28/03/2015 8:14 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST

6 Fatal Mistakes That Could Doom Your Online Store

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INDIA - OCTOBER 24: The Inc. website is arranged for a photograph in Mumbai, India, on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007. Inc., the world's largest Internet retailer, may fall in U.S. trading after it forecast fourth-quarter operating profit that may miss some analysts' estimates. (Photo by Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

It has become easier than ever to get into the e-commerce space. However, the fast majority of e-stores fail. With the rise in the number of e-commerce stores it has become a tough task to gain the attention and loyalty of buyers, who along with attractive deals are also looking for a seamless and hassle-free shopping experience. The entire process must be optimised perfectly to attract and retain customers - right from the ease of searching for products, to proper descriptions to a smooth checking-out procedure.

Many companies don't succeed because they make the following six fatal mistakes.

1. Not optimising the right customer acquisition channel

Building an e-commerce store and waiting for people to visit is foolish. Until you don't go out and seek customers, the chances of people getting to know about your brand and store are very slim.

Based on the target audience and the industry niche, find out which platforms are best for reaching your target audience. Concentrate on getting more customers by optimising that niche. Rather than focusing your marketing efforts on every channel and acquiring a small number of leads, why not focus on one channel that gives the best results and channelise the efforts as per the needs of the users?

2. Inability to acquire or manage an e-mail list

As a recent study demonstrated, e-mails are about 40 times more effective than a social media push. A person who has liked your business page on Facebook may never come back to see the products. Your e-mail subscribers score the highest on the faithfulness meter -- so ensure that you acquire the e-mail of every visitor.

In case of sales, discounts or fresh arrivals the best way to let your customers know is through a personalised email. The key to building a five- to six-figure email list is to provide amazing content to the users. Many brands offer users rewards in return for their e-mails. Since many visitors are hesitant to share their e-mail addresses because they want to avoid a barrage of communications, reassure them that you will not be doing so; tell them how often they can expect an e-mail from your company.

3. A landing page lacking a neat and simple value proposition

For most websites it is this page that gets the maximum traffic, so ensure that you invest in a good e-commerce website building company to create a visually alluring homepage.

Why would a visitor buy from your website when he could buy from Amazon or eBay? Many e-commerce websites lack a clear tagline and a value proposition about what they exactly sell! This is the first element that influences the visitor's choice to explore further or leave the page.

Tell customers why they should buy from you with the aid of an image, video, tagline and a value proposition. With the help of A/B testing, check which one (or combination) of these gives the maximum results.

4. A cluttered and long checkout gateway

You don't want to lose a customer after she has decided to purchase a product but abandons the shopping cart because of a lengthy and confusing checkout process.

The most optimised checkout process is one that asks only for the most essential information. One page should have all information such as guest checkout, account creation, choice of payment method, billing, shipping details and customer care contact details. Lower the number of steps and you'll at once notice the decrease in cart abandonment.

5. Making the content more search engine-friendly than user-friendly

Often websites litter their product page descriptions with keywords but lack good, attention-grabbing content. When a visitor comes to your website he wants to read about your product. The more engaging and unique the content you create, the longer a prospective buyer will stay engaged. Include keywords, yet make the content intuitive, informative and fun to read.

6. Not setting up a blog or not updating it regularly

If you have decided to set up a blog and venture into content marketing, roll up your sleeves and start writing and updating regularly.

Search engines prefer blogs that are regularly updated and these get more visitors. Use tools such as BuzzSumo to find the trending topics in your niche, Portent's title generator to come up with headline ideas and then delve into crafting actionable, factual and informative content. For many brands it is their blog page that gets the maximum traffic and helps them gain visibility across the global audience.

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