ecommerce

Whereas ecommerce is steadily supplanting traditional brick-and-mortar stores as the way the average consumer buys products, that doesn’t mean customers will come rushing to your website immediately it goes live. From day one, you’ll be going up against tens, hundreds and possibly thousands of competitors.

It won’t be easy to grow traffic and increase your conversions. Some mistakes can be extremely costly to your business’ objectives. Here’s the ones you need to be on the lookout for.

1.   Low Quality Product Descriptions

Your ecommerce store may have the best products in the market and excellent images to back up your claims. But all that could come to naught if your product descriptions are sub-par. For certain types of products, images can only do so much in describing your product. Think mobile phones, televisions and refrigerators.

It is in the product description that your visitors will get to the details of what the item is all about and whether it is suitable for them. Remember that the customer has no way of physically examining the product. So the images and product description should give them all the information they need to make their decision.

2.   Including Items that are Out of Stock

Imagine an online shopper going through the pain of searching for a specific product on your website so they can buy it, only for them to find it’s out of stock. The disappointment can make them move to a competing website.

If any product is out of stock, remove it from category pages and search results as soon as possible. Alternatively, you could add a prominent label on the product image that shows it’s no longer available. This would be useful if you want to give users the option to add the product to their wish list so they can receive an alert when it’s available in future.

3.   Poor or Wrong Photographs

Few things will be more repulsive to users than having poor quality or wrong product photos. In the best case, visitors will see it as a lack of commitment to customer service, which may be a reflection of the quality of the product itself. In the worst case, it will be perceived as an attempt to mislead users into buying something they otherwise wouldn’t.

Before you upload any image, make sure it is a clear and accurate representation of the product. Images shouldn’t be grainy and must be large enough for users to zoom in to see the details.

4.   Not Mobile-Friendly

The present and foreseeable future is mobile. Already, more internet users access the web using mobile devices than those who do so via desktop and laptop computers. Creating a mobile-friendly version of your website is therefore no longer something you can afford to do as an afterthought.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate on mobile devices and delivers a seamless shopping experience. Keep the interface intuitive and minimalist. If you have Ruby web apps, keep an eye on logs to ensure smooth function (see how Ruby on Rails applications handle logging).

5.   Nagging Users to Register

Constantly asking visitors to your site to register is a mistake many ecommerce stores make. Usually, it’s a popup that appears whenever the user moves to a different page on the website. Some stores will go to the extent of making registration a precondition for purchase.

This can be a turnoff since a good number of your customers will be looking to buy just one product and may not necessarily intend to return in future. Some users are in a rush and wouldn’t mind registering later if you allow them to complete the purchase first. Whatever the reason, encouraging registration should be more subtle and less intrusive. Allows users to shop as guests.

6.   Popups Everywhere

We mentioned registration popups as one of the things that can make it harder for you to convert leads. Popups in general should be avoided especially when they have nothing to do with the purchase process.

Few people have the patience to subscribe to newsletters or complete surveys before they can complete the transaction. There are other ways you can realize these goals without such aggressive tactics.

Give visitors to your website a great experience by avoiding these mistakes.