Running a business is like climbing a mountain.
Sometimes you’re on the up-and-up, and other times you hit obstacles that hinder your progress. Like a rock climber, you need the right tools, expertise, and determination to reach the top.
That’s why it’s important to prepare yourself for success by avoiding common mistakes that other entrepreneurs make on their eCommerce journey.
You need to know who you are selling to, before you can sell your product. Good niche research is critical to your business’s success. Many online merchants fail to pay attention to this, and end up selling too many types of products to too many types of customers. Your business needs to focus on a specific niche that will make the right type of customer easy to target.
Today, a customer wants everything fast and easy, and if your website fails to do so, they immediately take the exit. Within a split second of time, if what they are looking for is not easily found or takes too long to load, your customer can move on to your competitor.
Improve the speed of your site by visiting Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool to discover what takes too long. Also, host your site with a trusted service provider that uses high-performance servers which are optimized for hosting websites.
As one thing, asking the guests to register before they make a purchase would make the transaction process much longer and more complicated. Furthermore, it encourages customers to commit to something they do not want to commit to (such as signing up for your mailing list or joining a sweepstakes). Lastly, as we have just talked, it pressures them to provide more personal information than they would be willing to give.
If a customer comes to your site knowing exactly what they want to buy, you don’t want it to take ten clicks to complete the checkout process.
There’s a reason Amazon has a 1-click option on many of its products: it’s because they know that for every step in the buying process, customers will drop out.
You may not be able to give new customers a 1-click option, but you still don’t want to over-complicate things: all you need is a ‘Buy Now’ button, a delivery and billing option, and a ‘Pay Now’ button. If you would like to collect their email address, please include it on the second page.
Customer service includes a lot different things. It includes how you respond to customer messages through your website. It includes how you respond to customer messages through your website. It’s how you respond to questions and comments on social media. It’s how you address customers complaints over the phone and via email. It’s any interaction you have with a customer that requires your attention and support.
Poor customer support (including slow response time, showing impatience, not offering refunds, etc.) is the surest way to lose existing customers and hinder getting new ones.
You might be surprised just how many eCommerce websites use low-quality, stock photos. This is another error that you find in less professional stores, and if you do the same, customers will put you in the same group mentally. Use a good camera, take shots from multiple perspectives and make sure that customers can zoom in to the image for more detail.
Another common mistake eCommerce websites make is to copy and paste their product descriptions from manufacturer instructions. There are two major reasons why this is a bigger mistake than people think.
First, your search engine rankings will suffer because Google will see your site as having duplicate content. Second, you’re going to look like a fly-by-night business that just doesn’t want to make an effort. You’re going to be seen as unprofessional, and customers are less likely to trust you.
An order tracking system is a best practice, but still not available on majorly new eCommerce stores, a crucial eCommerce mistake to avoid. With a number of apps that can integrate with the e-store the order tracking process is now fairly easy. Order tracking makes it easier for customers to directly check the status of their purchase. It reduces the need for them to contact support and wait long time for email replies.
The most important benefit of order tracking is trust and reliability in the mind of the customer. Another significant advantage is that the customer returns to check their order status, which leads to further sales. Order tracking can also reduce the customer’s high call costs and give them quick delivery information.
Customers just want to know what the shipping policies, return policies, and other store rules are before they buys from you. And there is no excuse not to post this information on your site in a FAQ, or anywhere else. Making your store policies clear upfront can save a lot of headaches later on from customers who are unhappy with an order they’ve placed.
Each shipping carrier has unique benefits and advantages. Although your business may not need every carrier’s services, it is best to offer a diverse selection of shipping options to customers. Some customers are looking for more affordable rates while others are looking for two-day or overnight shipping to have their orders expedited.
Your brand needs a variety of platforms, including social media, to be accessible. An active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other niche-related platforms allows you to connect and promote engagement with customers. You’ll also improve your marketing efforts by sharing great content with your audience, as customers who find your content engaging will likely pass it on to their own friends and family.
Wouldn’t it be great to answer half of your customer questions without even contacting the customer support? All a FAQ page should do is just that. Most web-stores ignore frequent questions completely. This leads to increased dissonance and dissatisfied customers. These frequently asked questions, such as shipping times, delivery times, product replacement and returns etc. can answer customer problems without even contacting support.
You’ve probably noticed that they group similar items together when you go to a brick and mortar shop, or even make it easy for you to find goods that are related to you. They will place a battery display in the electronics area, or include cases of mobile phone near the cell phones. The same can be done on your website, and can increase add-on sales for you business.
Categories make it easier for a customer to search items and easily enter the section in which they want to shop. This also helps the eCommerce store look professional, organized and appealing to the customer. Sub-categories are also recommended for quick access. Category management is in fact a defined area of control that should be looked after routinely.
You want to climb above your competitors and come to the top of your market. To do so, you need to learn from the mistakes of others, while keeping an eye on the prize.
Being aware of the most growing pitfalls faced by other entrepreneurs in eCommerce will help you avoid unexpected costs and time-sucking in your business.
Not only will you be sure that your eCommerce website it optimized for success, but you will create a following of happy, loyal customers that are excited to buy your products time and time again.