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Published On: Wed, May 2nd, 2018

Biggest Sins in Ecommerce

For many people, building your own ecommerce business is a gateway to greater freedom. For the first time ever, you are your own boss. That is a deeply empowering realization, but remember to keep your pride in check. You’ll still need to take orders, after all. But this time they are from your customers rather than your superiors.

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Below are a few examples of the biggest sins in ecommerce. Do your best to avoid these pitfalls.

Selling Low-Quality Goods

This first suggestion should go without saying, but it’s an easier trap to fall into than you might think. Low-quality goods can be sold for cheap, which can help you undercut your competitors’ prices. But once customers realize your goods aren’t so good, they will likely abandon your site. If you want your ecommerce brand to thrive, stick to selling quality merchandise at a reasonable price.

Refusing to Process Returns

For a lot of consumers, shopping online is just plain hard. That may seem confusing at first, but take a moment to think about it. Ecommerce gives shoppers the opportunity to peruse the world for products, but it won’t let them try on clothes or hold products until they buy them. It’s a conundrum. For this reason, most ecommerce sites allow buyers to return products within a certain period of time (2 weeks, 60 days, etc.). If your store doesn’t allow this, you are likely to lose a lot of customers. You’ll see more sales if you allow customers to return, or exchange goods. Of course, some restrictions will apply (for example, if the purchased item was on clearance), so be sure to make that clear in your return policy or FAQ pages.

Taking Too Long to Ship Merchandise

Another major pitfall is taking too long to ship merchandise. Today’s online consumers expect near immediate gratification. While ecommerce giants like Amazon can offer same-day delivery, many smaller e-store vendors can’t. This is especially true for customized products and do-it-yourselfers. To be competitive in today’s digital marketplace, you’ll need to provide quicker shipping options (such as two-day delivery) and pass the higher handling prices to consumers; or you’ll need to emphasize the importance of ordering early. For example, “all our products are handmade, so please allow 2 weeks to craft and one week to ship.” This will help manage customer expectations.

Hosting Advertisements on Your Site

In hopes of squeezing a little extra profit from their site, some ecommerce vendors host third-party advertisements. This is a big no-no for a few reasons. First, ads can slow down your site, and slow load times lead to decreased sales and customer interest. Second, these advertisements could distract shoppers and prevent them from purchasing from your site. While it might seem like a clever scheme at first, you should really avoid hosting ads on your e-store. After all, if you’ve built a beautiful cloud ecommerce store, why would you want to clutter it with a bunch of banner ads and pop ups?

Refusing to Learn from Your Mistakes

Last but not least is the worst sin of all – failing to learn from your mistakes. Despite what you may hear, there is no perfect formula for success in ecommerce. It takes some trial and error to find out what works for your specific audience. And, like any other form of experimentation, failures do pop up from time to time. Avoiding the biggest sins in ecommerce will keep you on track for profitability and satisfied customers.

Author: Kayla Eric

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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