Many people dream of running their own online business, but few have the consistency, hard work, and luck to achieve this dream. But, if you’re here, that means you’ve got what it takes! 

The same dream, however, turns into a nightmare for a vast majority of people. As a result, almost 90% of online businesses fail during the first four months of operations. Today, we’ll tell you how you can avoid the fatal eCommerce mistakes these companies make.

Read on for 8 popular eCommerce mistakes that can take your business down. We’ll help you fix these mistakes for a sustainable, long-term online business.


Popular eCommerce Mistakes that are destroying your business


1. Not Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform

The eCommerce platform you choose for your online business truly defines your future success. Know your needs, and research thoroughly to find the platform that caters to your needs. Some of the basics you should look for in an eCommerce platform include SEO-Friendliness, Mobile-friendliness, security, and scalability. It should also product Product Management System, Order Management System, Return Management System, and Multi-channel Integration.

Choosing the wrong platform just because it fulfills your budget plans is the last thing you want to do. Besides, the wrong eCommerce platform can limit your business growth and not offer you the control and customization you desire. 

Here’s our evaluation of the top-rated online store builders:

Wix

Wix is the top-rated platform and is considered the best all-around. It is our top recommendation due to its ease of use and affordable prices. 

Pro: It is easy to use and a free domain name for the first year.

Con: Not suitable for large stores, as the depth of navigation is only two levels deep.

Shopify 

Shopify has the best customer support, which is helpful for a new seller. In addition, it has numerous features which are helpful for large businesses.

Pro: Provides room for growth, sophisticated marketing plans and is customizable.

Con: Plans can be expensive.

BigCommerce 

BigCommerce is suitable for businesses expanding rapidly. The platform will grow with your business due to its flexibility and room for growth.

Pro: Provides room for growth for smaller stores and has solid SEO features

Con: Has an annual sales threshold.

We recommend choosing the platform that caters to your needs the best. Do not make your decision based on prices or popularity. 

 


2. Lack of Strong Brand Message or Identity

Brand Message

The brand message is what will differentiate you from your competitors. It helps your customers understand your idea and values and connect with them on an emotional level. Likewise, you are offering them the reasons why they should build a connection with your brand. 

That’s why you must define your business identity and voice. Be clear about the products you offer, your target customers, and how your offering benefits your target customers.

Once you’ve answered these questions, it becomes your unique identity. You should design your website according to this identity and develop a strong brand message that identifies with your business.

A solid and successful brand strategy helps you deeply connect with your target audience and position your business. 

You will like to check this infographic: 7 eCommerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2021


3. Not Knowing Your Target Audience

You cannot sell everything to everyone. Even if you have the best offering, you won’t make sales if it doesn’t reach the right customers. 

One of the first vital steps in starting your online business is studying your market and learning on a deeper level your target audience, including their likes, wants, desires, fears, needs, motivations. Understanding the different factors that influence their behaviors can also help you focus your marketing efforts most cost-effectively.

Clearly define your target audience, and optimize your website for their best buying experience.

Check this article : Online Business 101: 6 Tips to Help You Achieve Your Dreams


4. Concealed Shipping Costs and Aggressive Return Policies

Selling more to your existing customers has proven more profitable than selling to more customers. Concealed shipping costs and aggressive return policies result in lower customer satisfaction and a reduced retention rate.

Write customer-centric shipping and returns policy to improve customer satisfaction. Mention your Returns Policy prominently to build the right expectations for your customers. 

An excellent return policy provides customers at least a 30-day time window to return purchased products. 

A lenient return window can reduce return rates by actually offering a less sense of urgency. As a result, customers won’t feel pressured and will have more time to learn and trust your products.

Read this article: How To Write a Killer Return and Exchange Policy In Under 2 Minutes


5. Ambiguous product descriptions

One of the biggest eCommerce mistakes new sellers make is ignoring the opportunity to write a compelling product description. Customers avoid products with vague descriptions as they don’t trust them. Similarly, a product description copied from another seller will do you no good. 

Write a product description that clearly defines your product and amplifies your unique selling point. 


6. Low-quality Pictures and Videos

Low-quality Pictures and Videos

Customers won’t buy your product if they can’t see it. Low-quality pictures are one primary reason for a low conversion rate. Include high-quality pictures of your product from different angles. 

Our recommendations for making a quality catalog:

  • Use a white background.
  • Add images with different angles of the product.
  • Use professional product photography if possible.

You will like to check this infographic: 7 eCommerce Trends to Watch Out for in 2021


7. Complicated checkout process

The checkout process refers to the steps a customer follows to purchase items in their shopping cart from your online business. 

The average shopping cart abandonment rate is 68.81%. That means almost 70% of missed opportunities to earn revenue. According to research by Splitit, around 87% of shopping cart abandonment is due to a complicated checkout process. Yet it is the most common eCommerce mistake.

Improve your checkout flow to reduce shopping cart abandonment and improve sales by considering these factors:

  • Use quick and easy-to-fill forms: Google Autofill.
  • Test your single page checkout process
  • Use Mobile-First Design.
  • The payment information should be at the end of the process
  • Buy Immediately or Continue Shopping suggestion
  • Notify the customers when they add a product to the cart

Read this article: Should I Allow Guest Checkouts on My E-Commerce Website?


8. Complicated site navigation

Complicated site navigation means you’re making it harder for your customers to purchase from you. Navigation tabs should be where visitors expect to find them. Otherwise, they’ll bounce. Complicated site navigation is the main reason for higher bounce rates.

Complicated site navigation also hurts your SEO ranking. Your navigation must be relevant to what people type on search engines.

Our recommendations for smoother site navigation:

  • Use horizontal navigation across the top.
  • Use descriptive labels.
  • Avoid using drop-down menus.
  • Limit your navigation to five items.


9. Poor Customer Service

Poor customer service discourages people from becoming repeat buyers and harms your credibility.

Acquiring a new customer costs five times more than retaining an existing customer. Therefore, it’s better to maximize revenue from existing customers through consistent customer support and friendly returns policy.

Tips to improve customer service:

  • Facilitate your customers through different channels (Social Media, Live Chat, Email, and Telephone).
  • Never make a customer wait.
  • Monitor your Customer Satisfaction Score.
  • Add a “Frequently Asked Questions page.”

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