An online store is different from a brick-and-mortar store in so many ways, one of them being that online stores have the ability to reach tons of people around the world, provided that the store is marketed intensively. E-Commerce market is enormous in today’s times and there are an estimated 12 to 24 million online stores (according to emarketer.com) selling products on the internet around the world today. So, naturally, there are some that have become so well known globally and then there are those that people from the same country won’t also be unaware of.
There are a few mistakes in running e-commerce stores that prove to be so expensive that they can have an adverse impact on your sales. Read on to know these mistakes and try avoiding them while running your online store to be able to reach your full sales potential:
- Not enough shipping options- Customers have different delivery expectations and preferences. Not having multiple shipping options will make your online store undesirable. There should be provisions for customers to choose their preferred delivery dates. Also, there should be free shipping options. In the absence of such options or provisions, your cart abandonment rate will increase exponentially. Most of the well known online stores offer multiple shipping options and along with a free shipping option. By incorporating such options in their e-commerce sites, they can easily steal away your users because users obviously prefer going for more economical solutions.
- Poor packaging- The type of packaging you use shows your brand reputation. Placing items in inappropriately sized boxes or cartons and skipping protection like bubble wraps while packing sensitive items that require being packed with protection can break or damage the items and as a result, destroy your brand reputation.
- Underpricing or overpricing your products- Do a financial analysis of your product prices. Take into account the shipping, returns, and overhead costs and properly price your products accordingly. Make sure to neither under price them, nor overprice them. You should be able to generate a positive cash flow with your pricing. If you don’t do a proper financial analysis, you can often lose money and not even know.
- Not knowing your target audience well- If you do not know your customers well, you would not be able to target them better. Connect with your customers to understand their needs and wants. For this, you could incorporate analytics into your e-commerce site and make use of it to be able to target better. Skilled web development services incorporate great analytical tools while designing e-commerce websites.
- Starting the site without having any solid marketing plan- You cannot just do any random marketing activity one day and some other the other day. There should be a proper schedule for your marketing plan. Your plan should cover different marketing channels and models, such as, advertisements, PPCs, social media marketing, SEO, etc. Have a marketing plan for your e-commerce site in place before launching it.
- Poor search options- If your users are not able to easily find specific items that they are looking for on your site, this means that your site does not have good enough search options. Put thoughtful filters in your search options so that users can narrow down their searches and find exactly the items that they want to look for.
- Poor quality images/videos of products- When users buy products online, they rely mostly on product images/videos since they cannot physically feel the product when buying online. Image and video quality of products must be very good so that users can have a good idea of how the product is going to look and feel in reality. Also, make sure there aren’t a limited number of product images.
- Absence of reviews- One of the few things that help users decide if they want to buy a particular product online is user reviews. Reviews help them know how satisfied customers have actually been by using a specific product item. There should surely be an option for users to add product reviews.
- Improper or difficult-to-locate contact page- Even if you are an online store, it doesn’t mean that people won’t need your physical address. People would want to know where you are located, where do their ordered items get shipped from, etc. Have a proper contact page with email ids, mobile numbers, office phone numbers, physical address, map, etc. Also, make sure your contact page isn’t buried deep under some menu on your site, it should be easy-to-find.
- A confusing return policy- A comprehensive and clear return policy will build your user’s trust & confidence in you and your online store. Do not try to hide your policy under heavy jargon of difficult-to-understand words. Use simple and understandable language in your return & exchange policy. Make your return process easy and clearly communicate the return procedure in details. This will allow your customers to shop without any fears.