The eCommerce sector is flourishing and presents opportunities for online businesses to scale and give an impetus to their online venture. According to Statista, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to use the internet to buy services and goods in 2021. An increasing customer base presents a lucrative opportunity for online businesses.
The rapid growth has also led to a steady rise in competition for custom eCommerce solutions. The sector has also witnessed technological evolution and an enhancement in the offerings of established eCommerce stores. Stiffer competition has resulted in rising customer expectations, making it challenging to capture the online market.
To seize the eCommerce opportunity, online stores need to pay attention to usual failings to meet the rising customer’s expectations and ride this digital boom.
In this article, we holistically examine some shortcomings in marketing strategies, business plans, and setting up the website that makes it difficult for online retail stores to post strong growth.
Incorrect or outdated product descriptions and inferior product portfolio
A major part of curating an ideal online shopping experience is the visual feel the website gives to the buyer. While shopping online, a buyer cannot physically hold the products. Images and product descriptions provide the buyers with the necessary information to evaluate the product to their content and complete the purchase.
Good quality images that display the product from all necessary angles and accurate product descriptions are detrimental to high conversion rates on the website. An eCommerce store should pay close attention to these vital sensory inputs to offer a holistic virtual shopping experience to the buyer.
The complicated or non-intuitive buyer journey
Shopping is often more than purchasing a product, It is an experience. It is also the time a business actively connects with its most valuable asset, the customer.
A pleasant shopping experience enhances customer satisfaction, augments the brand image, and most importantly increases the chances of customer return.
Shopping online often entails a series of steps that the buyer has to complete before the purchase takes place. Typically, it may involve, discovering or logging in to a website, searching for the product, drawing comparisons between similar offerings, further adding additional or related products to the cart, and finally making the purchase. This process as a whole requires the buyer to switch between multiple website pages and options within a page.
This process should be uncomplicated and intuitive by way of easily understandable steps, and conveniently discernable information. Ideally, the complete buyer journey should be intricately analyzed to offer a seamless experience to the customer.
Moreover, the website design should be uncluttered and navigation should be convenient, further facilitating a smooth buying experience.
Slow website performance has an impact similar to the adverse effect of a complicated buying journey. These can often lead to an eCommerce website garnering negative feedback. Furthermore, slow loading time may lead the buyers away from your website and turn to competitor online stores that perform faster, leading to a loss of revenue and dwindling customer loyalty.
According to Portent, The website sales conversion rates decrease by 4.42% (average), increasing an additional second of the site load time.
The performance of your eCommerce website is a crucial factor that you may need to analyze to reduce bounce rates.
Website based on old technologies
The internet is an ever-evolving landscape of the web development process. Contemporary websites offer better features, enhanced security, customizability, and much more.
If a website has been developed for some time and has not been updated. The difference will be evident to the buyer, who in all probability is simultaneously using multiple eCommerce sites.
For instance, modern websites have an elastic search module that is capable of delivering more accurate product search results. Better search translates into a more satisfying buying experience for the customer and consequently, better conversion rates for the eCommerce site.
Unnecessary distractions for the buyer
Pop-Ups are important marketing tools to deliver important communication to the buyer. But too many pop-ups, especially the ones appearing at inappropriate times can irk the buyer and result in a bad experience.
Timing and frequency are important considerations for pop-ups to appear, to deliver a seamless experience to the buyer.
Importance of a mobile-first approach
According to Statista, In 2021, 53.9 percent of all retail e-commerce is expected to take place via mobile phones. That makes one in 2 customers and potentially half the revenue of an online business generated from mobile devices.
Thus, you need to focus on offering an equally inclusive shopping experience for mobile devices as provided on desktops.
the eCommerce website has to be responsive for mobile screens. Ideally, the website should be designed with a mobile-first approach.
Additionally, if possible, mobile apps can be provided. Alternatively, PWA or Progressive Web Apps can be offered alongside mobile apps or as standalone solutions. PWAs are becoming increasingly popular. These are apps that function like websites, offering the customer the best of both worlds.
Not Targeting the right customer profile
Etsy’s success as an eCommerce platform underpins the importance of identifying the right customer profile. Before commencing operations, the progressive marketplace identified a select market wherein the sellers and the buyers were facing some hurdles in conducting their business. The founders tailored the platform and the business model to address those pain points.
Rising competition in the eCommerce sector warrants a carefully curated approach in identifying the right target market for the products or services on offer at the online store.
Getting Insufficient Traffic
A physical store depends on customer footfall and likewise, an online store thrives with traffic. The paucity of which will negatively impact the ROI of the e-business.
Getting sufficient traffic, both qualitatively and quantitatively, is a crucial imperative that you’ll have to focus on as early as possible. Along with the steps that you will undertake to polish the eCommerce platform offering, an insight into formulating a robust Digital Marketing strategy is necessary.
Limited Content Marketing
Content can be a powerful tool to market your eCommerce business. If you haven’t prioritized content marketing, you may be losing on reaching out to the target customers and consequently, compromising on brand visibility.
Blogging, integral to content marketing, is a great way to connect with your target audience. By posting blogs related to e-business, you create opportunities for organic lead generation. Good content can intrigue the reader and can discover your website just out of curiosity, rather than the need for buying something specific. This increases the traffic on the website and enhances your brand value. Vlogging can be used to a similar effect too.
Product descriptions should be formulated considering SEO optimization, increasing the chances of getting organic traffic onto the website.
Online customers are getting tech-savvy by the day. It takes seconds for them to determine the value proposition in your products. Lack of interest in your eCommerce store can be because of incorrectly priced products.
Some factors that you may have considered whilst determining the product pricing may be brand positioning, or in the case of omnichannel selling, an attempt to safeguard against your online sales cannibalizing your legacy store sales.
But, knowing that customers can now conveniently gauge your product prices vis-a-vis the competition, in the case of all your sales channels, can make you reconsider your pricing strategy.
Absence of multiple revenue streams
At times having a solitary revenue stream can put pressure on it to generate revenue for your business. Having alternate options can help ease the pressure on the main source of revenue.
Offering allied services along with the products can reap multiple benefits. The buyer will have more reasons to visit your website. For instance, Voyij, a marketplace that sells tour packages in Alaska, also allows the customers to buy products from stores in their holiday destination via the marketplace itself.
Ignoring the significance of operations
Buyers judge the performance of an eCommerce site from the moment they search for a product to the point it gets delivered to them.
It’s the harmonious working of all involved business processes that creates a memorable experience for the buyer.
Thus, back-end operations can’t be ignored. Crucial processes such as shipping are integral to a holistic shopping experience. Customers expect fast delivery just the likes of Amazon can achieve. For a business to implement such precision, seamless working of all business processes is imperative.
Hidden costs or lack of transparency
Nothing is more valuable than the customer’s trust. If all components of the product price are not accurately stated in the product description. Instead, being applied at a later stage of the buying process, which will negatively impact the buyer’s perception of the website.
Lack of focus on customer return rate
With all focus on garnering new customers for the e-business, you may fail to consider the importance of ensuring customer return.
The idea is to emphasize all customer touchpoints. Any hurdles faced by the buyer should be addressed. Any ticket raised or feedback received, should be analyzed to provide better shopping customers.
Moreover, marketing strategies like discount coupons for return customers can be considered.
To Sum It Up
An effective way to ascertain the factors that e-business may lack is by going through the buyer journey on the website as a customer. Insights gained by such a process can be detrimental to ironing out the limitations.
The feedback received from customers can also be analyzed to discern the shortcomings.
A holistic approach that addresses the pain points discussed in this article can bring about a positive change in the revenue generation of the eCommerce business.