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magento & ecommerce

Factors Killing Your E-Commerce Sales

Online stores have become essential for any retail business, but not every company investing in e-commerce sees significant revenue returns. One may argue that a good product will always sell, though customer expectations from online shopping are very different from the offline shopping experience.

We’ve created this guide to help you succeed in a fast-paced and constantly developing e-commerce environment. Below, we’ll share the 10 common mistakes that may potentially be killing your e-commerce sales. The factors listed aren’t the only ones that matter, if they can help you improve the customer experience and consequently your revenue. Read on to find out how to run an e-commerce business successfully.

Inefficient Payment Processing

Complicated or inefficient payment processing may lead to customers abandoning their shopping cart at the very last stage of shopping. That’s especially frustrating when you have done everything else right, created a user-friendly interface, wrote detailed product descriptions, implemented great promos, and still failed.

E-commerce customers demand a convenient checkout process that doesn’t require extensive manual work from their end. Don’t make customers jump from one form to another, filling out dozens of shipping and billing info lines. A typical checkout process consists of five pages: shopping cart main page, reviewing items, filling in billing and shipping info, payment info, and order confirmation. If you redirect customers over and over again, especially if every page is slow to load, they may leave without completing the order.

Utilize auto-fill technology to save time and compress pages where possible. For instance, you can compress the main shopping cart and item review pages and shipping and payment information forms. This way, you get only two redirects instead of four.

Another common reason customers abandon shopping carts is the request to create an account. You may ask whether they wish to create an account or prefer to checkout as a guest. However, this shouldn’t be mandatory or take a separate redirect page. Place the question unobtrusively during the first or second step of the checkout process. To motivate customers to sign up for your newsletter, it’s better to offer them a reward than force them to do so.

Lack of Payment Options

As shown by Statista research, the prevalent payment method online worldwide is via a digital wallet, accounting for 41.8% of all sales. In particular, this payment method is often used in Asia Pacific and Europe. However, in the US, digital wallets are the second most used payment method after credit cards. A statistic related to the growing popularity of mobile shopping. Digital and mobile wallets are safe and convenient, eliminating the need to enter card details with every purchase.

At the same time, only 72.5% of businesses offer PayPal payment options, only 15.4% Amazon Pay, and 11.7% Apple Pay. In other words, the offerings don’t yet meet the demand for alternative payment methods. Buy now, pay later payment options are also gaining in popularity. This checkout method is provided by services such as Klarna, Affirm, Afterpay, and QuadPay.

Finally, make sure your site offers payments in different currencies if you provide services internationally.

Poor Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Omnichannel marketing is a way of cooperation and integration between your online and offline store, social media pages, customer service, and other destinations. Disjointed customer experience across different business channels often leads to dissatisfaction and loss of sales.

Poor Omnichannel Marketing Strategy

Assume you have an Instagram page that’s rapidly growing thanks to promotions. When potential customers see your product photos, they’ll want to visit your e-store. However, there’s no direct link there or in the account bio. Most people won’t search for your brand in Google to visit the e-store, they will simply leave.

Here’s another example. Someone has bought an item in your store and had an issue with it. They want to contact customer service via your website but can’t find the contact form. You may provide customer service via your Facebook page or e-mail that’s not indicated on the site. However, if the customer doesn’t know that or must search for it themselves, they likely won’t return for another purchase.

The moral? You must create direct connections between different channels so your customers can easily jump from one to another. Show that you value their time, create obvious pathways for seamless navigation and easy communication.

Not Rewarding Loyal Customers

Many brands collect customer e-mails only to send out spammy product news. That’s not only plain annoying. In this case, you get potential profit by expanding your e-mail database but don’t return any value to the customer. New customers who have just signed up for your newsletter expect to receive a discount or another kind of reward. Furthermore, to build customer loyalty, you should offer rewards regularly. These may include early access to exclusive products or sales, a loyalty point scheme, small gifts with purchases, etc.

Neglecting E-mail Marketing

Although technology constantly evolves, e-mail remains one of the most used communication means online. Over 90% of the US population use e-mail, while Facebook users account for 69% of the population. Furthermore, 58% of internet users say e-mail is the first thing they check each day. Only 14% have named social media in the same questionnaire. And if that’s not convincing enough, e-mail marketing has the highest rate of investment among all marketing channels. For every $1 spent, marketers see a $38 investment return on average.

Collecting e-mails is essential to see high return customer rates. The trick is to do this unobtrusively and offer value in return – see the previous point. Avoid spamming customers with product news daily. Instead, create truly engaging and attractive promotional e-mails about once a week.

Poor Shipping Options

High shipping rates and added tax are the top reasons for cart abandonments at the last stage of shopping, accounting for 49% of all cases. Customers look at the out-the-door product price rather than the bare product price. Custom shipping calculated at the last stage of checkout often doesn’t align with customer expectations and leads to a loss of sale.

The best practice is to offer different shipping options, such as standard and express, and divide the price by zones. This gives the customer an idea of how much they will pay for shipping before they place an order. Many businesses also offer free shipping for orders exceeding a specific sum. Such an option helps to boost sales. Many people prefer to add something small to their cart to achieve the necessary sum rather than pay extra for delivery.

Lack of Product Details

That’s a pretty apparent yet common mistake. Customers shopping online can’t touch the product and judge its specs for themselves. That’s an issue both with exclusive and common products. Let’s assume you sell electronics but don’t add any product description apart from the dimensions and brand. Sure, people can find the specs info elsewhere, but they will also most likely buy from that store. If you, however, sell something unique, customers will have to contact you directly to find out about the product characteristics. This takes time and worsens the customer experience. Lastly, the right product descriptions are beneficial for SEO. They can contain relevant keywords that will help your product to appear in Google search results.

Poor Mobile Optimization

Over 67% of all e-commerce sales in 2021 are made via mobile phone. Thus, mobile optimization is crucial for any site nowadays, especially for an e-store. Poor navigation and slow catalog loading and redirects ruin the customer experience and can make shopping on mobile a headache. If your e-store isn’t optimized for mobile, most customers will leave rather than visit from a computer.

Poor Mobile Optimization

Dodgy Reviews

Many website-building platforms offer an option to add customer review highlights. Overall, that’s a great marketing strategy that can build customer trust. The problem is, some businesses write the reviews themselves, and it’s almost always obvious. Pictures taken from Shutterstock make even a real review seem fake, and not many people wish to share their real Facebook images on your site. Therefore, it’s better to avoid pictures altogether. Plus, the highlighted reviews should be informative and not overly gushing, and also be free of grammatical errors. Even if a review is real, it may seem dodgy if it’s too short and too complimentary.

Confusing Discount Strategy

The discount strategy should align with your brand values and customer perception. For example, if you sell high-end luxury clothes, regular clearances may seem off to some customers. It’s better not to launch a discount at all than to run a promo that diminishes your company value.

Confusing promotion rules is another turn-off for customers. The offer may be great, but what’s the purpose if no one understands how it works? A promo saying “Buy three items of brand A and get one item of brand B with a 25% discount” is too complex. Don’t make people count their potential savings on a calculator. Simplify your discount strategy and display the potential savings right away.

Adapt and Overcome

E-commerce is a highly competitive yet potentially profitable ground. The core objective is to strive to provide your customer with the best possible value and experience. Our team can help you ensure your e-store is optimized for mobile and offers convenient navigation and checkout. By investing in a professional site and avoiding the mistakes mentioned in our guide, you can gain an advantage in this field and boost your revenues.

By interactivated • on August 20, 2021

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