5 Mistakes that Infuriate Customers and Destroy E-commerce Businesses

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If you’re a regular visitor to High Stuff, then you know that we primarily focus on solutions and answers — such as tips on writing proposals, how to choose the most energy-efficient building materials, and so on.

However, sometimes in life it’s more valuable — and often more memorable — to highlight what we shouldn’t do vs. what we should. No, this isn’t being pessimistic or cynical. Rather, it’s being practical and pragmatic.

E-commerce Businesses Mistakes

With this in mind, below we highlight 5 massive mistakes that some e-commerce businesses make, which end up infuriating customers and, in the long run, usually destroy the business entirely and send it to the (virtual) dustbin of history:

1. Not having a responsive website.

According to Pew Research Center, a staggering 77 percent of adults in the U.S. own smartphones — and that number skyrockets to 96 percent when focusing on the lucrative 18-29 year old cohort. E-commerce websites that fail to display properly across devices and browsers cut themselves off from thousands of potential customers.

2. Not having a fast-loading website.

Arguably the only thing that customers hate more than e-commerce websites that fail to load properly, are websites that load s-l-o-w-l-y. According to research by Kissmetrics, a 1-second delay in page response can reduce sales by 7 percent.

3. Not offering secure, seamless order fulfilment.

Customers won’t tolerate a disconnect between purchase, billing and shipping. All of these touchpoints need to be seamlessly integrated as part of an omnichannel customer-centric experience. Using advanced and secure order fulfilment software to achieve this is a must.

4. Running out of inventory.

While running out of inventory can happen from time to time, it goes without saying that this must be the rare exception instead of the standard norm. E-commerce companies that routinely run out of stock need to re-configure their warehousing strategy — or else they risk losing permanently losing prospective customers to the competition.

5. Putting content before clarity.

E-commerce unicorns like Amazon and eBay have millions of products, but the not-so-secret formula for their success isn’t content: it’s clarity. Customers can quickly and easily find what they want, and drill down to learn more if they desire. E-commerce websites that overload pages with content (e.g. text, photos, special offers, etc.) overwhelm visitors — and send them towards the exits.

The Bottom Line

Competition in the e-commerce space is fierce, with new entrants launching websites on what can seem like a daily basis (or maybe even an hourly basis). Engaging, attracting and converting customers requires doing the right things, the right way — and avoiding all 5 of the massive pitfalls described above. Happy selling!

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