Good online shops are a rare breed – they’re convenient, they’re accessible and they offer a wide variety of products. But there are always problems in paradise, and these 10 shopping problems highlight them. These defects will not only make your life harder – the lack of an adequate response might also cause you to take your business elsewhere. But with our advice and guide to business registration in the USA, you can learn how to keep your customers satisfied. So, which of these 10 problems do you have?
✖1. You’re not clear about the shipping charges.
It’s the most common problem with online shopping portals and it often has a simple solution: communication. If you declare your shipping costs, at the beginning of the purchase process, you are less likely to lose customers before they’ve even completed their order. Make sure that your homepage is as easy to navigate as possible and that you have no problem communicating with customers on social media.
- Develop a transparent pricing system that clearly shows all price components: product price, shipping price (including all eventual costs), and VAT (or other applicable tax). You can make it even more convenient for customers by including a calculator that enables them to estimate the final overall cost of their order.
✖2. Customer service doesn’t respond promptly.
Just like any other online shop, online stores need to provide customer service, and your customer service team has many people to answer the phone, solve problems and help customers from all over the world. If you don’t respond quickly to messages or don’t give customers sufficient information about the status of their orders you risk losing them as customers – and once again as potential return buyers.
- Make your customer service as efficient and accessible as possible, not just via e-mail but also through social networks. In addition to providing immediate help, you can be proactive in predicting trouble and anticipating problems. This will help you respond more efficiently to customer needs and improve your service.
✖3. You don’t show the shipment status online.
In the most recent years, online shipping companies have improved considerably, making it easier for customers to track their packages in real-time using web portals and mobile apps. But while they provide tracking services, online shops often fail to communicate the status of the order online.
- Don’t just leave things up to your shipping provider. Make it as easy as possible for your customer to track their order. Add a tracking number or link to your homepage, your delivery confirmation email, or any other communication with them. If possible, provide a localized response, so you can specify costs for different parts of the world and provide an accurate estimate of delivery costs in advance.
✖4. Your website isn’t mobile-friendly.
Almost 80% of internet users use a mobile device to browse websites. For online stores it means that you need to view your website from the perspective of a mobile user – otherwise, you endanger your customer’s shopping experience.
- Test your website on multiple devices and make sure that it works on all modern web browsers (mobile and desktop). You can do that with free tools like the Google Chrome Frame plug-in for Internet Explorer or phone emulators like Opera Mini, which allows you to see how your site looks on different phones.
✖5. You ask them to register before they buy.
More and more people browse online stores on their mobile devices and expect these stores to be fully responsive. According to a recent report, this is quite an important issue because most online shoppers will abandon websites that don’t work well on their smartphones. It’s unfortunate, but as soon as a customer receives a message like “You need to register to make purchases”, it’s very likely that they will abandon your store and look for another one.
- Have a clear call-to-action on your homepage, which guides customers through the entire process of purchasing and gives them access, regardless of the device they use. In addition, you should ask them to register only if it is necessary to complete the purchase or access special offers or offers that cannot be completed otherwise (eg. free delivery).
✖6. You don’t use Google Analytics.
Google Analytics is a free service that provides a lot of valuable information about your website in real-time, allowing you to understand how users interact with your site and what content works best for them. You can use these statistics to improve your website and increase its efficiency.
- Write down your website’s URL in the analytics section of Google and install a tracking code on every page of your site. If you’re using any other analytics service you can use a Google Analytics plugin for that.
✖7. You don’t use simple and convenient payment methods.
Most online shoppers are more comfortable when they can complete a purchase without having to enter their credit card data multiple times or create an account. That’s why payment with PayPal is becoming even more popular.
- Select the most convenient payment method (eg. PayPal, iDEAL, Sofortüberweisung) according to your market and provide easy access with no unnecessary links or redirects (eg. PayPal login button).
✖8. You don’t respect their data.
Online stores often collect information about their customers, such as an email address, a password, and a phone number for which they should be given more control over how it is used. But sometimes this information is revealed without an obvious “opt-in” when customers have no idea that it is being collected and when they don’t get to choose whether to share this information with you or not.
- Make sure that the information you collect is essential and relevant to your customers (eg. email address for password recovery). Never collect a customer’s address or phone number, because of the risk of being a fraud (according to legislation in different countries).
✖9. You are not serious about operating as an online store.
In most cases, online stores are simply websites on which they sell products. But many online stores do more than just sell products by taking orders, writing and delivering them directly, or reselling them from other retailers – they operate according to business rules that differ from those that apply in brick-and-mortar shops.
- If you want to sell a product that’s in high demand, you need enough stock to satisfy all your customers. If you have any special offers or sale items, list them on your website and make sure that you have the appropriate amount of stock.
✖10. You don’t use any marketing tools.
Marketing tools help you promote your online store and reach new customers while monitoring your online presence through Google Analytics and creating valuable customer profiles through Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Marketing tools are developed for a wide range of resources – from time-poor bloggers and small business owners to large companies with a budget for comprehensive marketing campaigns across multiple channels.
- Keep an eye on your website stats for free with Google Analytics. Set up a free account with HubSpot, which allows you to set up tracking links and learn about your users, or start with a free trial of MailChimp, which enhances your online store by providing the opportunity to send marketing emails at low cost.
As you can see, many pitfalls can negatively affect the success of your online store. It’s not easy to stay on track and avoid these mistakes, but with the right knowledge, it is possible to avoid them. This article will help you learn what things might go wrong – so take a look at it every time you’re launching a new site or updating your current one. If you know other reasons why sites fail, please share them in the comments below.