WiX eCommerce and Marketing Expert Liat Karpel Gurwicz recently put together this great slideshow on eCommerce mistakes that everyone makes.
Here are her tips:
We all know that creating an online store and selling through established marketplaces had never been easier as affordable, customizable, and accessible platforms have become ubiquitous. But still, your own ability to increase sales from existing customers and acquiring new ones is the key for the growth of your eCommerce business. You have to spend money, time, and energy on every marketing channel and you have in your control to strike the right balance for your business. True enough, boosting revenue and scaling up can be a daunting task –even for the seasoned eCommerce pros.
Mistakes offer great opportunities for learning and are a natural part of any growth, but we all agree that, if possible, it’s better to avoid them. Avoiding costly mistakes (and missed opportunities) are possible if you’re aware of the most common risks and drawbacks that entrepreneurs face.
Here are essential Tips for the Top 5 eCommerce mistakes to avoid:
#1 Lack of Knowledge about Your Target Audience
One of the biggest mistakes a business owner makes is not taking the time to clearly define the target audience and understand what makes them tick. Just because you have a great product they (might) need doesn’t mean they’ll show up at your website. You have to get them to notice what you offer. To that end you have to understand who they are and how to reach them. Without this knowledge, you are, in essence, completely blind doing every single marketing initiative. Once you know your target audience, you’d also know which words to use in descriptions, which photos to use for ads, which social media to maintain aggressively, etc.
Be keen on knowing your potential customers. These include: their problems/pain points, their interests/hobbies, the values important to them, what they’re looking for, what subcultures/groups they belong to, and where/how they engage with content online.
Clearly defining your target audience helps you fashion a brand message they can relate to and create a shopping experience that entices them to keep coming back.
#2 Unsure which eCommerce Channels to Use
It’s great that you know your target customers well, but that’s not enough. You should also know how to reach them best: Is it via Facebook? Do they read email newsletters? Do they use Amazon or eBay? No matter how valuable your product is, relevant shoppers won’t ever see them if you don’t know the answers to these questions. eCommerce platforms work differently and don’t cater to the same audiences: others do well in reaching shoppers who had a previous experience with your store, while others are great at reaching shoppers looking actively for a product. Online selling means endless process of testing and optimization, of trial and error. Take time to understand the variances of each channel’s upside and try new ways of reaching potential customers.
Step1. Define desired results for your marketing initiatives. Is it to reach out to fresh prospects, to re-engage past customers, to attract potential shoppers that’re searching actively, or to increase quantity/quality of traffic?
Step 2. Choose an eCommerce platform, based on your defined goals, that best connects your business to potential shoppers.
- Search engines are effective tools to reach people who are actively looking for a product as they’re already interested and convert quicker. Google and Bing offer numerous advertising options (i.e.images and text ads, voice search marketing, product listings). Optimizing the SEO of your eCommerce website gets you ranked organically for related search words. This grows priceless unpaid traffic sources to your own site.
- Online Marketing is similar to search engines where it reaches shoppers with high conversion as they’re already interested enough in your product to give you their email info or have already purchased from you.
- Social Networks help you reach those who are open to new content/ideas, although not necessarily actively looking for a product. Every day, millions of people worldwide use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest offering granular targeting means --based on behavior, demographics, &lifestyle.
- Retargeting helps you reach customers who’ve already been to your website. A lot of shoppers abandon their carts, but the interest is there, hence easier to convert. You can use channels like Facebook and Google to remarket by adding a unique tracking pixel to your site allowing you to serve ads later on to visitors. You can also set up auto-emails to remind shoppers of their abandoned carts and about the products they initially selected from your store.
#3 Not Investing in Your Product Pages
Although online shoppers don’t get the chance to interact with your product before purchase, they engage with your product pages. These pages have to be convincing enough that they buy from your online store instead of from others.
The solution: create enticing product pages. Invest in the following:
Provide accurate product descriptions that’re appealing (including features, benefits and specs).
Use high-quality product photos/videos when displaying your products.
Include reviews and testimonials that are valid and authentic as these are major drivers in buyer conversion.
Optimize the SEO for your product pages that include relevant keywords –without copy-pasting supplier/manufacturer descriptions. Search engines penalize duplicate content in product pages.
#4 Making Poor Shopping Experiences
Typically, you should be able to close the deal after shoppers get through the initial phases of the sales funnel, but this is also the stage where carts are oftentimes abandoned. Don’t put any obstacle if/when a shopper decided to make a purchase from your store.
- Simplify your shopping cart. Customers tend to get frustrated and give up if they have to fumble around at checkout. A simple process which had already eliminated many steps will increase conversion. Making buttons big and texts small and removing unnecessary fields will give you more closed deals.
- Requiring shoppers to create an account before checkout will most likely turn them away. Give them a streamlined checkout where it’s easy to get your product and give you their money. You take care of adding them later to your CRM lists/brand community.
- Unexpected fees are unpleasant surprises. Purchasing from your store requires some trust so don’t give any reason that you aren’t upfront with them. Hidden fees for shipping/tax can drive buyers away. This doesn’t mean you shoulder these fees, just simply provide them this info before they reach checkout.
#5 Poor Customer Care Experience
Your business’ lifeblood is your customers. It’s more profitable (and easier) to keep existing customers, plus, they’re more likely to bring you more business (such as referrals) when you give them amazing customer care. It’s easy to lose existing customers, and slower to get new ones, if you have poor customer service, which include showing impatience, slow response time, not offering refunds, and not being upfront with fees.
Be there when your customers need you and give them your undivided attention/support.
They feel this in the way that you:
- answer questions/comments on social media
- respond to shopper messages on your webpage
- handle complaints via email or phone
Excellent customer care experience keeps the lifeblood of your business flowing.
Learn from eCommerce Mistakes to Increase Online Business and Sell More
Learning from common mistakes made by new and seasoned eCommerce businesses is crucial to the growth of your store. You can better anticipate, hence avoid, the same mistakes to begin with. You’d also learn that making some of these mistakes won’t mean the doom of your business.
If you identify and acknowledge the mistake you’ve made, you can fix it and continue to grow and thrive. Improving upon your mistakes won’t only set you up for success but will create a following of satisfied and loyal customers who are excited to buy your products repeatedly.
Beach Websites can set up a simple eCommerce store in WiX in around 3 days; get in touch with us today.