Imagine for a moment: You are visiting an online company devoted to selling bags of freshly roasted organic coffee beans. They look so divine, you can practically smell them through the computer screen—and they’re not that expensive, either. But when you go to select your favorite blend, the site is so overloaded with images, it crashes your computer. When you reboot and try again, you can’t figure out how to add a bag of beans to your shopping cart. Frustrated, you log out and head to Starbucks, where you quickly and easily buy all the coffee beans you want.
You can be selling the most perfect products at the most affordable prices on the planet, but if you don’t have all of your e-commerce ducks in a row, customers will shop elsewhere. Here is a list of common mistakes you should avoid:
The Checkout Process Is Complicated
If you are going to have a successful online business, you need a way for customers to be able to purchase your products. As an article on WebHostingBlueBook.com noted, installing shopping cart software makes it a snap for customers to select and purchase the products through your website.
The Site Is Overwhelming
Sometimes e-commerce business owners think more is better when it comes to their sites—as in, more color, more graphics, more videos, more audio and more products on each page. This can be a huge mistake. Customers usually prefer websites that have a clean and organized look, and they will often leave (without spending money) sites that are too cluttered. When designing the site, stick with 12 or so products per page and simple photos rather than dozens of items and graphics all jammed together.
It Sells the Wrong Stuff
Yes, it’s an amazing product and yes, your friends all love it. But not everything will sell well through a website. For example, if your passion is creating and selling uber-chic designer duds, bear in mind many customers will want to try them on before purchasing them. If your focus is inexpensive yet adorable jewelry for girls, the shipping price may outweigh the product price, which can be a definite turn-off for customers. To figure out how to get around these potential roadblocks, do your homework ahead of time, and determine how websites that sell similar merchandise were able to convince customers to shop there.
The Site Isn’t Friendly to Multiple Browsers
According to this Gizmodo map of the world’s most popular Web browsers, the majority of people use Chrome, Explorer or Firefox. Your e-commerce site must be compatible with all three browsers. Test it on these different browsers to make sure it looks great everywhere. Typically, if colors, text or graphics are not showing up properly on a specific browser, it takes a minor adjustment of the user interface to solve the problem.
It Loads Slowly
We’re a “we want it now” society. We want the website to load quickly, and we want to see the available products right away. Web pages that take too long to load is a surefire way to drive customers away. E-commerce sites should make sure their site loads quickly, particularly the home page. As KISSMetrics points out, customers will leave your site within 10 seconds if it’s not loading.
What are some of your own pet peeve’s when it comes to your shopping experience on other websites?