Launching your eCommerce website can be a daunting project to take on, there is so much to consider before you even start selling your product or service online. Here at LightSpeed we have years of experience helping people get off the ground in eCommerce. We drew up this list of common eCommerce pitfalls that we help our customers avoid when we build a website for them.
Having a professional, engaging, attractive and usable website design is a key deciding factor that instills trust in your brand’s products and services. It’s key to your online success. Convincing the user that you are trustworthy is one of the largest hurdles every eCommerce site faces. The first interaction a user makes to convert to a customer is the most crucial interaction you ever make to engage with them and keep them coming back.
We have vast amount of experience in designing beautiful and usable websites that convert your visitors to customers. We apply expert design skills to your new or existing online store and build website designs that instil confidence and trust.
Inadequate product images
The best way to show customers what they’re buying online is visual. The functionality to display high-quality images and videos of your products are part of every eCommerce build we do, but we also encourage showing products from multiple angles, and in many different colors, so that your customers get the best possible sense of the product. Not doing so can result in costly returns and an unsatisfied customer who is unlikely to return. We highly recommend sourcing very high quality product images, it’s one of the best investments you can make to do well selling online.
Inadequate product descriptions
Product descriptions are just as important as product images. Describe your product in just enough detail, covering all of its major features and benefits. Preemptively answer customer questions, doing so can significantly cut down on presale interactions and help to avoid unnecessary returns that damage your reputation and revenue. We always ensure that all your products have descriptions that mean something to your customers, and are written with them in mind.
Are you selling a lot of products that span across many different product types? If so, it’s vitally important that customers can search your product range easily, either using just a few keywords, or additional search filters to help them find the product quickly. Customers who use on-site search can be three times as likely to actually buy something.
Our eCommerce websites incorporate robust search engine functionality that accurately indexes your product range, while also adding additional filtering that allows the customer to drill down to exact product they were looking for.
Inadequate site usability
The user experience ultimately determines the success or failure of your online venture. We have a well-defined ‘discovery and planning’ process that gathers the answers we need from you in order to ensure:
- Your website’s purpose and message is clear
- Your customers find what they need efficiently, and take the actions you need them to
- Your site’s visual design enhances the user’s experience and how they interact with your brand
Obstacles to online shopping
The main factors that negatively affect the growth of online shopping include:
- Credit card fraud fears
- Failure to trust online vendors
- Fear of misdirected merchandise or receiving the wrong items
- Having to return merchandise
We always aim to address these obstacles in the following ways:
- Our websites are SSL encrypted which makes your website extra secure, trusted by search engines, as well as the customers that visit your website.
- We recommend our customers include a badge that indicates the store is secure and protected by an SSL certificate, further instilling confidence and trust during checkout.
- We offer expert guidance in defining your shipping and return policies.
- We guide you on what product content is required to effectively showcase and present what is included in the product purchase.
- We clearly detail all the supported payment methods at checkout, like PayPal, as well as other supported credit card methods.
Poor customer service
The reputation as a brand and business relies on giving uncompromising customer support. When customers purchase a product online there is often no human interaction involved, the after sale customer service you provide is therefore extremely important. We build solutions that give you the ability to:
- Promptly confirm an order is received and send out automated notifications to your customer as their order moves through each delivery stage.
- We provide you with effective ways to encourage your customers to leave feedback on the products they received.
- We provide solutions that enable you to answer customers queries effectively, like implementing live chat and contact forms that are easy to use and simple to understand.
- We encourage that your online store has a clear set of FAQs, and we will help you present them effectively to your customers.
Complicated checkout processes
Once your customer decides to purchase, they should complete their transaction quickly and effortlessly, with as few clicks as possible. It’s good practice to include a “checkout as a guest” option if you have customers who don’t want to create an account. Our WooCommerce offering delivers exactly these features to your customers, giving them an enjoyable and stress-free online shopping experience.
Lack of shipping options
Customers like options when it comes to how their order is shipped. We can assist you with configuring a variety of shipping methods for your products based on location, weight, delivery period and cost, both domestic and international.
The average rate of online shopping cart abandonment is around 70%. Let us help you combat this on your site by installing tools that track when a cart has been abandoned and allow you to make contact with the customer to understand why they did not complete the transaction. This information is vital and can significantly reduce cart abandonment issues.
Desktop-only website design
Today more and more transactions are taking place on smartphones and tablets and it’s imperative that your website is optimized for mobile devices. All of our websites are mobile-optimized and display beautifully on all devices.
Poor site navigation
Your e-commerce website should be easy to navigate. Information that is hard to find, because there are too many distracting elements, too many different colours and font types frustrate potential customers that end up leaving your site. We don’t recommend reinventing the wheel when it comes to website navigation – stick to and use best practices to make your site’s navigation simple and intuitive to use.
Be transparent by adding product reviews or display a testimonials section on your eCommerce site to enhance credibility with your customers. Very often customers read reviews before purchasing a product. We give you functionality that makes it easy for your customers to leave reviews for your products.
No proper about or contact page
Telling your customers more about your company and providing full details on how they can contact you is crucial to establishing trust and making them comfortable shopping on your website. We’ll give you elegant solutions for displaying your company information and contact details.
No search engine optimization strategy
It’s almost 100% guaranteed your customers will search and find your company or product by using one of the major search engines like Google. Our sites are developed with SEO-readiness in mind. We adhere to standards that consider search engine ranking factors like load time, page titles and URLs, meta descriptions, keywords and alt tags.
There are numerous product types or services that can be sold online. Maybe you’re just selling one product, a few, a hundred or a thousand products. Perhaps your target market is small and highly localised, or your audience is global and highly diverse. Learning the ins and outs involved with making your online business a success is definitely possible on your own, but hiring a professional with experience in every important aspect of the process certainly makes it easier. We hope you find this list helpful and that it’s given you some food for thought, or that you consider hiring us to do your first or next eCommerce project.