Starting an eCommerce business is a huge challenge, to say the least. Taking into consideration how much of an influence Amazon has on a worldwide scale, it is safe to say that eCommerce beginners and challengers on the market can easily crash and burn before they have the chance to establish themselves as a quality brand. And, no, that might not be due to low-quality products and services or premature launching of the brand. The truth is that your eCommerce site was probably built with mistakes that hurt its online existence in the very beginning. Do you know which are these?
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Here are 5 disastrous mistakes that are a threat to your eCommerce site.
Among the most popular areas where you mustn’t cut corners to save money is the design. If you want an eCommerce site that will make you the money you need to invest in a modern eCommerce platform with trendy themes and the right palette of colours for your brand. You need top talent that will tackle this easily and tell your brand’s story visually.
If you stick with a cheap solution and end up with a design that doesn’t engage the visitors, they will simply leave your website and go search for other, more interesting options. Therefore, capturing their attention the first time they visit your website is the crucial thing the design needs to achieve.
Sometimes the potential customer leaves your website because they find it too hard to get to the desired product. They don’t have the patience to navigate your complex site and simply leave. Therefore, you must make sure that you respect the best navigation practices. For example, the clickable items and buttons should be large enough so that they can be tapped on a mobile phone as well. Also, your website must have top-level categories that can be easily accessed from the top menu. Moreover, you should offer the opportunity to your potential customers to easily sort the products by important features including price, review ranking, freshness, best-selling items and so on. Finally, when it comes to easy navigation the BUY button should be very easy to find.
Bad Web Hosting (Technical SEO Errors) + Slow Speed of Site
The eCommerce sites are the type of sites that have the most SEO errors than any other type. These errors can be a true obstacle to search engine traffic which can prevent your target audience to find you online.
Here is what these SEO errors are and how to avoid them altogether.
- beware of duplicate versions of the same page which are caused by URL variables (those that include a question mark in the URL). Make sure you resolve this with canonicalization.
- the appearance of 404 pages – pages that don’t exist. Nothing is more off-putting for a customer who is ready to spend some money on shopping when they see this page instead of the product they are looking for. Use a crawling tool to find such pages on the website.
- another page that might appear (301 or 302) will redirect your customer elsewhere and this act will diminish the Google Page Rank which has a great influence on whether your site can be easily found online. You should also use a crawling tool to find such pages.
- all pages must be reachable from any links on the site. If they aren’t, the customers won’t get a chance to visit the page. Again, use a crawling tool to find such pages.
- The speed of the site is also a huge factor that falls within this category. If the site loads slowly, the customer will leave. In fact, according to recent research the fastest eCommerce sites load in 0.324s, the average in 2.67s and the slowest in 9.67s. Based on this, Maile Ohye from Google says that 2 seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability whereas at Google they aim for under a half-second.
No Target Audience
This is a major mistake that most eCommerce website owners make unintentionally. There are great chances that you are one of them as well. Who are you targeting as your potential customers? Who are your products or services intended for? Have you cleared that up? If you haven’t, you can’t beat your competitors and those already in front of you in terms of popularity. You need to become a trustworthy brand that knows their audience and their culture and provide for their taste. You can do that if you have an understanding of their interests, values and needs that your products can offer a solution to. And you can get all that information if you do a mix of data analysis, intuition and real-world conversations with your potential customers.
Complex Shopping Process
Of course, it would be ideal if your customer sets up an account on your website and you get their email information where you can send more of your promotional stuff, but if they want to buy something from you don’t make this a compulsory step. You don’t want to get in the way when they want to give you money and if they decide they want to do it willingly, that’s great. The shopping process should be easy and with as few steps as possible. Also, make sure all the fees are transparent and don’t surprise the customers with any unexpected fees because of which they might decide to leave the shopping cart.
Has this article helped you realise and discover the weaknesses of your eCommerce site? If yes, feel free to share it so you can spread the word and help others as well.