Hi Guys this is Wasim from Alrayes Web Solutions. In this episode, I’m going to cover some important points that general ecommerce websites make and how you can avoid these mistakes for your business and specially if you’re designing a new ecommerce website; how you can make sure that you do not fall to the same trap and make sure that you avoid them.
Over in the next couple of minutes, I’m going to touch some points on design, I’m going touch some points on contact information, product detail page and also the checkout stages and also brief touch about on SEO on your ecommerce website.
Now, just on the design section, this is one of the most important points on an ecommerce website, when a visitor does come in your website and can really get put off, is lack of design, bad design. Make sure that your design is good, your design is attractive and the customer feels welcomed and assured when they come unto your website. Do take some time and make sure that you do choose the right designs and the right colour schemes for your ecommerce website, because choosing the right colour schemes can trigger off certain emotions in visitors and also choose the right colour that related to your business, related to your product, related to your targeted audience. You don’t want to put colours that may put people off, so you make sure you do choose your colour wisely and also in terms of design, try to come up with a more bespoke design for your business. Rather using something that’s readymade, off-the-shelf. Because, if you do something that’s bespoke, the design will be built, and designed in a way where it’s showing your product, it’s showing your services and it’s a way that you can portray your products. Because last thing you want is that customers seeing the same design on someone else’s ecommerce site. So you really need to wow the customer when they come into your website.
Now, colour schemes and bad design plays a major part and try to avoid coming up with bad design and also bad images. What I mean by bad images is try to stay away from stock images because it can give an impression to your visitors that you are trying to hide something, if you’re selling a product, like say, if you’re selling a jumper, you know, try to take pictures on that particular product and include that the design. Get the designer to come up with some graphical banners, graphical affects for that product so that you can display that in your design. Try to stay away stock images, also staying in the design section, poor navigation. That can really confuse customers, so you make sure your navigation is clear, precise, and the customers knows exactly what page of the ecommerce site that they’re on. So, if they are on the product detail page, they know exactly where they are, maybe you have the breadcrumb have a main navigation on the top, maybe if you have left navigation and even a footer navigation if you want. But do make sure that your navigation is clear and the customer is not confused of how to navigate their way on your ecommerce website. And also staying on your design section; try not to cram everything into your homepage. Your homepage is basically like your shop front window.
Now, when you go into an istore, you do not see all the products of that store displayed on the shop window. Only certain parts or certain sections are displayed there. So, the same thing online; on your shop window, to make sure that you’ve displayed the important parts, so if you got a sale going on, if you’ve got any promotions, your featured products, your... maybe the best selling products display these on your homepage.
Try not to cram your homepage with too much information, again it can confuse customers and it can distract the customers and get them bouncing off to another website. So, try not to cram everything into your homepage and again same with the categories, and if you’ve got loads of categories in your website and it’s a large website maybe, you want display them quite cleverly. Try not to have them in way where you click on them and you drop down and then you’d have another twenty or thirty options were the user selects. Keep it simple, keep it straightforward; ideally the customers comes in the website they feel welcome and they choose the category they want and they choose the product that they want and they make the purchase. So, the homepage and the overall-look of the design should be welcoming, should give a sense of assurance to the customers and they should feel welcome on your website.
Then, we come on to the second common mistake that general ecommerce website make which is contact information, a customer’s already, you know, come in your website, they want to buy something, but they find they can’t contact you. Make sure that you do display your contact information clearly where customers can find it. If you don’t want to display in on top or bottom maybe have a dedicated page for your contact information. But do display your telephone numbers, email addresses, if you go a physical address where your retail from, maybe display that on your website, but try not to come up with the barrier were the customers cannot contact you. They may have a query; they may have a question about a product that they want ask before they make a purchase.
The last thing you want is that customer, because they can’t contact you, they go to someone else or they go to your supplier. So, do display your contact information on your website. One way you can also do that, is by having a ticketing system where a customer comes in your website, if they go a question, they raise a ticket, similar to a support ticket. It gets sent over to you and you respond to them via the ticketing system. That works quite well from many ecommerce sites, some ecommerce site what they also do where they have their customers support and customer service just on a social media. So, if a customer does have any questions they can ask them on their twitter account, on their Facebook account, on their Google plus account, maybe something that you want to implement, you do not display your contact information in your website but you’re quite active on social media. You’re interacting with your customers in social media, but basically try not to come up with the barrier were the customers can’t contact you or they go to someone else just because they can’t reach out you. So don’t give that choice to the customers make sure that they can easily contact you and if they’ve got a question you can respond to them quickly. The other way many ecommerce websites do that is through live chat. Live chats does work pretty well where customers comes into your website if they got a question it’s like instant messaging and type their questions they want and you respond to them. So you’ve got a dedicated person or you go a dedicated team that respond to live chat enquiries from your website. That can work quite well if you don’t want to display your telephone number or any contact information. So, you’re just dealing with customer’s enquiries through live chat.
