After making the decision to open an eCommerce site, many first-timers find themselves overwhelmed with information. For the most part, it’s better to keep things simple and follow the industry standards in order to keep a professional and affordable website. This list will provide five mistakes to avoid and five best practices to follow in order to develop and operate a truly successful eCommerce site.
Don’t have a website that is too slow
According to Compuware, every two seconds of loading results in an 8% withdrawal rate among customers. No one wants to waste time waiting. Studies say that if a site that formerly took eight seconds to load drops that time to two seconds, the rate of conversion will actually jump by an average of 74%.
Don’t have a website that is too complex
After you’ve fixed your loading problem, the next step is to remember to keep it simple. If your site takes more than five simple steps to close a sale, then you’re looking at additional abandonment and customers may leave the page mid-sale, leaving products in their cart indefinitely.
Instead, trim your sales process to the following five steps:
- Welcome Page with Cart Feature
- Bill-To Page
- Ship-To Page
- Payment Page
- Confirmation & Thank You
Don’t have a complicated credit card entry
There’s nothing worse than having to re-enter your credit card information. After pulling out your reading glasses to type in the sixteen numbers on the credit card and then the other three digits on the back, the last thing you want to have to do is re-type everything because you forgot to include your middle name. Follow the industry standard and always give your customers a smooth transaction.
Don’t charge too much for shipping
Another aspect that makes potential buyers simply abandon a cart is over-the-top shipping. Essentially, charging more than 10% of the final price relates to the cliché of charging “an arm and a leg” in the brick-and-mortar industry. Losing those sales is simply not worth it. Make sure to be fair and consider risking a few bucks to close more deals.
Don’t throw in unrelated bargains
If you’re selling baseball cards, your customers do not need a good deal on hair dryers. Obviously this is a drastic example, but remember it when trying to offer an additional eBook that doesn’t relate to the sale. Try to feature something that will pair smoothly with the item in question and watch the sales roll in.
DO have a clean logo
Much like door-to-door salesmen in the past needed a remarkable business card, your eCommerce site needs a clean logo. A recognizable symbol that reassures trust, your logo should be clean with minimal yet iconic features. Consider a specific font or even a mascot to represent your image as a reputable eCommerce business.
DO include discounts & freebies
The average surfer can decide whether or not they like the look of a website within a few seconds. This often has nothing to do with the product. In order to keep their attention, consider offering discounts or freebies for an extended time. Some people can’t resist a sale and will simply buy because they see the slashed price and the new red lettering of a deal.
DO feature your most popular product
There’s no reason to hide your most successful item within the other pages. If you sell more blue toothbrushes than yellow toothbrushes, pitch the baby blues to the new customers who are visiting your site for the first time. This doesn’t mean you should never feature anything new; it just means you should keep your bestsellers in the rotation in order to continue to have bestsellers.
DO have a search feature
When building a free site from online site creators like Shopify, business owners will occasionally skip the search feature because it often involves a monthly charge from the provider. However, if your business is selling more than a single-digit number of products, a search feature is crucial for helping customers find and purchase goods in an effortless manner.
DO include social media links
Approximately 20% of purchases made online come from scrolling through social media sites. Individuals are on social media sites because they want to be and you want to be where the customers are. Take the time to create your Facebook and Twitter and update frequently. Social media is simply the best way to sell online.