It’s no secret – running an eCommerce website is hard, and doing it successfully is even harder. Online retail is a bustling business, but it doesn’t come without challenges.
Since 2020, eCommerce has surged drastically and also shifted online shopping behavior. If you want to stay competitive you must stay privy to digital transformation opportunities and make sure you’re evolving with the modern world – not left behind.
If you’re wondering why your online store is getting traffic but no sales, it may be time for a gut check. Read on to make sure you aren’t falling victim to these common eCommerce website mistakes and know what steps to take to avoid them.
Complicated website experience
So, shoppers enter and leave your website every day and you’re left wondering why they haven’t completed a purchase. Well, it all comes down to the user experience on your website.
First impressions matter. It takes about .05 seconds for users to form an opinion about a person. Websites are no different. Your website is your chance to stand out from the crowd, and a customer’s first impression determines if they’ll stay or leave. First consider the fundamentals to make sure your website is up to par.
- Optimized product photography – If your website data is telling you shoppers are visiting your product page but not clicking ‘add to cart’ your product page may be falling short. Are your images doing your product justice? This is your chance to convince them, reinforce your branding, and increase your discoverability through SEO with alt text. While this is considered a best practice, be mindful that your website
- Necessary product details – If you wow your shopper with product photography don’t forget the important details of the product. From automotive and electronics to food and merchandise, your shoppers want to know the features and benefits of your product and why it’s better than competitors. Building user personas can help you understand your customers and their preferences. Allowing you to identify triggers that will encourage them to convert.
- Mobile responsive design – Majority of online browsing is done on mobile devices. So while your website may look killer on a desktop it must be responsive on mobile. This is especially important when you are running ads on social media since 83% of social media browsing happens on smartphones. Be sure to always test each page of your website on different devices and browsers frequently (is there a free checker we can link here)
- Clean and intuitive design – According to Adobe, 38% of shoppers will leave a website if they don’t like the design. It’s critical to ensure the website is easy to navigate because unlike other websites, eCommerce sites should be both informational and transactional.
Now that we’ve gone through the basic best practices, it’s important to make sure your website design and website copy is catered to your audience. Otherwise, that could be the primary reason for a high bounce rate. Remember to always analyze your digital footprint with your audience in mind.
How to optimize the user experience for eCommerce websites
Struggling to decode a sea of data is a common pain point many eCommerce stores face. Google Analytics may tell you how many people visit a page, exit a page, click on a button – but you have no context to analyze that data because you don’t know what happens between clicks.
Businesses that are determined to crack that code opt for behavioral analytics to get clarity in what their customers are actually doing on their website. While traditional website analytics tell you what your users are doing, behavioral analytics give you visibility into why your certain actions are happening so you optimize your website based on real user behavior.
Behavioral analytics tools like Session Replays allow you to record users on your website anonymously to see what they do and why they leave. Shuffling through and watching session recordings may seem like a daunting task, but Mouseflow’s session replay feature highlights frustrated users so you can zero-in on problem errors and optimize your website accordingly.
From homepage to checkout, Heat Maps let you visualize trends and see activity on every page, without having to crunch numbers or compare data points. This helps you see if shoppers are getting distracted by non-important elements and failing to reach important content and CTAs.
Friction in your online checkout process
The main reasons why online shoppers abandon their carts usually comes down to friction and trust. Here’s the hard truth: 75.6% of shopping carts are abandoned. If a shopper has gone through your product listings, added items to their shopping cart, and shown an intent to purchase, then it’s likely they’ve experienced friction during the checkout process.
How much would your revenue increase if you were capturing those sales instead of losing them? Make sure you aren’t making the following mistakes during your checkout process to increase conversions and reduce cart abandonment.
- Not offering guest checkout –Don’t be forceful. Not everyone wants to create a count and enter a password that they will probably forget. This is often a major barrier. Reduce the risk of lost revenue by allowing your customers to checkout as guests. Chances are if they like your product and it’s a simple shopping experience, they will be a recurring customer anyway.
- Confusing shopping cart – How do I remove an item from my shopping cart? How do I add 5 more hats? The discount code isn’t working! Functionality errors in your shopping cart can prevent users from making a purchase.
