9 Mistakes Ecommerce Businesses Commonly Make
Ecommerce businesses have become one of the most popular business models in recent years, and it's easy to see why. With the ability to reach customers all over the world and the convenience of shopping from home, ecommerce has revolutionized the way we do business.
It's not always plain sailing for ecommerce businesses, though, as there’s a lot they can get wrong as well as right. Here are nine of the most common ecommerce mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Poor ecommerce website design and navigation
One of the most important aspects of running an e-commerce store is having a website that’s easy to navigate and visually appealing. A poorly designed website with confusing navigation and slow load times can lead to frustrated customers, and frustrated customers don’t buy.
Your website represents your brand and is the first impression a customer will have of your business, so an ecommerce website design that’s both visually appealing and easy to navigate is essential. It should have clear categories and subcategories, making it easy for customers to find what they're looking for. If they can’t, they’ll simply leave the site and go to a competitor.
2. Lack of mobile optimization
In today's world, mobile devices account for more than 50% of internet traffic, so it's essential that e-commerce businesses have mobile-friendly websites. Many online sellers make the mistake of not optimizing their websites for mobile, which can lead to a poor user experience and lost sales. To avoid this, invest in a responsive ecommerce website design optimized for all devices, including smartphones and tablets.
And a website not optimized for mobile isn’t just unattractive, it’s also hurting your search rankings. Google now gives priority to mobile-friendly websites in its search results, which means if yours isn’t optimized, it will place further down the search rankings, hurting your online sales.
3. Inadequate product descriptions
When customers shop online, they rely on product descriptions to help them make purchasing decisions. They want to know what they’re getting before they buy it, but all too often ecommerce businesses create product descriptions that don't provide enough information or aren’t written in a way that’s engaging to customers.
Providing detailed product information, including product features, specifications, and good-quality photos, can help customers make informed decisions. Without proper product information, they may hesitate to buy from your ecommerce store.
4. Not offering multiple secure payment options
Today’s consumers expect to have choices, and payment options are no different. Giving customers a wide range of payment options is essential if you want to increase customer satisfaction and sales. Ensure you offer popular payment methods like credit/debit cards, PayPal, and other online payment solutions.
It’s also important to make sure your payment gateway is secure. Customers are providing personal information (credit card details, address, etc) so need to know they can trust your ecommerce website. Always keep your website’s SSL certificate up to date.
5. Overcomplicating the checkout process
A complicated checkout process can lead to cart abandonment. If there are too many steps involved or you require customers to complete a complicated registration process before buying, they may decide it’s not worth the effort (30% of customers abandoned their cart if asked to register first).
Online sellers can improve the customer experience by simplifying the checkout process. This is done by limiting the number of steps from product selection to payment, and keeping the instructions clear and simple.
6. No customer reviews
Reviews are crucial for a number of reasons, not least because they build trust with potential customers, improving the reputation of your ecommerce store in the process. The more positive reviews a product has, the more likely a customer will be to buy it.
A study by the Spiegel Research Center found that products with as little as five reviews had a 270% higher likelihood of being bought than those without reviews. So make reviews a priority on your ecommerce website.
7. Poor ecommerce customer service
If you want to build trust and loyalty with your customers, good ecommerce customer service is essential. In fact, it’s more important than many ecommerce businesses realize, and should never be just an afterthought. Not putting the time, effort, and resources into your customer service will harm sales, as well as your brand’s reputation.
Providing excellent ecommerce customer service can help build long-term customer relationships and increase sales. Develop a customer service team who are knowledgeable, responsive, and able to resolve any issues that may arise.
8. Ignoring Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for ecommerce businesses that want to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract organic traffic to their website. Without proper SEO, your ecommerce website will be unlikely to rank high on search engines, making it difficult for potential customers to find you.
Invest in SEO strategies that optimize your website's content and structure to ensure you appear higher on search engine results. Consider using platforms such as Ahrefs and Semrush, which can help with keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building.
9. Underestimating the competition
Ecommerce is booming, and while that’s a good thing overall, it also means ecommerce businesses face stiff competition from other online stores. Underestimating the competition is a common mistake made by online sellers, leading to lost sales and a decline in customer loyalty.
Conduct a competitive analysis to gain insights about your competitors and how you can improve your own business and stand out from the rest. You should also stay informed about your competitors' products, pricing, and marketing strategies.
Online sellers have plenty to focus on without having to worry about VAT too. If you’d like to find out more about VAT compliance services for your business, email us at email@example.com and we’ll arrange a free call with one of our VAT experts.