Then, we come onto the detail page. Now, common mistakes that ecommerce websites do make on their product detail page, first of all is lack of description. No this is the most important part of your website, where the customers’ actually going to make a decision whether to add this product into the shopping basket or whether, you know… they going to browse something else. So, make sure that you do descriptive information about that product. Try to take some time out, maybe some five to ten minutes and take care of most, but do not try to copy and paste a description from other sections of your website. Every product on your website should have a unique description and also the other mistake that I see other ecommerce website do is where copy and paste the description from their retailers, now, sorry, from their suppliers.
Now, what you need to understand is the suppliers’ description is designed in a way to sell to other businesses, now, you selling to the customers, you selling to a end user, so your description should be different from the suppliers and ideally you don’t want to copy and paste. You want to come up with your own unique description and every description and every product on your page should have a unique description tag, sorry, your unique description in the product detail page. And then also on the product detail page, the other mistake that many ecommerce website make is poor quality images.
Now, that can really put off customers, because you want them to buy a few and just be an online store you can’t actually feel your products or physically see that product so you have to invest in good photography.
So, if you don’t have the camera or the kit in-house what we recommend to you is to hire a photographer or go to a studio and get some professional photography done on your product that would really wow your customers and it’ll give them an exact idea of what they’re purchasing, what they’re looking to buy. Also, if you’ve got for example a jumper and there’s a design in the back, there’s design is front, make sure you take multiple shots on that product so that the customers know exactly what they about to buy. And last thing you want is way just go to one image and the customers received that product and there’s some design in the back that was not shown on your website and the customers will returns back. So, do take multiple shots I’d say no more than three to four products because you don’t want to over cram the page with too many products. But make sure the products are large, sorry, the images are large and they have good quality and you’ve got all the different angles that need to be taken so the customers knows exactly what they going are to buy.
And the other mistake that I see ecommerce website’s making on product detail pages is not on the strength of the reviews, now the customers already mind-set, where they were want to buy no one just ends up on the detail page without, while just surfing the web they want to buy something, they’re looking for something so having reviews of what other people bought often before and what they experience having that displayed on the product detailed page can really give assurance to the new customers that first time buyers of your website. So make sure you do display reviews, you don’t have to display all of them, maybe display one or two reviews related to that product, you can go to Amazon’s website they do that really well, where you’ve got all the reviews of a product that the customers has bought. And there’s thing that you can also do and also have an opportunity for you to upsell other products.
Now, it’s your chance to up sell to customers already in a mind-set that they want buy a product of you. Now, if you have a chance to upsell them different product, so if customer’s just want to buy a t-shirt or a jumper. Sell them trousers, sell them shoes they may not know that you do this other products. So, displaying that on the product detail page such as customer bought this, also bought this or you also may be interested in these product, so we here, or maybe if a customer just want to buy one pair or just want to buy one particular product, you can maybe up sell them to buy three or four, for example you can have a sale, so I just wanna buy a one t-shirt, you can say buy five for the price of three, you know something attractive. Display that on the product detail page; so it’s the opportunity to upsell various other products from your ecommerce site. And then give an option for that visitor to also share up that product. Now, you can share it on a social media, share on Google plus there’s also Pinterest which is quite famous right now with, especially ecommerce website. So, make sure that you have plenty of option were the customers can share that particular product with the network and again it’s promoting your product, promoting your brand on social media. So, this is some of the mistakes that you need to avoid on the product detail page and implement them in your website.
And then moving on to the check out stage, most important thing when visited check out page on your ecommerce site is do not force to them to register for an account, because last thing you want is the user of abandoning the checkout stage is them of the hard work, they like website, the like product. They made a commitment, that yes, they want to buy the product. So, don’t force them to register for an account. If they go an account give them an option that you log in with the user and the password but give them an option that they can check out as a guest and at the end, after they made a payment, after they’ve come on to thank you page. Then give them an option that would you like to create an account with this so next time your check out can be easily, because we will save the information for easy check out. So don’t force them to register before they make a payment. And then also on the check out stages do give a plenty of options for payment. You never know what part or what stage the customer is in or it they’ve got their card with them or if they don’t have their card with them. Do give them a plenty of options such as PayPal, Google check out. Don’t just restrict them to these options. Try to invest in a payment gateway because that way the customers can pay you using their master card, their visa card, their maestro card so do give plenty of options for your customers to pay you. And because last thing you want if they haven’t got the details with them, nine out of ten times they don’t want to come back and complete the transaction. So do give them an option that yes, if you don’t have your card with you now, you can pay by PayPal or you can pay by Google check out and then they can complete the transaction.