- Hidden fees – We all know the feeling of sticker shock. Imagine if you went through the entire checkout process, entered your shipping and credit card information only to be hit with an exorbitant shipping cost right before you click purchase. Always be transparent from the start because if you aren’t upfront with shipping costs and other fees customers will lose trust quickly.
- Asking for too much information – Just like you don’t want to force a customer to create an account, you don’t want to scare them away with a lengthy checkout that spans multiple pages and countless form fields. You want to make it as easy and breezy as possible. But how many checkout fields are too much, you ask? There is no simple answer. It’s in your best interest to not guess, but watch how real customers are interacting with your checkout form. Use a form analytics tool. Form tracking and analytics highlight the fields that repel and frustrate customers so you can visualize every step and know exactly what to fix.
How to reduce shopping cart abandonment
- Implement an email recovery campaign – Life gets busy. Not all shoppers abandon their cart intentionally. If you have the shoppers’ email address you can re-engage them with a follow up email to customers that have added items to their cart but exited without completing a purchase. If you aren’t sure how to get started, get refreshed by reviewing these best practices.
- Ask them why –Customer feedback is crucial in many scenarios, but especially during the stage of their customer journey. Instead of wondering why shoppers leave – ask them. From cluttered page design to complicated checkout processes, take a proactive approach. For example, if a customer returns and views their shopping cart a second time, you can ask them what’s preventing them from making a purchase by setting up a feedback campaign. by setting up a feedback campaign.
Glitches on your website
So you just made changes to your eCommerce website design, but you haven’t had time to thoroughly review it. There may be missing links, bugs, and errors resulting in unhappy shoppers and those errors are costing you money.
You can save time and take a passive approach by relying on tools to help you detect issues so your time can be spent fixing them rather than searching for them. Once you start recording on your website Mouseflow’s friction points can spotlight these problem areas and you can examine even further with a feedback tool to gain more insights to reveal why a user action is happening or why it’s not.
Scenario: A customer was almost about to complete a purchase on your site, but something went wrong. The sale was lost and that customer will most likely not return due to the error. Instead of sitting back and sulking, decide to take action with Mouseflow’s feedback tool so you can recover the sale and make sure it never happens again. For example:
- Click rage – This is when a user clicks multiple times on the same element within a certain time frame and probably indicates there is a usability or performance issue on your site. Maybe something isn’t clickable or maybe the page is taking too long to load. Then the customer becomes frustrated and leaves your site or does not complete a purchase.
Triggering customer feedback campaigns at these key moments can help you rescue the sale and remedy the issue, and may even turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Not talking to your customers
Another crucial mistake in eCommerce is assuming what a customer wants instead of giving them the chance to tell you exactly what they need and how to satisfy them.
In online retail there are no face-to-face interactions. You must rely entirely on your website to create a desirable customer experience. Stay ahead of customer expectations by asking them what they want. Just like you can trigger feedback by asking what is wrong when they encounter a glitch, you can activate a feedback tool at any time during the user journey to gain additional insights.
Customer feedback opportunities
- When they leave your product page – did they not find what they were looking for? Were they shopping on mobile and the product image was wonky? Well, ask them and find out.
- When they abandon the shopping cart on the last page – so they had an intent to purchase, filled out all of their info, and then abandoned their cart right before clicking purchase. Maybe there were hidden fees or maybe they changed their mind. Again, you’ll never know until you ask.
Overuse of promotional banners and pop-ups
While initiating pop-ups and banners can help inform your customer and increase sales, sometimes they hinder the user experience and cause a customer to leave your website.
While effective, sometimes they weaken the customer experience by cluttering the design, firing at the wrong time and hiding key CTAs in their buyers’ journey. Sometimes, even if everything looks good on the desktop, it wreaks havoc on the mobile experience – especially when considering different devices and browsers.
Online retail websites demand continual optimization. Although these common pitfalls just brim the surface of eCommerce challenges, they leave you with an opportunity to turn these insights into action.
Fortunately, these mishaps that may be costing you customers can easily be avoided. Whether you’ve already faced some of these challenges or if you’ve never even considered them, remember that there are resources at your disposal to take advantage of.