We’ve had a lot of questions on the forums recently about how website owners can make sure that their websites are up to scratch and serving their purpose of attracting business and facilitating sales.
To help you learn the dos and don’ts of eCommerce websites, I’ve listed the top 5 ways you can actually ruin your chances of making a sale on your eCommerce store so you will know what to avoid in order to makes more sales!
1. Don’t display shipping costs and information. This is a big one that I see too often on eCommerce websites.
Shipping information is something that all potential buyers want to see before they commit to buying. Make sure you display shipping information clearly.
Here’s a great example of a site that does a good job of displaying their shipping information:
As you can see, there is a clear message that shipping is free to 48 states and above that, there is a link to shipping, returns and tax information so that buyers can get further information such as delivery times and return policies.
Make sure you have a link from your homepage direct to your shipping information on your website so that buyers can easily access this information.
2. Make sure the first thing your site visitors you see is a flashy introduction.
News flash: Customers don’t want to see a slow-loading, bells and whistles, they just want a simple-to-navigate site and a great deal on items for sale. If a buyer arrives at your website and has to download a flash player or a plug-in or has to endure watching an intro video before they can view your store, they will click the “Close Tab” button pretty quick!
3. Overstuff your website content with keywords you want to rank for.
This is a big no-no for two good reasons:
a) It looks highly unprofessional and spammy so buyers will be turned off immediately
b) Going too crazy with keywords is frowned upon by search engines and will no doubt result in poor search engine rankings, making it hard for buyers to even find your website.
Keep your keyword density at an optimal level by having a targeted keyword appear every 100 or so words. For more on keyword density and search engine optimization techniques, see here.
4. Fail to include a search feature
Web users are so used to searching for what they want now that not having a search function would be a big mistake!
Think about it: What’s the first thing a buyer does when they come to eBay? Nine time out of ten, they use the search feature to find the item they are looking for.
The best place to put your search function is at the top right-hand corner of your website, just like we do on SaleHoo.
5. Insist that buyers must register or create an account to purchase an item from you.
If you only act on one of my five points I have listed, please, oh please, make sure it’s this one!
I cannot tell you the number of times I have abandoned a website at the checkout because I can’t be bothered fussing around creating a user name and filling out a form in order to become a member of the site before I can buy an item.
You need to do everything you can to make sure that is it easy for a buyer to make a purchase, so if you are currently forcing buyers to sign up before they can buy, stop!
Which of these 5 website faux pas have you committed?