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Stop Making Costly Mistakes while building online business site


With the steady stream of people charging the gates of The Emerald E-commerce City, it's easy to watch and think "I can do that".  While this is absolutely true, what must be understood is that building a successful - that means profitable - e-commerce business can take just as much work as opening the doors to a traditional brick and mortar store.  If you have an e-commerce site that is floundering, or that you wish to grow larger, make sure you're not getting stuck in any of the common pitfalls that sap the life out of budding entrepreneur's dreams.

An Unfriendly Site

Can you imagine walking in to a store for the first time and not being able to find what you need?  Would you stay in the store very long if you noticed staff simply walking right by without welcoming you to their establishment and trying to meet your needs?  I would be gone!

Sometimes I think people opening their e-commerce doors get so caught up in building great displays that they forget they must create a user-friendly shopping environment for customers.  Think about it this way.  Let's go back into the traditional store that I have driven to, walked from my car into the store and need help.  Although I would be peeved, I just may ask for help.  After all, I did go through the trouble of getting there and I would waste time having to drive to another store now.  Well if a shopper comes to your site and doesn't quickly and easily find what they need, all they have to do is click a button (and click a button, they will!).

To be profitable, make sure you have given plenty of thought to how usable you make your site.  While customers will be impressed with all of your colorful pictures of the many products you offer, it will not be enough to keep them searching.

This is Not an Obstacle Course
Shoppers turn to online stores because they seemingly offer more convenience.  Knowing this, your website should be set up to easily walk shoppers through the process of buying.  This means that your navigation bar is easy to see and use, without loads of hidden categories.  It also means that care should be taken in asking for personal information from a buyer too soon.  While it is important that a site have an Opt-In offer, having it pop up as soon as a shopper hits your Home Page will likely scare them off. 

Another big issue that site builders miss is the big picture, literally.  Zona Research estimates that more than $4 billion annually, or $362 million per month, are lost due to unacceptable download speeds.  Work with image sizes to make sure they are properly sized in order to download as quickly as possible.

Other obstacles that shoppers are slow to hurdle are shipping and handling costs as well as pricing.  Don't be afraid to show consumers your prices!  If you offer free shipping you should shout it from the mountaintops.  If you don't, make sure a customer can calculate shipping before you ask for credit card information.  Missing this will cost you a sale 9 times out of 10.

Technology is great.  Thanks to constant advancements, we have a new way to do business.  Make your business successful and profitable by steering clear of these pitfalls


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