It is startling to me to see that most companies still remain clueless of how to conduct business online. It seems that most focus there energy on their offline stores and all of the principles they have learned in the process just get thrown out of the window when it comes to an online store. The sheer number of awful websites in the 21st century is just staggering.
Therefore, that is why i have written this post. It is my top 5 list of mistakes that companies make when trying to make the transition to an online store and what they can do to avoid them.
1. The Failure to differentiate
Competition has never been fiercer online with a simple Google search bringing back hundreds, if not thousands of results, all from competitors in the same market as yours. The few vital seconds when a potential customer clicks on your site is crucial. Fail to catch the visitor’s attention and there only one click away from your competitor. To be able to make sure they stay on your site, be sure you have a competitive advantage – be it offering superior quality products/services, amazing customer service or killer special offers, you have to make sure to broadcast it in a clear and concise way on your homepage.
2. Huge blocks of text on your homepage
This is a big no, no. Most visitors to your site do not have the patience to read through paragraphs upon paragraphs of texts on the home page. If you want to go into detail, save that for the landing pages of the product/services. Your job on your homepage is to simply funnel your visitors to the landing pages that will best serve their interests.
3. Not having a clear phone number
One of the first things any visitor to your online store is looking for is a phone number to contact you on. Many visitors are more comfortable first contacting you by phone knowing they are talking to a real person than sending emails back and too. A good place to have your phone number is in the top right corner of the header area.
4. Failing to provide testimonials
What better way to entice potential visitors to shop with you than by posting previous customers testimonials and experiences with your brand. By providing multiple, convincing testimonials, you go a long way towards gaining your visitors’ confidence. One thing that you should never do is to put up testimonials that are made up. This could do more harm than good. To get testimonials, i’d reccomend emailing past customers with the option of exchanging a promotional code once they have given a testimony.
5. Not listening
Some of the most successful companies in the world have dedicated teams that listen to customers feedback and do everything within their power to make sure there shopping experience is as seamless and pain-free as possible. With the major buzz of social media in recent years, it is easier than ever to interact with potential visitors. But be warned, if you’re going to use social media, don’t spam, don’t neglect, but more importantly, respond to any queries.
What mistakes do you see small businesses making on the Web?