13 Crucial eCommerce mistakes to avoid in 2021

eCommerce: The new and easy store. Customers can shop here sitting in their pyjamas and while food has fallen all over their clothes. But that’s the beauty of an eCommerce store and that’s the purpose too. Comfort.
But when customers don’t receive comfort while shopping from your store, then it is a problem you need to solve. 

Now, what are these mistakes that are making your customers’ experience bad?  How can you solve these problems/mistakes? 

Will a solution increase sales and improve cart abandonment rate? 

Here is a list we made to help you identify these mistakes and how you can salvage your eCommerce store. 

Common mistakes eCommerce store owners make

A business creates an eCommerce website to facilitate its customers with an easy and awesome shopping experience. When a customer is not delivered with the said easy and awesome shopping experience they lose interest in your website. 

Because as we know it “customer is King.”

Listed below are reasons why your eCommerce store isn’t doing as well as you intended it to.  

  • Research 
  • A defined target audience
  • Poor navigation 
  • Product pricing
  • No set SEO strategy
  • Weak security
  • Lack of payment options
  • Reviews
  • Product photos
  • Incomplete product descriptions
  • Inaccessible business information 
  • No guest checkout 
  • Lack of shipping options 

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Research

Like every PhD student has researched a lot before compiling a hypothesis of what might work, similarly your business plan is a hypothesis of things that might or might not work. 

This hypothesis will let you make mistakes that don’t cost a fortune. And like researchers, you always have people who have worked in the field earlier, laying a basis for you of things not to do. 

You can’t start a business without any market research, and that is just a rule you have to follow. Research is one of the most important components to take care of before you jump headfirst into a business idea. 

business without any market research

Every aspect of the business should be well researched. What problem are you solving, who is your target audience, or which website should you consider hosting your eCommerce business? 

Review research can be carried out at various spaces like Facebook, competitor reviews, google searches, forums, the list is basically endless. 

Feedback is crucial in a business, learn to take feedback (your own and the competitors) in a way you can improve it. This is the best approach to make improvements.

A Defined Target Audience

Imagine selling spectacles to someone who has 20/20 vision. It doesn’t matter how good the quality of your glass is, how great your frames are or how cheap you sell the product for. The person will never buy the product; they might get annoyed and tell other people to not buy from you too. 

To begin with, understand what problems you solve for your target audience. Once you have more information you can create buyer personas that are very close to your target audience. This information can be used to reach more people who match your buyer personas. 

The information would include:

  • Demographics
  • Purchasing behaviour
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Preferred platforms
how it looks when a brand knows

Here’s an example of how it looks when a brand knows its audience well. With everyone being pulled to use products that don’t test on animals, Fae Beauty is clear about its message. It is appealing to customers who want to make more ethical choices while purchasing

Poor Navigation

Navigation is to an online business what display is to a physical store. It can make or break your customer’s attention span. If you catch their attention in the first three seconds then you are good to go. Any customer should be easily able to find your products and what they are looking for on your website. If the website layout is complicated, the customer will get frustrated and just quit the website. 

online business

This is an example of how categories can be added to the footer while giving out all valuable information to the customers. 

Create categories, and subcategories, to make navigation effortless. No customer wants to come to a website and get lost or confused trying to find a product. User experience impacts search rankings and conversion rate. 

If the header doesn’t have enough space to provide all categories and details try putting up the information in your footer. 

Product Pricing

As stated earlier, research is critical which is why product pricing research is important. Once you have collected data with your target audience research, what problem you are solving for your clients, what they want, then you will discover what worth your product holds for customers. 

The most common mistake is to ignore the research for product prices. What if your manufacturing prices are higher than what clients are ready to pay? Contrarily, what if your customer is ready to pay more than what you had anticipated? 

Usually, businesses price their product according to what their competitors price it. But what if your research suggests that the customer base is unsatisfied with what the competitor is offering? Then you can charge a lot more with an improved product.

