7 Mistakes to Avoid While Developing E-Commerce Website

Believe it or not, but online shopping has changed the way we search for things and buy them. In fact, a recent study conducted by KPMG revealed that 58% user prefer online shopping than traditional way because they could shop anytime as per their convenience. The same source says that 54%of users prefer it because of the ability to compare the prices.

Source: KPMG

The global e-commerce sales are continuously inclining. As compared to $2.8 trillion in 2018 it is expected to rise up to $4.9 trillion (an eMarketer research). 

Source: eMarketer

Considering the present growth and the future of possibilities, businesses are now going online through e-commerce websites and mobile apps. They wish to attract their prospective customers through their e-commerce website but sometimes they could not get what is desired. 

Not every visitor to an e-commerce site is a buyer and this is a reason why cart abandonment percentage is 21% (a Localytics research). The most possible reason for this is that the e-commerce website failed to come into the expectation of the buyer. 

Below, we are listing 7 such common mistakes that every e-commerce website should avoid, in order to retain the continuous business flow. 

7 Blunders E-Commerce Websites Should Not Make

#1 Choosing the Wrong Platform: This is one of the most common mistakes which e-commerce merchants make. Depriving in the knowledge they sometimes select a platform that could not provide their business the exposure which it truly deserves. 

Choosing the platform completely depends on your business size. For instance, you can go for Shopify if you have a small business. But, if you are looking for a platform that could support your big e-commerce enterprise then nothing could be more favorable to you than Magento. A highly scalable platform could be always beneficial for business. 

Choosing a wrong platform means you are compromising with page loading time, which would not at all be accepted by your prospective customers. 

Few of the most popular e-commerce platforms are:

  • Shopify
  • LemonStand
  • Magento
  • BigCommerce
  • WooCommerce
  • 3DCart

#2 Running Without Strategy: Every business is focussed for a particular group. For instance, if you want to start an e-commerce website for selling books then your prime focus would be students. Like this, you need to set different strategies as per the business needs. 

Depriving of the proper strategies, you can face failures in your business, especially during the website development time. 

Here are a few of the things which you need to consider while setting a strategy for business:

  • Identification of market and buyers
  • Making every process transparent
  • Targeting mobile audience
  • Ensuring smooth supply management
  • Social connectivity
  • Privacy & term policies

#3 Ignoring Trust Factors: Alike you, there are many others available on the market which are providing the same services and most probably at the same price. The only thing which can differentiate between a reliable and fraud company is the trust factor. 

This could be achieved by adding trust factors on your website. Adding important things like SSL Certificate, Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Refund Exchange Policy, etc. would automatically build the trust of the website in the customer. 

Along with this, if you would work on easy product navigation and simple but effective design then also it will lure more customers and build trust in your brand. 

#4 Ignoring Mobile Friendliness: Do you know that mobile e-commerce is expected to surpass 72% of total digital sale by 2021? Doesn’t this clearly brief why you should not ignore mobile for your e-commerce business? 

If you really wish to target your audience then never ever ignore mobile. Ask the web development services team to go for a mobile-friendly site, so that you may get uninterrupted business flow. 

#5 Not Adding Sufficient Contact Info: A research by KPMG states that 51% of consumers are more likely to trust a business which makes it easy for them to contact people at the company. So, if you are ignoring the contact details at your website you are likely to lose the interest of those 51% consumers. Not adding proper contact details like customer care number, e-mail address, office address, and phone number could put your e-commerce website under suspicion. 

#6 Overusing Popups: Without any doubt, it can be said that popups help businesses to enhance the database with the details of prospective clients. You can gather e-mail address of prospective clients through pop-up windows and can later embrace them with desired offers and details. 

But remember, overusing pop-ups in a website can also irritate the customers and they can lose interest on your site. As per the research of Hubspot, 55% visitors leave the site within 15 seconds and an irrelevant pop-up could make them leave the page even earlier. 

#7 Not Exhibiting Product Reviews: Shopping on an e-commerce website is truly dependent on trust. According to SalesForce, 85% of buyers conduct online research before they make a final decision to buy a product. 

