They say to err is human; at one time or another, we all make mistakes. But, unfortunately for us, online business isn’t as forgiving. If you own an ecommerce business, a mistake could end up costing you your online presence or a fate much worse – like being hacked, losing all your data and getting sued by your former clients.
There are many mistakes that could have disastrous consequences on your business website and your online trading as a whole. These are nine of the most common – avoid them altogether so you don’t lose precious customers and their sales.
1. Going for too much “cool.”
Whether you had bad advice from your website designer or you wanted to add as many bells and whistles to your website as you could, you might actually be overburdening your website. Never forget: your visitors want to get in and out in the shortest possible amount of time and with the least amount of complexity. Complicating your checkout process will only drive your customers away. Apart from that, an overburdened website will slow page load times, which is frowned upon by search engines and their rankings.
2. Offering too many choices.
You want your customers to make their minds up in the shortest amount of time and get on with their purchase. If you have too many product variations, they may become overwhelmed and ditch your site. Try testing different numbers of product offerings in order to find the optimal combination. Offer too little, and customers will go looking somewhere else, but offer too many, and the confusion will lead to a lost sale.
3. Requiring too many forms.
While forms provide your business with tons of information about your clients and customers, you should know where to draw the line. Asking them to fill out a form with too many questions will frustrate them. Even if they do manage to get through all your questions, you’ll only receive a halfhearted effort that will net you bad information. Keep it short with to-the-point questions and leave it at that. Memberships forms should only require a username, password and email address. Checkout forms should only require pertinent billing and shipping information.
4. One word: popups.
Although we all know how annoying popup ads are, they are still used on tons of pages. Relying on this intrusive method to earn revenue will not only drive sane people crazy, but also make you and your site appear unprofessional. While occasional popups – like the ones that appear as your visitors are leaving your website – are still acceptable, having any more will make your website look spammy.
5. Browsing via paged albums.
Do you have a paged album or content that you have to click on page number by page number? Get rid of it. Whenever possible, present your pictures or content all together on one page. When you have to click page-by-page, it’ll seem like you’re trying to increase your page impressions. This also leads to more required action by the user and can lead to slower load times.
6. Presenting content in bad English.
In a world where you can hire professional writers who are fluent in your language of choice, you have no excuse for shoddy content. You should always be on the lookout for typos, as well as syntactical and grammatical errors. In fact, you should have an editor go through all your content to make sure there are no linguistic faux-pas, which could ruin your credibility.
7. Including out-of-date information.
Always be on the lookout for content that is out-of-date. Your visitors will do an immediate about-turn if they come across incorrect information that you should have updated or taken down. Apart from making you look like an unprofessional, it will make them think that the site is either dead or on its way there. This includes promotional offers or pages, seasonal content, news that is no longer timely and more.
8. Heavily using jargon.
Don’t ever assume that every single one of your potential customers knows the technical lingo used in your industry. To broaden your reach, cast a wider net by using layman’s terms. That way, everyone will be on the same page – amateurs and professionals, alike.
9. Not including a search tool.
Don’t expect your visitors to know what exactly they’re looking for or where they can find it. Always have a search tool at hand. If they can’t find what they’re looking for on the landing page, a quick search should produce relevant results. Otherwise, they’ll hit that back button and never return.
Avoid these 9 mistakes and succeed!
No doubt, these nine mistakes can be killers when it comes to onsite conversions, but this is just the start. Clear up these issues and you’ll be amazed at the results:
- An increase in traffic and digital footprints on your website
- Longer time spent on your pages
- An increase in sales or consumption of your information
You’ll be happy, your clients will be happy and, if you’re lucky, they’ll even share their experience with their friends and family.