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TOP 12 PITFALLS TO BEWARE OF WHEN ESTABLISHING YOUR ECOMMERCE CHANNEL Ecommerce sales are currently growing at a rate of roughly 15% year-over-year compared to 4% for total retail sales, so it only makes sense to want to capitalize on that growth by establishing a directto-consumer channel for your business. But competition online is fierce and if you want your ecommerce site to capture a chunk of the available market share, you will need to provide your users with the best possible customer experience. To help you get started on the right foot, here are 12 common pitfalls to watch out for as you set up your ecommerce channel.


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NOT MAKING SITE SECURITY A PRIORITY

COMPLICATING THE CHECKOUT PROCESS

In today’s digital economy, it seems there is a new, large-scale security breach in the news every other day. When running an ecommerce site where you are digitally collecting personal information from your customers, including credit card details, security is of the utmost importance. By ensuring your site follows the latest security and compliance standards, you’ll build consumer trust in your brand and protect your customer data.

More than half of users will abandon a shopping cart because they are just browsing or not yet ready to buy. But of the remaining users, 27% admit to abandoning their cart due to a checkout process that is overly long or complicated, based on a recent study from the Baymard Institute. Your customers want to purchase a product by giving the least amount of personal information possible, within the shortest amount of time. Adding too many form fields, not setting proper expectations, or requiring buyers to create an account can frustrate your customers and lead them to shop elsewhere. When architecting your checkout process, simplicity and efficiency are key.

Top 12 Pitfalls to Beware of When Establishing Your Ecommerce Channel

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UNAPPEALING PRODUCT PHOTOS AND/OR DESCRIPTIONS In ecommerce, customers aren’t able to see or interact with your product or service in person before purchasing. Therefore, it’s critical that you offer them compelling images, videos, and descriptions of your products, so that they feel confident enough to make a purchase. Take time to clearly showcase your products on your website—or risk confusing your customers and losing potential sales.

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time to clearly “ Take showcase your products on your website—or risk confusing your customers and losing potential sales.

INEFFICIENT CUSTOMER SERVICE CHANNELS Customers have questions, and getting those questions answered quickly and easily can mean all the difference in closing a sale. If you’re hard to contact or if you respond slowly (or not at all) to customer service inquiries, you’ll severely impact your success online. Not to mention, inadequate customer service can lead to a negative reputation around your brand that will live on long after you are able to fix the problem.

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NOT OPTIMIZING YOUR SITE FOR MOBILE A forecast from eMarketer anticipates that more than 51% of American buyers will make a purchase from a smartphone in 2017. If your site is not mobile responsive, or your checkout process is not optimized for smartphone users, the likelihood of a customer abandoning their transaction is very high. Make sure your site is mobile friendly.

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CUMBERSOME NAVIGATION Your website’s navigation is like a road map that guides your customers to all of the information you want them to see. If your navigation is overcomplicated or disorganized, users won’t be able to find what they are looking for and may become frustrated, negatively impacting conversion. Take some extra time upfront to develop a simple and clear navigational structure that’s easy and intuitive for your users.

Top 12 Pitfalls to Beware of When Establishing Your Ecommerce Channel

51%

OF AMERICAN BUYERS WILL PURCHASE FROM A SMART PHONE IN 2017

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FORGETTING TO INTEGRATE SOCIAL-SHARING TOOLS There’s been some debate around the effectiveness of social sharing buttons on ecommerce purchases in recent years. However, when done properly, social sharing can act as free promotion for your business and drive revenue. Don’t miss out on social sharing benefits. Be sure to consider placement of the buttons, the type of content being shared, and ensure you have a presence on the social networks used the most by your target audiences.

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LEAVING OUT SEO Search engine optimization is a critical component in driving organic traffic to your website and building your brand online. Having a solid SEO strategy in place for your website will lead to higher positioning on search results—and that means more eyes on your products. Customers need to be able to find your business in order to make a purchase, and if you leave out SEO, they will find one of your competitors instead.

Having a solid SEO strategy in place for your website will lead to higher positioning on search results—and that means more eyes on your products.

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If customers don’t know about your brand or products, how are they going to make a purchase? If you are investing in an ecommerce site, you need to promote it. Otherwise you’re wasting money and effort. Make sure you have a comprehensive marketing strategy in place that includes specific promotion efforts for your ecommerce channels.

Time and time again you see businesses ignore page load in order to include better design or unique functionality. While these details make your site look slick, users often care more about speed. Research shows that users expect a page to load within two seconds or less, and anything more than that leads to a higher chance of page abandonment. To drive the point home, an often quoted statistic is that a one-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. Simply put, ignoring page load will negatively impact your bottom line.

NOT BUILDING OUT A MARKETING STRATEGY TO PROMOTE YOUR SITE/PRODUCTS ONCE THE CHANNEL IS UP AND RUNNING

Top 12 Pitfalls to Beware of When Establishing Your Ecommerce Channel

NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO PAGE LOAD TIMES

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Businesses often think they are saving money when they forgo investing in automated technology solutions and instead handle specific ecommerce processes manually. More often than not, leaving manual processes in place ends up costing your business more money and sales because of process bottlenecks, human error, time inefficiencies, and poor customer service. When setting up your ecommerce site, make sure to really think through the places where you are relying on manual processes and how they will ultimately impact your business not only now, but as it scales in the future.

If you aren’t running A/B testing on your ecommerce site, you are missing a huge opportunity to improve performance and conversions. It can often be surprising to see how a small tweak—like moving a button here, changing some copy there—can make a big difference in the actions that a user takes. And with so many inexpensive and easy-to-implement testing platforms available online these days, there really is no reason not to take advantage of A/B testing in some capacity.

NOT USING A/B TESTING TO INFORM DECISIONS

RELYING TOO MUCH ON MANUAL PROCESSES

If you aren’t running A/B testing on your ecommerce site, you are missing a huge opportunity to improve performance and conversions.

Top 12 Pitfalls to Beware of When Establishing Your Ecommerce Channel

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Ready to learn more? Read how DEG helped Purina build an ecommerce strategy to bring its Just Right brand to market. LEARN MORE

Top 12 Pitfalls to Beware of When Establishing Your Ecommerce Channel

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