To survive in business, you always have to be learning, you know that. You keep on top of the latest market trends. You lookout for new useful tech. You read informative blogs. But even the most astute businessperson out there can overlook issues that seem tedious or unimportant to the detriment of their business. For one, we have the ever-changing e-commerce website landscape that can be tumultuous and sometimes confusing, an area that isn’t exactly what most business owners would call their cup of tea. But there are some simple, common e-commerce website problems you can look out for – and fix – with relative ease.

Common e-commerce website problems and how to fix it

Poor e-commerce website design

Poor design is one of the website problems we commonly see. With all the fascinating research that’s out there about colour theory and marketing, it’s easy to get a bit, shall we say ‘overzealous’ when creating your e-commerce website. You’ve read so many hot tips and tricks – why not try them all? And all at once?!

Confusion – that’s why – both for you in terms of being able to gain useful analytics data and, more importantly, your customer.

Whilst it’s great to try to incorporate your company’s individual brand into your e-commerce website design, you have to consider ease-of-use for your customer. As clever as it may seem to make your purchase screen accessible via the tiny yellow welcoming sun icon (representing their bright future with your products, of course) – 99% of your customers are not going to get it – they’re looking for the picture of a shopping cart and if they don’t find it they’re looking for the ‘checkout’ button in the top right.

If you have some background in e-commerce website design – great, you can probably navigate the intricacies of an online user experience yourself. If you don’t, start by making a list. What do you do automatically when you go to make an online purchase? What kinds of search functions make sense – and which ones drive you crazy? Once you know which navigation features seem to be standard across the board, you can add little splashes of your brand where appropriate instead – like to your logo or colour scheme.

E-commerce website suggestion: make your calls to action and your buy buttons easily findable.

Too many options

Of course, variety is good. As we’ve talked about before, one of the largest growing markets for online e-tail is the variety store – but you have to know where to draw the line, lest it causes website problems like your potential customer feeling inundated and overwhelmed with too many options, leading them to decide that today is not the day to purchase; you wish they’ll come back later – except they never do.

It’s a strange phenomenon but there is research to suggest that when confronted with too many selection options, more than 40% of people will abandon their purchase. Why? It could be a lot of things; they may feel suddenly unsure that they truly know what they want. They may feel that the abundance of choices indicates a lack of quality – how else could you afford to offer so much?

When it comes down to it, your customers want guidance. Marketing algorithms don’t just help you make more money, they also benefit your customer, allowing you to tailor their online experience and ensuring they find the best product for their needs.

E-commerce website suggestion: review how many options you’re offering.

Your e-commerce website over promises

You always want to show your product in the best light and give your customers the most idealised view of how it might fit into their world. That’s normal and it’s how a lot of online sales get made.

Unfortunately, when the product arrives and it’s not living up to the hype – the damage you’re doing to your brand stretches far beyond just that one interaction. People hate being disappointed – especially when they’ve spent a couple of days to a week waiting patiently for their package to arrive. You don’t want the lasting impression your customer has of your business to be that you gave them the old ‘bait-and-switch’ and failed to mention your product only came with half of what they saw in the picture online.

It’s not just about avoiding refunds; customers may very well feel the mix-up was their own fault for not checking the inclusions and just keep the product. The problem is the feeling you’ve left them with – that they’re at fault/didn’t get what they want. You leave someone feeling like that and they’re not coming back for a second chance.

To avoid these kinds of website problems, make sure your product pages are clear and descriptive. If there’s something that isn’t included that your customer may need or want, especially if it’s in the image you’re using – make that obvious and show pricing with and without that additional product. Managing expectations is a huge part of any sale and you’re not exempt just because you don’t talk to your customer directly.

E-commerce website suggestion: review your product descriptions, especially sizes, colours and that the picture matches exactly what’s on offer.

If you’d like to chat with someone about how to troubleshoot your customer’s 3PL experience, that all-important last mile, we’d be delighted to talk to you. You can always give us a call on +61 2 9828 0111 (Sydney), +61 3 9240 300 (Melbourne) or +64 9 263 8855 (Auckland) or drop us a note via the form below.

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