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As consumers, we’ve experienced at least one bad shopping experience in our lifetimes. Maybe we went to a mall retail outlet where the staff treated us cruelly for no good reason. Or perhaps we unknowingly bought a poor-quality product we were unable to return. Whatever the case may be, it’s unlikely that you went back after such a negative experience.
Now that you are on the seller’s side, those considerations matter even more. The onus, as an ecommerce seller, is on you to provide a stellar shopping experience. Here are five ways your ecommerce store may accidentally lose customers— and how to avoid those pitfalls.
Poor Website Design
Want in on a little secret? Looks matter.
Sure, you may not have a storefront to decorate or clothing racks to keep orderly. But you do have a website. And if a customer lands on your ecommerce site only to find low-quality images and a cluttered homepage, that shopper won’t be a customer for long.
Make sure to follow good design principles when you create a website– such as leaving plenty of white space, only using HD images, and sticking to three brand colors or less. Luckily, Shopify and other ecommerce platforms provide easy-to-use themes to assist sellers with simple and sleek website design. While building a website yourself is admirable, it also opens the door to possible errors. Why take the chance?
Shoppers really do judge a book by its cover; put on your best appearances.
Slow Website Load Times
Nobody likes waiting – especially when shopping online. Today’s shoppers want instant gratification, so your site needs to load lickety-split. After all, a quarter of consumers will abandon a site if it takes four seconds to load.
How do you ensure quick website load times? Start by compressing your images. This allows for high-quality images to load without creating excessive strain on your server. Similarly, you can enable browser caching, which locally saves a version of your site onto a customer’s computer, thus allowing for quicker load times on return visits. Invest in website speed tools to identify issues before they turn into problems.
In the early days of the internet, websites were pretty varied. Some had navigation bars on the left side, others the right side, still others the top or bottom. Fortunately, those days are behind us. Now everything is – more or less – standardized. Shoppers expect navigation bars to be on the top of each page; just as they expect the search bar to be in the top-right corner.
Again, if you are using an ecommerce site builder of any kind, most of the customizable themes you encounter will be built with these expectations in mind. However, you can also pick up on user experience (UX) tips by simply visiting the webpages of your competitors to compare and contrast. If they have something that works, feel free to copy them. After all, you aren’t trying to win an award for novel or innovative navigation. You’re trying to win buyers.
It may sound obvious at first, but be careful to avoid alienating your customers with negative messaging. For example, today’s political climate is a bit divisive. You might want to post something political on your e-store’s social media pages, but before you do so, ask yourself if this is the best thing for your business. If you operate a retail site selling political T-shirts, then it’s probably “on brand.” If you sell designer watches, then it will probably distract customers from what you’re selling.
Companies find themselves in hot water in this fashion all the time.
Don’t become one of them.
Complicated Checkout Page
Like many of the tips above, this one focuses on ease and expectations. Once a shopper reaches your checkout page, they are already set on making a purchase. However, if you make them suffer through excessive page redirects and unavoidable registrations, they may abandon their shopping cart.
Keep things simple. Allow shoppers to enter as “guests” so they can submit their financial information and relevant addresses to complete a transaction. You can always ask them to register after you’ve closed the sale.
These are just a few ways your ecommerce may accidentally lose customers. Regularly examine your pages, processes, and products to make sure you are delivering customers the best experience possible.