There are countless decisions you make as an ecommerce business owner. In the ecommerce space, there’s no such thing as “if you build it, they will come.” You have to work hard to get potential leads and translate those leads into paying customers. Because of this, an ecommerce venture can be equally challenging and rewarding.
To increase your chances of success, it’s important to set goals and milestones, as well as identify roadblocks and potential pitfalls. Here are four fatal mistakes to be aware of as an ecommerce business owner:
Not Testing Your Design
When it comes building an website, test everything. Split testing design, content, and graphics on your site can make a dramatic difference to your conversions. Many people don’t realize it, but there is a huge amount of power in split testing.
When testing, try to keep a controlled environment. For example, naturally your site would do significantly better if you split test during Cyber Monday and compare it to results from the week after. Avoid holidays and make sure external efforts, like advertising, are consistent during the testing phase. Here are a few options for split testing:
Typography: Typography has a proven effect on conversion. Split test different fonts, like a Serif and Sans Serif, to see what works best for your site.
Copywriting: Test landing page content to determine what’s most impactful to your visitors. Test longform and short form copywriting, as well as the text format.
Call to Action: Try placing your CTA in different areas of the page to see where it’s most effective. Placing it above the fold isn’t always the best option.
Colors: The colors on your pages can affect overall design. Colors are proven to have psychological effect and meaning on consumers, and should reflect the brand accurately.
Split testing doesn’t end after a single test. Once you’ve determined a clear winner with one test, continue to test until you’ve found a combination that is most powerful.
Lack of Logistics
When it comes to running a product-based business, wrong moves can lead to unwanted costs and spending more money than necessary to fix. As business owners, you should be using logistics for ecommerce product management to avoid devastating mishaps.
Common mistakes with ecommerce logistics are inefficient shipping processes. This could be an incorrectly commissioned item, packaging that doesn’t efficiently protect the product, or deliveries that take entirely too long. These inconveniences can be costly to your wallet and to the customer-merchant relationship.
Set high standards when it comes to shipping. Work with a thorough logistics provider to manage ecommerce order fulfillment and warehousing and distribution. Make a list of several viable options and talk to them personally about how they can help your business achieve its goals.
Lack of SEO
Of all the ecommerce mistakes to make, skipping out on search engine optimization is up there. Optimizing your ecommerce business is a no-brainer, and you can’t afford to slack on SEO. If your website isn’t appearing in search engines, you’ll miss out on a huge user base. As a new business, your SEO efforts may take a while to go noticed, but SEO is a long-term investment into your future and will drive traffic to your web pages long after you’ve stopped paid advertising efforts. Here are a few basic SEO tips for ecommerce businesses:
- Strengthen your product categories
- Add user-generated content to your product pages
- Add ALT tags to all images
- Use breadcrumbs in navigation and checkout
- Tweak your meta descriptions for better clickthrough rate
- Maintain a blog packed with useful information and (sparingly used) keywords
- Map out target keywords
- No Clear Customer Service Portal
Your customers should be able to easily reach you via a Contact form, email address, or social media channels. The Contact page adds tremendous value to your website, appears in search engines, and is often one of the most visited pages of your site. It shows potential customers that you’re there for them and accessible to answer any product-related questions.
To take your customer service efforts even further, consider a live chat option or Frequently Asked Questions page (if applicable). A report from eMarketer found that buyers who used the live chat option were more likely to make a purchase than those who didn’t. It should be also be easy for customers to interact with your social media channels directly from your website.