Think of your website as an investment! A gorgeous website with amazing pictures sells better but what actually makes an e-commerce website standout?
It’s the experience.
The website layout: feature display, user flow management, product launches are some of the “perception builders” for your company.
Not only do they make your company look rich and professional, but also provide you with exploratory insights into your product selling stats which you can use to remap your sales structure.
The best way to design is to understand how your consumers perceive your product. A simple example is comparing smartphones/tabs:
Due to the availability of multiple versions/companies for a single type of product, users tend to compare several of them: matching features with features.
So, one nice way to facilitate easy comparison is to have an easy to view chart so that the differences are seen at a glance.
In this article, we shall look at some common mistakes in your e-commerce website that can dent the intentions terribly. Let’s get started –
Choosing All Themes & Plugins
Several times, web-designers get tempted to focus on more attractive looks on a website rather than on key features that are actually required for the task.
Instead, while selecting a theme for your online store, first list out all the features that are important to your store.
After that, it’s totally up to you whether to go with a ready-made theme with these features built-in, opt for a basic theme to which you can add custom code, or better: code your theme right from scratch: personalize the entire design!
Another essential thing to remember is to maintain a standard designing methodology.
The thing is most shoppers have become familiar with a certain format for websites of online stores. Here are some examples:
- Shopping cart in top-right corner
- Easy zoom-in feature
- Contact details on header or footer
- Thumbnail viewing of product images,etc.
What I want to emphasize is that try not to force your user search for buttons to click.
Ensure clear Call To Actions (CTAs) right from the initial homepage to product display and shopping cart to checkout.
Slow Loading Sites
Losing your customer because of a slow loading webpage can come costly as you had already invested some resources in acquiring them. Shoppers searching for products actually expect e-commerce pages to load instantly so as to view more no. of products to choose from.
Hence, slow loading pages kills any shopping experience. In browsing, users are ideally accessing remote files stored in the web servers. The faster the remote computer, the faster the user will access the requested pages. That makes your choice of web hosting company or package very important.
So, it’s better to go with a quality VPS or cloud hosting option, especially since Google announced that it will take webpage loading speed into account while ranking pages.
This website mistake can be a technical issue. Therefore, it’s important to get your developer involved to find ways to improve the page load time for an existing website.
No Mobile-Site Experience
With increasing smartphone distribution, mobile visits are gaining momentum over desktops. So, if you want to optimise your store for anytime-anywhere purchase, invest quality time and developers in building a good mobile experience.
67% of users say they are more likely to buy a product from a mobile-friendly site. Also, 57% of users say they will not recommend a business with a badly designed mobile site.
Organic customer acquisition usually comes from user-user referrals or recommendations. A good mobile experience can uplift your brand recognition and shall be embraced with loyalty.
Thus, while tailoring your website for mobile-compatibility, remember to send out all the trust signals clearly – clear logo, secure website, contact details, testimonials, reliable payment options and gateways, and no spams.
Reviews are Invisible
E-commerce customers are very selective about what they purchase and the best option is to get them helpful reviews just when they are viewing the product.
In fact, based on a survey of U.S. mom internet users, people trust consumer reviews nearly 12 times more than the descriptions provided by manufacturers.
Many e-commerce sites either fail to sport a descriptive review visualization or users have to actually dig deep to view them.
This actually turns out to be a major shopping experience killer as then the user feels himself lost about the product.
Even if your layout is such that the reviews can’t be formatted along with the product, it’s advisable to feature a CTA to direct the user to the same.
Several times, a product review gets spammed by irrelevant marketing.
You can filter out those with using tags like “Verified Customer”, “Recent Purchaser” : this amounts to a greater shopping experience
One other addition is to have a segmented review system: that uses sentiment analysis to sort which reviews are positive, negative or others.
This helps specially when a product has 100+ reviews and you can’t expect the user to go line-by-line through each of them.
Forced Account Creation & Time-Consuming Checkout Process
A multi-step checkout process is again another mistake that is often made by many e-commerce sites. The drawback is that you are actually making your customer impatient: same as you would be annoyed standing in a long queue at a billing counter.
Also initial account creation even before viewing products brings terrible experience to a newbie user even after hopping onto your website from your marketing campaigns. Cart abandonment is almost certain in these cases.
To ensure a hassle-free and smooth checkout, it’s a good idea to offer multiple payment options, as suited to different customer profiles or geographies.
Take a cue from this example: for billing address, instead of asking the user to fill up the entire form, you can perform any one of the two:
- For a first-timer, start with pincode and GPS location: one click will give you the address.
- Direct him/her to the address fill-up form only if the delivery address is different from his/her current location.
- The next time he/she purchases from your store, view them the saved addresses to select.
Offering these options on a single screen reduces the no. of clicks or taps that a user has to make before completing a transaction.
Also never forget to optionally remind the user of an existing coupon code or gift cards remaining to be used. This shall not only enhance customer satisfaction but also improve retention rates after purchase.
Forced account creation blocks their buying-process, adds a step, and makes it more difficult and time-consuming to purchase.
Instead, consider following up with a customer, requesting that they sign up or register with your service after the sale has been made.
Funnelling customers to a point of purchase requires a lot of effort on your part, including marketing, product development, distribution channels, and more.
Once customers are in the checkout process, you want to capitalize as much as possible:
- Employ clear CTAs for checkout process
- Create Minimum form-fields and deploy automatic filling-up of user data
- Offer multiple payment options
- Account Creation notification after sale has been made
Though we have covered the 5 most prominent mistakes, there are always some tweaks that you can perform time-to-time and see which combination is most beneficial to your e-commerce strategy.
Just have a glance at the checklist before bringing your website into production:
- Monitor your website analytics by having Google Analytics installed. It’s really helpful.
- Consider putting a visible contact number in the header, and on the contact page.
- Keep your page load speed optimised to keep visitors engaged.
- Publish blog content regularly, focus on long-tail keywords and share it on social media.
- Customise your product messaging according to your audience.
- Use strong call to actions (CTAs) that drives users down the path you want them to.