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Nine Common Mistakes Retail Stores Make Online

Published by Charles Brodeur

Sure, your web store looks just great and you have a right to be proud of it. But did you ever sit with a focus group to see what problems they had with it? Did you ever have top web site designers analyze it to find its hidden flaws? Have you listened to dozens of eTailers describe in detail how they vastly improved their online sales and conversion rates just by making basic design changes that eliminated the most common web site design faux pas?

Online retailing is expected to return to double-digit growth this year, and the web merchants that enhance their web site design and usability early in the year will lead the way. The growth will be achieved by avoiding the most common web site design and usability mistakes that cause shoppers to abandon the retail sites and result in an average conversion rate of just 3%.

Here's a list of 9 common online store design mistakes:

1. The Self-Satisfaction Syndrome

It may comfort you to assume that because your web designers and staff can whip through your site without problems your customers can do so, too. Unfortunately, beauty is in the eye of the online shopper, not the web designer. You need to find out how customers really use your site. Find out how to test your site to make sure consumers can navigate it as easily as you can.Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

2. Throw money at your Web Designers to fix problems.

This idea can be an excellent way to throw money away. The Internet is overturning the old adage that "You get what you pay for." Many free or low cost design and usability tools can help retailers uncover how to take their sites to the next level of performance—if they know where to find those tools and how to evaluate them. Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

3. What Works in the Store Works on the Web

No, not so much. Many merchants still mistake online merchandising as an extension of in-store merchandising where the merchant simply stacks items in aisles for shoppers to see. But online merchandising must be a much more engaging and interactive experience. Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

4. My Existing Web Site Will Work on Smart Phones

You're right to think about mobile commerce, because it's going to explode in 2010. But thinking that you don't need a specially designed web site to lure customers on smart phones just isn't very smart. Learn how to make your site mobile.  How you can inexpensively modify your existing site—or create a new site—specifically for m-commerce.Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

5. Great Site Search Is All the Navigation My Site Needs

This can be a mistake of Titanic proportions. True, having a great site search tool is essential to success online, but you need a lot more than that for your site to be truly navigable. Learn how to make sure that absolutely everything you sell is available through a navigation path that keeps your shoppers headed in the right direction. Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

6. My Site Is Stale and Needs a Complete Redesign

Big redesigns produce big results—sometimes. Often, however, low-cost, easily implemented incremental design changes can create equally big results for a lot less money. Learn how to identify a series of common minor design changes that can add up to a big online sales boost.Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

7. Indecision is the cause of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Maybe that's the case in store-based retailing, but not so online. Online shoppers who get to the "add-to-cart" stage almost always abandon that cart out of frustration with your web site, not because of indecision. And more often than not, the check-out process itself is at the root of that frustration. Learn the steps in online checkout that typically cause shoppers to bail from the purchase and what can be done to keep shoppers moving forward to the Submit Order button. Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

8. People Go To Retail Web Sites to Shop

Of course they do, but if that's the limit of your understanding about retail web sites, you are limiting your site's appeal. Hundreds of Internet retailers are discovering that giving consumers a reason to come to their sites other than to shop can create sales. Maybe it's advice on using a product that they are looking for or an answer to common problems your shoppers experience. Maybe they want to connect with others using the same product or encountering the same problem. Before there were big impersonal retail chain stores, independent merchants were the font on such retail wisdom, the hub of retail communities. Now, good web sites have taken over that role and they're ringing up sales in the process.

9. Web Shoppers Love Video

It's true that consumers love online video—but don't think they'll watch anything you put on your site. The truth is videos must be targeted, succinct and relevant. Learn how to best use videos on retail web sites.  Contact BigTurns for a No Obligation Free Consultation

Call your BigTurns representative to learn more about your web design and how to improve your online sales.

Charles Brodeur
eCommerce Consultant
BigTurns Professional Services Ltd 
Vancouver, BC V6E 4R1

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