The growth rate of e-commerce has been exponential. But now a days, savvy online shoppers are not only looking for product deals, but they are also looking for a seamless shopping experience; from searching a product to excellent checkout process. And even a single error in the process, can result in shopping cart abandonment. While optimizing the website for shoppers it’s important for an ecommerce site to avoid these mistakes to improve its conversions as well as provide a rewarding shopping experience.
Mistake #1: Not Optimizing the Sites for Mobile
Mcommerce is on the rise, more and more people are using mobile devices to search and shop online. As per stats, “In 2013, retail purchases conducted on smartphones will net a total-sales revenue of $14.59 billion. By 2017, this figure will more than double to $30.66 billion.”
Responsive design is not only a requirement, but a necessity for every ecommerce site. So optimize your site design to be compatible with small screen sizes and devices for a better user experience on mobile. Stats say, “78% of mobile device users claim that the “look and feel” of a company’s mobile site has a huge impact on their decision to make a purchase from it.” Ecommerce sites which are not optimizing for these shoppers are surely missing out a lot of potential sales. Site like Fab.com have re-imagined themselves as mobile-first company.
Mistake #2: Not Paying Much Attention to Retargeting
Ecommerce visitors normally don’t buy on their first visit. As per AdRoll, “On average, 98% of ecommerce shoppers leave without converting.” So, retargeting is extremely important for an ecommerce business and a great means for shopping cart recovery. It helps in bringing those potential customers back who once have left your site without completing a transaction, by showing them the products in their abandoned shopping cart and other similar products again and again. Retailers are doing this through a number of ways, including personalizing the offer for a limited time period to increase their conversions.
Also, retargeting can be used to bring back customers who have earlier done shopping on your site. For example, if a customer has purchased apparels from your site in the past, you can target them by showing similar products to reinforce them to come back to your site and shop again.
Mistake #3: Not Leveraging the Power of Visuals
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” Visuals are incredibly important for an ecommerce site. Customers can’t touch and feel the product when they shop online, which makes it extremely essential to have high quality product images and videos to help them in decision making by providing them a virtual experience. “A comScore study revealed that when video was included in the shopping experience, visitors were 64% more likely to purchase than without it, and stayed on the site for an additional 2 minutes.”
For most of the ecommerce sites adding video with every product is not possible, but still you can help shoppers in making a decision by including product images from different angles. You can even provide a 360 degree view of your product through high quality images.
Mistake #4: Not Utilizing the Power of Social Media
According to a recent stat, 93% of an online research starts with a search engine and 68% of consumers check out companies on social networking sites before buying.” So, a proper social media strategy is very important to increase your customer base by creating brand awareness and by building a loyal social media community. 78% of consumers say that the posts made by companies on social media influence their purchases – Forbes.
Also, social media is an important customer service strategy for ecommerce companies. Customers now days expect quick response on social media and are using it as a medium to give quick feedback. “Researchers have gone so far to estimate that by 2015 more than half of all web commerce will be directed by social media influence.” Ignoring social media means missing a chance to engage your customers & prospects.
Mistake #5: Not Optimizing Ecommerce Websites for SEO
It’s very important to optimize your site for search if you want to increase your sales and conversions. If your site isn’t showing up when people are searching for your products, everything else is secondary. Search engine optimization is essential if you want to outscore your competitors and increase your sales.
So, Keyword research is not enough. You also need to ensure that your site has a good website structure, product category architecture, and great content to rank new product pages well. Earlier by adding targeted keyword in your content you may have directed visitors to your site but know you have to think from the point of view of users first.
Mistake #6: Ineffective ‘Call-to-Action’
Call-to-action button plays a very important part in increasing your sales by grabbing your visitor’s attention. They help in guiding them what they should do next. If you don’t have clear call-to-action on your landing pages, visitors will leave the site without performing the desired action.
The most common mistake which ecommerce sites often make is by including too many call-to-actions on every page, but this only confuses their visitors. The main aim of every ecommerce site is to make a sale so their primary call-to-action should be sales-centric and all the other important actions such as browse products, view more products, product info should be included as secondary actions. Focusing on a single primary call-to-action is crucial to increase ecommerce conversions.
Mistake #7: Not Providing Immediate Customer Support
One of the biggest reasons behind most visitors leaving an ecommerce site without buying anything is that they don’t know whom to ask if they need any information. Enable live chat, implement feedback widget on your website to solve this problem and enhance your shopper’s experience.
It’s very important to connect with your site visitors to earn their feedback and assist them if they face any issues on your site. If you want your e-commerce site to offer the same level of customer service and human interaction that a physical store offers than you need to be proactive in engaging your users. There are feedback tools like AmplifyConnect, LiveChat to help you earn users feedback.
Mistake #8: Poor Product Page Design
The Product page is the most important page for an ecommerce website as they play a crucial role in your conversion process. Well designed product pages will improve your shopper’s experience by providing him rich product information. Product page designs should be such that they look clean and attractive as well as convey a clear value proposition to your shopper by telling them why they should buy from you instead of your competitors. And, a good product description plays an important role in doing so. But, normally ecommerce sites don’t pay much attention to their product page copy, they just copy paste the product description from the brand site without providing detailed information which their shoppers are looking for to make a purchase.
Mistake #9: Slow Loading Pages
As it’s important for a retail stores to have a fast moving checkout line, similarly it’s important for an ecommerce website that its pages load faster. Stat says, “Every one second of delay in site load time can reduce conversion rate by 7%”.
Slow site speed will not only affect the user experience, but it will also affect your ranking in search engines. Friendly interface and easy navigation are important, but if your site is not loading quickly than your customer will leave your site without doing anything further. So, higher the loading time, higher the bounce rate.
Mistake #10: Not Doing A/B Testing
A/B testing is very important for ecommerce websites to know what is working for them and what’s not. And, its a great way to improve your overall shopper experience. There are so many elements which could improve conversions on ecommerce sites from A/B testing product pages to checkout process to their site design.
An ecommerce site requires much more than a selection of products and a link for buyers to purchase. So, avoid these mistakes if you want to improve your ecommerce site conversion.
Other things you SHOULD do to launch and run an online store
a) Research your niche - is there demand?
b) Know your customers - who exactly are you solving a problem for?
c) Find a gap in the market - is there some value you can add, or are you just a me-too store?
d) Have a marketing plan in place.
e) Avoid wasting time with distractions.
f) Think twice and thoroughly vet any company that guarantee sales.
g) Use a nice, clean design that you don’t have to tinker with.