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7 Deadly Sins of e-Commerce Sites

These mistakes could be killing your profits!

· E-commerce,site design,selling online

Your website is up, you like it, you paid a lot of money for it, lots of people worked on it or had input and there it is - the main conduit for your sales and profits. But, do you have a sneaking suspicion that something is missing? Wondering if you could be getting more sales somehow? Wanting to super-charge it for the peak season? Check this list and see if you are committing any of these deadly sins that will kill your profits and repel customers.

ONE: Not Mobile Optimized

  • Now that more than 55% of the average website's traffic is from mobile devices, like tablets and phones, you simply must have a mobile responsive site. If you are still using your same site from 2011 or before, your site is likely not looking good on mobile. Test it out. How does it look. If it's not clean, vertically oriented for scrolling down (not across) or too small, or your buy process requires filling in tiny boxes, get thee to a web designer - STAT! 

TWO: Missing or badly placed email sign-up

  • Email is still king when it comes to ongoing marketing to customers or visitors that creates a relationship over time so they become loyal customers.
  • Do place your "Newsletter" or "Hot Deals or "Free Report" in a prominent, strategic position. Eye studies show that the average person's eyes move naturally from top left across to right and then down to bottom right. Those are the hot spots, feature your opt-in there, not buried at the bottom of the page. 

THREE: No free incentive to join the email newsletter list

  • No one really wants any more "newsletters", so name it something else. 
  • Offer something with high perceived value in exchange for the email address. Like: WordPress Cheatsheet, Daily Delightful Deals, Free e-book "How to Find Your Soul Mate". Whatever your audience would love. Then, program your email/inbound platform to deliver automatically. Change this up every few weeks and test what works best. 

FOUR: Too many choices or too much text on the main page

  • Only Amazon can get away with having a zillion things on their main page. But even Amazon is using a trendy large photo slider header, and well defined vertical sections with lots of photos and not much text. Find a gorgeous photo for top of your main page that evokes the emotion of your authentic passion for your business. Dare to be Amazon!
  • You want your visitors to find what they are looking for easily. Don't have a "store" or "shop" button on main navigation bar, put your top selling products on the main page. You want them to shop not study your Mission Statement or History.
  • Use big lush photos that evoke an emotional response. Fire up their emotions and then on the product page justify the logic to buy with great descriptions, features, and benefits.

FIVE: No clear call to action in prime location

  • This goes along with Sin#3, you want your visitors to have a clear cut path (or funnel) to what you want them to do. Buy? - make it very easy, big buttons, clear categories, cart icon obvious. Fill in a lead form? - Make it short and compelling about what they will receive immediately. Watch your video? - Does the technology work every time? Is it short and snappy, under 40-60 seconds?

SIX: Too many clicks to the cart

  • Don't make your customers have to click more than twice to get to the "buy" button, unless you have thousands of products and they  must drill down into a sub-category.
  • Have everything they need to know about the product on the Buy page. Amazon, Wayfair and Overstock are great at that. Copy their lead.

SEVEN: No upsell offer in the cart area

  • You got them into the cart, now what else can they add to cart to go with that item? Use that space very wisely to bundle products or upsell a higher priced similar item.

EIGHT: No Cart Abandonment or Re-targeting Solution

  • There are systems like UpSellit, Yieldify, BounceExchange and others who can put software on your site that knows when the cursor is moving to the X to leave your site or leave the cart page before completing. Then, a nice branded overlay appears with an offer relating to what they were browsing or had in the cart, to entice them to complete. Like - "10% off all handbags today only". You'll increase conversions by 10-20%!
  • Re-targeting are those ads for sites you have recently visited that seem to follow you around wherever you go on the internet. Yes, it's creepy, but yes it increases conversion from visitors who might not have returned. You can get a free toolkit on how to do retargeting by clicking here. 

BONUS! NINE: No Reviews 

  • No one believes brands anymore about how great their products are, but they do believe perfect strangers who have bought from you already! One free site you can use is ReviewBuddy to get started. But there are many more for all sizes of sites.

BONUS! TEN: Registration

  • Do not make people give email and register before they can browse! There's a troubling trend in fashion sites among others, which make you enter email before you see the goods. This is just silly. No one wants more email from any site until they know they like the stuff. It's fine to have a nice big overlay as they enter site with OPTION to sign up and an offer, but not an obstacle that must be filled in before getting to browse. 
  • Do not make people register to check out. You can make it easy for them to register at the same time, but DO make sure you have a checkout as guest option. Much easier to just get in and purchase rather than being slowed down to fill in another form.

OK - I gave you a couple of bonus "Sins" because hey, I really want you to make more sales and make your customers fans!

The last thing, which is maybe the most important of all is, you gotta have a Soul. Your site's soul must project your personality, your passion, your reason for being in business which is present in every aspect of your site and branding. This is true for small companies and mega-brands. Who are you? Why should people buy from you? Find your authentic Soul and you will find your loyal customers! Happy Selling!

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