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3 mistakes that e-commerce sites make and how to fix them

Monty Majeed
posted on 1st February 2017
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According to the Global B2C E-commerce report, in 2015 alone, 1.4 billion people around the world purchased goods and services online at least once. On the whole, they spent $2272 billion, with an average e-shopper spending about $1582. The data for 2016 projects that the global e-commerce industry made a whopping $1.5 trillion in sales. Today, getting into e-commerce business is far too easy. Almost anyone can set up a new website, start selling products, and make money. However, are you noticing that not all your customers are going fully through with the purchase on your account? Here are three crucial mistakes that you could be making that are driving your customers away from your site:

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Image : shutterstock

Forcing your customers to register just before checkout

Customers want hassle-free shopping and that is the purpose of an e-commerce site. If they had to go through a whole cumbersome shopping experience, they might as well go to a physical store to pick the product up. Yes, you would love to have customers register on your site and increase your number of followers or unique views. But put yourself in your customer’s shoes and imagine that you filled out shipping details and payment details, only to be stopped right before checking out by a mandatory signup dialog box. If you expect your customers would sign up for the sake of finishing the order, you are grossly mistaken. They would just leave you for your competitors because there is nothing more frustrating than forced registration. You are also giving your customer more time to change their mind about the purchase.

How to fix it: Make it optional. You could show your customers a dialog box asking them to sign up, but that shouldn’t be a compulsory step to finish their order. Offer them some goodies if they sign up--like saving account informations, order tracking and special discounts and so on. Make your customers feel that you are giving them a choice and not forcing them to divulge their information.

Surprising your customers with enormous shipping charges

This is also a common mistake that most businesses make. When they quote prices of their products, they do not specify the shipping costs. Like the sign up dialog box, the steep shipping cost hits the customer by surprise right before check out. This leaves a bad taste in the customer’s mouth about your brand because they had almost made up their minds to buy the product. Some of them would still go ahead with the purchase, but studies say that 44 percent of customers abandon their shopping carts if the shipping costs are too high.

How to fix it: Be transparent in the information you put out for your customers. Indicate shipping costs. Some really well-built e-commerce sites have shipping cost calculators that give customers an idea of the approximate increment in the price that may come about owing to such charges. Also, make your shipping, privacy, cancellation, and refund policies available to the customer.

Not giving enough information about products

Even after the huge success of e-commerce giants like Amazon and Flipkart, some people are still sceptical about buying products and services off the internet. One of the main reasons they cite is that they cannot touch or feel or try on the product. This is where good product photographs and a well-written product description come in handy. In a recent survey conducted by Salsify, in which over 1000 people were interviewed, it was found that 88 percent of them expected accurate, rich and complete product information. Detailed product information ranked the first – even higher than customer reviews and price – among factors that influenced a customer’s decision.

How to fix it: In the same survey mentioned above, 66 percent of the respondents said they wanted to see at least three product images and 82 percent of them wanted at least three product reviews listed alongside it. Make sure that product images capture the item in 360-degrees and also help customers estimate their size (in relation to other objects), cut, colour, and type of material. Even if these are obvious through images, list them with the description. Try to avoid jargons in your content, and make it simple and easy for your customer to grasp.

Check your ecommerce site to see if you are committing these mistakes that are costing you a truckload of conversions. The best e-commerce sites are cleverly designed with just the required amount of clear information displayed, and have high-resolution images and videos. What are your tips to improve your customers’ online shopping experience? Let us know in the comments section below.

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