10 critical e-commerce mistakes made by startups

That’s all well and good, but this journey to success can sometimes be hampered by mistakes that are avoidable. It is an issue that can see a company go from knocking on the door to success, to being quickly forgotten.

To help your business avoid these avoidable errors, we are going to examine the top 10 ecommerce mistakes made by startups:

1. A lack of detailed product information

The detail required will differ according to the products you are selling. For example, visitors will want to learn as much as they can about the specs of a television, while in the case of a bookshelf images will tell them if it will suit their décor. This must be considered from the start, and the information must be kept up to date to maintain trust with the customer.

2. Hiding contact information

Alarm bells immediately start ringing in a customer’s head when they cannot find contact information. It decreases the trust between you and the customer, often making them less likely to proceed with a business transaction.

3. A long or confusing checkout process

Once a customer has added an item to their basket and proceeded to the checkout, they want to move through a smooth process. Long or confusing checkout process can see customers leave in their droves, which makes testing vitally important for ensuring customers are not lost at the final hurdle.

4. A lack of guest checkout

Not every customer is going to want to sign up before proceeding with their purchase, which means this can be a contributing factor to shopping cart abandonment. There are however customers who like to have their details and preferences saved for their return visit, so providing solutions for both groups may be the best solution.

5. Minimal payment options

There are so many payment options out there that it can be difficult to know which ones are right for your ecommerce site. This will come down to the type of products you are selling and your target audience, but it is generally a good idea to have the usual options of Visa and MasterCard among alternatives such as PayPal.

6. Template design

A template design stands little chance of truly conveying the image of your brand or selling products. A bespoke design is the better option as it will build trust with the customer.

7. Poor product images

As mentioned above, images can tell you a lot about a product – a bookshelf, for example, is an item customers will want to fit in with the style of their home, so it makes sense that they will want to view the product through high-quality images and from different angles.

8. Not integrating website with other channels

Why put all your eggs in one basket when there is so much out there to enhance the sales of your products? EBay, Amazon, Play Marketplace, etc. are all avenues that can be worth exploring for an ecommerce startup.

9. Not optimising for mobile or tablet

Customers engage with brands and sites while they are on their desktop computer at work, on their mobile while waiting for their children to finish school, on their tablet while watching television, etc. There is no one size fits all. An ecommerce site must be responsive to the needs of all users – no matter where they came from.

10. Not aiding customer confidence

If a customer is going to make a purchase from your ecommerce site, they need to feel that it is safe. This sense of security for the customer can be aided by including security logos, product reviews and many of the factors discussed above.

Conclusion

If you are going to create an ecommerce site then it is always best to prioritise your customer’s buying journey – and to make sure that proper testing processes are in place. Only then can you make the journey from startup to established.

Nick Pinson is the Managing Director at iWeb Solutions.

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