E-commerce business concept brought many different benefits to retailers. It enabled them to overcome all geographic limitations and to offer their goods to people outside their area.
E-commerce also drastically lowered the costs of running this type of business with eliminating rent and salesmen salary costs. Whole business operation can now be run by one high school nerd, with e-commerce platform, some storage space and broad knowledge of marketing
In spite of all these benefits and large growth of online sales in recent years, there are many retail entrepreneurs who shifted to e-commerce and didn’t get satisfying results with this change. Knowing the fact that in 2015 Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales amounted to $4,5 billion, it is obviously that e-commerce business model works perfectly fine, when it is applied in the right way. In this article we are going to review some of the most common e-commerce mistakes that can lower your revenue and cause disappointment.
Sign in barrier
Many online stores require their customer to sign in. This step is great if its purpose is to save customers from entering their credit card data, but it can represent a huge problem, when customers don’t remember passwords or e mails they entered. In this case they usually cancel the purchase, and look for the same object on some other e-commerce website.
This mistake can be solved in two different ways. One is to completely abolish the ‘sign in’ option, and other is to introduce cookies that will recognize a returning customer and sign it in automatically.
Importance of progress indicators
Procedures that follow online purchases are sometimes too long and slow. Busy customers often need to quit just before they purchased the product, which is why they need to know how many steps, forms or pages they have until the end of the procedure.
This problem can be solved with installing navigation or progress bars that will share purchase procedure in several steps and inform customers how many forms do they need to fill in, until the end. Many e-commerce entrepreneurs don’t have enough web design knowledge to make useful and easy navigation, by themselves from scratch. That’s why they should use e-commerce website builders, which doesn’t require advanced web-design skills.
Lack of good quality product photos
One of the main disadvantages of e-commerce business is that customers can’t see or feel the product before the purchase. If customers don’t know how the product looks, they wouldn’t be able to see all of its benefits, and in most cases they won’t think about buying it at all.
This huge gap between e-commerce and location-based retail stores can be successfully bridged with placing high quality photos on product pages. You can hire professional photographers to for this task and add 360 degree photos and videos as well. Consumers also like innovative ways of presenting the products they want to buy. So, if you are selling backpacks, fill it in with clothes, than take it all out, and photograph cloths and tag the photo with: “All clothes that can fit in … backpack”
Uninformative product pages
Since e-commerce businesses don’t employ skillful and knowledgeable salesmen that would present the product in the best possible way, their product pages need to be very informative and attractive. This downside of e-commerce can easily be turned into a benefit.
You can add lots of technical data about the product, which even the most knowledgeable sales people won’t be able to remember and convey. You should also add creative descriptions and links to manufacturer’s website, where customers can find more information about production process.
Neglecting content marketing
Imagine if you would have a location-based store and held different kind of lectures there that would be interesting to your targeted audience. You can also add film screenings and concerts, celebrity shopping, etc. While all this is happening, you have all of your products on the shelf, with your best offers placed on point of purchase stands. Of course your revenue will grow and your shop will be one of the most favorite gathering spots for local hipsters.
Unfortunately many online retailers don’t understand benefits of content marketing. Instead of adding interesting, niche-specific articles, info graphics, and promotional videos to their website they keep them plain, straight-to-the-point and boring, which doesn’t allow them to use the full potential of their online retail store.
E-commerce business will definitely continue to grow, but only the most competitive websites will be able to cash out on it. Today all major retail chains are running their own online stores, which means that small business retail entrepreneurs need to try hard, to match their performance.