And the last thing is, on the check out stage is shipping rates. Now these can put off the customers, they don’t know what your shipping rates are ‘till the end. Make sure before the customer gets to the check out stage they clearly know exactly what they gonna be paying for shipping rate. So, maybe after they’ve added the product to the cart and just before they proceed to the check out they have an option how would your goods to be delivered. And make sure that you clearly state what your shipping costs are. And you know for express delivery this much for seven days delivery that much. So do clearly state what the customer’s is going to be paying for the shipping cost, because last thing you want is when the customer’s get to this stage, they find out what your shipping rates are, and then they abandon the shopping cart. So, make sure you clearly display what your shipping cost are, maybe you have a dedicated page on your website, where in the footer you can like this are the shipping rates and if you got a section on you website, where you display what your shipping costs are.
So these are the common mistake that general ecommerce website make. And then we come on to SEO, now don’t leave SEO to ‘till the end. As many ecommerce website do make this mistake where they design their website they build everything and they leave SEO right ‘till the end. What you want to do is especially if you’re building a new ecommerce website is implement the SEO right from the beginning, get your SEO consultant to work with the designer, and to work with the developers and then come up with the solution for your SEO. Because what you’ll find, if you leave the SEO right ‘till the end, then you’re left to backtrack everything. You know, broke up the website; you invested in the website and your SEO consultant ask you, ok, you make to do these changes, these changes so you find you’re backtracking everything. So, from the beginning make sure you do include your SEO and some of the basic things that you can do in your ecommerce website is make sure that the title tag of every single page on your website including product detail page is different. Now, when adding a product let’s say I’m adding this jumper, so the title of that jumper generally just come up on the title tag depends on what ecommerce platform you used, but if you speaking with the developer, asked them that you do want to have the flexibility to control the title tags of your product and then you come up to the description tag, make sure that you do have an option to control the description tag of your ecommerce site.
Now, every single product of your ecommerce website should have a unique description. So, sometimes the developers they build in a way where the first sentence or the first couple of sentences do going to the description tag. But again you do want to have an option were you can control the description tag of your ecommerce site .And then, when uploading images what you do want is to give every single image that you upload on your ecommerce site an alt tags. Now, especially on your product detail page where you uploading three or four product images. You want give description what these images are for. So have an option, ask the designers, ask the developer to give you an option where you can control the alt text of your product that are uploaded on to your ecommerce site. Sometimes it can be done automatically were the developer builds in a way were the title of the product comes in to the alt text of the product detail images that you upload. And also social networking, don’t leave social networking ‘till the end and in especially if you’re building ecommerce website. You maybe new, try to build up your brand on social networking site. There’s Facebook, Google, twitter, and also have a look at Pinterest, which is coming quite big special in ecommerce website, while you can upload your product image even give a price tag of what your cost are, a link directly to your product information page. Not only to your product detail page, so from Pinterest they come directly to the product detail page. So do include the social networking into your ecommerce strategy.
And then sitemap, many ecommerce website do make this mistake but some of their major platform like Magento have is all automated where every time you upload a new product, your sitemap does get updated and things off to Google and get updated too. So make sure that you sitemap is up to date and then just checking about the social networking site. Once the customer visit, made a payment the check out on your ecommerce site and come unto the thank you page. What you can do is also include, share my experience on Facebook, or share my shopping cart on Facebook or twitter and what that does is share the whole basket so that the customer’s has just bought on the network, so on the Facebook, on twitter, or on Google plus. And then allows them to their followers to also make a purchase. So for example, one of my friends has bought five t-shirts for the price of three. And if shared that on the social networking site, what I can do is click buy on the same basket and come on directly on the check out stage we’re all the products are already in the shopping basket and I can continue with the same basket. But if you are doing that make sure you get an option for that visitor to customise the shopping basket. Because you don’t just want them to leave with what the previous customer’s be bought, maybe they don’t want to buy something else. Make sure that you do give an option for your visitor to customise their shopping basket. So these are just some of the mistakes that general ecommerce website make. So from design, contact information, product detail page do take some time and test various product information, your check out stages and also some basic SEO tips.
Now, which ever stage that you are with your ecommerce site and you just can make sure that you do avoid these mistake, maybe if you got an ecommerce website you go can back and see maybe product detail page needs checking or my check out stage needs updating or the SEO sections is to be updated. And do take some time, and make those corrections on your ecommerce website.
And that’s all folks for this episode, hope you find a beneficial do catch us up on Facebook, on twitter, on Google plus and on our blog. We’ve got a whole section dedicated for ecommerce do take some time to have look at the ecommerce section on our blog.
Image by Flickr