Posts Tagged ‘mistakes’

Brisbane Times reveals 11 biggest ecommerce mistakes

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014
Photo courtesy of Terrance Heath on Flickr

Photo courtesy of Terrance Heath on Flickr

The Brisbane Times has published a list of the 11 biggest mistakes e-commerce sites make. Heed these warnings:

1. Having Complex Functionality

The best sites should be structured so absolutely no thinking is necessary when navigating through, including minimal steps between product viewing and purchase.

2. Having Poor Site Appearance

A busy, confusing, or ad-strewn site poses functionality issues and isn’t a particularly professional front for a business expecting customers to leave sensitive credit card details. A beautiful website that makes for easy shopping and security will ensure customers are happy.

3. Not Having Compatibility with Mobile and Tablet

Digital retailers must accommodate a range of customers across diverse platforms and employ a website design that is fast loading for mobiles as well as desktop computers.

4. Having Unexpected Fees and Shipping Costs

The number one reason customers abandon their shopping cart is unexpected costs added to their purchase, such as GST, insurance and high shipping fees. Free delivery can be the defining feature that sets a site apart from direct competitors. While free shipping is undoubtedly a huge attraction, shoppers will generally concede to a shipping fee if they feel it is reflective of the product and level of service. A tracking number is also a plus.

5. Overly Long Product and Lack of Customer Reviews

Long-winded product descriptions can turn off shoppers. Pairing concise, keyword-rich descriptions with customer reviews, and even stats on how many times the item has been previously bought, is a good way to reassure customers. A unique product description, rather than that composed by the manufacturer, can also ensure a higher ranking on internet search engines.

6. Having Poor Search Capability

Faceted search — a function that allows users to apply a range of filters to explore information — enhances customer power and control by making it easier for them to home in on the products they are most interested in. Typo-sensitive search also increases the likelihood that a clumsy-fingered user will still see results that best match what they’re looking for.

7. Convoluted Checkout Procedures and Customer Accounts

Forcing a buyer to create an account and enter personal details at the checkout has obvious benefits for the retailer, but it is likely to cause frustration among shoppers who want an instant transaction. Features such as single sign-on, automated saving of a customer’s details, and the option for “guest checkout” transactions that don’t require the creation of a password quicken and enhance the shopping experience.

8. Lack of Social Media Integration

If you’re not posting, instagraming, pinning or tweeting, you’re just not competing. But more than posting a photo, social media should be used to generate positive dialogue among customers and aid the transaction process by facilitating direct contact between the company and consumer. All retailers should have an effective communications policy in place, especially for when customers turn to social media to complain.

9. Poor Quality Images and Zoom Function

Grainy photos or poor zoom function are easy ways to lose a sale, as customers can’t see the detail in the craftsmanship. Instead, use clear, high quality photos.

10. Believing the Transaction is Complete After the Order is Placed

Another golden rule of running an online business is realising that the shopping experience isn’t over when the customer clicks “buy”. Don’t neglect functions such as: recommended “buy next” options, live purchase stats (for instance, five people bought this in the last hour), or prompts for low stock in a “watched” item.

11. Having Ineffective Customer Service

One of the cornerstones of face-to-face retail is good customer service, and this still applies online. Ensuring the product over delivers, that delivery service is on time, and that phone, email and live chat service staff are friendly and helpful, will usually ensure a positive customer response even if something goes wrong.

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Well-known online entrepreneur shares 10 signs that an internet company will fail

Monday, October 28th, 2013
Photo credit; Nima Badiey on Flickr

Photo credit; Nima Badiey on Flickr

Australian internet entrepreneur Fred Schebesta,  who founded online comparison website and is also a StartupSmart mentor, has put together a list of the signs he says show that an internet company is likely to fail.

Here are Schebesta’s 10 indicators that an internet company is set for failure:

1. The owner expects it to go viral

“The most successful viral campaigns out there are for brands that have already established themselves in the market and have an existing following. Viral campaigns drive brand awareness not sales and should support a core marketing strategy, not the other way round.”

2. The chosen idea adds to an already ‘successful’ core product

“A product that adds value to another successful idea can thrive in the beginning however, when the existing product fails or its owner decides that they can create that add-on even better, this business becomes redundant.”

3. The product is good but could easily operate as a free service

“I’ve watched entrepreneurs crumble as larger businesses swoop in and offer a similar service for free. Remarkably I’ve also watched as others try to establish a paid service when it’s already available at no cost to the consumer! It’s not a good idea if money can’t be made from it.”

4. It’s a faceless business

“Brands that are non-personable scream out to customers that they’re money-making schemes. Customers need someone to talk to when things go wrong, otherwise frustrations can kill a good reputation.”

5. The owner has picked a business where others continuously fail

“Two words — group buying. Why do businesses keep trying to establish in this dying market, especially when it’s dominated by a handful of larger businesses? Too often I see business owners who are too proud to change an idea or enter a different market, sometimes you just have to go back to the drawing board.”

6. There is no differentiation to well-established competitors

“Think or — they operate so well in the market that smaller competitors don’t stand a chance. When an entrepreneur thinks they have a differentiation, they need to question how long it would be before their largest competitor also incorporates this idea.”

7. The business can’t be explained to a 12-year-old

Over-complicated ideas result in users switching off completely. If a 12-year-old doesn’t understand a product then I say don’t bother taking it any further.”

8. It’s for a niche market, not the mass market

“Australia is already a tiny market to operate in and those businesses with a niche idea are narrowing their success even further. When an idea becomes too specific consumers feel alienated and lose interest.”

9. eBay, Google or Facebook are its biggest competitors

“I am flooded with requests each month from the ‘budding’ Mark Zuckerberg. You are not the next social network. That ship has sailed, now we need to move on.”

10. The owner is trying to find new industries or customer problems to solve

“If a product doesn’t solve an obvious problem or make a customer have an ‘Aha!’ moment then it shouldn’t exist. If there are existing solutions to problems that an entrepreneur is trying to compete then they need to innovate in a whole new way to get audiences on board.”

To read more on this story, click here.