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10 Common Mistakes to Avoid on Your Ecommerce Site

Running an online ecommerce store is hard work. It’s easy to take the 10,000-foot view and forget about the details that can make or break your ecommerce site. Unfortunately, it’s the details that need to be exactly right to attract visitors, keep them coming, and, of course, convert those shoppers into buyers.

Overlooking important ecommerce marketing strategy tips can lead to loss of traffic, increased bounce rate, and decreased conversion rates!  In other words – lose your potential new customer.

So, which of these common ecommerce marketing mistakes are you making? Which are the most important ones that you should direct your limited time and resources toward?

These common ecommerce marketing mistakes are a great place to start – and some are so quick and easy, you or your team can begin to resolve them today.

Relying on Images instead of Text

Putting important information in images takes away the ability for Google to discern what each of your pages is about, which will affect your organic rankings.

Put simply, search engines cannot ‘read’ images.

It is important to include unique keyword-rich text on each page so that it can be properly crawled and indexed by search engines. This gives your pages the best chance of being returned on the search engine results page (SERP) when someone searches for something related to that page.

This is especially important for ecommerce sites because you want your product/service pages to come up at the very moment when someone is looking to buy the things that you’re selling.

(Pro Tip – use your keywords in image alt tags, meta descriptions, headers, body text and data markup whenever possible.)

Unclear Call-to-Action

It may seem silly, but we need to tell people what to do on your site. Visitors (especially first-time visitors) need clear direction.

Providing the buttons and links to help people navigate around the site logically, will lead them to convert seamlessly. This is why it’s so important to test and refine your calls-to-action (CTAs).

Sometimes even a small difference like “Buy Now” vs. “Buy Today” can make a big difference.

(Pro Tip: Make sure your ecommerce store looks and works as well on a mobile device as it does on a desktop.)

Shop Button

Incomplete Contact Info

Even if someone doesn’t plan on reaching out to your company, having complete contact information helps people trust a business.

Simply listing a phone number or email address isn’t enough. It is a best practice to list phone number, email address, and legal physical address on the contact us page.

(Pro Tips: Add your business contact information to the footer of your site so it’s visible from all pages. Also, be certain to list your business in Google MyBusiness, including your location in Google maps, phone number, store hours, etc.)

Name on Footer Example

Poor Descriptions

Product/service descriptions are the key to selling your offerings. Without thorough and persuasive descriptions shoppers are more likely to experience purchase anxiety and go elsewhere to look for the information they need to know before making their purchases.

Simply having the stock manufacturer description usually isn’t enough. Unique descriptions that convey the details about the items you’re selling will tell people why they should buy, similar to a salesperson in a retail store.

(Pro Tip: Think of the user first. User Experience is measured by search engines – the website that keep visitors longer, navigating across more pages and not “bouncing away” have better organic search visibility.)


Product Description Example

Confusing Category Structure

All categories and sub-categories need to be logically laid out and nested to avoid confusion.

Having products/services in more than one category allows different types of shoppers to arrive at the same product, but don’t overdo it. For instance, if you sell jewelry you may want to list the same necklace under the following categories: Necklaces, Gifts for Her, and Hot Summer Styles.

However, you should avoid listing products under too many categories or shoppers might end up seeing the same products repeatedly.

(Pro Tip: Website taxonomy is not just important for shoppers – it takes the guesswork and difficulties away from search engines and website crawlers as well.)

Ignoring Mobile-Friendly Best Practices

Always assume that your site will be visited by mobile users and design it accordingly. This means having appropriately sized buttons, eliminating pop-out menus, and keeping a good text/image balance.

It is no longer a best practice to offer shoppers the choice between your mobile site and your regular desktop site. One site should work equally well across all devices and screens.

(Pro Tip: We’ve already mentioned the importance of the look and feel of your site on a mobile device – but also consider site loading speed… it is just as important for desktop, tablets and mobile users.)

Limited Internal Linking

Internal linking keeps people on your site longer, which can increase conversion rates. Your goal should be to never have a dead-end on your site. Always offer shoppers a path back to another area of the site so that they continue shopping.  Cross selling is a good strategy (see below).

(Pro Tip: Don’t overwhelm users with links. Search engines will ignore links if there are too many. A best practice is under 100 links from a page.)

Missing Up-Selling Opportunities

Just like a physical retail store that presents upselling opportunities at the registers, your ecommerce store should offer products/services that complement the items that are being purchased.

By displaying other products that a visitor has viewed while on your site, showcasing related products, or including a “customers that bought this item also purchased…” section like Amazon does is a great way to improve a shopper’s experience.

Another way to upsell shoppers is to offer add-ons on the checkout page to encourage impulse buying. Just be careful not to overdo it with this approach or you run the risk of scaring shoppers away.

(Pro Tip: All websites should be converting to https / encrypted / secure checkout. You will also want to ensure your checkout process is simple with no issues.)


Ecommerce example

No Social Integration

Integrating social media into your website gives shoppers a way to share your products/services across their social profiles. This is a great way to increase the visibility for your offerings and attract new business.

You can simply add social sharing buttons to the product pages themselves, or give shoppers a chance to tweet or share that they just made a purchase on your order checkout thank you page.

If you don’t have social integration on your website itself, you can integrate it into your transactional emails. This gives shoppers a way to easily share information about their purchase experience and recommend your business to their friends and followers.

(Pro Tip: Social interaction with customers can actually weigh positively on organic search engine performance. Encouraging people to leave reviews helps in a lot of different ways –at the end of the day, it’s all about customer service.)


Social Sharing Example

Multi-Page Checkout

A one-page checkout can actually increase conversion rates because it makes the checkout process faster and less confusing for shoppers. Getting them to pull the trigger right away on making a purchase instead of relying on them to come back later to finish a multi-step checkout process reduces shopping cart abandonment and makes shoppers move efficiently through the process. This is a win-win for businesses because it allows them to both get the sale and also reduce purchase anxiety.

(Pro Tip: Conversion Rate Optimization is the science of learning how visitors behave when checking out on your ecommerce website. We are experts in conversion rate optimization and would be happy to help you improve your ecommerce website’s performance today.)

About Us

Kona Company is a digital marketing agency that can help you drive more traffic to your online store – and begin to convert more visitors starting today. We have a highly skilled team that can help plan your entire digital marketing strategy and execute all of the elements needed to make your business successful.  Contact us today for a complimentary evaluation.