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7 eCommerce flaws driving your customers away

How To

WRITTEN BY Jonathan Bellwood /

13 February 2015

Driving traffic to the website is always a key focus for any eCommerce retailer. Getting visitors to the website is the easy part though; encouraging them to stay and make a purchase is more difficult. By plugging any holes in design, service, and delivery, you will reduce the likelihood of website abandonment.

If you identify any of the following seven flaws on your site, make a change to optimise conversion.

Outdated design Outdated design

1. Outdated design

Let’s not call a spade a tool for removing earth - if your website looks like it hasn’t been updated since Windows 98, folk won’t shop there. Aesthetics are especially important for fashion retailers considering, you know, they sell appearance and style. A stylish website that is fit for purpose and in keeping with the overall company image is as important as any other part of eCommerce. The website is the first thing a consumer sees and though looks may be deceiving, most won’t stick around long enough to find your website’s ‘inner beauty’.

2. Bad copy

Not everyone is a wordsmith and not every consumer would leave a website upon seeing bad copy, but if you’ve spent time and resources making your site look good, why would you allow bad copy to bring it down? We’re not just talking about blogging here, either, it’s every part of your site that has letters strung into words: product descriptions, updates, announcements, promotions, ‘About us’ pages, the lot.

3. Lack of information

Lack of information Lack of information

You can have the prettiest website going, with pictures of waterfalls and mountains on every page, but if the important information isn’t there you might as well keep the Windows 98 look. The key things that customers seek out on a website are contact details, delivery information, and the returns policy. These pages need to be clearly located, it’s as simple as that. In a poll of 2000 consumers, 39% said they would only spend 5 minutes searching a website for information. In reality, it should take no more than 30 seconds for a consumer to find what they’re looking for, but being at least within the 5 minute bracket should keep customers on your site.

4. Speed

Slow and steady may win the race but fast loading times win the fight to stop customers from choosing a competitor’s site over yours. A recent survey by F5 showed that 22% of online consumers will wait just 5 seconds for a page to load before abandoning the retailer’s website. That accounts for one fifth of all potential sales. Add that to the third of consumers who would abandon a mobile site that didn’t load within 3 seconds and you’re seeing 8 out of every 15 orders abandoned. This goes to show just how worthwhile it is to ensure your pages load quickly.

5. Customer Service

Customer service Customer service

Unless it’s to offer a compliment, most companies would hope that their customers never have to use the customer service process. But if retailers got everything they wanted they’d be neck deep in profit without having to do a thing. Considering that isn’t the case for most, having decent customer service is a must. It shouldn’t take Sherlock to find links to all methods of customer service. Customers shouldn’t have to wade through all the FAQs before being given a phone number or email address either. Make it easy for your customers to speak to you because one complaint today is an improvement to make tomorrow.

6. Mobile security

It can’t be denied - the era of mobile commerce is approaching. 52% of millennials say that they will carry out more of their online shopping through their mobile devices rather than in-store. One of the biggest worries mobile shoppers have, however, is security. Without the security software available on most desktop PCS, the fear of inputting bank details into a mobile site is greater. Ensuring the maximum security measures are taken, and informing the customer of this, will encourage more conversion through mobile devices.

7. Delivery options

Delivery options Delivery options

So, your website design is modern, your customer service is award-winning, and your mobile payments are more secure than Fort Knox. The customer is at the checkout, ready to buy the fluorescent yellow sequin dress for tomorrow’s rave, but the only available option for delivery is standard 3-5 working days. No good. Cart abandoned, competitor located, and sale lost. According to the Royal Mail’s Delivery Matters report, unclear/poor delivery options account for 57% of basket abandonment. Expanding your delivery options to offer flexible services such as Click and Collect will do wonders for customer happiness. And happy customers tend to come back a second time.

These are what we consider to be the most common flaws on eCommerce sites. They may seem obvious but a quick review of your website from a customer’s perspective could reveal a lot more than you’d think. Reckon we’ve missed any out? Tweet us @PeopleVox to let us know.

Author: Jess Lawrence

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