When you run an eCommerce business that sells online, you have to do a lot to help it grow. Marketing, customer service, and delivery are all exceptionally vital. The whole nine yards.
But what if after all these you still don’t make sales? It’s possible. Chances are it’s why you are reading this article. How can you make sales on your online store, faster?
You can start by avoiding the ten classic mistakes that trip up online sellers. If you avoid these mistakes, you will be halfway towards succeeding online.
1. Charging regular retail prices:
It is a mistake to charge regular retail shop prices on the Web. Amazon gives such big discounts to online shoppers.
Are they stupid? Hardly. What they are doing is training shoppers to buy from them. What stops people from ordering online is not security, it’s unfamiliarity.
You have to train people to trust you. To buy from you. And unless you give them an incentive, they won’t take the plunge.
Low prices are the best incentive. Nine out of ten times, you can afford it. Selling on the web is cheaper. You’re not paying an expensive shop rent, electricity bill etc. Perhaps you could make your products N50 cheaper per order. If you don’t offer this incentive, your competitors will.
2. Using a confusing site navigation:
Customers will leave your site if they can’t find what they want quickly. So be sure to make navigation intuitive. Minimize the number of clicks it requires for customers to find what they are looking for.
To improve navigation, review your analytics to see where your customers are dropping off and then optimize your eCommerce site accordingly. Crazy Egg is a good tool to know how customers are interacting with your website. Use insights from there to improve your user experience.
Speak with your developers about how you can make tweaks to your existing system, or look into more advanced solutions such as solr or sphinx.
3. Hiding shipping fees from your customers:
Be open and clear about your company’s delivery charges or suffer the consequences.
According to the 2014 ecommerce survey conducted by Visual Website Optimizer (VWO), 28 percent of customers abandon their shopping cart when they are presented with unexpected shipping costs at checkout.
It’s ok to charge for shipping, but you need to make it clear that you do, before customers go far in their purchase. A clear and brief approach to do this is to incorporate a “calculate shipping” feature directly within the cart that customers can use early on in the checkout process to determine the extra cost.
4. A winding or lengthy checkout process:
It’s common sense: don’t make people jump through hoops to give you money. If you are going to put obstacles in people’s way, at least wait until after they have given you their credit card number.
Make it easy for the customer to check out and don’t complicate the process. It’s important to remember that many shoppers would prefer not to invest more time than necessary completing their purchase, and are simply focused on getting their items, not on signing up.
5. Underestimating the influence of online reviews:
Seeing great reviews from satisfied previous customers convinces other shoppers to purchase a product or service. More than marketing copy or ads.
Online reviews are powerful because customers know that they are usually genuine, not curated and hand-picked by a company.
The VWO survey found that a whopping 55 percent of customers said online surveys influence their purchase decisions.
To increase your conversion rate, it pays to encourage customers to write reviews. You can offer a free additional product if the customer leaves a review. Encourage customers to upload their thoughts about your product or customer service directly on your site or social media pages.
6. Not having a mobile version of your site:
Mobile is eating up Nigeria. Seventy-six percent of internet traffic comes through mobile. This not only true for Nigeria. It is for Africa. And the world.
It is a huge mistake to forget about mobile users when building an ecommerce business.
7. Having an insecure site:
eCommerce sites, especially smaller ones, fall short of having clear trust indicators that users can be comfortable with.
Don’t make that mistake. Up to 25 percent of users stop an online purchase because of website security concerns.
A digital certificate provides authenticity of your website and an encrypted connection to protect sensitive data. It doesn’t hurt to have a little security. What’s more, you can get one quickly and within budget.
8. Having a slow website:
If your site is too slow, people will leave to shop somewhere else. People online are called “web surfers,” for a reason. They are not interested in waiting.
When you design a website, it is tempting to put in a lot of fancy graphics. They make your site look so much better.
It doesn’t look the same to consumers. Most of them will be looking at your site through a modem or a mobile phone. And all those juicy graphics will not only make your site slow to download, it’s also saps data.
If you want visitors to take out their credit cards, your site has to be attractive yet load real quick.
9. Using poor product images and descriptions:
Since a customer cannot pick up and hold a product and examine it on your site the same way they could in a physical store, a robust product description and images allow customers familiarize with the products.
Make sure the photo is big enough to zoom in on. Show multiple angles, available colors, etc.
Don’t copy the manufacturer’s descriptions for the products they stock. When you do that, it makes it difficult to differentiate yourself from the competition, especially to search engines.
The solution is simple, write your own product descriptions. Your descriptions don’t need to be as short as a tweet or as long as a novel, they just need to be descriptive, engaging and informative.
10. Making it hard for buyers to contact you:
Customers shopping online want to know they’re not going to be left stranded if they need help.
Give them confidence by letting them feel your presence.
The easiest way to do that is to include a live chat or a phone number in the header or footer of your website. Also provide an easy-to-find email address for customer service.