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Top 10 Reasons E-Commerce Sites Fail

Posted Sep 29 2008 6:39pm

Kudos out to Bella Web Design blog for these fine tips to help you indie commerce folks succeed!

I love the power of networking! I found Bella via Modify (eco fashion boutique) via Ecofabulous (eco lifestype blog). It’s so much fun to jump around to different sites and see what all is going on out there with eco living!

Top 10 Reasons Some Ecommerce Sites Fail

I’ve been looking at a few ecommerce sites lately and talking to some of their owners. Its been interesting to see how some sites have just taken off out of the gate and some owners have not reached their potential. I thought this would be a good time to start another favorite around here, a “Top 10 List!”

Top 10 Reasons Some Ecommerce Sites Fail:

  1. They are not updated regularly. If you aren’t adding new products or tweaking the descriptions on your items, then you’ve set yourself up for failure. People like coming back to sites because they want to see “What’s New” or “What’s Hot.” You should be making changes at least once per month.
  2. Things never go on sale. In the land of Blue Light Specials, people expect sale items when they visit an online store. Heck, sometimes the sale button is one of the first things I click on when I go to one of my favorite makeup online stores Sephora.com.
  3. There aren’t any coupons offered. This goes along with number 2. Everyone is looking for the best price online. Exclusive coupons are a must and make the consumer feel special. It also helps store owners track where traffic is coming from if they give their coupons a special name based on the magazine or online add they are tied to.
  4. Its hard to find what you’re looking for. Nothing is worse than an unorganized site. You should take your consumers top 10 choices and put them on the home page. Also, your items should be one or two clicks away and categorized with common sense.
  5. The product pictures are awful–blurry and amateur. We have a client in Dallas who runs an online store for women’s denim and accessories. Since day one, they decided to take their own pictures even though I strongly suggested they hire a professional. Its been 2 years and they still complain their site isn’t getting the orders they expected. I remind them of the reason–their pictures. Have they changed them yet? No, I’m still waiting…Folks, hear me out on this. If you are going to put up a site, its has to be top-notch or don’t even bother! Your product pictures should be professionally taken or no one will take you seriously enough to give you their credit card.
  6. The site doesn’t tell visitors about the owners. Yes, your site tells your consumers everything about Dolce and Gabbana, but why should I buy their products from you? Every good ecommerce site should tell something about the owners and their philosophies in order to gain consumers trust.
  7. There is no 800 number, address, email or way to contact the owners. Another big one folks. If I can’t reach you, that tells me you don’t want me to for some reason. I get very suspicious and move on. All three of these things should be there.
  8. The site is designed poorly. Once again, if the site isn’t designed professionally and is not engaging, consumers aren’t going to take you seriously enough to give you their credit card. Note: Watch your typos carefully. I can’t tell you how many people will judge you poorly based on misspelled words!
  9. The Checkout Button isn’t prominent. This is a point of frustration for a lot of online shoppers. If they can’t checkout easily, they will leave. They won’t give you a second chance either.
  10. There is no security key at the bottom of the browser. 90% of online consumers won’t buy from a store that doesn’t have a secure checkout. That’s a huge number of people to turn away.

Another thing I want to mention is marketing your ecommerce site. Do not depend solely on search engine traffic. You should always be looking for forums to post your site to, doing email marketing and marketing offline as well. Don’t think that search engines will bring you all your traffic. A good marketing plan for ecommerce sites is the topic of my next post….stay tuned!

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Thanks Bella! Those are great tips!

Filed under: graphic design, interiors, lifestyle, networking, resources, sustainable, tips | Tagged: ecommerce, networking, tips, websites

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