide, they’ll probably leave the site. Also, if you ask customers to scroll too much or click too many times to complete the checkout, then you might be testing their patience level. Not a good idea!
- Be sure to have a strong call to action.
Make sure the customer knows what they are doing at every step, and you’ll have an easier time closing the sale. And once your customers feel happy and safe with your e-commerce website transactions, they are likely to return for repeat purchases.
You Neglected The User Experience
You’ve heard it repeatedly- People won’t return if your site doesn’t look good. And that’s true. But what about the experience on your site? How easily can users browse your products and find what they’re looking for? Can they quickly navigate to a specific page without clicking or scrolling a lot? How easy is adding items to their cart and proceeding with the checkout? All these are essential factors that create a positive user experience (UX).
You can make your UX more engaging and helpful by tapping into the power of visual content. When you include product images, lifestyle shots, and videos on your site, you can increase the number of sales by up to 80 percent. Also, you can try the best live chat app for website users to promptly answer questions that your customers might have any time of the day or night. This is a great way to convert casual visitors into serious buyers.
Your Site Has Incredibly Poor Merchandising Descriptions and Images – One Of The Biggest Mistakes E-commerce Sites Make
If you are trying to sell a specific product or multiple products, your best bet is to create dedicated pages for them. This will allow you to showcase your product in its best light and provide helpful information about it rather than burying it in a sea of random product listings. However, if your product descriptions are unclear (or non-existent) and your images don’t adequately represent your products, that can directly impact your e-commerce sales.
You can start by creating a list of topics and questions your customers are likely to have. Then, use your knowledge to write clear, helpful, and engaging product descriptions that put your customers’ needs first. Finally, ensure the images accurately represent your products and are high-quality enough to look appealing and professional. Also, it is important that the images you share come with the image zoom option. It is a great way to make sure that your images are clear and easy to see. It can be used to see details in a product, or simply enlarge an image so more people can see what you’re selling.
Few More Mistakes Of Designing Ecommerce Sites
Your e-commerce website is not mobile-friendly. Remember that mobile traffic is the future and your e-commerce site will benefit from a responsive design that looks good on all types of mobile devices.
Slow loading time can prove to be disastrous! Your e-commerce site speed contributes to search engine ranking, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. It’s also a major component of e-commerce conversion rates, lifetime value, and more.
FAQ or Q&A page is missing. This is one of the biggest mistakes that new e-commerce sites make and they later pay for that too! For instance, if a prospective buyer fails to find the answer “How do I get a quick refund after returning the product?”, then he may not proceed with the purchase! Hence, it is important to have an FAQ section filled with Frequently Asked Questions that can answer common customer queries in an easy-to-understand manner.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You now have all the knowledge you need to create a stellar e-commerce website. Remember, by keeping these tips in mind and always staying focused on your customers, you can easily avoid the common mistakes that new e-commerce sites make. And once these errors are successfully addressed, your sales figure is bound to shoot up!
Sweta is a veteran content creator, passionate traveler, movie enthusiast, music lover (reasonably good singer!), an informed reader …. and a coffee connoisseur! She has over 10 years experience in developing content for small businesses, internet marketing firms, website development companies and internet entrepreneurs. The experience has helped her develop in-depth knowledge about small business online which she now shares on the OnlismallbiZ platform. In her own words, “I am a dreamer and a doer!”