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Business Tips

Top 5 Mistakes Online Store Owners Make

06/24/2020

It’s no secret that running an eCommerce business isn’t a piece of cake. There are so many things that you have to keep in mind for everything to work like clockwork. After all, you want your customers to be happy, your client database to grow, and your revenues to increase consequently. Yet the huge percentage of people who leave the store without actually buying something from you can be far beyond disappointing. Especially after all of the hard work, effort, and resources that have been put into leading them to browse your website in the first place.

In this guide, we’ll gladly share what NOT to do in order for your online store and business to prosper and give tips on how things can be done on real examples of famous brands. Let’s break down the 5 common mistakes that are made all too often by owners of eCommerce businesses.

1. Unoptimized Website Speed

The first yet highly important mistake that is often made is ignoring the question of how fast the website is. With poorly optimized site speed you may be continuously losing more than you can afford.

To be more specific, no one likes to wait. And the longer your users spend waiting for a page to load, the unhappier they are with the overall experience and the likelier it is for them to close the page. The number of clients that drop away without buying anything from your store just because they weren’t patient enough can surprise you.

Again, if you put on the scale the labor and money that you’ve spent to get people to your store and weigh it against how many of them actually converted and bought something, you can be appalled at the losses. So, don’t overlook the crucial point of site speed, period. If you’re wondering how to make Magento 2 faster or how to optimize your Shopify, WooComemrce, or some other store, pay attention to a couple of key pointers:

  • do you have a strong enough web hosting,
  • are all of your images optimized,
  • are you using caching tools wisely,
  • did you get rid of all the excessive page elements that cause unnecessary friction,
  • are all of your extensions and plugins up to date.

The mentioned above are just some of the things that can get you started as you perform an audit. Ultimately, you have to dig deeper and research what is making your store slow down, at which point do potential clients “fall off”, and make conclusions regarding how to change that.

2. Poor Navigation, UX & UI

Many things can hit off the wrong track simply because of your bad UX or UI decisions. Good design solutions mean not only the overall appearance of the website and its appeal to users, your online store needs to be intuitive and easy to navigate.

That said, those who are browsing your website shouldn’t be wasting their time on allocating a needed item. Your users shouldn’t be frustrated by weird pop-ups, drop lists, or other elements of the website that are just not convenient to use. Otherwise, people will leave your site and most likely won’t come back.

To give some specific examples of how to do things right, this UX / UI guide for 2020 collects the recent trends that can help to make the most of your online store. Some of the tips include:

  • sticking to a minimalist style,
  • having a neat and clean design without too many elements,
  • placing all the necessary and key data on products in a way that it’ll be at the users’ fingertips,
  • integrating modern technology (such as virtual product try-on),
  • implementing chatbots and virtual personal assistants,
  • working on the mobile version of the site.

Below you can take a look at the official Maybelline New York website as an example:

The importance of your online store’s mobile version shouldn’t be underestimated either. More and more people use their mobile devices to make purchases on a daily basis, meaning that your website should be just as easy to use from a smartphone or tablet as it is from a desktop computer. To achieve this, it is vital to give your mobile design additional consideration.

Plus, mentioning current trends, PWAs (progressive web applications) that allow your website to function as a native downloadable app, are a matter worth considering for your business too.

3. Ineffective Search & Unpersonalized Picks

Not finding what’s needed quickly and effectively is a key reason why users leave your store. It must be very simple to find what you’re looking for. That said, smart search bars that have autofill can be handy. Similarly, proper product categorization and filters can save people some time, getting them right to the place where they should be. Here’s an example of the official Sephora page:

Not relating to your shoppers and not showing them that you understand their tastes is a very common mistake too. Thus, personalized eCommerce shopping is one more point to jot down. By adding functionality to your online store that’ll be able to analyze the preferences of the user and offer picks that can fit their tastes, you can (and will) raise your chances to make the sell. Not only cross-sell or upsell related items. We’re talking about “What else you might like” blocks that, for example, often appear on product pages.

4. Inconvenient Cart & Checkout

When people have put things in their cart, it’s your additional chance to convince them to buy the products. The shopping cart section of your website must be easy to find, should look nice, and have all the data on the items plain to see (i.e., the price, the size, the shipping details, etc). No hidden fees. This is how the cart of the official Adidas website looks like (it’s checkout screen is available below):

Another often occurring flaw is the long, draggy, unorganized multi-step checkout process. People don’t enjoy filling out loads of fields that are scattered on 9 steps. They want to have those payment methods that they find suitable and convenient right at hand as well.

The bottom line, it should be easy to buy! This is exactly why the current trend of having all the checkout elements in limited tabs or, even better, on one page is revving into gear.

5. Neglecting Customer Retention

Finally, the unpardonable error that online store owners make is targeting their business solely at one-time sales. Having sold their product or service to a client once, they forget to continue nurturing them, building a stronger relationship, and inviting them to buy again. 

It’s more than absurd to overlook how important returning customers are to any business. These people already know you, they’re much more likely to become your regulars. Without a doubt, attracting new customers is an important matter, yet if you’re not giving existing ones the due attention, you’re just losing money.

Moreover, it’ll cost you more to acquire a new customer than to get an existing client to make another purchase from you. That said, according to the customer loyalty statistics by 99Firms:

“US e-commerce sites make 40% in sales from 8% of loyal visitors. Loyal clients spend 67% more than new ones.”

There are numerous ways you can get clients to return to you, one of such powerful tools that are perfect for the eCommerce field are Instagram Shops. Instagram as an eCommerce strategy is a wonderful way to make clients return to you and buy more of your products. This can be done by tagging products that are on the image of the post or Stories. Take a look at the official Calvin Klein Instagram account:

Summing up, when it goes down to your online business it makes sense to learn from other people’s mistakes and use the best practices. By dedicating time on optimizing your website’s speed, performance, look, and ease of use, you’ll already be making a huge step towards success. Plus, don’t forget about those clients that you already have, it’s simpler to connect with them again than to win over a new customer!

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