The e-commerce business sector is dominated by a few big companies like Amazon, Alibaba, eBay, etc. while millions of other companies fight an intense battle for the remaining market share.
The intensity of the competition makes it necessary for online businesses to get their strategy right and avoid making mistakes that can prove to be costly in terms of lost opportunity and profits or even be the cause of business failure.
Below are some examples of typical mistakes made by e-commerce startups that can help you to avoid them:
#1. Poor Presentation of Products
The biggest challenge for online businesses is to mimic the user experience encountered in a brick and mortar store. Good product presentation depends on a combination of high-quality photographs and well-written descriptions.
Using technology to show the users the product in 360-degrees by clicking the mouse or swiping the image with the finger can be extremely helpful. You can also use videos to show the product being unboxed or used so that users can appreciate the finer point of the product.
It is also important to show the different colors or the sizes in which the product is available.
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Whenever possible, try to give context to the photos so that users need not test their imaginations in figuring out how the product will actually look when being used. For example, a handbag is shown better by a person carrying it rather than it on a table.
Product descriptions should ideally be crisp and concise yet cover all the essential information required by customers. It should use compelling language that encourages prospects to buy it by making an informed decision.
#2. No Social Proof
For online businesses, social proof is extremely important as it reassures prospects that the product functions at is should and users are satisfied with their experience. According to a 2017 study by Spiegel Research Center, 95% of online shoppers tend to read up on online customer reviews before deciding whether to buy or not. Since public feedback is intrinsic to the reputation and credibility of the brand, displaying positive user feedback can help to convert sales better. According to Searchenginejournal.com, brands, however, should not hide negative responses, as users may assume that the company is deliberately suppressing negative feedback.
Social media is also becoming a very valuable point of reference for users in their purchasing decisions. When users see that there is a lot of user engagement in terms of like and positive comments of the posts published by the brand, it reinforces the perception of the brand positively and creates a favorable impression on the user.
#3. Using Generic Content
The use of generic content by e-commerce sites can easily sound the death knell as the sector is extremely competitive and sites that do not host fresh and original content are perceived as being lazy with a “me-too” attitude towards business. Instead of just harping on the features of the product, online businesses can instead try to show how the product can add value to customers in search of solutions for achieving something in an easier and more convenient manner.
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Injecting a degree of emotional connect with the customer works far better than highlighting the actual performance of the product; humanizing the communication by introducing the face of a person often is the best method for converting sales- the homepage of Nationaldebtreliefprograms.com, a leading debt relief company is a case in point.
#4. Insufficient Promotion
Despite producing a lot of fresh and original content, many online businesses are dismayed that their sales do not take off as expected. The real problem is that site does not have enough visitors reading the content, which makes it very important for the e-commerce platforms to be promoted in various ways like email marketing and social media as well as SEO to generate organic traffic.
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Keeping in mind the huge popularity of the top social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. it can be very productive to promote your products and the website. However, you will get the best results only if you optimize the content for the platform you are using.
Your social media content strategy should not only take into account the preferences of the audience in line with the key demographics and psychographics but also the timing and the frequency of posting that will have a direct bearing on the reach and consequent rate of engagement.
#5. Not Paying Enough Attention to Site Security
If there is a single factor that lowers conversion even when your e-commerce site attracts lots of traffic, it’s the perception that your site does not offer adequate security of personal and transactional data. For an e-commerce site to be successful, it is necessary to offer multi-level security of user’s personal and financial information that can prevent the site from being hacked.
Ideally, the site should not store any confidential information and route the transaction through a reputed payment gateway protected with at least a 128-bit SSL security certificate.
#6. WebPages Load Too Slowly
Internet users, especially those using mobile devices are notoriously impatient and like to get instant results. If the webpages of the online store open too slowly, users tend to abandon the site and find gratification elsewhere thus undoing all the hard work that you have put in to create and promote the online store.
It is very important for you to optimize your e-commerce platform so that users can select the products of their choice quickly and check out conveniently.
Product images especially need to be compressed, so that the pages load quickly even when there are multiple images on the same page. If the bounce rate is high due to users abandoning the site, it will also be driving down the page results by Google and further reduce your organic traffic potential.
The ecommerce business can be quite lucrative if you know what your target audience really wants and can fulfill their requirements in a way that is better than the rest. However, it is important that needless mistakes are not made that can have a negative impact on your competitive edge.
Interested in developing an effective and winning strategy to boost your startup and take your business to the top? Get in touch with us today and let our amazing team help you create and execute a winning digital marketing and PR strategy.