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The eight mistakes you most often make in an online shop. How to avoid them?

Do you run an online business, but your shop is not selling? The results are worse than a few months ago? Running an e-shop is quite a challenge. Find out which e-commerce mistakes you make most often and what you can do to make your shop work properly and attract customers. Read the article and discover eight ready-made solutions for your business.

1. Small and unattractive product images

Product photos are a very important part of any offer. Make sure they are attractive and reflect the goods on offer. A good photo has a huge impact on the customer's purchase decision. The photo should be clear, sharp and adapted to your shop's website.

Why is the product image essential? In most industries, especially in fashion, people buy with their eyes. It is an invaluable tool to advertise a product and convince the customer to buy. There are industries, such as construction, where the photo is not the most important element.

Which photo is good? It is worth to show products not only in backshots (e.g. on a white background), but also in lifestyle photos, i.e. in some context. Remember that in e-commerce your customer usually does not have the opportunity to see, try on and touch the product before buying. Therefore, it is worth showing the product in the most real context, so as to facilitate their purchase decision (e.g. if you sell plates, show how they will look on the table, and if you make jewellery, present it on a model).

It is worth optimising the size of the image. Keep in mind the look of your shop and the loading speed of the page (this is especially important for mobile, when the customer is browsing the offer on a phone and does not have stable internet access). If the photo is too big, the page will take a long time to load. This may cause the customer to leave your shop before making a purchase. The photo should therefore be as small as possible, while maintaining good quality.

Photo format also matters. It is better to give up png format photos - although they are nice and clear, they weigh a lot. Vendors are also slowly phasing out the jpg format, which is very lightweight but has so-called lossy compression (this means that when you resize your photos, they lose quality heavily and become blurry). Now Google recommends new image formats, such as webP.

How do I recover abandoned shopping carts?

2. Bad product descriptions

Product descriptions are often overlooked by retailers. In the shop it happens that the description ends with two sentences that do not say much and are copied from the manufacturer's website. How to prepare the description well? It is not only important to give exact parameters, i.e. dimensions, materials and application. Learn the six main rules of creating descriptions in an online shop:

  • Simple language - avoid complex sentences and complicated words. Use a simple message that will reach the recipient. Ideally, it should be tailored to the language your customer speaks.
  • Write about the benefits - Present your products in the best possible light. Present real benefits and point out what your customer will gain by shopping at your shop.
  • Use proper language - make sure your descriptions are free of spelling mistakes, have correct sentence formation, punctuation etc.
  • Information architecture - manage the space on the page skilfully. It is rare that your customer will read the entire product description. Often, they do not have time, but "scroll" through the description and catch the most important information. That is why it is worth to make sure that the description is not one compact text but is divided into paragraphs, has interheadings and bold of the most significant elements.
  • Merchandise parameters - remember to describe the properties of your products (e.g. dimensions, material). In IdoSell shops you don't have to give it in a separate description. We have a dedicated parameters section for that, thanks to which they are bulleted under the description.
  • Don't copy the description from the supplier - The description of your goods should be unique. Why? The same description in every e-shop negatively affects the website traffic and positioning. Google does not accept duplicate content. Try to get new information and distinguish your shop in terms of quality of descriptions.

3. Too complex checkout process

Checkout is a very important aspect of any online shop. If the checkout process is too complex and requires a lot of time from the customer to complete the forms, it can trigger cart abandonment.

Research conducted by the Baymard Institute shows that almost 70 percent of visits to an e-shop do not end with the completion of a transaction. Check out how to reduce abandoned baskets and create a good checkout in your online shop:

Build an effective checkout

4. Search engine and filtering not working

The goods search engine and product filtering are very influential elements of every e-shop. They make it easier for the customer to find the product they are currently looking for. If you do not have a well-functioning search engine, your customer may quickly get tired of browsing through hundreds of similar products. What does a good search engine look like? Several elements count:

  • placement - usually at the top of the page.
  • search engine should stand out from the background (so that the customer knows where to enter the name of the product he is looking for).
  • display of search results - it is important that the first recommendations (results) appear dynamically. A phrase suggestion and error and typo correction function will be useful.
  • the search engine should not display an empty list of results - if the searched products are not available, it is worth showing e.g. related or most popular products.

Search engine with artificial intelligence

5. Lack of trust-building elements

Trust in a shop, i.e. the social proof is built among others by opinions about the shop, certificates, product reviews, possibility to ask questions, easy contact with customer service (e.g. chat on the website or intuitive contact form). The customer must feel that your shop guarantees security of transactions and great customer service.

How do you take care of these elements? Encourage customers to leave reviews. You can reward them for writing a review with, for example, loyalty points.

What if the review is negative? Respond to it and explain why e.g. the package was not packed properly. An unfavourable feedback is an invaluable feedback and thanks to it you can improve the functioning of the business in a particular area. Customers will appreciate it if you explain a particular situation. It is important not to leave the customer with the problem, but to react accordingly. In the future such a customer may become your regular customer.

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6. Hidden costs

There is nothing wrong with a customer having to pay for shipping. However, remember that he should know all the costs at the stage of making a purchase decision.

Advertising free delivery and hiding the information that it is only for a certain amount may discourage the customer from finalising the order.

7. Slow website

There are many reasons why your website may load slowly. Our templates are constantly adjusted to make them work as fast as possible. However, remember that a lot depends on you.

What can you do to improve the loading time of your shop? Don't overload your shop with information such as banners, videos, png images, gifs, etc. They weigh a lot and can slow down your shop.

A good mechanism that relieves the page load is the so-called lazy load, i.e. not loading images and content that are not on the screen. Lazy load means that when a customer goes to the homepage or product listing, only those images that are in the viewing area are loaded. The others do not load until the customer moves the screen to see them.

Create banners that sell

8. Check your shop

Remember that even if you check every point of the above checklist, you may find that something in your shop doesn't work. So always check your shop, go through the purchase path and put yourself in the shoes of the customer who wants to buy a product from your shop both from a computer and a phone.

What else to remember? A few tips at the end.

  • Payments and couriers - offer a large selection of payment and delivery methods. Remember, customers love free delivery. Plus, it helps increase the value of your basket. Check out free delivery for IdoSell shops - SMILE
  • Product recommendations - recommend the same products and plan upselling activities
  • Terms and Conditions - the shop must have specific, clear and fair terms and conditions.
  • In-store parenthesis - the menu must be easy and clear, so that the customer can jump to the product of interest in the easiest way possible.
  • Delivery - nowadays delivery time is important. The shorter the better. However, if it is delayed for reasons beyond your control, let your customer know. Communication is key.
  • Advertising banners - Banners are the first thing the customer sees. Use their potential. Include key information such as new promotions, news, discount codes, etc.
  • No mobile site adaptation - We live in an age when most things, including online shopping, are done on the phone. Use solutions adapted to mobile. All IdoSell templates feature RWD, i.e. a smart responsive website.

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