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10 E-commerce Mistakes New Store Owners Make

By Kitty Sadler / Posted

Richard Emanuel, Creative Director of Eastside Co. lays out 10 common mistakes store owners make on their new website. Heed his advice!

Can I have more slides on my slideshow?

Believe it or not on one occasion someone asked if they could have 8 slides in their carousel. Why? I have no idea. A slideshow at the top of your website is great for setting the tone of a website but statistics reveal that click-through-rates (CTRs) on slideshows are actually very low and clicks on anything after the second slide are close to non-existent.

I believe slideshows are becoming the thing of the past. As mobile devices and website speeds are becoming ever more important to design for, slideshows simply don't comply.

Solution: The big trend and current new standard is a well-designed single image or a low res animated video with a graphic on top.

Can my logo be bigger?

The simple answer is: yes it can. But is that what you really want? A big logo just shouts to the visitor “look at my big logo taking up half the screen!” A large logo takes up a bigger piece of “real estate” on a screen. Real estate is massively important when constructing a website that intends to be a selling machine, and this needs to be taken into consideration.

Solution: Your branding should be subtle and allow your products and images to take centre-stage.

I want the customer to register

Nothing makes me want to throw my iPad out the window more than a registration form. Registrations were a pain on PC and laptops and are now even more cumbersome on touch screen devices. Having to check my inbox for a confirmation email, then to have to return to the site by clicking the link. Not only have that, I then need to login with a password that I’ve already forgotten … you see where I’m going with this.

Forcing customers to have to register is an inconvenience and a barrier that can prevent them making a purchase.

Solution: I would recommend allowing your customers to checkout as a guest and give them the choice to register at the end of their purchase process.

Can I be at the top of Google next week?

It takes time, research and hard work to rise to a decent position in Google. Once you finally reach the top, you've got to continue that hard work with an innovative content strategy, up-to-date social media and a fresh website that maintains relevancy.

Solution: Start with our Shopify SEO Series Parts 1 to 3 then move onto your free SEO site audit courtesy of our experts.

I don't want any content on my homepage or collection pages

Aesthetically it looks clean, but what good is aesthetics when you are the only person appreciating it? Content is still king in Google's eyes and writing unique and relevant content on key pages is the best thing you can do.

Solution: Start writing more content with our helpful e-commerce blog tips and see an improvement in visitor engagement.

I've taken shots of my products with my camera-phone. Will that be ok?

‘OK’ images just don’t cut it, so invest in good equipment. You could have the best product in the world but a poorly lit image or an awkwardly taken shot will do you no favours.

Solution: Read our guide on how to take the perfect products shots and you'll be converting customers in no time.

I don't want to put my products on Ebay or Amazon

Depending on what you are selling, not putting your products on these monster marketplaces is madness! It's like moving your shop from the high street to an alleyway on the outskirts. These marketplaces have a huge amount of footfall per day: take advantage of this. Yes they do take a cut but you can turn those customers into return customers by encouraging their next purchase to be on your online shop.

Solution: Head over to Ebay and Amazon and start selling your products.

I don't want to display a contact address or phone number anywhere on my site

I personally wouldn't make a purchase from a website that didn't state their details or phone number. I want someone I can speak to If I don't receive my product, if there's an issue during my checkout process or if I have a question about your product. Confidence is what you want to instil in a customer and including a contactable address and phone number is the best way you can do this.

Solution: Include as much contact info as possible and keep that info the same across the web. If you don't want to disclose your personal address, rent a virtual office from a company like Regus and register your company there.

If you don't want to publicise your personal number, visit Telecomsworld plc, and get an 0800 or low cost local number which forwards to your mobile phone or landline. You can also set availability hours for the number so you're not getting called in the middle of the night!

I don't need any basic SEO done - I'll just focus on design

Remember that famous saying “Build it and they will come”. Well that doesn’t apply. Marketing should be high on your agenda list, right next to the aesthetics of your website. You can have the prettiest, coolest website on the planet with the best product, but unless anyone knows about it, all that time spent with the designer getting your look right will all be for nothing.

Solution: Find a company that can do both your design and marketing, so that they can collaborate from the beginning so you end up with a site that's been both well designed and well optimised. If you can't find an agency that can provide both, then find a good marketeer and keep them involved in the design process from the beginning.

I’ll think about social media later, it’s not that important

You couldn't be further from the truth. Marketing accounts for a high percentage of sales that a store owner can receive. Social media creates both a buzz about your store but more importantly it allows you to directly engage with your customers. Solution: Read our tips on getting more Twitter followers and also boosting your Instagram influence.

I want to charge extra for postage

Not a good move my friend. Nothing worse than getting to the checkout only to find out you've got to fork out extra money. People hate surprises as much as they love free stuff. Check out this great article on why postage charges can make or break your business.

What about my margins? I hear you say.

Solution: Try up-selling extra products when a product is at the checkout or offer free shipping with minimum spends.

Conclusion

You should now have an idea of some of the more common mistakes that e-commerce store owners fall foul of. If you're starting your own store, or already have one and would like to maximise its potential, why not get in touch with the Shopify experts here at Eastside Co. to see how we can help?