Building an e-commerce website, either on your own or with assistance, isn’t a task to take on without knowledge of the mistakes that others have made – and there are many.
1. Slow loading times
Research into the subject of slow loading times has uncovered some startling facts. The biggest cause for concern here is the abandonment rate, the rate in which visitors will abandon your website due to slow loading times.
The abandonment rate is, according to research by Gomez (Compuware’s application manager), 8 percent for every 2 seconds which means that if you cut your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds your conversion rate will increase by 74 percent.
2. Complicated website and page layouts
Your website and page layouts should be simple for your customer base with some experts advocating no more than five steps to make a purchase.
• Home/cart contents page
• Bill-to section
• Ship-to section
• Payment section
• Confirmation page
Keep it simple is the trademark of a good e-commerce website.
3. The wrong e-commerce platform
There are a number of e-commerce platforms to select from so pick the right one for your customers’ needs and the resources you have to support the ongoing management of your e-commerce website – don’t overlook the need for ongoing management.
4. Poor showcasing of products
The better your products are displayed the more likely they are to be sold, so spend some time perusing other e-commerce websites to gain an understanding of how it’s done. Good sized, high-definition photos accompanied by a detailed product description are what you should be aiming for.
5. Hidden contact information
Hiding (or not making available) your contact information is a major no-no and makes it hard for customers to trust your business, so make your contact information clearly visible.
6. Inadequate internal search engine
Outstanding user experiences are essential and to provide visitors to your e-commerce website with outstanding experiences you need a great internal search engine. When you create a website online with SiteZulu ensure the search engine selected is adequate for your customers’ need and therefore the number of items and pages on your website.
7. Confusing checkout process
The best way to look at the checkout process is that the more steps you put between a potential customer’s decision to buy and them paying for it, the greater the risk of abandonment. Make it as easy as possible for customers to add items to their cart and navigate their way to the checkout.
8. Inadequate payment options
Cater for your customer base by providing them with an adequate array of payment options. Each major credit card should be catered for and adding a PayPal payment facility will help to boost conversion rates. Displaying the PayPal symbol on your homepage will help to further this trend.
9. No back (return) button
This is frustrating for visitors to your website and will also make them feel inclined to abandon your website in favour of another. Abandonment isn’t only a phenomenon where slow loading times are concerned.
10. Failing to get feedback from your users regarding usability
Something you’ve probably heard about good website design is that ‘it’s all about the user’. Nothing is truer than this with regard to e-commerce websites, so seek feedback from visitors regarding usability.
Usability is more than the buzzword that it’s become in recent years; it’s a metric by which websites are measured and therefore one you need to cease restricting to your marketing efforts and start applying to your e-commerce website.
E-commerce websites are all about user experiences – keep this in mind to gain a competitive edge.