6 common e-commerce websites mistakes
The Internet has opened a great market for many businesses, but despite many years of e-commerce practice some of them are still making cardinal mistakes that affect their web traffic and conversion rates. This careless attitude prevents businesses from growing and benefiting from plenty other opportunities offered by the web. Here's a selection of six most persistent e-commerce website mistakes that significantly affect both the sales and the impressions users have about the brand.
1. Lack of detailed product description
The dynamics of online shopping should be just as informative as making a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store. Since your users cannot see or touch the object themselves, it's your job to provide as much information as possible.
Unfortunately, plenty of e-commerce owners simply forget about it, convinced that a nice picture will do the trick. Well, it won't. Every item should include a proper description – size, dimensions, weight, materials and a few words about the brand or designer.
2. No proper visuals
It seems that we're all aware of the value of large, high-quality images and videos that show products from every angle. Actually, some of the businesses out there clearly forget about the visuals and offer their users small, low-quality photos that show nothing about the product in question.
To avoid cluttering your website, go for images that can be enlarged to 1024x768 pixel size. Make sure to include more than one picture of the product – industry experts say that four or five is an ideal number.
3. Long checkout process
Another cardinal mistake is the checkout process design. At this point in their buying cycle, customers are ready to make a purchase – instead of distracting them or complicating the process, make it as easy as possible.
An ideal checkout should be located on one page, where users can review their order, adding shipping and billing information. Together with a clear confirmation page, this should be enough.
4. Flawed site search engine
Search engines are crucial for all those customers who are in the initial stages of the buying cycle and aren't sure what they're looking for. An e-commerce website search engine should be designed to help them with finding the best match. It should be fast and offer a wide range of filters to help users refine their search. Sometimes, a plugin is necessary to ensure the functionality of the search engine.
5. Poor customer service
Even if you provide lots of practical information, customers will still want to contact you with a question or problem. Hiding this information will be discouraging for customers who are already engaged with your products. Make sure they know which context method to use in which contexts – sales, technical or returning items services should all have separate means of communication.
6. Badly designed shopping cart
Many owners brush off shopping carts as just another element of the website – they're actually more important than you'd suspect. Above all, a shopping cart needs to be functional. Customers should be able to add products, revise their quantities and easily change other product options. A perfect shopping cart will be clear, transparent and already include information about the available shipping methods and charges.
The mistakes listed above by no means exhaust all the possible things that can go wrong with an e-commerce website. To run a successful online operation, make sure that your website is user-friendly, functional, has a clear interface and simply invites users in to stay longer and shop.
Monique Craig is a passionate blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers.