This is a guest contribution by Natalie Pavlovskay.
Consumers are whimsical and picky. No matter how good your store is, they will always find something to complaint about. However, quite often it’s exactly ecommerce merchants who fail to consider their stores usability from a customer point of view. Here come mistakes that irritate people and make them leave your website asap.
There’re dozens of ecommerce mistakes lists on the Internet: about navigation, SEO, UX, design, etc. It’s true. However, being an avid shopping addict and an ecommerce marketer all in one, I’m going to share with you the biggest and most annoying mistakes. Even more, I’ll share with you the best fixing tips & solutions.
Ready? Then let’s roll in.
1. Poor Product Presentation
It’s been written thousand or million times – picture is worth a thousand words (especially when you’re in fashion, food, beauty, etc. industry). Images are unconsciously persuasive. They create the necessary buying mood and affect how we see ourselves (our family, lifestyle, etc.).
Shoppers see visual content first – before the description, stock or even price. In the ecommerce world where you can’t touch or try on the products, images and especially videos play the key role.
Blurred, small or plain images that don’t create proper customer experience are doomed to fail.
How to fix this mistake?
- Take quality photos
- Show customers how they will look in your product
- Create necessary environment for the product
Just compare 2 products presentations. Which one looks more appealing?
2. Load Time & Endless Page Reloads
No one ever wants to wait.
People expect websites load in 2-3 seconds, which has something to do with a never-ending reload story. If your store fails on both these grounds, say Goodbye to customers.
The page refreshes every time shoppers add items to cart or need to change the size or color of the product? (the latter is the king of irritation). If customers really need to visit your store, it’s one case. But what if they have just clicked a link on-the-fly?
How to fix it?
- Webpages reload every time customers add products to cart? Use an AJAX-based checkout.
- Have problems with custom options reload? Get a ready-to-use solution (like this Magento custom options tool)
3. Search Issues
Those, who use onsite search are have a higher buying intend. Such people know what they want and are ready to purchase as quickly as possible. Missing these ready-to-buy shoppers with irrelevant search turns to be a big mistake. According to the Baymard research:
- 16% of ecommerce sites don’t support searching products by name;
- 22% don’t support search for color variations;
- 18% can’t handle misspellings and typos;
- 70% of ecommerce stores require the same product type query as the site uses.
How to fix it?
- Analyze onsite search queries and build your searching strategy according to this analysis.
- Add autocomplete functionality.
- Make sure you included all necessary keywords, descriptions (like spring jacket), colors, sizes, etc. are included into the search feed.
- Don’t forget about typos, misspellings, errors, abbreviations, etc.
- If your built in search can’t cope with this, look for more advanced options like solr or sphinx.
- Avoid blank pages. If the requested product isn’t available – suggest an alternative.
4. Pop-up Terror
Pop-ups suck! Especially when you’ve just arrived on the site, know nothing about its offerings and bam! bombarded with a pop-up asking for an email. C’mon guys, stop getting on customers nerves.
How to fix it?
If you want to try a pop-up campaign, research this question. Patricia Williams, Wharton Marketing professor, stated that people hate pop-ups because they appear at the wrong time and place. And it’s totally true!
- Analyze your audience (learn what pages are the most popular or what they come to your store for).
- Choose the right time (use scheduled, scroll or exit pop-ups)
- Think of a catching design and tempting message.
It’s the 21st century: smart houses, cyber-reality, finding new building blocks of life in our galaxy, etc. But when it comes to mobile/table website surfing, ecommerce moves like a snail.
Mobile shopping must be convenient, comfortable to navigate and with no pop-ups. If you can’t provide your users with an intuitive and easy shopping on small phone screens, you just get uncompetitive.
How to fix it?
6. Filtering Headache
Endless paging through product grids is tiresome. The one and only exception if your product catalog counts 10 items. In all other cases, please provide shoppers with a smart filtering options.
Lack of filtering options and poor design that doesn’t go with users’ expectations are the main reasons why customers get frustrated with the layered navigation.
How to fix it?
- Define the most important filtering fields for your niche.
- Research and apply the best filtering practices.
- Use intuitive and clear design.
7. Checkout Nightmare
When a payment process becomes too complicated and long, cart abandonment takes place. Poor checkout design is another mistake that merchants should take care of.
Do you have unnecessary form fields? Reduce their number to zero.
Force people to create an account? Offer a guest checkout.
Hide shipping info till the last step? Make it visible and clear.
Use limited payment options? Accept as many for as possible.
You’ve got it.
Here they are – 7 most common mistakes that can easily drive people nuts.
Besides, we can add inventory problems, poor product description, shipping issues, pagination, typos, horrible navigation, browser mistakes, etc.
What did we miss?
What ecommerce site issues turn you off?
About the Author:
Natalie Pavlovskaya is a Marketing Executive at MageWorx.Com, developer of Magento plugins. A passionate marketer by day and a copywriter by night, she is here to speak all things ecommerce, UX, digital marketing and social media. The Rolling Stones addict. Follow her on Twitter.