Having an eCommerce store is a growing trend in the business world and it’s a surprise that its popularity has only gone mainstream the past couple of years. Selling your products and services online opens your business up to a wider net of customers, something a physical store just can’t compete with. eCommerce stores are so popular that any business can easily create an affordable sales-ready website in a matter of days. But before a business jumps on the online store bandwagon, there’s a handful of things they should keep in mind to ensure their web store does what it should – make sales happen. Here are the 5 most common eCommerce sales killers and what your business can do to avoid them.
1. Unprofessional Design
A poorly designed website is a definite sale crusher. When a customer comes to your website and it doesn’t look polished, it eats away at your business’s credibility. If your customers don’t trust you, they won’t make a purchase. It’s a simple as that. Some elements you can include in your eCommerce website to increase trust are:
- User-friendly navigation
- Simple search box
- Quality product images
- Detailed and unique product descriptions
- Easy to find contact and support information
- Visible terms and conditions, return policy, shipping info
2. An Off-site Checkout
One of the worst things you can have on your eCommerce store is an off-site checkout. Once you take your customer away from your main website to complete their purchase, you’re jeopardizing security and trust. Switching domains and seeing a new page checkout might even cause confusion for less tech savvy customers and lead them to bail on their purchase. To avoid this costly mistake, don’t take your customers away from your site to complete a sale. Check with your eCommerce payments provider for options you can take to keep your website and checkout process in the same place.
3. Slow Load Times
Nobody likes to wait, especially online. Customers shop online because it’s quick and convenient. Once it becomes a pain to shop online, they’ll go to a competitor with faster page load times to get the job done. According to Compuware, every 2 seconds of load time on your site equates to an 8% abandonment rate. By dropping load time from 8 to 2 seconds, you could increase conversion by 74%.
If you’ve got a website developer you’re working with, have them do a code clean up on your site. Complicated code can come from custom design, navigation flow and web plug-ins. De-clutter your code of unnecessary scripts and you’ll have a faster site that help get you a higher conversion rate.
4. A Complicated Checkout Process
A lengthy and complicated checkout process is a big purchasing barrier for your eCommerce store. If you’re taking customers through more than 5 steps to buy something off your site, you’re asking for way too much. Be simple and only ask your customers for essential information to complete their purchase. These are the key elements of a successful checkout process:
- Welcome/Cart review page
- Billing section
- Shipping section
- Payment section
- Order Confirmation/Thank You page
When you dig deeper into the checkout process, read these 7 ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment. It’ll walk you through what information pieces are essential to each stage of the checkout process such as:
- No registration required/Guest Checkout
- Limited field entries
- Multiple methods of payments
- Visual checkout progress indicator
- Ability to edit items in their cart
- Estimate taxes and shipping costs
- Guarantees and security certificates or badges
- Easy to find support and return policy
5. Surprise Charges
Sometimes surprises are good, such as birthdays and holidays – but not during an online checkout. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect item, going through the work on filling out your info, then seeing an unexpected shipping charge.
Make sure you let your customers know of any extra costs such as taxes and shipping charges before they get too deep into the checkout process. You could include tax and shipping calculators on your product page for complete transparency or even give out free shipping. Whatever your business is comfortable doing, the key is to let your customers know asap.