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Common Mistakes that will Cost Your Online Business Sales (Part One of Two)

Sometimes it can be frustrating when you launch a new e-commerce website. You put in the hours setting up your online shop, taking pictures of your products and adding descriptions. So why aren’t you racking up the sales? We’ll talk about common mistakes that e-commerce websites make that cost them sales.

buy-now-button-300x200It takes time to build an online business. After all, even Jeff Bezos didn’t create Amazon.com overnight. It’s true that you have a wider audience online, but it will take some time and effort on your part to spread the word and make it easy for people to find your online business.

That said, even new online merchants should be aware of things that will make your customers abandon their online shopping cart, or even turn them away before they get started.

If you have an e-commerce website, keep these tips in mind to keep your customers checking out, and coming back:

Usability

When website gurus talk about usability, what they really mean is how easy is it to for someone who has never been to your website to find what they are looking for, put it in their cart and proceed through checkout.

Your website’s navigation (menus) should be clear about where they will lead your visitors. Your “Contact us” link should  lead to information where your visitors can reach you, not a sales pitch for your products.

Keep you online shop organized

Keeping your products organized is important.Try to create categories for your products so it’s easier for your customers to find what they want. It’s easy to go to the other extreme too, however, so don’t go overboard. If you have 100 products and 97 categories, you will end up confusing your customers more than helping them.

When a website had dozens of pictures of all different sizes, it can give it a cluttered appearance. Consider standardizing on a single image size that you will use for all of your product and homepage pictures. When all of your pictures are the same size it helps give your website look more polished and professional look.

Slow load time

There may not be anything that will kill an online sale faster than having to wait, and wait… and wait for your website to download.

Sometimes slow load times can be caused by poorly written website scripts, however, most of the time the culprits are pictures and videos.

An 18 Megapixel camera can take some really impressive pictures, but they can also make really big files. Those files can take longer to download than the average visitor wants to wait,  so learning to re-size your images to make them smaller, and crop them to remove unneeded parts of the image will speed up your website.

If your camera didn’t come with software to re-size and crop photos, try Pixlr.com. It’s free, and you can edit your images online or use one of their apps for Android or IOS.

Pictures are great, but too many images can cause your website to load slowly. Try not to use more than four or five images on a page if you can help it.

Content overload

Text on pages doesn’t take much time to download, but let’s face it – website visitors have shorter attention spans than customers in a brick-and-mortar store. You want to cover your topic while making your point quickly.

Using these tips will help your online message become more effective

  • Try to keep your web pages between 200 and 400 words, and keep paragraphs short.
  • Try to use correct grammar, and use a spell-checker.
  • Break up your content into sub-topics using larger, bolder fonts than the rest of your content.
  • Use bullet lists to organize your thoughts and ideas.
  • Use bold and italics to add emphasis to your message.
  • Proofread your articles, and do it more than once. It may seem like tedious work, but catching those little mistakes you missed the first time will pay off in customer confidence.

We have more tips in part two of our series “Common Mistakes that will Cost Your Online Business Sales“.

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