What to Avoid When Building your E-commerce Website

Building out your first e-commerce website is an exciting time in anyone’s business career. Selling a product or service virtually gives any company the mobility to grasp more exposure to a target market that may be found anywhere around the world. Businesses may save more money by not having to open a brick and mortar store. Better yet, employees may be able to service customers from anywhere, giving them the flexibility they need to do their work properly. 

While there are obviously several benefits to taking your business to the glorious world of the web, there are few design errors that need to be avoided to achieve secure success. By following what “not” to do, your online presence is guaranteed to be profitable. 

Lack of present customer service 

There will always be a customer that may have a few questions about the product or the business. Since the company is offering products virtually, there is no sales associate present like a normal brick and mortar store. Either employ customer service representatives to be present at significant times for the business or invest in a software service that will be able to assist with commonly asked questions. No matter what, there needs to be an outlet for the customer to go and ask questions so that he/she can make a buying decision. 

Long check out process

There is no reason for a checkout process to be super lengthy unless there are required procedures before obtaining it such as medical forms for a medication. Keep it as simple as possible, so that the customer doesn’t become confused. 

Simplify the look of the pages, and limit the information requested to only what’s required. For instance, make one page the shipping information details and the next the card information. That way, the customer isn’t overwhelmed.nIf the check out process isn’t simple, then the customer is more likely to abandon their cart then to continue shopping on the website. 

Desktop only site

This can be extremely frustrating for the person that either doesn’t have access to a desktop or is only on their phone. Mobile-friendly websites are extremely important and happen to be one of the more commonly forgotten details. Make sure to discuss the different steps that need to be taken for each type of site. It’s also important for both to go on multiple test runs before they go live to the public. If there happen to be any issues during the launch, it could negatively affect business profits. 

Cluttered content 

When someone first logs onto the website, they don’t want to enter a confusing place. The user will leave as fast as they could log on. Products should be organized into categories and services should be on their own separate page. The website shouldn’t be overdesigned either. Less is certainly more. When a web designer is creating any type of website, they need to have the mindset thinking no one has ever heard of the brand before. When they think this way, they will be able to communicate the content more efficiently. 

Hard navigation

Pairing well with cluttered content, information shouldn’t be difficult to find either. Again, less is more. All communication needs to be sectioned out with headings and subheadings at the top of the site, so people know where they are going. If need be, a search bar may also be necessary for someone searching for a specific item quickly. 

It’s also important that two separate pieces of information aren’t grouped together. For instance, one page shouldn’t have an ‘About Me’ me portion mixed together with ‘Services’. Both pieces are important to the consumer and deserve to have their own section. These two content pieces also don’t correlate, so it also wouldn’t make sense to find them together.   

No target market knowledge 

When a consumer is opening up a website and it doesn’t look like something they would ever navigate, then are likely to exit and move elsewhere. This is why it’s important to make sure the business understands their target market and what will attract them. The front page of a website is essentially the same as the front window of the store. A large percentage will make a purchasing decision of the judgment of a first perception. 

Unclear product visual/description

There’s nothing quite as important as the way a business displays their products. Visually, products should be uploaded in good quality and there should be multiple shots of the image, so that customers get a good grasp on what they’d be receiving. All products shouldn’t be covered in any way or styled with an element that could distract from the main feature. 

Descriptions should match what the visual represents. Instead of adding any sort of fluff to the wording, it needs to only be informational. That way the customer will be able to understand how the product or service works without needing to converse with customer service. 

Absence of a plan

This is arguably the most important element in designing a website. There needs to be a major plan into what the business wants to achieve by establishing this platform. Is it profit? Exposure? Whatever it might be, this will heavily influence the design direction for the website. 

As an example, if the business is only trying to attain exposure, then they may not want to list products at all. Instead, the company might want to establish a format for more of a blog. On the other hand, if it’s all about making money online, then the product needs to be the main priority and the website needs to be designed so they can sell themselves. 

No shipping options 

Many customers will be lost if there’s no different options for shipping. It’s an extremely important factor, especially if it’s during holiday time. There should be at least three shipping methods. 

Economy- For the consumer who isn’t in a rush and may receive the package at the company’s earliest convenience. That way, the business may prioritize what needs to be shipped out first. 

Standard- This is the perfect timing for a product that will display excellent customer service,  but without the hassle to get the product to the customer’s door within the day. It’s also a realistic form of transportation for companies that may be shipping across the country or internationally. 

Express- For any last-minute buyers, this is an important feature to have, especially since most buyers do make their purchasing decisions at the last minute. Also, with companies offering express shipping for free all the time, this feature is a good way to compete.    

No customer profiles 

 One of the best ways to get a repeat customer is to have the option for them to create a customer profile. This will make it easier for them to check out every time. Better yet, the business can grab their email so that they can be communicated with directly, creating that customer loyalty. 

With a profile, businesses also have the opportunity to grasp more target market information. For instance, you might be able to obtain the age, gender, and demographic they are shopping from, which could benefit the company in the long run.

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