10 reasons why the e-commerce does not work

Laura Villa Méndez

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Creating an e-commerce business can seem fast, relatively easy, and not very expensive. However, statistics show that about 80% of online stores do not work.

The main reason people shop online is that they can shop anytime, 24 hours a day on any day of the week. It is expected that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through e-commerce, according to 99 Firms.

This reveals to us that starting a successful online business requires more effort than some can imagine. While each business is unique and must bring different value to the consumer, there are common reasons for e-commerce failures. Paying attention to the following flaws could help you avoid them later on and overcome the barriers in your e-commerce.

1. No have contact information

This is one of the signals that generate the most mistrust in a user. It is important that the company data is always included, that you identify yourself and provide information through which your customers can contact you. Even if they never use this data, at least it will build confidence in the purchases they make.

You can also offer a section about "Who we are", talking a little about the company will make the customers feel more comfortable and safe when browsing your website.

2. Ask for mandatory registration

Forcing a user to register before they know what you are offering is a mistake you can not make, as it will surely make you lose potential customers who are curious about your online store and the products you offer. If it is a first time customer who wants to make a purchase, probably would not like to sign up or create an account, because he/she does not trust your business to do so.

According to a Visual Website Optimizer’s report,  23% of shoppers leave their shopping cart if they are forced to create an account.

So, for these first customers, you have to make the process very easy and simple, so that as a  guest they can make the purchase and live the experience. If this was satisfactory, they will surely return to your store and gradually all the customers will be more willing to provide their data.

3. Not offering customer service

No matter which method you choose to provide customer support, this is an element you can not set aside, it is mandatory. Without this support resource, is likely that the customer will not return to your online store. 

It is important to note that if you do not have the human resource to reply to a chat, then you can do so via email or also a phone number, but you must set schedules and be active on the customer care channels. Also, keep in mind that not only do new website visitors need support to place their first order, remember good customer service is a way to attract more people to get to know you.

4. Having no information about returns

E-commerce stores must have a clear return policy because, despite all the advantages that online selling brings, it also carries some concerns on the buyer’s part. Because they can not hold, touch, see or feel what they are buying before it arrives, that is why it is important to make the customer feel safe.

Data presented in an analysis from Finance  Online estimates that about 80% of online shoppers do not make purchases on e-commerce sites that have problematic return policies.

Providing clear information about the returns policy helps the customer to commit to the purchase, knowing that if it is not what they expected, they can return it, change it, or even get a refund. E-commerce that does not have information about returns, will surely not see changes in the optimization of your conversion rate.

5. Not offering different forms of payment

This is the final step for the customer to complete a purchase. After getting them to your online store, showing them the product or service they are interested in, adding it to the shopping cart, and when they are making the payment, they can not find a payment method that suits them then you have lost a lead and every effort to get them to that point. 

E-commerce businesses must ensure that they offer appropriate and varied payment methods for the customer to choose from. Some of the methods that cannot be left outside from the payment platform are cards, bank transfers, payment via mobile phone, bank payment without a card, and counter-refund. Yet there is so much more you might consider integrating.

6. Don't offer added value

There are now countless e-commerce businesses around the world and sales this year have grown at an accelerated pace. According to eMarketer, total sales of $3,914 trillion in the e-commerce industry worldwide are forecast for this year.

Also, there are estimating 24 million e-commerce sites will be selling products by the end of 2020. Competition in the industry is quite high and even making a difference becomes much more complicated if too many stores sell the same products and use the same sales strategies.

Not offering added value with what you sell will be a problem. You must show users what makes your products special, tell them a story, and have an identity to add value to your business. Offering shoppers products that have added value to what they already find online, plus sharing relevant content could be able to generate the engagement you need for your store.

7. Not organize product categories

No category or too many categories are strategies that will not work. Sometimes the user can not find a product if you do not offer them categories. Or else, having too many product categories can complicate navigation, so much that the final action will be to close the store tab.

By not organizing product categories, searching becomes a very hard job for the user, and we do not want it to be. Product categories should be useful for the user, so they can access products more quickly.

8. Bad photography of  the products

As we already know, online shoppers can not physically inspect the products they want from an online store, so it is necessary to have a visual representation of those products. An essential element that will help you understand and perceive it in a better way. A bad photograph in an online store is a very bad sign.

Product photographs are key to attracting customer’s attention and delivering a more promising experience. Even with this element, a customer can make the purchase decision. About 93% of online shoppers interviewed in Finance Online’s analysis said that the visual appearance of an online store plays a key factor in their purchasing decisions.

It is important not to spare expenses in the photographs, on the contrary, you must offer a good number of these to the user, through which they can see all the details of the product and its uses. Potential customers can be impressed with your online store photos so much that they will share them.

9. No traffic on the website

It is clear that to get sales in your online store, you need to generate traffic to the website, but the flow of shoppers must be correct. Surely you evidence traffic on your website, but not all visits become sales, you may be having traffic that is not qualified, meaning, they are people who are not attracted by the values of your brand and who are not willing to buy what you offer. You have to filter potential customers so that when they visit the website, the chances of making a purchase are much higher.

Some ways to get qualified traffic is through search engine optimization (SEO)   or search engine marketing (SEM). These tools allow you to have more control over the type of people you want to reach for your business and who may want to make a purchase. You will also be able to measure and identify conversions on your site. 

10. Not being patient

E-commerce businesses take their time to grow. If your online store is not working the way you initially thought it would take all the above considerations into account. However, it should also be noted that immediate benefits are not always made, it will take time, surely a few months, to achieve the proposed objectives.

Finally, if your e-commerce is failing, do not hesitate to take action and make any necessary adjustments. Even if you have to be patient, do not wait to make changes.

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