Mon 14 May 2012
For an ecommerce website owner, the bottom line is conversion. There are a number of things that can drive potential customers away from your website. You cannot expect to attract a large number of customers, if your site crashes frequently or takes a long time to load. If you really want your ecommerce website to be a success, it is essential to avoid the following common mistakes.
Web design plays a key role in the success or failure of an ecommerce website. Inappropriate design can drive customers away, while a great design will encourage them to stay longer and make more purchases. As far as the fonts and colors are concerned, it is best to adopt the “less is more” policy. Too many colors and fonts can be distracting. They can confuse customers and have an adverse effect on your sales. It is advisable to stick to a maximum of 2 to 3 colors and fonts.
Images are an extremely important aspect of an ecommerce website. The biggest drawback of shopping online is the inability to physically see or touch the product. You can overcome this disadvantage to some extent by providing an adequate number of images. Too few images, or the lack of an image enlargement feature for smaller images, can put off potential customers.
Slow loading pages
This is a common problem experienced by large e-commerce websites. This is particularly true of sites that leverage shared hosting. According to Compuware application monitor, Gomez, every 2 seconds of additional load time is equivalent to an abandonment rate of 8%. Reducing your load time from eight seconds to two seconds can boost your conversion rates by as much as 74%.
Today users have numerous online purchase options. They are unlikely to waste their time on a page that loads slowly. This makes bringing down your load time extremely important. For this, you first need to identify what might be causing the delay. For instance, overload of third party social plug-ins like Twitter and Facebook can cause delays in load times. Once you know what the issue is, you can take appropriate action.
Complicated website and purchase process
To succeed, you need to keep your ecommerce website as simple as possible. Users should be able to find exactly what they are looking for quickly and intuitively. Rather than creating too many complications, you can limit your site to five basic sections such as, home page or welcome section, billing page, shipping section, payment module, and finally a thank you or confirmation page.
Along with the ecommerce website design, the purchase process also needs to be simple. It is the key to the success of an ecommerce site. Simple and short buying process is one of the biggest reasons behind Amazon’s success. If your purchase process to too long and complicated, buyers are likely to get frustrated and leave your site. It is advisable to limit the process to as few steps as possible.
Exorbitant shipping charges
Steep shipping charge is one of the biggest reasons for shopping cart abandonment. This is especially true, if the charge exceeds 10% of the overall cost of the product. Try to look for ways to reduce shipping costs. An easy way to tackle this problem is to include shipping charges in the total cost. This way, customers won’t have to make any additional payments.
A frustrating credit card entry system
When it comes to online shopping, paying by credit card is the single most popular payment method. It is quick and convenient. The need to fill a long and complicated form for making payments through credit card may discourage your customers from following through on the purchase. You should try to make the process as simple, concise, and quick as possible. You can include scroll down options where relevant.
There is a standard sequence for credit card entry fields that is used by a majority of sites. It is advisable to follow this standard order. If you try to make changes to the form, your customers are likely to enter the wrong information. This means that they will have to fill up the entire form once again. Most customers would opt to leave the site rather than fill up the form once more.
Below par performance on certain browsers
You may believe that Chrome is the best browser in the world, but it does not necessarily mean that all your potential customers agree with you. Many people still use the outdated versions of Internet Explorer and Mozilla Fire Fox. If your site does not perform well across different browsers, you are likely to lose a large number of customers. Testing over different browsers is the only way to ensure consistent performance.
When someone makes a purchase on your site, it indicates that the person is interested in what you have to offer. Making relevant recommendations to such customers can boost your sales considerably. For instance, if a customer purchases a bed from your site, it makes no sense to recommend the purchase of more beds, but good deals on bed sheets or pillows are likely to hit the mark.