6 E-Commerce Site Mistakes (And How to Fix Them)

You’ve built your e-commerce site. Now, sit back and watch the sales pour in. Right?

If only it were that easy.

An e-commerce site is a profitable way to reach shoppers without a middleman. But many small business owners and entrepreneurs make mistakes with their e-commerce sites. Mistakes that lead to cart abandonment. Mistakes that lead to low conversion rates. Mistakes that cost store owners money. Mistakes that are avoidable. This post aims to highlight common e-commerce site mistakes and provide solutions to fix them. Here are 6.

#1 Mistake: Your Costs Aren’t Visible

Shoppers don’t want to spend time searching for shipping cost information. Many store owners make the mistake of “hiding” their shipping information. Perhaps you’re guilty of this?

Also, many shoppers make their way to the checkout and are then exposed to a host of extra charges. Doing this a sure recipe for failure. You will, more often than not, lose that sale, and any repeat purchases.

Solutions

  1. Make sure all costs are visible.
  2. Include shipping cost information near all your products.
  3. Let shoppers know of extra costs before checkout.
  4. Include a sales tax calculator for customers. The calculator helps them calculate the total cost of the order before checkout.

#2 Mistake: Your Product Descriptions Aren’t up to Scratch

Are you a store owner who has incomplete product descriptions? Are they generic? Not sure what the answer to these two questions are? Well, I urge you to review your products descriptions. Shoppers use product descriptions when making a purchase decision. So, if they’re generic or incomplete, chances are you’re losing sales.

Solutions

Review your product descriptions on your site and ensure they’re complete, accurate, and unique. Here is an example of a compelling product description of “Aura from the Women at Wrangler“. I took the image directly off the Practical E-commerce site.

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If you’re not sure what to look for, here are a few pointers from Kissmetrics on how to make product descriptions that sell:

  1. Understand your buyer persona – the imaginary customer who buys your products. What websites does she visit? What makes her happy? What makes her sad? You’re able to better engage with your customer if you understand them. It will allow you to move from being product centric to customer centric.
  2. List the features and convert them into benefits.  For example, a long lasting battery for a laptop might translate into the benefit of an entire day’s work without a charge. Be comprehensive. Customers only want to know what’s in it for them. They don’t care about you!
  3. Make sure your keyword is in your headline, sub-headline, and text.Include keyword in the name of your image, image description, and alt tag.
  4. Optimize your product images by using your key phrase in the file name, image description, and alt tag.

#3 Mistake: You Don’t Use People in Your Product Shots

E-Commerce sites are a convenient platform that offers a wide variety of products for sale. Yet, online shopping also has its drawbacks. Shoppers are unable to touch and feel a product before purchasing it. People can’t see how it functions in real life. They cannot see how that item of clothing will fit them. Many stores fail to address these concerns and they fail to reduce the shopper’s anxiety.

Solutions

  1. Create a real life representation of the product by including people.
  2. If you have the budget consider making a video or two.

#4 Mistake: Your E-commerce Sites Mobile Experience Is Poor

Mobile adoption continues to proliferate. A KPCB Mobile technology trends report – cited in Smart Insights, highlights that US consumers now spend more time using mobile digital media (51%) than browsing with a desktop (49%). See below.

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And if you’re thinking, “Well, this is the only usage. It doesn’t imply that customers even shop using mobile”, think again. Yes, research shows: conversion rates for mobile are lower than desktop, but they are on the rise as the below table depicts:

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-20-04-19-min

And they no doubt will continue to rise.

So, is your mobile site responsive?

Solution

  1. Do a full review of your site by visiting it as if you were a customer or use the mobile-friendly test tool from Google.
  2. Type in your URL and the tool will tell you whether your site is mobile friendly. It will give you a black and white answer. Either it is or it isn’t.
  3. If it isn’t, you can:
  • Install a mobile plugin, that will give mobile visitors a different experience.
  • Install a new theme to customize.
  • Redesign your e-commerce site.
  • #5 Mistake: Your Ecommerce Site is Slow

Customers will not wait for your page to load. If it’s slow your bounce rate will increase. a Slow page loading time also impacts your SEO rankings, as Google bots prefer faster page load times. So, the faster the better. Your site may be slow for various reasons e.g. your images may be too large or you’re not on a dedicated server.

Solutions

  1. The easy way to analyze your page loading time is to use Google Page Insights.
  2. Enter your URL and wait while google analyzes your page.
  3. Google will then provide you with a comprehensive report that details what you must fix. Fix those problem areas.

#6 Mistake: You’re Hiding Your Buy Button

This is common for store owners who have wordy product descriptions. It leads to the buy button not being visible. This mistake can contribute to lost sales.

Solution

Piers Thorogood, co-founder of We Make Websites recommends placing the buy button close to the product. Why? Because you cannot assume everyone who lands on your site knows its an online store. And if they don’t they’re not going to spend time looking for the buy button. Make it visible, like Nordstrom do below. Make it easy for people to buy.

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Final Thoughts

You cannot  launch an eCommerce site and hope for the best. When you launch, you need to make tweaks to ensure the best user experience. If you’re an e-commerce site owner making any of the above mistakes it’s time to fix them. Make these changes to achieve better conversion rates, reduce cart abandonment, and increase sales.

Are you making any of theses e-commerce site mistakes? What are the other mistakes e-commerce site owners make?

Published by

Nick Darlington

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Entrepreneur and Traveler.