As an eCommerce shop owner, you are probably champing at the bit to offer your undoubtedly excellent products to your potential customers.
However, you most likely also know that in order to have a successful online store, you need to invest in your customer experience. Nowadays, it is actually not that difficult to open an online store but in order to run a successful online store you need to deliver outstanding customer experience.
For example, if it takes your visitors too long to purchase from your online shop or if they can not find the product they are looking for fast enough they will go elsewhere.
You need to know that customers expect an excellent and personal experience and if they do not get this in your shop, they will find another store that caters to their needs.
Sometimes new eCommerce owners are so excited about launching their new online shop that they forget that there is a big difference between having an online store vs having an online store which actually converts and brings in the sales.
For the latter, it means you need to make sure you reduce friction in the shopping experience. This can be be achieved from having high-quality product photos/videos, to a customized shopper experience tailored to customers’ needs.
For that reason, I want to now share with you a few common mistakes that new owners often make
I have already written about checkout optimization. However, one of the most common mistakes when launching a shop is when owners, in the pursuit of building a customer base, focus too much on getting customers’ contact details. This often means that the checkout is overloaded and cluttered with unnecessary information.
Forcing customers to create an account in order to be able to make purchases is not good business. Remember, you want to provide a smooth as possible checkout experience to customers. For that reason only ask for information that is absolutely essential to fill the order. So make sure you have a guest checkout.
Payment methods are important as not everyone wants to pay by credit card, hence make sure you have preferable payment options enabled.
Design over function
In an ideal world you would have both. But remember, if that isn’t possible, a beautifully-designed website on its own won’t sell your products because it needs to be functional at the same time.
Users nowadays like simple sites where they can navigate and find what they need quickly. You need to know that some visitors on your site know what they want and others need guidance, hence both search and browse functionality are required to have a website that sells.
I have already given some tips for optimizing your website in previous posts. Remember, when designing your website, find a way of integrate the functionality within it too. This means you need to take a holistic approach with functionality at the heart of everything you design, from the homepage to the product pages and the checkout.
Poor quality photos/videos
I’ve lost count of how many times I have heard people say “well the pictures we took of our products are not perfect, but I think they could work”. Unfortunately, this isn’t good enough in the competitive world of selling.
I mean, what is more important than photos/videos in a world where customers cannot see and touch the product she is buying?
A product’s photos and videos are extremely important if you want to have a successful online store. Think about photos and videos as an opportunity to present your products to customers in an attractive way. A good photo or video can make your products appear desirable, hence everything is important (background, lighting, angle, etc.).
Poor quality photos or no images at all for the products you wish to sell, will really negatively affect your sales. Customers will be confused or unsure as to what they are buying.
A perfect example is if you are selling a family pack of toothbrushes and in one photo you present your toothbrushes together with a tube of toothpaste.
Now customer is wondering if the toothpaste is included in the price or not. Any kind of confusion like this in the customer buying process should be avoided as it can distract them from purchasing on your website.
Therefore, make sure your photos are good quality and that they clearly demonstrate your products in a desirable way. You can also read more about product photos here.
So, these are some mistakes that are commonly made when launching a new eCommerce store.
In a nutshell, optimize your checkout to make it as simple as possible, functionality is just as important if not more important than design and good quality photos are essential for delivering a good customer experience.