6 Worst Mistakes Ecommerce Stores in 2016

6 Worst Mistakes for Ecommerce Stores in 2016

Ecommerce sales are expected to reach $523 billion in the next four years. That’s a whopping 56% increase from 2015.

Don’t risk losing out on your share of the growth by making mistakes that could cost you buyers and revenue. Even the most experienced store owners can overlook important factors that draw shoppers in and compel them to checkout.

Keep reading to make sure you’re not making the 6 worst ecommerce mistakes. If you are, we’ve got tips on how to fix them.


Mistake #1 – Ecommerce Site Not Optimized for Mobile

It’s never been more important to fully optimize your site for mobile devices. The stat we just mentioned about future ecommerce sales is from a Forrester report which points out that mobile devices will be a key driver in that growth. Demandware released a report showing that by the end of 2017, shoppers will place more orders on phones than any other device.

Determine if you need a fix in this area by doing a thorough check of your mobile store display. That means checking across multiple devices and operating systems and walking through every possible path your customer could take, from browsing to checkout to contacting your store.

Put yourself in the shoes of the buyer when you take each step. Can they easily find what they are looking for? Is there any friction in taking action like filtering products, entering credit card information or redeeming a coupon?

The Fix:

MobileThe first priority for a mobile friendly ecommerce store is responsive design, a display of your website that expands and contracts according to the device size of the user.

Half of shoppers leave mobile sites if they don’t load within 3 seconds so make sure there’s no lag time in your mobile display.

Google recommends rendering some content, called ‘above-the-fold’, in one second or less while the rest of the page continues to load.

You can test your website load times with Google’s mobile website speed testing tool. After testing your site (it only take seconds) you’ll get specific tips on what you should consider fixing to improve load time.

Make sure your mobile display also includes a ‘Buy’ or ‘Add to Cart’ button that is sticky and found on every page.

You’ll also want to minimize text and maximize visuals for the best mobile experience. Nike’s mobile category pages are a good example, displayed as a simple grid of photos with minimal copy.


Mistake #2 – Not Segmenting Customers

Your marketing budget is proof that customer acquisition and retention activities cost a lot. Don’t waste time and money targeting the wrong audience or blasting the same message to your entire customer database. According to Aberdeen Group, targeted emails to segmented groups result in a 51% increase in email opens and 26% increase in conversion rates.

The Fix:

By collecting and analyzing historical customer data you can start grouping buyers based on their behavior. You can segment in a variety of ways but the more targeted you can be, the higher your open and conversion rates.

For example, you can segment customers based on the products they buy and send email campaigns highlighting products similar to what they regularly purchase. You can also group buyers based on average order value or AOV.

Buyers with high AOV’s are your gold star customers. Personalized messaging to this group can boost revenue and reduce marketing spend. Check out tips on finding and growing your VIP customer base here.


Mistake #3 – Lack of Insight into Where and How Revenue is Generated

Do you know how most of your first time buyers find you? Can you predict which products will be most often reordered? Do you know the lifetime value of each customer?

Lack of insight into customers, merchandise and performance is a costly but common mistake made by both new and experienced ecommerce store owners. While it’s easy to put off something that isn’t critical to keeping the lights on, skipping ecommerce analytics will cost you revenue and growth opportunities.

Performance Reporting in GlewThe Fix:

Tracking the performance of your online store can be as basic as Google Analytics or as advanced as an ecommerce reporting software solution. The key is to gain insight that enables you to drive growth.

Ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento offer basic out-of-the-box ecommerce tracking. You should be taking advantage of any reporting feature they offer but consider augmenting with an advanced reporting solution.

Glew’s ecommerce analytics tool unlocks revenue generating insight that is missed in traditional reports. Granular level data allows you to understand the channels, products, customers and strategies that are contributing to your bottom line.

With Glew, you will know how you gained each customer, how much each channel is worth to your store, which products have the highest gross margin and much more.


Mistake #4 – Poor Search Capability

Shoppers who use on-site search use it for a reason. They know exactly what they are looking for and want to find it quickly. These are customers who are more likely to convert and you don’t want to lose them with inneffective search functions.

The Fix:

Make sure shoppers get relevant results based on what they are searching for. Optimizing your product listing is where your search functionality starts so add as many terms shoppers might use to find each product.

Typing is the enemy of mobile users so help them out with intelligent autocomplete in your search bar. Autocomplete is especially helpful if you have multiple products under the same brand.

If you don’t offer products that match the shopper’s search terms, avoid a blank page with ‘no results found’. Instead, suggest alternatives or other items in the same category. On that topic, it’s a good idea monitor searches with no exact matches to identify missed opportunities.


Mistake #5 – Bad Popup Strategy

They might be annoying but there is no doubt popups can improve conversion rates. Because popups are risky, yet effective, it’s important that you have a smart strategy in place and avoid common popup mistakes.

  • No easy or obvious way to exit the popup
  • Triggering a popup as soon as a shoppers lands on your website
  • Forcing an action on a popup
  • Popups that appear too often
  • Requesting too much information in a popup

PopupThe Fix:

If you’re going to use popups, make sure you deploy them in a way that does run off potential buyers. Follow these helpful hints for deploying effective ecommerce popups:

  • Time the popup right. This is tricky, if you show it too soon you may turn off visitors but if it’s too late you could be missing out on potential conversions. It’s a good idea to A/B test to find the best time frame for optimal popup conversions.
  • Carefully craft your popup design and message. It only takes a split second for visitors to close out a popup so get their attention quickly with a simple but compelling call-to-action. One of the most effective is a coupon or discount code in exchange for filling out information.
  • Popups should be one step and it’s best to request email address only.


Mistake #6 – Losing Focus

Ecommerce store owners know better than anyone how easy it is to get distracted when the list of to-do items never ends, from inventory management to marketing ads to website images. It’s also tempting to get caught up in the latest app, website design or ecommerce growth hacking fad.

But if you’re not careful, a lack of focus can lead to wasted time, scattered resources and stagnant growth.

The Fix:

There are many areas of your ecommerce business where laser focus is important. The first is your customer value proposition. With dozens or possibly hundreds of potential online competitors, it’s important that your products and marketing differentiate your store and easily answer the question “why should customers buy from us?”

Marketing is another area that needs focus. With so many channels available, it’s impossible to be successful if you are spread too far or too thin. Evaluate your return on ad spend and conversion rate data to determine which channels perform best and focus on those.

There will always be a list of possible new projects or products on your desk. Before diving into any of them, do some basic analysis to determine the relative cost and business value of each. From there, you can create a prioritized list and roadmap for execution.


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