When you start running a business, you should be ready for constant analysis and ready to improve different elements and processes. There is no chance to set the constant flow of clients and to increase sales if there is no wish to adapt the business to the demands of a contemporary customer. But mistakes in eCommerce business are unavoidable, just like anywhere else. The question is what to choose: to keep ignoring problems and to continue losing clients or to fix them as quickly as possible. The price is too high.
Take a look at the worst enemies of your eCommerce store to make sure they don’t influence your business.
Bad design kills a customer’s wish to make a purchase
Quality. Professionalism. Security. Guarantees. Exclusiveness. Interest. This should be in the customer’s head when he sees your online store. This can be achieved with the help of a quality design. The website is the face of your brand and it will form the attitude to your business and impression about it. Invest in it and get the attention of the customer.
Remember, that design is not just colors, fonts, and buttons. Nowadays it’s the art of communication with the customer. It’s the way you gracefully direct him to the checkout process with the help of different elements. The high-quality content and micro UX will help to achieve this goal.
Strengthen the customer’s confidence by showing who’s standing behind the brand. Give the contact information and show the security certificates. Sometimes business owners are not afraid to show their own photos on their websites. This may be a photo with a co-founder or with a business partner. In such a way they strengthen the bond between their brand and the customer, and increase the business credibility.
Do not underestimate the role of navigation for your eCommerce business
When a customer visits your store, he wants to find things quickly and easily. If you have a bad homepage, bad navigation and problems with the search, you may lose a customer in a few seconds. He doesn’t want to wait and he doesn’t want to bother, thinking how to use the navigation properly.
That’s why you need to take measures:
- Navigation menu: make sure that it is simple and within sight
- Search: set different filters and offers of similar or joint products
- Testing: check whether all above mentioned works well on all devices
This is a very serious nuance because mistakes in navigation lead to the following consequences:
- The bounce rate is increasing. For example, the customer has found you in Google but hasn’t understood what to do next. So, the only way for him is to leave the store.
- The conversion drops considerably. The customers get tired of searching for what they really need because it takes a lot of time. A good search can improve the situation. But it’s not the only option, especially if you have a big catalog with a wide range of products.
- AOV decreases. The customer will less likely choose something else because he won’t find it. And in all likelihood will choose your competitor. It’s obvious because if his store has a simple navigation and a customer saves his time, he will be right there.
Even if you have tons of traffic, but complicated/problematic navigation, all profit rates will suffer.
Choosing improper delivery options
Free shipping doesn’t work for all businesses. What works for one e-store owner may destroy the profit of another. In some cases, offering free shipping to clients is not viable. If an all-inclusive free shipping is not an option for you, there are certain ways to offer meaningful shipping deals that do work for your business.
- Free shipping on certain order threshold. Compared to free shipping, this is a more realistic tactic. Setting minimum order value thresholds is a method to increase the average order value
- Free shipping on certain products. It’s a usual thing for retailers to offer free shipping only on certain items
- Loyalty programs. Having a loyal customer base who purchase from you on a regular basis increases sales, stabilizes your business during lean times and helps you get the word out. Offering free shipping to your most loyal customers encourages repeat purchases and increases the lifetime value of your clients. But having a loyalty program is not enough. It needs to be engaging and mutually beneficial for the business and the customer.
P.S. – strive to provide transparent information on every delivery method. A nightmare for every customer is that he will find out about some additional fee when receiving a delivery. He shouldn’t pay a bigger amount, only the one you’ve shown during the checkout process.
Forcing the customer to register before making a purchase
Did you know that 30% of shoppers refuse online purchases due to forced registration? Filling the sign-up forms requires time and efforts. Offer the customers a guest checkout in two ways:
- Do not mention the word “register”. Replace it with “New customer” or with some other similar terminology
- The checkout process can be automatic. The user leaves an email and the password is sent to his email
- Offer an account creation on Thank you page but wait until they check out
P.S. – Get rid of the unnecessary elements. Remember that during the checkout process the customers are not shopping, but making purchases. So, remove the unnecessary elements which can distract the users: latest offers, top products, product category links. Keep the interface simple. For example, Dell focuses only on the checkout process on its page.
Give the customer a reason to return
Let’s imagine the situation that you are visiting an eCommerce store for the first time. You have added certain items to the shopping cart and now you need to register before making a purchase. The mission is accomplished, but now you see that the cart is empty. Now you need to search for those items once again. Sometimes during the checkout process, you can’t even see its status: whether the order was successful or not.
What is the way out? You need a persistent shopping cart. It has a variety of advantages:
- persistent shopping carts reduce abandonment
- if the customer visits the store once again after he abandoned the cart, there is no need to search for certain items as they are not deleted from the cart
- when logged in, persistent shopping carts follow a customer across devices
- it’s an effective way to remind customers about products they were interested in
Not enough info about products
Many of us compare the eCommerce stores with black boxes. Why? If we have an opportunity to touch the product in offline stores, the situation online is different. We can’t touch the product, twist it, smell it after all! That’s why customers need information about products. As much as it’s possible. It should be reliable and authentic. The most favorite product presentation nowadays is a video review. Your customer wants to examine the product from different angles to explore its features and to make sure he makes a right choice. Correspondingly, the customer needs less time to make a decision about the purchase.
A silent live chat may spoil everything
Live chat is a cool thing if your sales manager can reply in 30 seconds at least. If a customer waits for several minutes, he gets disappointed. This disappointment can make him leave the store as the expectations are not satisfied. Live chat means conversation. If you know that your specialists can’t respond quickly or they don’t respond at all, it’s no use to implement a live chat at all.
But I would recommend making it work. Having an automated and working live chat is a rewarding thing. Customers appreciate the care and your readiness to help exactly when they need it. Not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow. Right here and right now.
The list of mistakes in eCommerce business is almost endless. Some of them are critical and may result in the loss of profit. If you struggle with certain problems in your business, just leave a comment or say “hi” and we will find the right solution together.