It's no secret that online businesses are quickly becoming the norm in the world of retail and commerce business. People are shopping online in record numbers, opting for convenience over the adventure of exploring a brick and mortar store.
These same online shoppers are enjoying the ability to find virtually any product they may want to have with the click of a button, as opposed to hopping from business to business in hopes of finding the perfect product, size, or hard-to-get-item. eCommerce websites are the wave of the future. However, these 10 e-commerce business mistakes can cause your business problems just as if it were a brick and mortar retailer.
1. Poor Customer Service
If you were to conduct a poll of e-commerce customers, most of them would say the biggest mistake of e-commerce businesses is not taking care of the customer. This may include issues such as:
No live customer service representatives
Denying refunds for negative experiences
Not responding to inquiries
Poor representative attitudes
This is an easy problem to rectify. The business owner should make sure his or her customer service representatives are well-trained in dealing with customer service issues. The business should have a clear and written set of guidelines to handle any customer experience problems and make those guidelines available to the consumer as well as to the employees. Making these small adjustments can help alleviate one of the largest eCommerce business mistakes in the industry.
For tips and strategies to improve your customer service, check out our white paper: The Secrets of Customer Retention for eCommerce Businesses.
2. Poor Use of Online Marketing Tools
Online marketing tools are abundant and readily available for any merchant. Compared to television or radio spots, many of these tools are free or low cost. Even pay per click advertising offered online can become costly. Social Media offers amazing opportunities for businesses to interact directly with a potential customer. Companies can use:
Avoid some of the worst mistakes by directly communicating with your customer base. This communication, or lack thereof, directly affects a company’s bottom line.
3. Forgetting to Share Product Reviews
Your online store has amazing products. You know it, and anyone who visits your site should know it too. Sharing customer reviews about your great products on your website and throughout social media is a great way to get people to click on your site link, purchase the item, and become a return shopper.
4. Collecting Customer Data
eCommerce business mistakes, such as ignoring customer demographics, can prevent your business from expanding. As annoying as it is to request names and email addresses, it allows you to keep and track customer demographics which turns into an email list. Email lists then allow you to inform customers of big sales, events you are throwing, and new and innovative products. As a result, customers will be more likely to visit your site even when they were not thinking about your products.
5. Poor Shipping Options
Another common mistake is not offering shipping options. Consumers like “free shipping.” They will look for websites that offer free shipping, even if they are required to spend more money. They may not be willing to pay for expedited shipping. However, they need to know that they have that option. Not offering a way for a person to obtain free shipping (even if it is a slower method) may cost you future sales.
6. No Shipping Insurance
In the same vein as poor shipping options, a common mistake is not offering shipping insurance on products purchased online. In the event a product is lost or stolen in the shipping process, your company may be liable for replacement of the items. This is always a possibility and can be detrimental to your bottom line.
In addition, you may wish to purchase shipping insurance on a higher value item to make sure you are protected if something happens to it during delivery. "Porch pirates" are on the rise, leading major companies like Amazon to ship fake packages to crack down on such theft.Third party shipping companies like Cabrella offers coverage for up to $150,000 at a much lower cost than common carriers (up to 90% less).
To find out if shipping insurance makes economical sense for you, check out our blog: Is eCommerce Shipping Insurance Worth the Cost?
7. Poor Branding
A website is only as good as its brand. Branding is not simply about a logo. When it comes to eCommerce, branding is so much more. Well-developed branding includes:
A unique and descriptive domain name
Social media presence
A proper website
Consistency throughout the internet
eCommerce business mistakes include the lack of some or all of these points. Maybe the domain name is something like the name of your children.com. However, that does not tell people what you sell or the type of business you own. Instead, look for a domain name that includes the type of products, such as “MrBilltoysandgames.com.”
Next, make sure you research any keywords and implement them into your website copy. This will increase the SEO for your website. People looking for toys and games will more easily find your site.
From there, your name, logo, and design should be incorporated into all communication: social media sites you maintain, the website itself, any invoices sent with purchases. Make sure all internet listings and sites include accurate contact information and domain name without any discrepancies.
8. Too Complicated to Make a Purchase
Everyone has a story to tell of the website where it was impossible to check out. Once a person knew what they wanted to purchase, they were taken to a different page that did not look like it was part of the same website. Then, maybe they needed to provide unnecessary pieces of information. At this point, most people will leave the cart behind and find another place to shop, even if it costs them a few more dollars. Simply said, make sure to keep your check-out process simple.
There is software available to simplify your checkout process, like this Magento 2 One Step Checkout:
9. Not Reminding People They Abandoned Their Cart
If someone were to write a book of e-commerce business mistakes 101, there would definitely be a chapter devoted to follow-up. Follow-up is the concept of reminding people that they have products in their cart. Sometimes, people forget they were looking at certain products from a particular business. Therefore, a quick follow-up reminder to let these people know that they have unfinished purchases may help trigger the completion of the sale.
Follow-up also opens a dialogue that allows you, as a business owner, to make appropriate changes not to lose future business. Maybe the checkout process was too difficult. Maybe the shipping options were not good enough. Maybe they found the product elsewhere for less. Whatever the reason, you now have a way to track what you are not doing right and make changes.
To learn more about avoiding cart abandonment check out our blog: Making the Most Out of Your eCommerce Shipping and Fulfillment.
10. Not Securing Your Website
Finally, in today’s day and age, people are more concerned about online security than ever before. Therefore, as an e-commerce business owner, you must make sure your website is secure. This means you must have proper SSL certificates and fraud protection software installed. Neglecting security puts your company and your customer's personal information at risk. This can be especially costly should a lawsuit arise from lost or stolen customer information.
It is important to avoid e-commerce business mistakes whenever possible. In regards to shipping insurance, Cabrella offers high quality protection for your business and your customers at discounted prices. Click the button below to have one of our shipping insurance experts give you a quote today.