Ecommerce merchants put a lot of effort and money into driving potential customers to their online storefronts (content marketing, ad buys, etc.) but it only takes a simple mistake to fail to convert traffic into revenue. In the booming world of ecommerce, a whole world of potential customers is only a click away…but so are your competitors.
To keep your shoppers from falling out of your funnel and into someone else’s, avoid these common ecommerce mistakes:
- Pushing the sale before pushing the product
Of course the “add to cart” button should be prominent on the product page, but without enough product information—such as images, and customer reviews—you’re not convincing the shopper why they should click it. Why do they need this product? Why should they buy it from you instead of one of your competitors? Your website needs to convey this information very quickly—before shoppers hit the back button.
Reviews from other customers are more likely to be believed than your claims about your product. Pictures or videos showing the product doing its job goes a long way to helping the customer visualize how the product could fit into their life. If you’re selling a piece of apparel, show a picture of it being worn. If it’s some kind of tool or gadget, show a video of its use.
- Making the shopping cart too complicated
Physical shopping carts are simple, and online ones should be too. Keep them free from features or steps which distract from or interrupt the checkout process. Also, don’t force shoppers to create an account in order to complete their purchase. This one mistake alone can make some shoppers abandon their carts as they think: “Seriously, more spam in my inbox to filter through?” or “Really, another company in possession of my credit card info and other personal data who will inevitably be breached.”
- Requesting too much info
You don’t need a fax number, name prefix (e.g. “Mr”, “Dr.”, “Ms.”, etc.), or 2nd phone number – only ask shoppers for the most important details. The requirement for a substantial amount of info – often done in order to gather additional verification to protect against ecommerce fraud – tends to slow down the process and clutter the interface. On mobile, manually pressing small menu items and numbers on a tiny screen can be an object lesson in frustration. So trim the fat from the interface and you’ll get less fat-fingering.
- Unclear shipping options
Don’t leave out info like carrier for each of your delivery options. This can determine where the package will be dropped off (USPS mailbox or parcel box vs. door step vs. other pickup location) and ultimately, the convenience of the whole experience for the shopper. It could even make the difference between the customer receiving the purchase and that item being lost to theft from the doorstep.
- Mobile vs. desktop inconsistency
Make sure your mobile website, desktop website and mobile app all have the same options and the same ease of navigation. This is another reason to go “mobile-first” with your ecommerce website: one less thing to keep in sync. While a mobile app allows you to avoid the user interface problems mentioned above by optimizing for small screens, it can be the victim of neglect if you don’t treat it as a channel of equal importance to your website. Missing features and lack of updates can lead users to uninstall your app or drift away from your brand entirely.
- Using poor quality images
Attractive images attract shoppers to your products. Large, crisp photos are worth the effort and money since they can lead to higher conversion rates and thus pay you back many times over. We’ve mentioned importance of including images in #1 above, but quality matters at least as much as quantity. If you’re selling high-end furniture, doesn’t it make more sense use high-resolution photos shot in optimal lighting which show off the grain of the wood, and the fine craftsmanship rather than a small, grainy generic photo?
Careful attention to design and to the burden placed on customers throughout their purchasing journey can give you a competitive edge. Avoiding these six mistakes can boost your conversion rate and ultimately, your revenue.