There’s no denying that e-commerce is a growing industry. It’s worth billions each year, and more new online stores are popping up all over the place! What attracts people to the world of e-commerce is that it’s easy for them to sell to a global audience.
They don’t have to spend lots of money building bricks and mortar stores in various locations. Nor do they have to cover the cost of overheads like staff, bills, and so forth. Companies such as Amazon have made their owners millionaires, so it’s a viable concept.
The only trouble is; some site owners don’t get the runaway success they anticipated. In fact, a few e-commerce site owners don’t get any customers at all! Does that unfortunate tale paint a familiar picture for you? If so, you can take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.
The good news is that you can do something about it. Before you do, it’s worth establishing what went wrong with your website. That way, you’ll know how to avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
In today’s blog post, I’ll share with you some of the common errors that are often made when setting up online stores.
Poor quality content
One might assume that an e-commerce failure boils down to the products that no-one wants to buy. It might surprise you to learn that one of the biggest reasons that e-commerce sites fail is due to poor content!
The trouble is; many site owners don’t put their store content as a priority. That means they seldom write eye-catching product descriptions. Nor do they upload high-quality product images. I’ve seen sites that use blurry images resized from thumbnails!
We all know that the main way to entice people to view a website is having good content on there. If your product descriptions aren’t even mediocre at best, hire a copywriter. Contact product manufacturers for better images. Even better, hire a photographer and get professional product shots taken yourself.
No creativity or ideas on how to use products
Although this is a related topic to the previous one, it deserves its own section. Yes, people want to read a description of what a product is all about. But, you’re more likely to make a sale if you also talk about what you can do with the product.
For instance, let’s say that your online store lists computer parts. PC cases aren’t an interesting topic in general. But, you could be more creative with your product descriptions for it.
Give examples of how customers can “mod” their cases. You could even have photo examples showing modifications like water cooling and LED lighting. When folks see the potential of an uninteresting product, they’re more likely to buy it!
A poor performing platform
We all know there are plenty of e-commerce platforms on the market. They range from open-source ones like osCommerce through to hosted, bespoke solutions like Shopify. You might not know it, but the platform you use could be letting you down.
For instance, take the checkout process. The solution you use might offer a long, drawn-out process. That usually results in one thing: abandoned cart syndrome. If you’re serious about selling online, I recommend getting advice from an ecommerce agency. That way, you can be sure that you use the best platform for your needs.
I also suggest trying demos of different platforms. It’s worth seeing what the options are before you make a final decision.
Lack of SEO
In case you didn’t know, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. An e-commerce site is, to all intents and purposes, a website. And all websites need SEO if people are to find them in a search engine!
It still shocks me to find that many site owners don’t even realize the importance of SEO. Examples of common search engine optimization problems include:
- URLs with parameters and attributes instead of keywords;
- Content without a primary keyword or phrase;
- Duplicate content (such as two versions of the same website);
- Page titles that aren’t relevant to the content.
Google has a free PDF you can download that shows you how to give your site an SEO overhaul. Of course, you could always hire a consultant to review your site. They can then suggest ways to improve your e-commerce site’s SEO.
Lack of payment options
When a customer wants to buy something from you, they expect to be offered a range of payment options. For the most part, e-commerce sites should offer debit and credit card payment options.
I’ve seen many sites make the mistake of only offering PayPal. Sure, you can use cards with PayPal. But, what if your customers can’t or won’t use the service? How will they pay you?
It makes sense to sign up for a merchant account and payment gateway service. That way, you can take payments from anyone.
I hope this article has been of use to you. By following the tips in it, you will soon improve the flow of visitors and sales on your site. Good luck!
Photo credits: Pixabay