There is no doubt that the eCommerce industry is booming in the digital landscape. But it is also a fact that although a lot of online stores become popular, there are very few that are able to get as many customers.
Most online stores get a good traffic, have built a loyal community of customers and have a never ending email list. While each of these factors should add to their sales, they surprisingly don’t and just end up being data points that are of no use to the eCommerce business.
The reason? Little mistakes on your online store.
Surprising part? Even the top most stores often make these mistakes and lose their customers.
Let’s take a look at what these mistakes are so you can avoid them while setting up your online store or optimizing it for a better performance.
1. Lack of a compelling value proposition
No, value propositions aren’t only meant for B2B businesses – they are equally important for eCommerce businesses as well. Since there are thousands of online stores that a consumer can choose to purchase from, your #1 priority should be to highlight why they should make a purchase from yours.
For instance, if I’m looking for hair care products. I will come across multiple online stores that have different or similar products to offer to me. Even though I would check them all out, the one that resonates with my concern first is the one that will get my attention. In this case, Luxy Hair nails their value proposition clearly on their home page.
2. Shammed out product descriptions
You might think that all an online shopper cares about are product pictures. But the truth is, that to be able to make an informed purchase decision, most consumers end up focusing more on the product descriptions that the store has to offer.
According to a study by the Nielsen Norman Group, online shoppers spend 82% of their time in an online store on the textual information that is available to them. Using the graphic below, the study explains the difference between the two approaches taken by an online store – in the first, the pictures of the TV don’t help a visitor make a decision; but the second one gives him more details into the product, helping him decide better.
3. Improper or useless product filters
An eCommerce store always has multiple product types available for a range. But let’s face it, how many customers really have the time to go through them all before making a purchase? In fact, online shoppers often get overwhelmed by the choices available to them and abandon the store without buying anything.
This is where filters come handy. You need to make sure that there is a way for the online shopper to set the filters for the product he is looking for – brand, size, colour, texture and more, depending on the type of product. Filters help them reach the product they are looking for faster, increasing their chances of purchasing it before they leave.
4. Shipping costs that only surprise the shopper
According to a study by Forrester, 44% of online shoppers abandon an online store without making a purchase due to unexpected or really high shipping costs on the products.
Imagine having chosen a few products from the thousands available to gift your friends and family on Christmas. You spent at least an hour sifting through the online store and deciding what you want to buy. Now as you move to checkout, you are shown an additional shipping cost on the cart total – this cost wasn’t displayed anywhere on the product pages or the online store for that matter.
There are two reactions that you might have – you will abandon the cart items if you think the costs are too high or you might complete the purchase and then swear to not come back to it simply because you have already invested hours in it.
5. The checkout process is just a hassle
Online shopping is for all those who want to save time. They don’t want to travel to a brand’s store a few kilometers away from their house to simply make a purchase. This only goes to say how important time is to online shoppers.
Now your online store could be offering the best of products, but if your checkout process is not optimized, you’re going to lose all sales. From the information you ask from the shopper to the payment modes you offer, and a possible option to checkout as a guest, you need to make sure that completing the purchase doesn’t kill the shopper’s excitement to own the product.
6. Absolutely no social proof
Alright, there are at least ten stores out there who have the same or similar products as yours. So how does an online shopper know which one he should be making a purchase from? Which store’s products are known for good quality and after sales services? Which brand should he trust more?
This is why social proof is an important aspect that eCommerce businesses must not ignore. Adding customer testimonials, product ratings and reviews to your store only adds more credibility. When a shopper sees how the product is doing amongst people like him, he becomes more likely to purchase the products from you.
7. No product recommendation campaigns
Like we said, not all of your online store visitors have the time to go through all of your products across ranges. This means if you have multiple varieties of the same product, chances are they don’t get discovered at all. This leads to your store losing out on a sale simply because the shopper thinks the product isn’t available.
It is important that your eCommerce store makes use of a recommendation campaign. Be it for the new visitors or existing customers, make sure your product recommendations are based on what they have shown interest in. Let them know of the options available to them in the range that they like, helping them make a better purchase decision.
8. Ill timed popup campaigns
Even though popups have a bad name in the digital industry, they are a necessary evil for eCommerce stores. The reason being that they are the most effective way to grab a visitor’s attention and drive him towards making a purchase. Be it offering an additional discount, nudging him to subscribe to a newsletter or simply redirecting him to a page where he is more likely to make a purchase, popups can be a handy tool to get more sales – when strategized well.
Most online stores have ill timed popups that end up being intrusive for the shopper. They either bombard the visitor before he has browsed through the products or what the store has to offer, of midway while the shopper is just making up his mind about a product. This hampers the sales as the shopper either gets distracted or irritated by the sudden intrusion.
This is where exit intent campaigns become helpful. You need to retarget your store visitors before they leave without making a purchase. Using exit intent helps you let them browse through products at their own pace and then retarget them with a proposition that drives them towards a sale.
For instance, I am browsing through an online store that has some really pretty home decor products. But I can’t really make up my mind and would rather wait for a sale to make the purchase. Now just before I leave, I am shown this popup that promises an off on my first purchase for subscribing to the newsletter. I am definitely going to opt in!
These are just a few things that can make or break the sales of an eCommerce store. You need to make sure that your store has a customer first approach while optimization.
The easier and the more helpful your store is in assisting the shopper make an informed purchase, the more likely he is to complete a transaction and also keep coming back for more.