Three Expensive Mistakes In E-Commerce And How To Avoid Them
Contributed by Jake Rheude of Red Stag Fulfillment.
Every dollar you make or spend in your e-commerce business is important. Margins always have the chance to get thinner when it starts costing more to compete for keywords or when you need to match a sale from your top competitor.
To help you protect that revenue, we’ve looked at three of the most expensive mistakes that are common among e-tailers and a quick way to avoid falling into the trap. Keeping these three things in mind will help you stay on the profitable path to growth.
Asking People to Trust You Without Proof
If you noticed an interesting looking product on a store’s shelf, but couldn’t tell who made it, how it worked, or how long it was supposed to last, would you buy it? You’re essentially putting e-commerce visitors in that same situation when you don’t give them detailed product descriptions, have grainy product images, and don’t clearly list your policies such as warranties or returns.
One of the best things you can do beyond providing a complete description is to place product reviews on each product’s page. That way you’re giving the visitor a realistic view, not just a sales pitch or manufacturer’s specs. Roughly 84% of people who buy things online trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation from friends or family. Use this to your advantage by making reviews simple to see and understand.
Pushing Traffic Above All Else
“Traffic” to your website is not the “location, location, location” of the digital age. It’s a lot easier to navigate to a page accidentally than it is to drive to the wrong location, and it’s a whole lot easier to leave that website too. You want people ready to shop at your store, not just people who are ready to click on whatever link the Internet throws at them.
If you have low conversion rates, turn your eyes to the people who are willing to navigate to your store and spend a few minutes before they leave. These are some of your best options for increasing sales because they have interest. Focus on creating content, offering a special, or giving them the right product recommendation that helps them convert.
Do that, and you’re in a much better place to convert even more visitors as your traffic naturally grows.
Do What You Promise the First Time
E-commerce success, like traditional retail success, hinges on having happy customers. You get happy customers by delivering a high-quality service and doing what you tell people you’re going to do. For e-commerce, that often means making your shipping fast and affordable. You’ll want to reach most people within two to three days (even if you don’t use Amazon fulfillment, that’s the bar you’ll be measured against) and you need shipping prices that are easy to predict and understand. Focus on creating standard shipping costs and share that information with your customer. Does the shipping cost go up if they move from two to three products? Does getting something to Alaska cost them more than shipping to Arizona? Always be transparent.
For shipping, it helps to have a partner who specializes in it and can fulfill the delivery guarantees you make. If your carrier is late, your brand still gets the blame — it’s a frustrating fact, and makes it especially important to have reliable partners.
These are three of the biggest e-commerce issues we see, and they tend to be the costliest because they’ll drive down sales, burn through your marketing without results, or get people to leave unhappy reviews and turn away from your business. Solve each, and you’re on your way to having a thriving platform that’s easy to grow and manage.
Jake Rheude is the Director of Business Development & Marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment, a US-based online order fulfillment provider focused on serving companies shipping parcels greater than 5 pounds. When the owners of an e-commerce business couldn’t find a high-quality fulfillment partner to handle their picking and packing operations, the decision was made to built the ideal fulfillment house on their own. The result was RSF!