There’s no denying that e-commerce is a lucrative industry. Globally, selling goods and services online is worth around $2.4 billion, and it’s a figure that increases annually! These days, it’s relatively easy to get started with a new e-commerce website.
Many people new to online entrepreneurialism get things wrong when they try to launch their new brands. As a result, they end up getting little to no sales, and most eventually give up and shut down their online stores.
If you’re reading this article because things aren’t going as well as you’d expected for your e-commerce site, here’s where you might be going wrong:
1. You’re using the wrong platform
Numerous self-install e-commerce platforms are available to download and install, and there are many hosted platforms you can choose from as well. As you can imagine, some of those platforms are great, while others are just pointless.
Which platform are you using? And does it offer all the functions and features that you need for your e-commerce website? Also, does the platform you use provide comprehensive help and support when you need assistance?
It’s always best to review and compare the different e-commerce platforms on offer. But, you should only do that after you’ve made a list of the functions and features you need.
2. Your website design sucks
All well-known e-commerce platforms come with a ‘vanilla’ theme once you get them up and running. They are basic in design but give you a foundation to customize your website design.
If you tried to design your e-commerce website and most people tell you that your efforts have been in vain, it’s time to hire a professional. Your strengths lie in selling things, so let an expert at web design handle your e-commerce site design.
You can hire a Squarespace designer or a professional that works with numerous e-commerce platforms to revamp your site. It’s a worthy investment that will soon pay for itself with regular increased sales.
3. Your e-commerce site is not secure
These days, most people that browse the Web typically see websites secured with SSL/TLS encryption. Such measures ensure people’s online communications are safe, secure, and private.
If you want customers to buy from your website, you must ensure that it has proper security in place. Also, search engines like Google penalize sites that don’t have SSL/TLS encryption, resulting in lower rankings in search engine results pages.
Most e-commerce hosts offer SSL/TLS security as standard, so if yours doesn’t, it makes sense to look for a more accommodating hosting provider.
4. Customers find it hard to navigate your site
An e-commerce website isn’t too different from that of a ‘normal’ one. Visitors need to have an easy way of navigating the content on your site, such as menu bars and internal page links.
Another area many e-commerce site owners stumble with is creating an easy yet logical page navigation structure. For example, the following design makes sense and works well:
- Home > Category > Sub-Category > Product
Whereas these structures don’t offer a simple flow for visitors:
- Home > Product
- Home > Category > Sub-Category > Sub-Category > Product
Be sure to organize your content’s navigation structure in an easy to follow manner.
5. No SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Having an e-commerce website that looks stunning and is easy to follow is one thing. But how are you planning to tell your target audience about your website? The one thing you must do on your site is SEO or “Search Engine Optimization.”
The idea behind SEO is to streamline the content on each page, ensuring it makes sense for both human and search engine visitors. If you’re new to SEO or feel it’s a topic above your station, your best bet is to hire an SEO expert to ‘optimize’ your e-commerce site for you.
6. Bad photography
Whether you sell products or services on your e-commerce website, you need to have some stunning imagery to showcase to your customers. If you upload photos that look like they got taken on a potato, you’ll significantly decrease your sales.
Having a good quality camera is one thing. But, knowing how to take great photos is another! If you’d rather not hire a photographer, learn the basics of product photography. You’ll soon notice a difference in sales by making such an improvement.
7. Putting no thought into product descriptions
Let’s face it: writing product descriptions for the things you sell, no matter how passionate you are about your products and services, is no fun! You might feel tempted just to copy and paste descriptions and leaving it at that.
However, you need to remember that badly-written product descriptions will impact your e-commerce business in many ways. For example, your website’s SEO will take a hit. And your customers won’t feel like they want to buy what you’re selling!
8. Too many checkout steps
Did you know that most people these days buy from e-commerce websites via their smartphones and tablets? According to this statistic, around 53.9% of all e-commerce sales will occur via a mobile device.
As you can imagine, when you’re trying to buy something on a mobile phone, you don’t want to spend ages going through different pages to complete the checkout process. Keeping that in mind, you need to check and revise your checkout process.
Your goal is to find ways of simplifying the checkout process so that customers can order things quickly. Otherwise, your site will suffer from abandoned cart syndrome.
9. Too few shipping options
One final problem that many e-commerce sites are guilty of doing is having too few shipping options. Customers want to have a choice in how they receive their goods. For example, some people may require urgent orders delivered with a reputable 24-hour courier service.
Be sure to offer at least two or three different shipping options. And if you’ve got a retail store, always provide a collection option too!
10. Lack of mobile optimization
Did you know that over half of the people who regularly surf the Web do so on a mobile device like smartphones or tablets? Thankfully, most modern e-commerce platforms offer responsive designs so that mobile users will see perfectly-formatted pages.
Check that you’re not guilty of having a mobile-unfriendly e-commerce site. If your site looks terrible on a mobile device, take steps to address this problem immediately!