Reading product reviews and ratings is one of the important part of research apart from the product description. Not adding this feature on your website could make you lose the prospective clients. 

There should be genuine reviews from verified buyers on every product which in turn would increase the authenticity of the website. 

The Bottom Line

Of course, Amazon accounted for 44% of all US e-commerce sales but it does not mean that there is no future of possibilities for small businesses. In fact, small retailers have 30% higher mobile conversion rate as compared to the big ones. 

So yes, it is all about how you present the business and your strategy. No matter whether you are a big e-commerce giant like Amazon or a small e-commerce site for cake and flower delivery, with the right tactics you can win laurels across the business. 

From contacting the right web development services company (for choosing the best platform) to providing correct product info with genuine reviews; there are many responsibilities like this which merchants need to consider in order to succeed as an e-commerce platform. 

5 Things To Always Consider When Commissioning Web Design

If you are looking for a post that breaks down how to build a website from scratch in a detailed step by step guide, then you're in the wrong place. However, if you are someone needs a website for their business, and want to know exactly what to ask for when commissioning a site, all you need do is read through the five categories below. 

UX

The first thing that you need to ask for and have an understanding of is UX, short for user experience. What this relates to is how the person accessing your website will use it and get the most out of that experience. 

What that means is that this part of web design is related to creating the infrastructure of your site, including things like wireframes, user flows, and task flows as practical as possible. This being something that will require extensive research, critical thinking, and testing from your design professional. 

In fact, it is a pretty complicated process, but what you need to remember when it comes to UX is that this stage of the design process is all about making sure the people that you want to most use your website are considered and factored into the way it's created. Something that is used to help improve customer engagement and interaction and so can positively affect your business.  

UI

UI or user interface is another element of website design that those commissioning a project will need to know about. In fact, you will often hear of UX and UI being talked about in the same breath as they are closely related. 

However, UI differs from UX in that it is primarily focused around the visuals of a website, something that means it has a lot in common with graphic design. In fact, the critical areas of UI that those commissioning a website need to be aware of include branding, layout, and even the icon and illustration styles that are used. 

SEO 

Apart from UX and UI, there are other things that those looking to have a website created for their company need to have a good grasp on. One of these things is SEO or search engine optimization. 

SEO is the process by which websites are found and displayed by search engines such as Google. Of course, this is a prime concern to all business owners because they will absolutely want their company to be found easily by potential customers. 

In fact, research has shown that those businesses that are able to use SEO to get their business displayed on the first page of a search engine will have the higher rate of clicks thoughts than any other page. Put simply, this means if your business shows up first, you are likely to get the lion's share of customers. 

Of course, there are some things that aren't directly linked to web design that you can do to improve your search engine ranking, such as use an SEO agency for content marketing. Although, it is also vital that SEO be factored into the design of a website at its creation as well, as this can help to strengthen your rankings and ensure our business always ends up above your closest competition. 

Images 

Those commissioning a website will also need to consider what type of images they want to include, something that often sits just outside the realm of UI and in its own domain. 

Image here

In fact, it is crucial to carefully consider the use and style of images displayed on your website because not only will they set the tone for what you are trying to convey, but they can also provide an added layer of engagement and interaction as well. Something that once again will have a massive effect on how successful your website is. 

Mobile optimization 

Finally, if you are looking to get a website created for your business, you must also understand that it will not only be viewed on people's desktop computers. In fact, the vast majority of users will access your business's site on a mobile device such as a tablet or smartphone. What this means is that it's imperative you check that the person that is designing your site will include mobile optimization in the package they are offering. 

Image source

In fact, if they don't, then you will need to ensure that you specifically request it. Otherwise, you could have the best looking and performing site, that can easily be found, but that ends up looking awful for most of the people visiting it. Something that certainly won't do your business much good! 

Redesigning Your Website? Why You Need to Think About SEO From the Start

The glitz, the glam, the glorious design elements that make your website look like a million bucks. When contemplating a website redesign, it’s easy to focus only on those features that are appealing to the eye.

Unfortunately, redesigning a website isn’t simply an exercise in aesthetics. Sure, the purely visual elements of your newly designed website will likely get the most attention, but remember: a great website redesign also requires that you consider (and improve) what’s under the hood. 

