The past year has transformed the world of eCommerce, with consumers spending more time and money on their devices than ever before. According to eMarketer, UK consumers spent £141.33 billion ($180.39 billion) online in 2020, up a massive 34.7% from 2019, which represented more than 30% of total retail sales. Close to 90% of households in the UK made digital purchases last year, demonstrating the vital need for retailers to establish themselves online. But eCommerce success does not come without its challenges. Below, we’ve put together some common eCommerce mistakes that your business should avoid at all costs.
Cut-and-paste web design
Just because consumers are spending more money online than ever before, that doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you without at least some of your time and effort. Even with the right products, shoppers can be put off from buying if your website is generic or a simple cut-and-paste of something else out there on the market. What’s more, if your site is difficult to use or navigate, shoppers are likely to head elsewhere and buy from sites like Amazon.
Your site doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, but it does have to be user-friendly, look good, and breathe your brand. It’s the only way to stand out in a crowded, competitive market.
Not integrating customer service
Consumers are naturally more hesitant of independent brands and retailers online as they’re more likely to be ripped off or scammed than if they were buying in the flesh. That’s why it’s really important for your website to offer first-class customer service and make it clear that you value your customers. Create a knowledge base where customers can find answers to common questions, integrate live chat functionality for 24/7 support, and ensure that you have an effective ticketing system where customer complaints and queries can be handled.
Forgetting about security
As we’ve just touched upon, consumers are hesitant and need to feel reassured when they shop on a new website. When managing an eCommerce website, you not only need to think about your own security but looking after your customers’ data. A hack or data breach could not only wreak havoc on your reputation and cause you to lose customers, but it could result in fines over data protection violations. Choose a content management system that offers built-in protection and invest in security products like SSL certificates, 2FA authentication on user accounts and regular security scans to ensure data doesn’t enter into the wrong hands.
No lead capturing
It’s hard enough getting a visitor to land on your website in the first place, but it’s even more challenging to encourage them to part with their cash and buy from you. Make sure that you don’t let visitors slip away – invest in lead capturing technology and strategies that allow you to collect information on potential leads and customers. Those who aren’t ready to buy right now might just be in the market for the products you’re selling in three weeks’ time. Getting their email will allow you to engage with them down the line, rather than lose them forever.
Overwhelming categories and navigation
Whether you sell camping equipment or customised letterboxes, it’s vital that your website is easy to navigate. Whilst search will be most users’ first port of call, you must be sure that your category pages are well-organised and designed for swift navigation. Sure, some users will appreciate in-depth navigation and properly categorised products down to the nth degree but you’re better off with 2-3 subcategories and properly labelling your products to lower your bounce rate and boost sales. Bundling complementary products into themed categories like ‘Back to School’ or ‘Father’s Day’ can also increase conversions and average basket size.
Poor product pages
Finally, make sure that you put as much effort into individual product pages as you do your homepage and other key pages. After all, the majority of your traffic will come from these product pages when customers search for products on Google Shopping and the like. And, as consumers can’t interact with your products before they buy them, it’s so important that you properly outline what they are, what they do, and how they’ll solve their problems. Well-written product descriptions can even have an impact on return rates – if customers know what they’re buying, they’re less likely to buy on a whim and ultimately return goods.
At Zudu, we’re proud to offer first-class eCommerce web development for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Give us a call on 01382 690 080 today to see how we could help you.