Ecommerce Mistakes

I recently reviewed a web site for a customer that they thought was just perfect. They asked me if the site achieved the objective of selling their widget. My answer was no and I compiled this list from my analysis of their website.

 

Common mistake number 1 Not making your catalog page your main page
Your main page is the place to put your products, its the first page of your catalog. Put all your company information on the about page. Feature sale items or best sellers and update the main page often. Your main page is the first impression your visitors will have of your store. Layout alone can instill trust in your customers.
Common mistake number 2: No product pictures or missing pictures on your website.
Make sure you have pictures of the product you are selling and make sure the photos are accurate and current. I've done analysis to find out why certain items aren't selling and found missing graphics, even in data feeds from big companies. I add the graphic manually and all of a sudden the item in is in the top ten. The photo is a big part of the closer. Take the time to size them correctly so that the item depicted is not distorted.
Common mistake number 3: WeakDescriptions, verbose descriptions, block text, wrong location..
Give as much information as you can, but the location of the description matters. Use short descriptions on your catalog pages, just a few short bullet points and a link for more info on the items individual product page. On the product pages full descriptions such as size, weight and available colors, pictures,  etc. As with the pictures, I've had to go into the database and manually add missing descriptive information before an item starts to sell. This little bit of effort goes a long way in making a sale. Stay away from block text, especially on your catalog pages, most visitor will not read it.
Common mistake number 4: No Prices, old prices.
Put the prices right there with the products picture and description. Don't make them search for it. And when I'm told to call for a price quote, I'm going to another site. That's just to much work and I wonder what your hiding when its not posted.
Common mistake number 5: No Product Comparison between the low and high end.
I'm big on selling every type of an item I can. My clients are worried that the customer will always take the cheapest item. That's not necessarily true. Give them product comparison, compare the low end to the high end so they can see the advantages of a high end item. Many times you can up sell just by giving your customers options. And if they buy the cheap one, well, a sale is a sale.
Common mistake number 6: Hidden contact information, no customer service information, no 800 number.
I post contact information on every page of my websites that are involved in selling products, make yourself accessible. An 800 number adds a certain credibility to a company, and why should your customers pay for the call. Post the email addresses and post your 800 number on every page, I put it either on a toolbar or at the bottom of every page An the answer the emails and pick up the phone immediately. A little personal contact goes a long way in bonding with your customers.
Common mistake number 7: Lack of understanding how search engines work, lack of keywords, improper page titles.
The concepts behind getting indexed on search engines and shopping engines are very basic, Conform to the rules of basic indexing and design your site accordingly. The search engines want keywords in specific places in your pages, PUT THEM THERE. I've had too many disagreements because I wanted to put the name of the product on the top of the page or have the product name in text instead of a graphic. The end result is poor or no indexing. Play by the rules of the Internet, not your rules. I had a client that had the same keyword list for every single page, no matter what the product. If you have a music store, the keyword on your Louis Armstrong page  is not music, Its Louis Armstrong. This doesn't assure high ranking, but it sure is an integral part. If your page title doesn't reflect the content of the web page your not going to get click on even when your web page returns in a search engine result.
Common mistake number 8: No activity on site.
Update your catalog often, add new items, remove out of stock or unavailable items. Change your main catalog pages daily or at least weakly with featured items, best sellers and special sale items. If your store looks the same today as it did last week, your visitors are going to assume your site is inactive.
Common mistake number 9: Shopping obstacles, to many clicks, poor navigation, registration pages.
Make your layout easy to use, test it with the most unsavvy Internet user you can find. Don't throw pop-up ads at them to click through or load new windows (new windows defeat the back button). Make it no more then two clicks to get to the cart. And if you really want to lose a sale, make them register to become a member of your site before they even get to the cart. Your customer doesn't always want to join your club, they just want the widget.
Common mistake number 10: Products can't get found.
Give your customers multiple ways to search for products from your database. Don't make your sites product search one sited, not everyone thinks the same way you so. Make you catalog searchable but, item, size, price, color, etc. If your customers can't find what they are looking for, you can sell it.
About Interwebshop Internet Business Services
Our ecommerce expertise is based on over twelve years of experience. Our staff has been in the business since the government de-regulated the Internet. We know how to make your online store successful. If your a new start up, a website that failing or you just want to increase your sales, you need our consulting services. The consultation is free and we can work within your budget.