A flashy exterior doesn’t help much if the actual machine fails to function. If people can’t find your website via search, or if they can’t intuitively navigate through your site’s pages and easily understand what information those pages contain, it doesn’t really matter how beautiful it looks. 

When it comes to your website redesign, form and function need to be a package deal. So while you should absolutely incorporate that new color scheme and add that big beautiful hero image to your homepage, don’t forget about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Why You Need to Think of SEO From the Start

To ensure your new site will truly resonate with your target audience — and to save yourself from some major headaches down the road — you need SEO to be ingrained in your redesign strategy from the very beginning.

“The most common SEO mistake that I see marketers make when redesigning their websites is not involving the SEO team early in the process,” says Jeff Ferguson, CEO of Fang Digital Marketing. “All too often, when we’re brought in for SEO work on a redesign, it’s often late in the process, such as when the site is being coded or even totally complete … The advice that usually needs to be passed on at this point will most likely cost the company much more in design, coding, and more.”

Laura Hogan, marketing director at OverGo Studio, takes a similar view. “If you don’t have SEO in mind from the initial strategy session, you’re going to lose what you took so much time and effort to build. Everything from the structure of your website to the meta description of your website pages is important and should be taken into consideration.”

Website Redesign & SEO: Your Major Action Items

So, how exactly do you make sure SEO is incorporated into your redesign strategy from the very beginning? Here are a few items to add to the to-do list:

Do an Audit of Your Existing Site

Before you bust out the wrecking ball and start demolishing your soon-to-be-forgotten site, make sure you take the time to examine and audit your site to determine what’s working and what isn’t. Here are some key metrics you may want to consider:

  • Number of visits/visitors/unique visitors (monthly average)
  • Top performing keywords (in terms of rank, traffic, and lead generation)
  • Number of inbound linking domains
  • Total number of total pages indexed
  • Total number of pages that receive traffic

Armed with this knowledge of how your existing site is performing, you'll be able to make informed decisions about which of your pages should stay, which ones should go, and which ones should get revamped or reorganized during your redesign.

Identify (and Include) Commonly Used Keywords

It’s a new era for SEO, an era where you can no longer keyword-stuff your way to search ranking success. Nowadays, if Google finds out that you are blatantly overusing (or hiding) keywords on your site, your credibility (and rankings) could take a serious hit.

However, this doesn’t mean that keywords are totally irrelevant. In fact, if you’re doing what Google wants you to do (creating high-quality content), keywords will work there way naturally into your website’s pages. To quote from Google directly:

“In creating a helpful, information-rich site, write pages that clearly and accurately describe your topic. Think about the words users would type to find your pages and include those words on your site.”

Consider Your URL Structure

If your site is littered with lengthy, indecipherable URLs that don’t align well with the actual content of your site pages, restructuring your URLs should definitely be a priority during your next website redesign.

Wondering where SEO comes into play here? Just like the searchers themselves, search engines prefer URLs that make it easy to understand what your page content is all about.

A general rule to follow when creating your new URLs: use dashes (-) between words instead of underscores (_). Google treats dashes as separators, which means it can return results when you search for a single word that appears in a URL and when you search for a group of words that appears in a URL. This means that Google sees the individual words in the URL inbound-marketing-tips.com, which means the website could show up in searches for terms like “inbound tips,” “inbound marketing tips,” “marketing tips,” etc.

In contrast, Google treats underscore as connectors, which means it will only return results when you search for a group of connected words that appears in a URL. So Google reads the URL inbound_marketing_tips.com as inboundmarketingtips.com, which changes how often the site appears in search results. 

The bottom line: Using dashes creates more opportunities for your pages to be discovered. 

Opt for a Responsive Solution

As Google’s preferred configuration for mobile-optimized websites, responsive design is your best option for delivering a great search and browsing experience to mobile users.

Redesigning Your Website

With responsive design, all of your website’s URLs are the same across all devices, and they all serve up the same HTML code. This isn’t the case with other mobile configurations, like setting up a separate, mobile-only site (which requires a different set of URLs) or implementing dynamic serving (which uses the same URLs but serves up different HTML).

