Experts at RJ Metrics estimate that e-commerce sites account for about 10 percent of all websites. Yet, it estimates that just 110,000 of those sites generate revenue of any “meaningful scale,” proving that a “build it and they will come” approach doesn’t apply to the world of e-commerce.
Here’s a look at some of the most common mistakes made by money-losing e-commerce sites.
Surprising the customer with costs.
Your e-commerce site may be legally required to charge customers a certain amount of tax,; and their shipping method of choice may present an additional set of fees, too. Customers may inherently know that buying online will present such costs, but e-commerce sites must still be transparent about exactly what those are — and how they may change as the customer adds or removes items from a shopping cart — in order to convert an online browser into a buyer. In fact, in WorldPay’s Global Shopper Report, more than half of the 19,000 customers surveyed said unexpected costs are the primary reason they’ll opt not to buy from an e-commerce store.
Slow load times.
A study by Kissmetrics revealed that 47 percent of customers expect the desktop version of a Web page to load in two seconds or less before they’ll abandon a site. Though not all site-loading issues are within your control, optimizing your e-commerce and m-commerce sites to function as seamlessly as possible is a direct investment in your site’s bottom line.
Nearly a quarter of respondents to WorldPay’s survey said they abandon an e-commerce site when navigation is too complicated. Ideally, it should not take your customers more than three “clicks” to find the information they seek. While menus can help structure your online shop, it should include no more than seven headers, and have no more than three subsets within each header. Use navigation that people recognize based on the functionality of leading e-commerce sites. For example, a left arrow usually indicates that a person can “go “back,” — be sure to design your site to follow the same navigation norms.
The terminology you use to describe various product categories on your site must also be relevant to the terms your target customer uses to find products and services. Though using clever terms to describe product categories may seem like a way to develop a unique brand voice, it could make it that much more difficult for customers to find the information they seek.
Clunky checkout processes.
E-commerce checkout processes should instill customer confidence. Display familiar logos (like VeriSign and major credit card or payment acceptance symbols) that reassure the customer your payment processes are secure. Allow the option to checkout as a guest or to sign in using social media credentials. Prefill information like shipping and billing addresses once the customer inputs ZIP code. Provide checkout flows that are responsive based on the type of device the customer is using, so it’s as easy to complete a purchase on a mobile device as it is a desktop.
About the author:
Stephanie N. Blahut is the Senior Marketing Manager for Highland Solutions. Highland Solutions is a global provider of collaborative, enterprise solutions. Stephanie oversees the Highland Solutions website and has co-created their lead generation program.