As an online retailer, you can make a lot of mistakes. Because, unlike in brick-and-mortar retail, in the worst case, the customer is with one click at the competitor. This is how you make the customer happier with little effort.
There are countless studies that are on the trail of customers in online retail. Studies that are supposed to detect how much you can take the customer by the hand and educate them to order, but which also show that many customers keep staying with their usual portals because they have got used to their workflows. Many bad habits and mistakes by shop operators could be avoided by making a few preliminary considerations when setting up the shop and by choosing the right tools. Here you can find out which mistakes you shouldn’t make as a shop operator if you want to make it as easy as possible for customers to shop with you.
1. Mistake: Bad product descriptions
The product description is the basis for the customer to decide whether he wants to buy the goods from you or not. So make sure that everything is right here – not only is the content correct, but the customer also finds what he needs right away. You can find that out over time with A / B testing. Make sure you do a good on-site search and remember that a good and meaningful product description will help you increase conversion. Also, keep in mind that an incomplete description that raises questions will help the customer get the missing information elsewhere. And if he does that on the website of a competitor, he will also perceive his website as trustworthy.
2. Error: comparing products inappropriately
Consistency in the product descriptions is especially important if you offer a tabular comparison on your site. Although many manufacturers now provide surprisingly good tabular data about their products, in many cases the entries are not uniform and even with individual manufacturers they are not consistent over the years or product series. With the help of appropriate automation options, you should ensure that your customer does not stumble upon contradicting things or that differences are displayed where none are. Therefore, make sure that your tabular data is consistent across all manufacturers and, ideally, develop a style guide or writing rules for this.
3. Error: confusing product pages
Evil tongues claim that a confusing shop is not as important as you can see on Amazon. There is indeed something to it – because the reference in terms of online trading is really not a good example when it comes to the confusing and jam-packed product pages. But you could also say that Amazon writes its good sales figures anyway and not because of its lack of clarity. As a “normal” shop owner, however, you should stick to the keep-it-simple rule. In many cases, your shop system helps you to create a clear website based on appropriate templates. But also avoid the 6th mistake …
4. Mistake: Confusing return rules
Two weeks return period, 30 days return option, but then at your own expense, even 100 days exchange option, but you have to pay immediately … There are a number of regulations that are intended to educate the customer, to induce him to buy frivolously first, partially but also just confuse. On the one hand, you should keep the rules of how a customer can pay and return goods in your shop as uncomplicated as possible, but on the other hand you should also be accommodating when things don’t work out. And when you start a return request, you should first clarify whether it is a support problem or a misunderstanding in operation. This topic also includes purchase on account: Many customers in online retail are now used to paying in some way right away, that this has increased the proportion of invoice buyers who do not pay straight away. The first payment reminder should therefore be made in a particularly friendly manner, possibly with a reference to your support hotline if the customer has problems.
5th mistake: weaknesses in the checkout area
Do you know what ideally you can learn from semi-silly sites on the Internet? Regardless of whether it is about eroticism, gambling or other topics: These sites are optimally optimized to accept customers’ money – an extensive selection of payment methods, optimal workflows in which every step counts and a UX design that is as little as possibly confused and works across languages and cultures. As an online retailer, you should approach it in a similar way so that you lose as few customers as possible on the way to the checkout. Because the checkout area is still particularly tricky when it comes to abandonment rates.
6. Error: The online shop “off the shelf”
In the case of smaller shops in particular, operators often don’t bother to adapt a standard shop solution to the needs of their customers. This is noticeable on the one hand in the unsuitable or standardized structure of the respective detail pages, but also in the fact that the customer in a German-speaking shop through all countries from A to D for Germany (or even better G for Germany, because only the term was translated, the Entry but still listed under G for Germany) must scroll through. Mobile-optimized number entries that do not automatically just call up the numeric keypad or incorrectly read autofill data stored in the browser are also popular errors that could be avoided by customizing the shop system. It is also noteworthy that how many shop systems still have weaknesses in the mobile version of their pages. Keep in mind that the mobile device is still less comfortable to use than the desktop version despite the constantly growing screen diagonal (and the customer often does not have the peace and quiet of a notebook).
7. Error: ERP that does not fit the shop
Another bad habit concerns the incorrect or delayed matching of the merchandise management system and online shop. It’s hard to believe, but especially in larger, established online shops, some of which generate enormous sales, the merchandise management system is not optimally harmonized with the shop solution and the payment service provider. The result: the shop is still happily taking orders while the warehouse is already empty. This is of course particularly noticeable in larger shops that, for example, offer goods cheaply due to an advertising campaign for a shopping event such as Black Friday and thus draw customers to the side on a large scale. It has been proven that a new customer who has ordered once and has not received any goods rarely buys there again,