With responsive design, the only thing that changes across devices is the styling (which is controlled by CSS). This configuration makes it easier for Google to crawl your pages and retrieve your content.

Have any website redesign and SEO tips you'd like to share? Sound off in the comments section below!

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About the author

Erik Devaney

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/erikdevaney/

Erik was a Sr. Content Strategist and launched HubSpot’s first-ever Medium publication, ReadThink (now ThinkGrowth.org). Erik is now taking a break from the tech/marketing world to tackle some passion projects.

Pointers On How To Know If Your Web Design Business Needs a Rebrand

There is a great deal of merit that surrounds rebranding. A proper rebranding strategy can reinvigorate a company, it can resurrect it, give it new life. With the appropriate rebranding, you will be able to, in a way, start from the beginning, but a stronger foundation. Logistics, contacts, networks, staff, you will practically keep all, if not most, of everything you have, while still being able to try out new things.  

However, there are many instances of a company rebranding too soon, or for no good reason, and then getting into trouble. From BP oil setting up a condescending rebrand and campaign to the money Gap wasted on flip-flopping with their own logo. Rebranding is an expensive and complicated procedure, and if you do it too soon, or too hard, or too often, you will just end up losing money and time. So, below you can find our top tips on how to figure out whether you need a rebrand done or not.

Your mission, and peoples' perceptions

Branding isn’t just about looking cool. It’s also not about trends, about colors, fonts, about an obsession with design. Your brand isn’t even really your logo. What it is, is a message. These are all elements that are supposed to communicate your message, they are channels that remind people that the service they are using, and the product they are buying, is made by you. 

Now, the main issue here is figuring out your mission. Namely, in order to have your rebrand be effective, you must at all times be certain what your mission is, what your company stands for. Otherwise, you won’t really achieve much with your branding efforts. So, figure out what you want to communicate through your brand, how you want people to look at you and your company. And if you are unsatisfied with how they perceive you now, then it’s time to change. Now, the reason behind your dissatisfaction can vary. This can be anything from perhaps mistakes that have been made, or perhaps your competitors ruining the entire reputation of the industry, right down to simply propaganda or bad luck. Whatever the reason it happened, it’s now up to you to just change things up.

Now, there is however a slight caveat to this point. Namely, it depends on who has actually started looking at your brand differently. Random tabloid journalists, celebrities without any clout in your market, or your target audience and industry experts? And on that note…

When your target audience changes

You, of course, rely on your target audience, there are no ifs, ands, or buts about that. They are, in fact, the people who buy your products, who pay for your services. So, if your target audience changes in any way, you need to make changes as well. As you evolve, so does your target audience. 

Now, the reasons behind the change can vary. Perhaps your original audience just became older. YOU may have targeted teenagers and, as time went on, they grew up. This leaves you with choosing one of two things. You can either focus on teenagers continually, preparing your products and marketing efforts for new generations, or you can change things up and stick to your core audience.

When you change your focus

The second issue is not so much your audience changing, as you yourself wanting to change. This can be anything, from branching out, to changing your own products and services. Perhaps you are not inspired anymore with the line of work you are currently doing. Or maybe you want to dip your toes in other waters. Maybe you want to try targeting a new demographic, like people over 45, for example, instead of just sticking to young adults. Maybe you prefer targeting another country, and so need to tailor your marketing efforts in that direction.

This is much harder than it sounds, though. You need to get the right marketing team, get your research done, and actually do all the logistical work that leads to a rebrand. Of course, you can delegate. So, you can, for example, hire the services of a good company, like getting some Orion Creative graphic designers to help you out, and focus on other things. You will spend less time on trivial things, and more time on leading the company or your team.

The times they are a changing

The entire point of having a brand is to communicate your message, as we’ve mentioned. However, if you want to get your business noticed, in a positive way, you need to do the work and change things up when needed. Perhaps your logo is now considered old fashioned. Perhaps your slogan can now be interpreted as outdated, or even offensive. Whether people are becoming more sensitive, or perhaps more aware, it doesn’t matter. For example, the Washington redskins’ name controversy is an excellent example. People have become more self-aware, and a bit more mindful of how certain words are used nowadays. As the term “redskin” is now considered more universally offensive, the team’s manages now have to deal with this issue.

