As marketers, this is the little world we live in. We live and work on marketing all day long and it hurts to see such sin anywhere on the virtual web. A banner that looks lonesome would make us wonder if the poor thing gets any attention at all.
A shabby looking ecommerce site repels customers but invokes our sympathy. A non-responsive Twitter account or a Facebook page that belongs to an etailer doesn’t bruise our ego, it just infuriates us.
In the world of comments feeding off on comments to form conversations, brands making a beeline at social media, and ecommerce sites working on the double to go quick and responsive, there are still plenty of adamant ecommerce stores that don’t function as they should.
It’s money lost for the ecommerce site owners and precious lessons for us smart marketers wise business owners.
Take a simple case of ecommerce store usability: according to a study by Neilsen Normal Group, the simple ‘search’ function on ecommerce sites still remains a sore point. Only 51% of users succeed in finding what they want on an ecommerce site.
Here are six common errors to avoid…
Getting the colors wrong
If you have your ecommerce store designed by, well, designers, you ought to get the complete package. You’d not have to think. You’d just have to run the store and profit from it.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen with some ecommerce sites. If you started off with the wrong foundation on design, what’d you expect anyway? Color psychology is big in design and there’s a reason for it: it works.
According to an infographic on the KISSmetrics blog, more than 93% of customers are influenced by the ‘visuals’ pertaining to the product. More than 85% of shoppers are drawn to products thanks to color.
Brand recognition owes about 80% of its effectiveness due to colors associated with brands.
Poor product descriptions
The written word, for ecommerce sites, is sometimes more important than images (for flat panel TVs, electronic gadgets, etc.) as most customers are aware of how these products look.
In other cases, images rule the roost for T-shirts, apparel, footwear, and accessories.
In all cases where content is important, most ecommerce stores fail to do justice. With product descriptions literally bleeding to touch the 350-word mark and with a font size or type you’d be a genius to read, every word on the page is akin to a dollar lost in potential revenue.
Social bridges: where are they?
While the world is busy straddling the social web, some ecommerce stores are like castaways on remote islands. They are completely disconnected from the world of social media, and that hurts.
For some sites, there’s a lack of engagement, conversations, and responses to any comments on products, brand, or the business itself.
The comments drown in disparate communities without the interception of the ecommerce store’s managers or owners. No one is listening.
Even Walmart can’t pull off ecommerce sales operating off a silo like that. Amazon still focuses heavily on user reviews and popular recommendations. Most successful ecommerce businesses are as social as they can get.
All product pages should have social media buttons. Your business, ecommerce or not, needs real engagement, connections with people, and conversations.
It’s not wise to burn bridges. Ever.
Technology pulls you from under the rock. But where are you?
Every aspect of your ecommerce store is technology backing it up or leading it. Sometimes, technology wedges itself in practically every aspect of your business. Heck, the fact you have an ecommerce store is a testimony to technology at work.
The question: just where did the use of technology end and complacency begin? Ecommerce design is facilitated by powerful ecommerce tools or engines backed by supportive, dedicated communities to help businesses start the right way.
NetSuite comes with its own ecommerce engines, tools, and community to aid businesses choosing to run off its platform. Shopify.com has certified web design and development experts.
Marketing, finance, accounting, operations, sales, and pretty much everything else now have technology all over your business strategy.
Today, ecommerce store design means profitability, UX/UI focus determines how customers connect with you, technology is at the core of business, and trends such as gamification bring fun to ecommerce.
Most ecommerce stores have technology until the design or development stage. Beyond that, you’ll only find them operating as virtual lemonade stands.
Are you plugged in yet?
Stay low and they’ll find us
Staying low is for spies; not for businesses. Marketing is essential to survive in business and ecommerce stores have more at stake than any other Internet-based business model. No one is going to find any website, given that there are millions in the stack.
In fact, as we write, there might be another million or even billion stores coming up. The only way to get business is to commit to a full-scale, full-fledged, and dedicated marketing strategy. With ecommerce, only the medium changed. None of the business principles did.
We now have new ways of doing business: interesting ways to market; engaging platforms such as social media to connect; open gateways for communication; one-to-one forms of engagement using email, etc.
Reaching out and marketing, however, is just as much a need now as it was for the ancient man who’d barter a pot for a pan.
Firing on all cylinders
So, you’d need effective design that simply works, great copy, excellent images or photography, socially connected pages, and a marketing strategy on full-steam. By the time you get to this stage, you’d have too many moving parts. You’d need the right way to do it all.
For marketing, you’d need a multi-pronged approach by managing your campaigns across all channels. Businesses have to focus on smooth operations, social recruiting, online collaboration, web-based accounting, streamlined financial management, and a keen eye out for analytics.
Who said running an ecommerce store was easy? Are you msaking any of these errors?