15 eCommerce Website Mistakes You Should Pay Attention to

If you’re running an eCommerce website, you will surely agree that it is more complicated than it may seem at first glance.

Contrary to popular belief, running a successful eCommerce business is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of deal. Instead, it requires a lot of hard work and research.

Naturally, as with many other business ventures, there is plenty of room for mistakes in the world of eCommerce. That’s why every responsible eCommerce business owner needs to make sure they get familiar with some of the most common mistakes and do their best to try and avoid them.

And no, none of these mistakes will instantly destroy your business if you ever happen to make them, but they will most certainly make it near impossible to grow your venture and reach success.

With that in mind, here are the 15 most common mistakes you should certainly avoid making as an eCommerce website owner.

Trying to develop your own CMS

The fact of the matter is that, unless you’re a professional web developer, you really shouldn’t try to develop your own content management system (CMS).

Not only will this be near impossible without the right knowledge and the necessary set of skills, but the final result may turn out to be subpar – to say the least.

That’s why it’s always smarter to turn to the right industry professionals to help you out, instead of just wasting both your time and resources on trying to achieve something you’re simply not qualified for.

Choosing the wrong eCommerce platform

Choosing the wrong eCommerce platform for your business is arguably even worse than trying to develop your own CMS.

Aside from the fact that you’ll be running the risk of losing a competitive advantage over other similar eCommerce businesses, you may also experience some serious increase in tech debt.

Unless you choose a platform that will seamlessly enable your business to grow and expand, you may be facing some serious issues down the line. This will not only lead to instability and performance issues but will also prevent your endeavor from meeting its business goals.

Overlooking security and the lack of security certifications

When running any type of online business, data protection should be your top priority. This doesn’t only apply to your sensitive business data but your customer data as well.

Unless you can show your customers that your eCommerce business is entirely safe to interact with – where’s where security certifications play the main role – you can’t really expect them to be inclined to do business with you.

So, make sure you have the right security protocols in place to prevent this from happening.

The lack of a clear value proposition

Let’s face it, when visitors land on your website, they want to instantly be able to determine what your site’s all about.

So, unless you make your offer super clear, chances are they’ll simply abandon it. That’s why you need to make sure you put your value proposition front and center. Otherwise, you can’t really expect your visitors to ever head down the sales funnel.

A far likelier outcome – in case your value proposition is not clear – is that your visitors will simply click the “back” button and look for what they need elsewhere.

Having low-quality design and copy

It is true that design and copy are two very different elements of a homepage, but the fact of the matter is that they simply can’t function without one another.

If any (or both) of these two elements are lacking, your homepage won’t be effective in doing what it’s meant to do in the first place – attract and engage visitors. That’s why you need to make sure that both your copy and your design work well together, that both of them are high quality and that combined, they match your offer.

A poor mix of text and visuals

According to the NYC web design experts, the text and visuals you choose to include in your website need to be perfectly balanced. However, this doesn’t mean you should aim at having equal par text to visuals ratio on all of your pages.

Instead, aim at providing the right amount of each that will bring the most value to your visitors. Since the main purpose of your eCommerce website is to intrigue your visitors to explore your business further, you need to make sure you present them with enough textual and visual information that will catch their attention.

The lack of seamless navigation

Another common mistake many eCommerce website owners make is not paying enough attention to the website’s navigation.

Since you – ideally – want your visitors to proceed to explore your website once they land on your homepage, not enabling them to do so easily will drive the opposite results.

For that reason, you need to make sure that the navigation on your eCommerce website is easy and smooth so that your visitors don’t face any difficulties when browsing your website.

Technical difficulties

If you wish to come off as a reputable business, there simply is no room for technical glitches on your eCommerce website.

Broken links, pages that take too long to load, “oops, something went wrong” and similar issues need to be completely eradicated.

Naturally, no matter how hard you try, your website will still sometimes experience technical difficulties. That’s why you need to make sure you run regular checkups and remedy any problems as soon as you notice them.