On a simpler note, perhaps your logo is now ugly. A detailed and artistic representation of your company is now seen as gaudy, and minimalism is taking over. An excellent example is comparing Apple’s old logo, with its modern one. The old logo represented Isaac Newton sitting below a tree. The new one is a simple, 2D apple. And we all know which one reminds us of which.

Conclusion

So, proper rebranding can be a godsend. It can reinvigorate your company, push you forward towards new avenues and markets. It can save a company from the brink of collapse, but also make a successful business even stronger. The point here, however, is that it’s not that easy. It requires a lot of work, time, and dedication. For this reason, you need to think long and hard on whether you need to do a rebrand or not. Figure out if its time for a change, check your market, think about what your new goals are, and act accordingly.

How Can You Provide Better Customer Service in 2019?

Many businesses would agree that customer service is extremely important, and determines the growth of their business. You might think that customer service is pretty straight forward, but the truth is that customer service trends change year on year, so you need to be committed to staying up to date. Tools, systems, and processes all help to convert your strategies into customer satisfaction – here, we’ll talk about how you can provide better customer service for 2019. 

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User Experience

The success of your business is always determined by the experience of your end users. User experience is extremely important if you want to grow your business and have people continue to visit your site. A massive 88% of people would not return to a business website after a bad experience. Case studies have shown that a UX design could boost conversion rates by up to 400%! 

Focusing on providing a great user experience directly correlates with customer service. You are meeting their needs without hassle, and ensuring your site is a joy to use. Something you might want to look into to make this happen is a Managed IT service. This can reduce downtime, keep your customer’s information safe, and have many other benefits on how you run your business. 

Customer Health Monitoring

Customer health monitoring allows companies to become seriously proactive. It’s no use waiting around for customers to contact you. Monitoring interactions every customer has and assessing the sentiment behind them can let customers know about problems before they even notice. This will make the difference between a good customer service experience and a great one. 

Artificial Intelligence

Good news – AI is becoming much less artificial. Modern software means that the true power of AI can be leveraged, and that they aren't just a basic ploy to lure customers in. They will aid human agents in working smarter and more efficiently, rather than becoming a real replacement. 

Things like sentiment analysis, predictive chat, and distress scoring are all examples of what AI can do alongside a human customer service rep. 

Ticket Deflection Solutions

Deflecting tickets will increase in priority. Customer service teams are trying out new solutions that should reduce the amount of routine interactions that they process. Customers will easily be able to answer their own issues without needing to submit a ticket, as real time solutions like suggested links can be given in live chat based on what the customer has written about the problem. 

Personalization

Personalization is something companies have been doing for a while, but many of them do not go as in depth as they could. However, personalization is now being applied at the entire company level by many companies. Customer service teams now have direct visibility into company accounts, and this means that they can add information including things like customer size, languages that they speak, hours and holidays, preferred service method, and more. Agents can see this and are able to further personalize the service provided to them. Personalized offers and services will help to develop loyalty, and add value to the customer. Their experience will be so much better as they feel more understood and valued by the company. You will understand your customer’s interests, use their name when speaking to them, and know what they need inside out. When they get a great personalized service like this, they are more likely to come back to you, as well as recommend you to friends and family. 

Mobile First

Of course, mobile isn't going away anytime soon. It can transform your entire business if used correctly. Always think mobile first and you will ensure you are reaching your entire market. Many people will use a mobile device to search or get help before a PC, so think about how you can help people who are contacting you on their phones. Not only that, they should be able to browse your offerings without having to scroll and pinch until their fingers are sore. Simple things like this will make all the difference to the customer experience. 

Customer Success

Customer service is not just about giving scripted responses. It’s about doing everything a business possibly can to ensure a customer feels like they have been successful with that business. Customer success is the key phrase that all representatives should be keeping in mind. A more customer focused business can lead to reduced churn and more positive third-party feedback.

Customer service is ever evolving. Incorporate these methods in 2019 and you will notice great results!