Not every eCommerce website is going to become a successful one. Actually only a small fraction will sustain enough juice to be able to quit your day job so you are going to really have to put your thinking cap on if you want to turn your eCommerce website into a selling machine.
Over the years I have come across some really horrendous eCommerce websites where the owners really did not understand why their website was not producing.Let’s dissect things a bit:
An eCommerce website needs to have streamlined programming. If you are resurrecting your website from hibernation where it was laid to rest in 1999 you are going to have to spend some money and re-develop. The game has changed and you are going to have dig into your site and make things much better from a user experience stand point if you want to have sales coming through on a regular basis.
No Product or Brand Direction
I once spoke with a person who sold grills, baby seats and lap tops all on the home page of their website and wondered why their business wasn’t booming. I won’t even get into the design or programming aspect of the whole thing either, the only two websites on the planet that can get away with doing that is Amazon and EBay…that’s it. Your site needs to have direction with the goods you are selling. You can’t just be a jack of all trades when it comes to your products because the market already has too many heavy hitters taking that route.
No Niche or Brand
People really like niche websites when they are purchasing online for something very specific. Put aside Target.com and Walmart.com if someone wants a specialty item purchasing through a niche provider makes them feel like they are part of a brand. The days of just slapping up products onto a website with a shopping cart are over. That approach is last Sunday’s newspaper and you need to put something new and fresh on the table. Give your visitors a reason to want to become a customer from your website.
No Visible Customer Service Department
Your website visitors need to feel warm and fuzzy that if something goes wrong with the purchase they have a phone number to call or a person to speak to in case they want to exchange or return. Don’t bury your return policy or customer service department info.
Just because you think that 12 color blinking logo is fantastic does not mean the community will either. Have a professional clean up the design elements of your website so they are inviting and draw people in. Yes design is subjective and you can’t impress everyone but you can surely make things a bit more neutral. Good eCommerce website design can go a long way in helping you achieve great sales.
Lack of Conversion Metrics
It is important to have certain elements in place on every website to attain the goal of that site and if you are selling a product (s) there needs to be certain call to action items clearly visible and laid out. Everything from the type of purchase button you use to how you structure your product pages could determine how people purchase through your website. Things like having a clearly visible phone number if someone wants to purchase over the phone or having a clearly visible button to buy with is really important.
No Personality or Flavor
Unless your website is a house hold name you are going to need some personality to show your visitors there is a human being behind that website. Get creative and show your audience that you are a team of people with a soul behind that eCommerce website because people like to feel like they are part of something.
Lack of Trust Building Factors
Trust is very important when website visitors are pulling out their credit cards and spending their hard earned cash on something you are selling on your website. Show people that you are not just going to take their money and run. Any badges like the Better Business Bureau or your SSL certificate could help in pushing a visitor forward to make that purchase.
Website visitors do not want to have to create an account when they purchase anything. They simply want to make their purchase and go. Give your audience a choice on whether they want to go ahead and register for an account or not because it will cause you to loose visitors if you don’t.
Lack Of Shipping Costs
Don’t surprise people with your shipping costs until they are about to place their credit card info into your website. Make sure to let them know well before what you are charging for shipping costs. Failing to do this properly could cause you to have a high shopping cart abandon rate.
10 years ago eCommerce website required much less maintenance to move product. In today’s marketplace that is no longer the case. eCommerce websites need time and patience and a professional guiding you down the right path in order to execute what needs to be done to hold a visitors attention. The list above is really a fraction of what could go wrong with an eCommerce website and it is up to you to always be testing a variety of different efforts to see what works best for you.