The lack of category pages

Since you’re running an eCommerce website, you need to make sure you clearly present your offer to your customers. That’s why you simply need to create category pages.

When landing on your website, your visitors will either be looking for a specific product (or type of product), or they will wish to browse your entire offer.

The easiest way to make exploring your website as enjoyable as possible is by dividing your products into different categories. Make sure that every product category has its own separate page, and ensure that finding and browsing those pages is as intuitive as possible.

Poor page hierarchy

Along similar lines, you also need to make sure that when grouping your products into categories, it actually makes logical sense.

For instance, if you’re running an eCommerce business selling athleisure wear, your page hierarchy should look something like this:

Home – men (women, kids) – shoes – running shoes

Instead of this:

Home – running shoes – shoes – men (women, kids)

It’s important to keep in mind that while it is necessary to divide your products into different categories, there’s really no need to go too in-depth here. That’s why product descriptions exist.

So, make sure you create proper categories and apply proper page hierarchy so that your visitors can find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

Subpar product descriptions, info and photos

Another crucial step when running an eCommerce website is to provide your visitors with as much information about your product(s) as possible. That’s why it’s always advisable that you showcase product descriptions, info and even photos. 

Simply put, you can’t really expect your visitors to be interested in purchasing your products if they know nothing about them. So, make sure you give a brief product description containing all the relevant information – such as size, shape, material, intended use, etc., as well as a product image.

Do keep in mind that product images need to be of high quality so that your visitors can get as clear of a picture (no pun intended) about them as possible.

The lack of social proof

Since we’re living in an age where virtually anything can easily be found online, not providing social proof to your visitors can really be damaging for your business.

Unless you make sure you share customer testimonials, product reviews and referrals – among other types of social proof – your business will most likely come off as shady and unreliable.

The fact of the matter is that modern-day consumers will often do extensive research about a product or even business before they decide to spend their hard-earned money, so you need to make sure you enable them to learn as much as they can about both your products and your organization.

The absence of service info

As an eCommerce business, you won’t only be selling products to consumers; you will also be providing a number of services that include delivery, shipping, product returns and customer support, among other things.

That’s why you need to make sure you have all the service info clearly listen on your website. This should include the shipping and delivery prices, contact information of your customer support, as well as your return policies.

That way, your customers can know exactly what to expect from your brand before they choose to interact with it, which can greatly affect your conversions.

Therefore, make sure that your eCommerce website is not lacking in these important pieces of information, and present them as clearly as possible.

No guest checkout option

It’s important to note that in this day and age, online consumers are far more familiar with how things work.

Modern-day consumers understand that businesses do benefit greatly from having them need to create an account in order to make a purchase. This is because if you do create an account to make a purchase, businesses gain access to a greater amount of customer information.

Not only that, but having their customers “sign up” they also get the opportunity to expand their list of email subscribers.

However, the fact of the matter is that not all customers will wish to go through this entire process only to be able to purchase your products. That’s why you need to make sure you offer the guest checkout option.

And, if you really insist on having your customers sign up to your website in order to be able to shop, at least make this process as simple as possible by enabling them to do so by using their Google, Facebook or Instagram accounts to name just a few. Think about consulting internet marketing experts about this step.

The lack of payment and shipping options

Last but not least, we have payment and shipping. Some of the most prominent issues in this area include – but are not limited to – the lack of payment methods businesses accept, the lack of currencies they accept as well as various limitations when it comes to shipping.

So, make sure you include as many payment options as possible and ensure that you accept the most widespread currencies – and even cryptocurrencies.

On top of that, see to it that you offer free shipping whenever possible and find a way to ship your goods worldwide if you’re hoping to reach business success.

Final words

As stated previously, running an eCommerce business is no easy task.

It is more than reasonable to expect that you will make mistakes on your journey as an eCommerce business owner, but the main thing is to learn how to recognize them and remedy them in a timely manner.

Arguably, even more important is to learn what some of the most common mistakes are, so you can easily ensure that you avoid making them from the get-go.

Author bio

Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Find Digital Agency.

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