Seven ways you are killing your ecommerce sales

By Sarah Saker

There are so many ecommerce sites out there, yours needs to stand out from the rest for you to make money using it. However, you don’t want it to stand out for the wrong reasons. Many ecommerce retailers are killing their web traffic and their sales, and have no idea how they are doing it.

Here are seven ways you could be killing your ecommerce web traffic and what you can do about it.

Your Domain Name

Believe it or not, this is one of the most common killers of ecommerce traffic. The number of brands who have created horrible domain names are all over the internet, and while they may be infamous, the names do nothing to drive traffic to their business.

The other common fault is to choose a domain name that is not relevant to what you do or what you sell. The name of the site does not reflect the products sold there, and therefore customers feel a lack of trust. Relevance helps develop customer relationships, which leads directly to sales.

If you sell different products, having landing pages or categories related to each will help with this trust, but still they need to fit in with the overall theme of your site. If you have multiple locations, you need pages and even mid-tier metro pages for those to help with local search results, ranking, reviews, and social signals.

A bad domain name can kill your traffic before it even gets to the site, killing conversion rates, sales, and profits.

Your Search Engine Rankings

Speaking of Google rankings, if you have not adopted solid SEO practices, are not actively working on content marketing and link building, and don’t know how to truly affect your search engine rankings, you are killing your ecommerce traffic and sales.

The difference in click thru rates from a page two Google ranking to a page one ranking is huge: it’s even larger from #10 to #1. The only way to achieve these types of rankings is active and intentional backlink building, solid SEO practices, and social media marketing efforts.

Without these things, your website will be hard for users to find, and that is the number one issue most ecommerce sites face: discoverability. Low Google rankings are killing your sales because customers never find you in the first place.

Your Product Descriptions

Describing your products accurately but in an engaging way is essential for your website success, and the internet is filled with clever solutions to this issue. However, it is equally filled with grammatically incorrect horrific examples as well.

Your product description needs to have several major parts. First it needs an engaging headline, followed by a sub headline that further describes the product. This is the attention grabbing portion of the page, and must be well crafted and accurate.

This is followed by a short description which is then followed by more details in an area below, including ingredients, technical specifications, and other data about your product that a customer might want to know. There also must be a clear buy button somewhere near the top of the page, or better yet a floating one that allows the customer to check out at any time.

Poor product descriptions will lead the customer to assume that the product is equally poor. They can kill your sales when the customer is almost ready to buy.

Your Product Photos

Your product photos are also vital. Poor, blurry, or awkward product photos will also make the customer believe that the product is poor and you do not pay attention to detail. Why woud they buy something from you if you can’t bother to take a decent photo of it.

Smartphone cameras are good enough now that you can take pretty good photos with them if they are framed properly and staged in a decent way. If you do not know how to stage photos and have no idea how to properly frame them, either hire someone to do it for you or take a class.

When Google shows products in search results, it will also often show the photo. Horrible or even merely adequate photos can make the customer flee before they even make it to your site.

Your Site Speed

Your site needs to load fast. Studies show that customers will leave and go to another site if it takes more than four seconds to load. Your site also needs to be optimized for mobile, as many searches are done on tablets or smartphones.

Studies also show that many customers complete their online purchase on a mobile device as well. Ideally your site should be AMP compliant, but a responsive site will work as well.

Don’t use too high of resolution photos that take a long time to load, and the same goes with video. Consult with an IT professional if you do not have one on staff to make sure things are working properly

A slow loading site can kill your sales as customers bounce and go find products and services somewhere better.

Your Checkout Process

Your checkout process also needs to be fast, but it needs to be secure as well, and your users need to have confidence in both.

If your checkout process is cumbersome, if users are forced to create a profile to check out, and if security certifications are not prominently displayed, your customer could abandon their cart and shop elsewhere.

Believe it or not, abandoned carts are incredibly common, and few ecommerce sites utilize any kind of tools to effectively combat them. Your checkout process can kill a sale at the moment of truth, and stop your growth in its tracks.

Your Payment Methods

Another fault at your checkout process that deserves its own shout out? Your payment methods. You need to offer your customers as many ways as you can for them to complete their purchase. Besides standard credit and debit cards, you should offer PayPal checkout, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Wallet.

The more choices you offer, the more likely customers are to shop with you. Studies show that adding single payment method can mean as much as a 20 per cent increase in sales.

Your ecommerce site is the lifeblood for your business, but you may be killing some sales before you ever know it. Keep these things in mind, and your site will run smoother and sales growth will replace mediocre results.

Sarah Saker is a business coach and freelance writer that specializes in helping SMBs setup processes for customer support and predictable growth. When not writing or coaching, Sarah can be found on her (small but growing!) family farm. Connect with Sarah on about.me for coaching or writing help.

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