October 27th, 2021 | 4 MIN READ

A Nightmare on E-Commerce St

Written by author_profile_images Emily Kathi

Emily Kathi is a Senior Content Marketing Writer at Elastic Path. She writes about product, trends, and all things related to digital commerce.

It’s a bird. It’s a plane. It’s… oops, wrong genre.

It’s that time of year for all things spooky, scary, and spiced pumpkin latte. In keeping with the theme we present common eCommerce horrors sure to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Or, better yet, get the conversation going on how best to avoid them. So grab your sweater, light the fire, lock the doors, and curl up for tonight’s ghost story… A Nightmare On eCommerce Street.

Our story begins with a widget and a dream. But what lurks behind the corner? The goblins of eCommerce gone bad:

Design Flaws – considering you have a matter of seconds to make a good impression on your site or app, the architecture must produce a flawless user experience from end to end. If the customer experiences delays in page loads, has trouble finding an item or a menu function, or has problems with checkout, that is a lost sale and a lost customer. And unlike a spirit, they won’t return. Have professional developers and UI/UX designers build your site from the beginning with the customer experience at the forefront. The goal is intuitive, de-cluttered flow.

An Unreliable Host – how many times have you experienced or heard of this nightmare: it’s the holiday season and a site goes down for two hours on Cyber Monday from traffic volume. That is one expensive roadblock for just two hours. You’ll need to do your homework to find a reliable and responsive host provider who reduces downtime to minutes, if it happens at all. Look for reliability and accessibility to support when issues arise.

Problems of Scale – something to think about as you review your digital commerce plan is where you’re heading. Think about your needs of today as in budget, your technological maturity, your product offering, and how fast you want to go to market; but bear in mind where you want to be in 3-5 years. Playing catch up with upgrades is costly. When looking for an eCommerce platform, make sure to lean towards partners and solutions that grow with you. Don’t let eCommerce complexities be the death of your business!

Lack of Touchpoints – this frightening tale goes back to site design. When we talk about eCommerce solutions one of the goals is to create an omnichannel experience. Rising smartphone and smart home voice assistant usage are changing how we shop. As a customer browses from in-store, to smartphone, to tablet or laptop, the user experience must fit the device depending how the purchase is made. And as we know, not all screens are created equal. A site must be optimized to eliminate user issues along the buying journey. If not, you risk losing a customer to a competitor who is at the ready to accommodate modern shopping habits.

Ignoring the Data – analytics are key for eCommerce experiences. You need to be monitoring cart abandonment rates, conversion rates, buying patterns, and what pages customers are spending their time on and for how long. The more you get to know your customers the better you engage with them from discovery to purchase.

Returned Product/Customer Dissatisfaction – no way of testing or trying on the product creates a barrier to customer satisfaction. This leads to buyer hesitation or worse yet, returns. Ecommerce technology has answered the call with augmented reality applications with features like virtual try on; and the ever-essential review function calm many of the fears customers face when buying online.

A few key takeaways:

  • Smart, informed design sets you up for success. With proven UX/UI methodologies and industry metrics in place, your site is built to outperform the rest with a seamless user experience your customers can trust
     
  • Lean on trusted partners who grow with you. Seek out providers who are less outcome-based and more solutions-based, from the host to the credit card processor
     
  • Plan for tomorrow with an eCommerce strategy for where you’re going
     
  • Meet the customer where they are. Build an experience for any device and offer diverse payment options aligned with your customers’ habits and preferences
     
  • Embrace data and technology. The eCommerce playing field is a competitive one. Analytics and a tech-forward mindset influence the day

Looking for more good stories? Follow our blog. And Happy Halloween!

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