Style My Soul Explores …
“What is one common mistake made when launching an e-commerce platform?
How can this mishap be prevented, or corrected?”
Limiting Payment Options
One common mistake made when launching an e-commerce platform is lacking available payment options. Limiting the selection of payment methods can significantly hinder the shopper’s user experience and cause many potential buyers to take their business elsewhere. To prevent this error or correct it if already made, providing a diverse range of payment options will ensure that customers can complete a purchase while remaining satisfied with the experience. Investing in reliable and secure payment processors, as well as offering both traditional and innovative digital wallets, will ensure that shoppers have plenty of ways to pay. Ultimately, this sets up your e-commerce platform for successful transactions and satisfied customers.
Antreas Koutis, Administrative Manager, Financer
Failing to Invest in Security
One of the biggest factors in a customer deciding to make a purchase is the belief that their transaction will be protected, so failing to invest in security in your e-commerce platform is a common and damaging mistake. There are many scammers and identity thieves waiting to steal data, causing customers some trepidation about spending money online, especially if it is a new or unfamiliar e-commerce store. By investing in SSL certificates for payment protection, antivirus software to secure data, and switching to HTTPS to protect customer information, you can effectively strengthen security. In addition, notifying customers that you have implemented security protocols will boost confidence that their information will be protected. By investing in security protocols in your e-commerce platform, you can avoid losing consumer confidence as well as customers. -- Cody Candee, CEO, Bounce
Lacking Social Proof
Lack of social proof is a common mistake companies make when launching an e-commerce platform. Product reviews, testimonials, and referrals are crucial factors for conversions. Make sure you’re adding reviews to each product page. Potential customers want to know what people think about your products before purchasing themselves. If your brand has been written up in any major publications, share quotes from those articles on your home page. A glowing recommendation from Forbes or Bloomberg makes a difference. Don’t underestimate the power of testimonials. -- Melanie Edwards, Sr. E-commerce & Digital Product Manager, Olipop
Not Researching Before Launch
One specific mistake often made when launching an e-commerce platform is not conducting thorough market research to understand the needs and behaviors of target customers. This information makes creating an e-commerce platform that effectively meets their target market’s needs more realistic. For example, suppose a business had yet to conduct market research. In that case, the platform may lack features or functionalities crucial to its target customers, such as a mobile-optimized website or the ability to track orders. These features are necessary for the platform to attract and retain customers. Not understanding the target market’s pain points can hinder the platform’s effectiveness. For example, if a target audience is primarily concerned with the speed of delivery, not having a clear delivery time frame or not offering express delivery options may cause customers to look elsewhere.
Ubaldo Perez, Founder & CEO, Hush
Choosing the Wrong Web Host
A wrong choice of web host can have a negative impact on your business, regardless of how well your marketing plan is and the quality of your product or service. The website is the most crucial part of your company, so you should avoid speed issues and technical difficulties that may deter your clients and prospects. Making a wise investment in e-commerce web design and hosting can help you achieve this. If you are not knowledgeable enough in these areas, it’s risky to do it yourself. So when looking for a web host, do not place pricing at the top of your filtering criteria. Instead, evaluate dependability and only sign up with a provider concerned about your e-commerce site’s performance. -- Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Sr. Marketing Manager, Thrive Agency
Not Preparing for Launch Day
For many business owners, launching is the day you hit publish and have a buy button on your website, but if you don’t have a waitlist, an audience primed to hit the button, partners willing to talk about your brand, media ready to report it, investors watching, and a plan to get all that happening, the launch day is really just any other day. Planning out the launch means looking at the “cart open” day 12 weeks or even 6–8 months ahead to get all of your support channels, onboarding sequences, partner communications, terms of service, help desk, refund policy, social proof, marketing, and nurture sequences in place to support the big day.
Marissa Loewen, Founder, Create the Rules
Data is a powerful force that is driving the digital age in which we live. You must realize that the best choices are based on empirical statistics and numerical data. The market is flooded with analytics tools. It’s disappointing that so many people don’t take advantage of their capabilities. Analytical neglect could cost you money before you even realize it. You make poor and ineffective decisions when you ignore your company’s analytics. Therefore, I believe we can avoid making this mistake and make effective business decisions by utilizing the capabilities of analytics tools. These technologies give you in-depth information about your marketing operations, clientele, how they behave, what they do online, and other things. With the help of these tools, you can monitor how your company is doing and develop effective strategies as necessary. -- Daniel Foley, Founder, Daniel Foley Consultancy
Not Preparing for Scalability
When an e-commerce platform first launches, it might be difficult to predict how successful it will be and the amount of traffic it will receive. If the platform becomes popular, it may require more resources or infrastructure in order to accommodate the increased demand. To prevent this issue, services such as cloud hosting should be considered before launch. This will allow the platform to scale up quickly as needed without interruption. -- Søren Jensen, Jr. Digital Marketer, CyberPilot
Not Understanding User Experience or Cultural Context
From an anthropological perspective, it is essential to conduct ethnographic research to gain a deep understanding of the target audience’s habits, values, and behaviors. By participating in their culture as a participant observer and using both an insider’s (emic) and outsider’s (etic) perspective, businesses can gain valuable insights into creating a platform that aligns with their users’ needs and preferences. To prevent this mistake, companies should conduct extensive user research before launching their platform and continue gathering user feedback after the launch to make necessary adjustments. Additionally, businesses should strive for a holistic understanding of their users by considering their entire lives, not just their interactions with the platform.
