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The Top 4 Ecommerce Mistakes Your Business Needs to Avoid

blog | 5 min read

The Top 4 Ecommerce Mistakes Your Business Needs to Avoid

By Amanda Peterson, Enlightened Digital

Ecommerce is growing at an unprecedented rate worldwide. Global retail ecommerce sales are predicted to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021, providing major opportunity in sales and profit to merchants across all industries. With this opportunity however, comes a tremendous amount of competition— and only those providing the best customer experience will survive.

1. A Site That Isn’t Mobile-Friendly

If you plan on running a successful ecommerce business, you absolutely must cater to mobile users. Not only are more users accessing the web on-the-go from smartphones and tablets, but the number of mobile users that are likely to make a purchase from their mobile device is also growing. Research has indicated that 79 percent of smartphone users have made an online purchase using their mobile device in the last six months. Be sure to optimise your site design so that it’s compatible with smaller screens— it will make for a better user experience on mobile.

Having to zoom in and out of specific product images or navigation icons is a hassle for most consumers; so much so that they might leave your site to shop with a competitor instead. In fact, the majority of mobile device users claim that the “look and feel” of a company’s mobile site has a huge impact on their decision to make a purchase from it. And while mobile-responsiveness is the norm for many e-retailers today, many lack the mobile-first mindset that the ecommerce market requires today. Utilising more graphics rather than text, minimalist site design and simple navigation all are features of a mobile-first ecommerce experience that your site should feature in order to convert consumers shopping on mobile.

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2. Unnecessary Pop-ups

In 2013, 70 percent of people thought irrelevant pop-ups were annoying. This probably hasn’t changed since— most people still hate them. Whether or not to utilise pop-ups is frequently debated among website designers and marketers alike, but there’s one thing that can’t go unrecognised: pop-ups can increase your bounce rate. As previously mentioned, consumers prefer a streamlined internet experience, and pop-ups that cover content or are difficult to get rid of can be quite frustrating. This can spark your potential customers to enter and leave from the same page, discouraging them from browsing your product and minimising your conversion rates. As well as affecting bounce rate, unnecessary or irrelevant pop-ups can have a negative impact on your search ranking.

However, while pop-ups can get a bad rap, there are ways you can make them valuable to your site. Any pop-ups you choose to add to your site should be as unobtrusive as possible and shouldn’t distract from the user’s task. For example, a message bar at the top or bottom of the page, rather than an entire overlay, might be more impactful. In addition, be sure your pop-up offers real value to your customer. Pop-ups can be a great way to build your email list, but it will be most effective if users feel they’re actually benefiting from offering up their email address. A coupon or gift with purchase is much more enticing than the promise of another email newsletter.

3. Poorly Written Product Descriptions

In many scenarios, online stores fail to add a well thought out product description, if they even add one at all. Consumers who shop online might not be inclined to purchase the product if they don’t have enough information. On the other hand, writing great product copy can influence your customers to take action. Failing to optimise a product description can be detrimental to a page’s search engine ranking. While a product image might be descriptive enough to a consumer, search engine web crawlers can’t read images.

When writing product descriptions for SEO value, there are many factors to take into consideration such as keywords, the frequency at which to utilise them and description length. The number one rule to take into consideration is to write with your buyer in mind. Your product descriptions should be unique, factual and informative; all in all help the consumer make a purchase decision. Satisfying these qualities meets the guidelines of major search engines like Google, and helps your site rank at the top of the results pages.

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4. Complicated Form Completion

Many retailers may risk annoying their customers by making their data collection forms too complicated.  Using address validation software at the checkout significantly reduces the amount of time a user has to key in their address. This means they’ll get through the checkout process quicker and easier.  However, not all address validation software is the same and it is important to research the software’s accuracy.  This will ensure the shopper’s details are clean and accurate to eliminate failed or late deliveries.

While these are just a few ecommerce mistakes that can hinder your success, it’s important to consistently evaluate your site. What elements can be changed to improve user experience? Exuding a buyer-first mentality is sure to be a winning strategy for ecommerce, and site success will follow.

, updated 1st August 2019.