Setting up an online store is expensive. As a result, you have an extra incentive to make it a success. And that means converting visitors into customers. But it isn’t always clear how to do that.
Remember that customers aren’t just looking for the right products at the right price. They are looking for a complete shopping experience. That starts with selecting the right product, and it goes all the way past the purchase to dealing with your store after the product arrives — in the case that something goes wrong.
Below we’ve collected 15 common problems that e-commerce websites suffer from that get in the way of customer satisfaction. More important, we explain how to fix these problems.
If you have an e-commerce website or are just thinking about starting one, you should pay close attention to this list. It could well be the difference between your success and failure.
1. Poor Images
Often, customers that buy online have never seen the product. They want to examine things from every angle on their screen. If your images don’t show the product — and make it look compelling — you could have trouble convincing them to spend.
The problem doesn’t stop at product photos, either. Many e-commerce sites are stuffed with stock images on static pages, like the call center woman that Adobe turned into an ironic t-shirt (PDF). Apart from being boring, this kind of imagery makes stores look dated.
Every product you sell should have at least one image. But some products need more. For example, when selling a wall sconce, it’s a good idea to show a few images from different angles, plus a photo of the sconce actually mounted on the wall. That gives the customer a feel for the size of the object they’re buying.
Images that are correct:
Amazon.com shows the inside of this handbag as well as the outside. It also has a silhouette of someone wearing the bag so that the buyer can judge the size.
Photos should also be resizeable so that the visitor can zoom in for a close-up. You need to plan this from the outset, taking high-quality photos and sizing them up. There’s nothing worse than clicking on a link to view a larger version, only for the pop-up to reveal the same image (or — worse — a smaller one.)
Stock images can make any store look dated, giving visitors the impression that your products are unfashionable. Across your site, review the images you’re using and ensure they portray the image that you want your brand to have.