Who said newbies must learn from mistakes the hardest way? Learning the ropes of eCommerce business by trial and error is not the smartest way to go about it. In this article, we introduce an ultimate guide with a comprehensive list of common mistakes that can trail significant damages and even ruin your online reputation.
Check it out to do it better.
A quick list of all eCommerce mistakes
- Developing own CMS or choosing an inappropriate platform
- Ignoring upgrades (every upgrade might remove the known vulnerabilities making the website less prone to hacker attacks)
- No clear unique selling proposition
- Not knowing your niche or focusing on too many niches at once
- Not investing in content marketing or focusing on the wrong metrics
- Not knowing your target audience and how to reach them
- No social proof
- Poor look-n-feel
- Poor navigation
- Ignoring or using overwhelming category pages
- Poor hierarchy
- Poor media mix
- No logo or using standard (software developer’s) favicon
Let us dive in 5 most common errors while launching an eCommerce website from scratch:
DRAWBACK #1: CHOOSING AN INAPPROPRIATE SHOPPING CART SOFTWARE
Whether you’re just launching your eCommerce business or you’ve been running an online store for some time, your eCommerce platform can truly grow or ruin your business.
The eCommerce platform defines how you showcase your items and sell them to your customers. The way it is configured and built also impacts how you bring new users to your site, and how you scale your online venture over time.
As soon as you have a business plan before your eyes, you need to consider the following factors to choose the right eCommerce platform. Ask yourself:
- What products you plan to sell and what’s your primary niche
- What’s your plan to scale
- What tools your platform needs to integrate with apart from the available by default
- Your budget
- Whether you want a templated design or a custom design
- What kind of experience your customers are looking for
DRAWBACK #2: NOT UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Now, you know what you’re going to sell, your business plan is in place, and you acquired the best shopping platform – what else?
The biggest mistake an online brand owner can make is the fuzzy knowledge of their target audience. It takes some time to understand what makes them tick.
You’ll have to take a deep dive into the market research to get the following:
- your audience actually NEED your product
- you know how to communicate your unique selling proposition
- you have a marketing strategy with you that pushes your target audience further in the sales funnel
- defining and understanding your target audience helps to create a resonating user experience and refine your brand message in your unique way for your particular customer type.
Simply, portray your buyer persona. Whatever your B2C or B2B business area is, keep in mind your buyer persona characteristics.
Conduct market research to create personas. This research typically involves:
- Researching what pain points your customers have
- Understanding the values that are most important to them
- Figuring out where and how they engage with content online
- Addressing what kind of problems your products solve for them
find a BUYER PERSONA template at the end of the article…
DRAWBACK #3: TRICKY NAVIGATION AND BAD DESIGN
Your eCommerce website should be a happy blend of functionality and design. It does not consist of a good look alone, you should convert users into buyers with it.
If your navigation applies confusing terms, content is difficult to find, and some features aren’t working properly, users will get frustrated and buy from somewhere else.
Work closely with a UX expert to optimize your website to make enjoyable user experience and smooth navigation for your customers. Helping users to find the information they are searching for faster will bring more sales to you.
DRAWBACK #4: SEO-UNFRIENDLY CONTENT
Your eCommerce website, starting from the Homepage and ending with the product descriptions, should offer the content that is enticed to reflect your target audience and optimized for search engines at the same time.
Investing in content that’s SEO-friendly means using the right high-quality keywords for your niche, and writing all your texts with the focus on what people usually search.
The website loads better, customers can find the site and navigate it easier, and the ratings on SERPs has improved. The team at Simtech Development delivers high-quality work for an affordable price on-timereview from Clutch about Simtech’s job for Kayamo, an online jewelry shop
DRAWBACK # 5 FOCUSING ON UNPROFITABLE NICHEs
Usually, we get quotes starting with a sentence “I want a marketplace to sell all kinds of items”.
Niche-specific shops may have fewer customers than large stores, but that’s what a start-up owner needs. With a smaller audience, you can more precisely optimize your marketing campaigns without getting involved in fierce competition with the already established giants. Your customers interested in a particular category of products have a lot in common. Consequently, you can easily predict their shopping behavior.
Quick tips for newbies while adjusting their eCommerce website content:
TIP #1 ADJUST PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS
Provide as much product information as you can. Sizes, materials or nutritional information, weight, dimensions, and any other pertinent data depending on what the product is. For example, in an online store for healthy food, you might include the ingredients or nutritional information and comments about the brand’s social responsibility. Using descriptive words rather than simply technical terms can have a greater impact on the consumer. Below is an example of one of our customizations for Humble Market. We included a new tab to make the product page more informative and valuable for eco-aware consumers.
TIP#2 MAKE ON-SITE NAVIGATION INTUITIVE
Apparel shoppers are growing impatient, and they’re not going to hang around a site very long if they can’t find their way around. Our latest storefront theme, the Generation Z theme, was designed with the focus on the hierarchy of product categories. With more categories made accessible, customers can browse easily and enjoy the clear representation of the website content. The improved navigation of the theme included:
- The catalog with product categories expands on button click and is available next to the search bar,
- Interactive keyboard navigation on site
- The first-level category page shows the number of products in the category, its sub-categories as well as sibling categories.
TIP#3 ADD SOCIAL PROOF
88% of consumers trust an online review just as much as a recommendation from a friend.
Customer reviews and other social proof evidence also add credibility to your assertion that what you’re selling is legit.
The Sales & Social Proof feature helps you in creating a sense of urgency and getting your shopper to take action immediately with the help of notifications:
- Number of people watching this product,
- Number of times this product was bought,
- Products left,
- and other customizable notifications.
The Product likes functionality can add value to your social proof strategy by displaying the number of product likes under the product image.
Additionally, you can create blocks for the most liked products and filters for them.
Of course, it is better to learn from other websites’ mistakes. You can find some real-case drawbacks on our blog. Alternatively, instead of searching for somebody’s failure and trying not to repeat the same, why not refer to professionals? Here at Simtech, we’ve got all a newbie in eCommerce can wish for: from the shopping platform licenses to hosting, customization, useful plugins, and more. And all of this is in one place from one and the same trusted development agency!