e-commerce mistakes to avoid

10 e-commerce mistakes to avoid in your site

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Mariano Rodríguez
Mar 13, 2019 | Last Updated Apr 30, 2019

On the surface, opening up an eCommerce shop looks incredibly simple. You have multiple platforms that can make setting up a shop in literal minutes very easy. But the true barriers to entry are still very much there. There are plenty of e-commerce mistakes to avoid newcomers (and long existing sites) make that hold them back from exponential growth and much higher conversions.

Many are very easy fixes and additions anyone on your team can make to improve the performance of your shop.

Here are the top 10 e-commerce mistakes to avoid on your site and what you can do to fix them:

1. A complicated checkout:

This one is probably the biggest block to immediately increasing sales on your site. If you’re driving traffic, paying for ads, and people are seemingly interested in your product but not following through with checkout, it’s likely because your checkout process is unnecessarily complicated. Cut down multiple pages that have to load by using a one page checkout plugin like YITH one-page checkout. Keeping checkout on one page limits the number of steps and time it takes to checkout as well as makes sure everything loads easily with less room for error. You can also ensure easier checkout for return customers by auto-saving customer data or even adding YITH one-click check out to mirror Amazon’s infamous process.

2. Showing out of stock or unavailable items:

A simple setting change to eliminate showing out of stock or unavailable items can save your customers a lot of frustration and you a lot of customers. Online, more than in-store, your customers have plenty of options. If they have one frustrating experience with your store, they will quickly find an alternative. Frequent out of stock experiences lead to lower customer loyalty rates, which can really hurt you in the long run as an eCommerce business. Customer loyalty and repeat buyers are critical to long term growth.

3. Generic, unpersonalized content and messaging:

If your content, branding, and messaging is too generic and not niche enough, your best customers may not be compelled by your brand or product offerings. One of the worst things you can do on your site as an eCommerce brand is try to position yourself too broad and neglect your core target market. Consumers have Amazon for that. Be specific and specialized in your branding and speak specifically to your target audience. A great example of targeted and consistent online messaging is Patagonia. They do not try to appeal to all outdoor activities; they are specialized for those who are serious about high quality gear and have created a highly recognizable style synonymous with that. The more consistent and niche you can be, the better you will create a loyal, focused customer base that is more profitable than competing with big, generic eCommerce. You should be personalized in all touch points with you brand as well, particularly offers, email marketing, and on-site offers. Personalized CTAs perform 20% better than generic ones. Making an effort to create and automate personalized and segmented content and messaging can boost your sales significantly.


4. Too many steps to explore products:

Like checkout, the actual shopping process is best kept convenient and simple. Customers will be confused and frustrated if they have to open a bunch of tabs to view your product close up and another to add to cart. Instead use in-page previews and galleries of items with one-click “add to cart” to make shopping all in one page easy. You don’t want customers closing out of tabs and leaving your shop page just because it’s complicated. Make it easy for them to get more information and throw it in their cart!

5. No mobile friendly experience:

By the year 2021, mobile commerce is expected to surpass traditional eCommerce and account for 54% of sales. Your mobile site is now becoming just as important as your desktop site for shoppers. Customers who have a negative experience on your mobile site are 62% less likely to purchase from your store again. Making sure your store is mobile friendly is now imperative. It’s not enough just to have a mobile responsive shop, you want the actually browsing, comparing, and checkout experience to be optimized for mobile and easy to navigate via smartphone. Some examples of things to improve are product image and button size, preview and gallery function on mobile, one-page scrolling checkout, and auto-saving data wherever possible to simplify the process.

6. Excessive popups and offers:

It’s tempting to flood your potential customers with deals that set you apart from other eCommerce options and it’s super easy to automate popups and banners, but you don’t want to over do it and take away from the shopping experience. Be personalized and effective in how you present offers. Instead of bombarding your customers with popups and banners, create a central place to present new offers, sales, and products targeted at customer groups. With Beamer, you can create a newsfeed within your store where you can display visual updates for new products, sales, and discounts segmented to customers based on demographic, behavior on your site, and language. It’s a great way to display multiple enticing offers without being overwhelming. You can also use Beamer push notifications to bring customers back to your site with exciting offers.


7. Under or over-pricing products:

Pricing for eCommerce is one of the most competitive and important elements yet one of the hardest to keep up with. You have to be competitive because your customer online can compare you with plenty of other eCommerce stores instantaneously. To keep up with pricing, you should use an automated research tool like Prisync. Prisync monitors your competitors pricing and availability so you can adjust your pricing to be competitive and maximize your profit. Doing this manually can take hours and cause you to miss out on competitive opportunities.

8. Weak search options and insufficient filtering:

The more your online store grows, the more imperative it’s going to be that your customers are able to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. Any minor frustration with the functionality of your site and your customers will look for easier options. Statistics show that 75% of users leave a site if they do not find what they are looking for in 15 seconds. Without proper search and filtering, your customers may miss what they’re looking for. 84% of the sites of e-Commerce sites, part of a recent study, have a mediocre or poor product filtering experience. To improve your filtering and search options, add filtering by the most relevant and intuitive categories. This may vary depending on your product but some basics are price, themes, colors, styles, functionality, and seasonal. Additionally, predictive search may help customers find what they’re looking for faster along with adding “related searches” to help prompt exploring. Functionality like these can easily be added using plugins like Woocommerce product filters and search.

9. Lack of targeted landing pages:

You can waste a ton of advertising time and money by making your homepage your core focus of traffic. Segmenting traffic far out performs. Not all your customers are the same and you don’t want to rely on them to find what they need on your site. Directing them to more specific, drilled down landing pages specific to their search or interests through targeting is much more effective. You can use super easy tools like Unbounce to build quick, effective landing pages.

10. Failing to build a sense of urgency or scarcity:

Online, your customers have everything at their fingertips. There are thousands of competitor stores available. When they are on your store and interested, you need to create a situation where they are compelled to check out then and there. You have to build a sense of urgency and scarcity. You can do this through timed offers, flash sales, limited discount codes, expiring perks like free shipping, and displaying the number of a specific item left in stock. Little details like this can help boost conversions at checkout.

With a few changes and additions like this, your eCommerce shop could be performing much better. Take a scan of your current site and see if you are currently making any of these mistakes to avoid for a better performing e-Commerce site. For the best way to announce products, sales, and target visitors with updates, try Beamer on your eCommerce site.