Starting an eCommerce business can be easy but maintaining one? Not so much. New challenges arrive every so often, and there’s a lot to get right. Not seeing what all of these challenges can be is part of the difficulty, but finding out the common mistakes eCommerce businesses make can increase your chances of success.
Top Mistakes of eCommerce Businesses
1. Having a design that’s confusing
An eCommerce store isn’t just about the product, although that is, of course, a high priority. eCommerce is all about giving customers an “awesome” experience so that they’ll come back again and again, and hopefully, spread the word so that their friends will too.
The thing about online stores is that a customer can’t just pick up a product they see displayed along the way and then head over to the cashier to pay for it. They have to cart it, log in, and type in their personal details before they can checkout. And along the way to the checkout is a dozen other paths that can make the process confusing and cause your customer to lose interest in the product.
A great eCommerce business is one that keeps the customer on the proper path from start to finish. And that begins with a website structure that manages to make everything clear to the user—where to go, what to do, and how to do it.
2. Not showcasing your products to their full potential
Unlike in-store products, which your customers can touch and feel, your clients have no way of examining the products that they’re buying online except through images. But some companies make the mistake of taking pictures of a product without giving the viewer a greater understanding of how it really looks or feels.
Even the best product can look unappealing with the wrong kind of photography. Your potential customer not only needs to see the product but to envision it in their hands and in their home.
Another way that businesses miss the mark is through uninspired product descriptions. Compelling photos should be paired with persuasive copy. Why should someone buy your product or service? How is it any different from your competitor’s?
Simply describing a product doesn’t help sell it. Buyers need to know how your product will benefit them.
3. Assuming that advertising can fix everything
One of the common mistakes eCommerce businesses make is investing heavily in advertising to the exclusion of almost everything else. Advertising is a core marketing strategy, but it’s not the only channel of growth. And depending on it like a lifeline is not going to save your business if you have a weak marketing plan.
It works, but advertising can only let you acquire new customers or keep your brand in the minds of old ones. It can also get quite expensive in the long run.
What helps businesses make more profit? Investing in loyal customers. According to Forbes, the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 14 times higher than selling to a new one.
A clear digital marketing plan that includes how to keep existing customers and build a stronger relationship with them will keep your expenses down and your margins high.
4. Providing poor customer service
At any point in the sales cycle, friction can pop up. A reliable customer service can quickly head off any potential problem so that your customer can continue with his or her purchase.
For most customers, a clear and defined FAQ page can resolve most issues. But if you want to provide a more interactive approach, a chatbot is the next best thing to a live agent. Furthermore, chatbots can operate round-the-clock and give most queries an immediate answer.
5. Not showing customer feedback
According to a study, 77% of consumers regularly or always read online reviews on which they base their purchasing decisions. Looking at that data, we can see how powerful recommendations can be in raising a product’s or service’s level of credibility.
No matter how good your marketing is, feedback from a real buyer will always be trusted by customers more. Customers become more confident in their purchasing decisions once they find out that other users have found the same product to be satisfactory.
6. Choosing the wrong platform
The platform you use to sell your services and products can greatly affect your marketing and sales. For example, Shopify is an excellent choice for small businesses because it has everything you need to launch a store easily, but it also has limited capabilities when it comes to brands that generally expect a higher volume of sales.
BigCommerce, on the other hand, has more built-in tools and features that can handle a large-scale business or a fast-growing one, although set-up may take a little longer.
Choosing the right platform is definitely something that needs a lot of consideration. One platform may provide an easy set up process but may not be able to accommodate apps and plug-ins. Another can offer a variety of themes to choose from but will not be versatile when it comes to content marketing and blogging.
It all comes down to what is right for the industry you’re in and the scale of the business you have going.
Mistakes eCommerce Businesses Make: The Bottom Line
All but one of the mistakes listed above have a common theme: not putting the needs of the customers first. When you remember that selling is not about you but rather about your customer, half the battle is already won.
Whenever you’re at a crucial point in decision-making, always ask yourself, “How will this benefit my customer?” By putting your customer first, you are creating a shopping experience that people will come back to again and again.