You’ve just set up an ecommerce website but the items aren’t selling. Or, you’re receiving many visitors but very few are buying. Either way, an underperforming website can be really frustrating, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing wrong. In this article, we’re going to look at five possible reasons why your ecommerce website is underperforming.
Not Positioned Relative to the Customer Funnel
There are few things that kill an ecommerce site worse than poor positioning. Perhaps your content is tailored to searches for the company or brand instead of the queries people input when they are about to buy. Maybe your business directory entries are search engine optimized for the product serial number when most customers are going to search based on the type of product and its features.
You Require Registration
When your website requires registration, a large number of first time buyers will abandon the shopping cart instead of create a new account. Registration indicates a level of commitment most new customers don’t want to have. Even people who like your products may decline registration because they don’t want to be solicited.
Don’t require registration for someone to buy your products, and if you want to convert some of them to registered users, give them incentives like discounts for signing up. If your standard purchase process requires registration, give people the option to check out as a “guest” without registration so they complete the first purchase.
This doesn’t mean you should neglect your current customers. Continue to reward current customers for their business through personalized marketing messages, discounts and premium offers. It is cheaper to keep current customers happy and buying than finding new ones, and if the current customers are thrilled, they may generate word of mouth marketing that brings in new customers.
Too Many Copied Product Descriptions
If you copy the manufacturer’s product descriptions and put them on your own product pages, your ecommerce site will be penalized for the plagiarism. You can inadvertently run into this same penalty if you use the same product description for different variations of the same product, varying only in part number and a few descriptive terms. You can eliminate this penalty by writing unique copy for each product description with keywords related to each model or version.
Your Site Is Too Slow
Google gives fast loading webpages priority over slower to load ones. You need to design your product directories to load quickly, such as compressing images, skipping the streaming media that automatically loads with each page, and dropping the interactive graphics that slow things down. Your website needs to load in five seconds or less, and three seconds is ideal. Every second more costs you around 10% of your potential customers.
The ideal ecommerce site has adopted “minification”, minimizing the website’s code to run as quickly as possible. You also need to clean up the website itself to eliminate redirects and remove obsolete pages. Google gives your website a set amount of time to be crawled, and while dead or useless pages are getting crawled, your newest product pages may be missed.
If you don’t know how your website looks to a search engine, arrange for a free business audit to determine what should be improved. Skip the stock images of happy people using products like yours and only use images you own that show people using your product as it is intended to be used. You can integrate image optimization and page speed optimizers that minimize page loading time while still including good quality images on product pages.
Lacking the Information Customers Want
One of the worst things that can happen when someone visits your product page is to see a spot for a picture and there is no picture of the product. How do they know if the product you are selling is what they are looking for? The part number in the product description may be wrong, or it may be the wrong color or size.
Poor quality images are almost as bad. A blurry image suggests the site is poor quality or that the product itself is deliberately obscured. Balance high quality images with load time. It is better to have one high quality image than several low resolution images.
Make sure your website is optimized for the search terms and keywords that your ideal customer demographic is using. Don’t require registration or heavy commitments to buy your product. Give people the information they want about the product with unique copy, but don’t put in so many images or interactive graphics the site is slow to load.