 

improved product.

The messaging on Dryfruit Basket showcases premium, heritage and ethics. The company donates to charity with each purchase. 

No SEO Strategy

If you are on the internet you have to play by its rules. The #1 rule is to have a great SEO strategy or else your business might not do as well as your dream of it. Any SEO strategy is like a sure shot of success. Slow and steady but worth it. 

If you are a local business make sure to optimize your website for local SEO whereas if you are an international brand, a different SEO approach will be useful for you. 

SEO strategy is the oxygen to a business and it needs to be implemented from the very beginning of the online business journey. 

SEO is not just spinning out SEO friendly content and targeting some keywords, there are technical aspects to it too. Make sure to have in place a technical SEO and SEO strategy to boost up your search engine rankings. 

Weak Security

Security is a serious matter when it comes to online businesses. Even if security costs are high, websites should invest in them, as there are various ways fraudsters can attack. There can be financial frauds, phishing scams and infected links. 

Your website at least should have an SSL certificate, an antivirus, and HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Facebook SSL

Websites that have their security in place display the padlock next to its name. As shown on Facebook’s website. 

Lack of payment options

Anything that hinders that process of instant actions or slows customers down is not appreciated at all. 

Not including the customer’s preferred payment option is going to drive them away. A customer will not create a new account only to shop with you once. 

Luckily there is an easy fix for this, if you have a commonplace CMS then it should already be added to your list. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t have your own CMS.

Reviews

Reviews build trust for new customers. A staggering 93% of people say online reviews impact their buying decisions. It is requisite that a website has reviews and social proof. 

Burrow uses social proof excellently—this item has 699 customer reviews and still has five stars, which tells any site visitor that this company is the real deal. 

Google suggests to get more customer reviews, you can send an email or a message on WhatsApp. 

Product photos

Product photos need to be 

  1. Easily accessible
  2. Clear and minimal
  3. Should show dimensions
  4. Feature the product dominantly
  5. Have clear or complimenting backgrounds
Product photos

As you can see, even though Nike has used contrasting colours in the first two images, They are still clear and clean pictures of the product. Then they give a detailed look at the product from all available angles. 

Incomplete product descriptions

Just relying on product images can’t be enough; they need to have persuasive text tagged along with them. 

Try and answer these questions about your product to write a compelling description. 

What is so good about this product? How is it different from similar items from competitors? Why should someone buy it?

Let’s look at Burrow. This product description is clear, concise, and broken into easily readable chunks. These quickly explain the key features and target audience, with an intelligent use of icons to keep it visually appealing.

Inaccessible business information

 Buying decisions are dependent on more than just the product or product images. Consumers also want to know about shipping rates, delivery windows, what the return policies are, and how to get in touch with the brand for questions. Not having these details can cause conflict with a potential customer. 

No guest checkout

How many times have you abandoned a cart because there was no option of guest checkout available? Yes, we know the answer. It is plenty. 

We know the reason why eCommerce stores don’t give the option for guest checkout, it’s so that they can collect data, like emails and phone numbers of the customers. 

If as an eCommerce store you have to make creating an account necessary, make sure at least to make it easier with one-click social or Gmail account creation.

Lack of shipping options

Free delivery isn’t considered a perk anymore, with over 75% of customers feeling that their shipping expectations are not met, this is a big chance for eCommerce sites to up their shipping game. 

 

The customer only requires three things :

  1. The product
  2. A fair price 
  3. Fast and reliable shipping

If this criterion is met the customer is satisfied and likely to make a purchase again.

Wrapping it up

Always keep in mind to think like a customer. Always put your customer first. Make navigation easy, put up better quality pictures, create a safe space for shopping and make everything faster and simpler. 

If you ever have any confusion while making changes to the website, make sure to ask yourself the question, “how will this make the customer feel?” By putting your customer first you are creating a happy shopping experience which will make them come back to shop again.

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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