Making money selling products online can be a viable opportunity for most businesses. Selling things on your website, Etsy, Amazon Marketplace, Alibaba, and other international markets is a fairly simple process with the right hosting and ecommerce platform.
However, there are some common mistakes businesses make with their website, sometimes thinking they can save money by cutting corners. Usually this is not the case. Here are a few reasons your website might be killing your ecommerce sales.
Your domain name is the first impression many users have of you and your business. It is like the sign outside the front of your physical store. Yet business, government agencies, and many others make mistakes with them all the time.
For example, the Iowa Department of Aging determined that the elderly who were their constituents did not want to type idoa.gov into their internet browser. Since this discovery, the name of the website and the agency have been changed.
To be successful, your ecommerce site name needs to be R.E.A.L.
- Relevant: The domain name you choose needs to be related to what you do or who you are, preferably both. If it is at all confusing to a potential customer, they will quickly leave.
- Easy to Say and Spell: When choosing a domain name, you need to make sure it is easy to say, spell, and pronounce. Someone should be able to share it verbally with another person, and they should be able to type it into a browser with no issues.
- Abbreviated Carefully: The Iowa Department of Aging is only one example of a poorly abbreviated website, and the internet is full of names that are made fun of on social media and elsewhere. You don’t want to be a part of a joke. If you use your initials or that of your company, be careful about what they spell.
- Literally Interpreted: When you run your name or the name of your business together, sometimes you get unfortunate combinations. These can result in inappropriate words and phrases you do not want associated with your brand. Evaluate your domain name for these errors before you build your site.
Even if you find yourself with a less than ideal website name, you can open a domain name search tool, choose another one, and redirect the traffic you do have to the original name to the new site.
How long does your site take to load? Of course this will depend on the customer’s web or data connection, but you can optimize your site by not adding too many detailed graphics, colors, and high resolution photos.
When it comes to ecommerce sites, simplicity is key. This does not mean that your site cannot look professional or beautiful. There are many themes available that meet those needs.
However, a slow loading website can have a devastating effect on your traffic. Studies show that users will wait an average of 4 seconds at most for a site to load, and if a site is not loaded they will bounce and go elsewhere.
Be sure your site is set up for speed, and if you need to enlist the help of a professional.
Studies show that around 60% of searches take place on mobile devices like phones or tablets, and if your customers have to scroll right or left to see your whole site, they will likely leave and go find a better place to buy.
Your site needs to be responsive or better yet, AMP compliant. This will ensure that it will load rapidly for all of your site visitors, and they will be able to complete the buying journey without leaving their device.
Product Descriptions and Photos
While photos that are too high resolution take too long to load, poor quality photos of your product taken in low light with horrible backgrounds will hurt your sales. You can’t take a photo from a high angle of your product laying on your dining room table.
If you are doing your own photos, there are small light box kits and other options available online that can improve your lighting. Smartphone cameras are good enough that you do not need separate equipment just for taking pictures. If you need to learn how to take better photos, there are many online classes or community education opportunities.
Your descriptions also need to be right on. Think of them as a landing page of sorts: they need to have a main headline, a sub-headline, and a good description that outlines the benefits of your product. In addition, there should be a section below this that outlines more detailed specifications or ingredients for the user who wants to know more.
If your product pages are poor, your traffic will plummet, or you will experience high bounce rates. Google often shows part of these pages in search, so users will often just pass your listing by.
There are two aspects of the checkout process on your site that can harm traffic flow. The first is payment options. Ideally, you should offer PayPal, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet along with standard credit and debit card options.
This is about perception. Even if a user does not use any of those payment methods, knowing they have the option makes them feel more comfortable. Studies show that adding a payment method can increase sales significantly.
Traffic is vital to the success of an ecommerce site, and you can be killing it by making a few common mistakes. Avoid these errors, and your organic traffic and therefore your sales will increase.