5 Common Mistakes Even Top eCommerce Sites Make

ecommerce mistakes

So you have an eCommerce platform and you’ve been working on building a great inventory with products that stand out, happy, loyal customers and a subscription list to keep your customers in the loop regularly. Things seem to be working out okay, but your conversion rates aren’t as high as you’d like them to be. Although the best thing to do is to look at your ecommerce conversion funnel, there are a few common mistakes even top ecommerce sites make that you should make sure you avoid.

You don’t have the right filters

A customer on an ecommerce website is overwhelmed by choices. What helps many customers narrow down their search is a good filtering system. Let’s say you are selling clothes on your site. The most obvious choices to filter by are colour, size and style. What many websites leave out are size charts and even details on what material the top is made of, which can give you a far better impression of the piece of clothing.

filters on top ecommerce sitesThat’s fine and all…but what is it made of!?!
Image: H&M

Similarly when it comes to household appliances, leaving out small filtering options can make all the difference even if you run one of the top ecommerce sites in your industry. Get feedback from your customers any time you can on how easily they are able to find products on your website and mobile app. Getting conversions alone doesn’t mean you are giving folks a great experience.

Surprise Shipping Costs

This is one of my personal pet peeves. I browse to find the perfect gift or product for myself and just as I am about the check out, I notice the price has gone up drastically – making it not seem as worthwhile as I believed. This is a bad way to make a sale. You are taking the joy out of the customer’s buying experience and instead turning it to a bit of shock and surprise.

shipping_costs-1429316437613Image: Conversio

At this point, most customers have already decided to buy and may reluctantly go ahead with the sale, but they are left with a bad taste in their mouths about your shipping policies. Top ecommerce sites can pride themselves on being clear with their prices from the get go. Fixing this and being transparent with your pricing and shipping costs before they add items to their cart is how you can gain a customer’s trust.

Payment Gateway Woes

Your site may be amazing, but if your payment gateway sucks – you could end up annoying even customers who love you the most. I’ve often encountered payment gateways that take forever to process a payment or leave you hanging in the middle of a transaction. This instantly puts me on alert-mode. Is somebody hacking my card right now? Should I have not put down my card details on this website? That moment of panic is enough to diminish my enthusiasm about what i’m getting. Even bad design on your payment gateway or forms that don’t work intuitively can hamper this experience. If you’re a company that has a mobile app or website, you need to take extra care to make sure that your payment flow isn’t just smooth, but also that it is secure and helps customers make payments on the go.

Bad Recommendations or No Recommendations

Almost every ecommerce website today uses a recommendation platform of some sort. These recommendations help customers understand that they can find similar products, what other customers have bought, what customers who bought the same product they are looking at have bought, and a whole lot of other options. This helps customers make a more informed decision and gives you a chance to showcase more of your inventory and use the real estate on your website and mobile app well. A lack of recommendations on your website tells your users that you don’t have enough options for them, and that not enough other customers have bought from your website – overall creating an underwhelming experience.

Invasive Popups – Especially on Mobile

The worst of all. The dreaded popups. Whoever sets them up means well. I know they do. They care about my experience as a customer and don’t want me to be annoyed. Yet, sometimes I really wonder if that is true.

screen-shot-2016-03-16-at-10-01-10-pm-700x350Image: Tim B Design

Popups that follow a customer around on your website are as annoying as that over enthusiastic sales person who asks you billions of questions even once you’ve already told them you are “just looking around.” Anyway, the point is – even top ecommerce sites make the mistake of not regulating the number of popups, or not triggering popups based on a user’s behavior. Let’s say you displayed one lightbox and your customer was excited enough to click on your CTA. By all means, show them another. If they didn’t? Maybe think twice before sending one more. Makes sense? Invest in a lightbox popup tool that can handle this!

Additional Reading: Antavo’s Guide on 8 eCommerce Pitfalls to Avoid 

Never miss a growth opportunity