Matt Artz, Business Anthropologist, Azimuth Labs
Choosing the Wrong Payment Processing Facility
Some payment processing plug-ins for popular platforms such as WordPress WooCommerce are notoriously glitchy, and it is essential to do your research first before choosing one to suit your bank. Another problem is not thoroughly testing the website and payment system before going live. This can lead to technical issues and a poor user experience, which can deter customers from making purchases. To prevent this mistake, it is important to thoroughly test the website and payment system during the development phase, as well as conduct a beta test with a small group of users before launching. It is also important to have a plan in place for addressing and fixing any issues that may arise after launch. -- Shane McEvoy, MD, Flycast Media
Forgetting to Add Image Alt Text for Search
Every time I audit an e-commerce site, I find images, especially product images, that are missing the image alt text. This is a small step in the upload process, but not only does it impact the site’s ability to be found through organic search, but it is also an ADA requirement. With Google using image information more often in what it delivers in search results, it is to an e-commerce store’s advantage to be thorough in alt texts. Google uses these to help “understand” what is in the image and how to serve it in the search results. You can add alt text to your images as you upload them to your site. Don’t wait until you are done editing the site; add these as you add each image to avoid forgetting about it later. That way, if you decide to use the image in another location, the alt text should be automatically added. Shopify and WordPress have easy-to-use methods for adding alt text to your images.
Cari Bacon, Associate Director of SEO, Direct Agents
Underestimating the Importance of Beta-testing
As the Director of a web-development agency, I have seen many clients make the mistake of underestimating the importance of testing and optimization when launching an e-commerce platform. This can lead to issues such as slow load times, poor user experience, and difficulty with checkout and payment processing. To prevent this mishap, it is important to thoroughly test the platform before launch, including load testing, to ensure fast performance and user testing to ensure a smooth and intuitive experience.Additionally, regular optimization and maintenance should be performed after launch to address any issues that may arise. If the mistake has already been made, one way to correct it would be to perform a comprehensive audit of the platform to identify any issues and then implement a plan for resolving them. This can include updating the platform’s infrastructure, optimizing the code, and changing the user interface and user experience.
Alan Carr, Director, Webpop Design
Not Writing Product Descriptions
You have to face various challenges when you are in the business world, and e-commerce business is more challenging than others. So, the chances of mistakes also increase. But one common mistake is writing poor product descriptions. You may think that products are important, but not their descriptions. But this is a wrong perception. People have become more conscious, so they read product descriptions to know about the product completely. Customers want to know what they are going to buy and spend money on the right product. Putting high-quality pictures is crucial, but customers believe in what is written beneath the picture. It is because they can use it as proof if they get a bad-quality product. Even many customers don’t believe in online stores that don’t describe products. You can hire a product description writer to avoid such a mistake. Review all the uploaded products and write descriptions for each one.
Yogesh Kumar, Digital Marketing Manager, Technource
Not Correcting Typos
Typos are unfortunately common when you’re launching an e-commerce page from scratch. While you may only have the data engineer and one marketing person viewing the content, it’s important to get the maximum amount of eyes possible when reviewing the content. Consider having 5–8 people review the website and break up the pieces of content they’re reviewing to make it easier. When the site launches, it will be clean and you can avoid mishaps later down the road.
Randee Machina, Director of Marketing, Simpli Pleasures
There are lots of more specific SEO tips for e-commerce sites, but before mentioning them it’s important to highlight the fact that for most e-commerce platforms, SEO is needed. SEO is one of the most effective ways to increase revenue and profits and has a great ROI compared to many other channels. And you don’t always have to spend a fortune to see good SEO results — in fact, ensuring that developers keep to SEO best practices when building your site, creating helpful, unique, and informative product descriptions, and ensuring that you put users first are just three ways to lay the foundation for good SEO. From then on, you need to ensure your site and its content is indexable, alongside being unique, helpful, and informative. Your competitors are already doing SEO — in order to compete, you need to be doing it too. -- Natalie Arney, Founder, NCA Digital Ltd
Charging for Shipping
Free shipping matters! Studies show that almost 80% of consumers prioritize free shipping. E-commerce businesses miss out on a tremendous opportunity to attract customers when they charge for shipping because a growing number of shoppers are dissatisfied with shipping rates in general. Stand above the rest by making free shipping your claim to fame, and you’ll gain a plethora of new fans! -- Kenneth Lin, CEO, BOOP Bakery
Not Optimizing Your Platform for Mobile Devices
Two years ago, Google made a very important but little-noticed decision to implement a mobile-text-crawl-first policy. Still, many businesses are making the common mistake of not optimizing their e-commerce platforms for mobile devices. Over 75% of all customers use their mobile devices for searches and purchases, so optimizing your device for mobile use will trigger Google SEO algorithms to make your website easier to find. Creating your e-commerce platform for mobile device use by making sure text aligns properly, images are resized, descriptions match pictures, and download speeds are optimized, will ensure a better SEO and user experience. In making your e-commerce platform mobile-device-friendly, you will be reaching customers where they shop most and not make the mistake that will weaken your SEO and cause missed conversion opportunities.
Mackenzie Whalen, Marketing Director, E1011 Labs
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