It seems like everyone and their mother wants to ride the ecommerce gravy train, but riding to success isn’t so simple. Many business owners just starting out have a lot of room for improvement, and customers and experienced entrepreneurs alike can tell.
Ecommerce beginners tend to make a few common mistakes with their website. Whether it’s amateur copywriting or unprofessional design, these rookie mistakes can dissuade customers from buying and end up stalling potential business growth.
Everyone is a beginner at some point. There’s no shame in trying to build something new, even when you don’t exactly know what you’re doing. However, here are some signs that you are in the beginning of your ecommerce journey with lots still to learn:
Duplicate Product Descriptions
One of the most obvious signs of an ecommerce beginner is duplicate product descriptions. Many new ecommerce entrepreneurs will simply copy the product descriptions directly from the manufacturer’s website. They may attempt to change the copy a little, but often it is still too similar to make a difference.
Directly copying product descriptions is bad for SEO and bad in terms of plagiarism. Ecommerce beginners don’t know or don’t care, but either way it’s a mistake for your business. Take the time to write unique product descriptions for every item in your online store.
Terrible Website Copy
Copywriting is an art and a science. Just because you can string a sentence together doesn’t mean you can write effective copy that will inspire your website visitors to take action. Often ecommerce beginners will write cheesy, ineffective copy that actually harms their brand rather than helps it.
The biggest mistake is not keeping the customer’s wants and needs at top of mind. Every piece of content you write should address their needs and lead them in the direction you want them to go (towards making a purchase!).
Hire a professional writer if you can. At the very least, read some articles or books on copywriting. High-level copy leads to high-level conversions.
Unprofessional Website Design
There’s nothing worse than a poorly designed ecommerce website. Whether it’s hokey, tacky, or just plain ugly, poorly designed websites reek of unprofessionalism. Customers are much more likely to buy from websites they trust, and customer tend to trust well-designed websites.
Many free ecommerce store platforms come with tried and true website themes that you can use to create beautiful websites. Many of these website builders have “drag and drop” design features, so you don’t have to have a lot of technical knowledge of code to create an attractive and functional website.
Unrealistic Shipping Charges
There’s nothing like an unexpectedly high shipping charge that will make a customer abandon their cart. Charging too much for shipping may be a signal for a larger problem that the ecommerce store owner is not integrating accurate shipping data with the website.
Make sure your shipping charges are up to date and unique to each product’s weight and specifications. Consider offering free shipping or at least free shipping when a customer spends a certain amount. Just be sure not too charge outrageous shipping fees when the product doesn’t call for it.
No Encrypted Domain Certificate
An ecommerce website with no encrypted domain certificate is a dead giveaway for a beginner who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Encrypted domains (HTTPS) are much more secure compared to standard domains (HTTP), which is especially important for processing payments. Plus, Google ranks websites with HTTPS encryptions higher in the search results.
It’s OK to be an ecommerce beginner. We were all beginners once! It’s easier than ever to start an ecommerce website, but that can lead to a lot of bad websites. Rise above the rest by putting in a little extra effort. Your customers and your business will be better for it.