Online Shopping Websites and their 21 Lessons - Dash101 Blog

21 Lessons from Online Shopping Websites to Skyrocket Your Small Business

online shopping websites

The Internet has truly transformed the shopping experience of customers. Right from finding things we need to actually get them, today everything is possible on the Internet. Today people start their journeys from search engines when they want to purchase anything. In other words, the era of brick and mortar stores is nearly gone. Online shopping websites have today taken over the world. While this is a huge relief for shoppers out there, it is also providing excellent opportunities to sellers. Anyone with a good business idea can today establish their store online and sell.

Since the entry to the eCommerce market has become easier than ever, a lot of sellers are creating their eCommerce stores. Ultimately, this is creating a lot of competition among sellers. The ones benefiting from this experience are the customers who are getting so many competitive opportunities from the market. 

For sellers, the ones who take the best measures for their eCommerce store excel in the market. While those who are just carried away with the fascination of the market, end up in losses. The idea is to fit into your customer’s shoes. If you can do that and prioritize your customer, there is nothing like it. On the other hand, if you neglect the small decisions in a business, you end up jeopardizing. And then it doesn’t matter how great your idea was. 

So, with plenty of online shopping websites already in the market, what can you learn from them? If you look closely at the signs on why a website is running successfully, it will help you know what you are doing right or wrong. But, don’t worry if you cannot figure out where to get started. We’ve got it covered for you! In this section, we’re going to  tell you the top 51 lessons from online shopping websites you need to know now!

Why Do Some Online Shopping Websites Fail?

eCommerce is surely a fascinating world. It guarantees you a lot of profits- something that you might find difficult to achieve from your regular job. Moreover, with the boost in the ecommerce sector, government policies and growing digitization, eCommerce has become one of the easiest ways to earn money. Today, you can sell almost everything and anything on the Internet. And guess what? You don’t even need to invest a lot of money in the business. 

While setting up a retail ecommerce business is a full time job, it also drains you with investment. You need to have capital investment, which is basically buying or renting a physical space. Similarly, you need to pay your electricity and other utility bills. At the same time you also need to hire a staff for full time. Ultimately maintaining systems, hiring people and providing facilities for customers to shop can be difficult. For this reason, many small sellers give up on their idea to sell.

Thanks to eCommerce, all of these costs are put to rest one after the other. You don’t need to have a physical setup. In addition to this, you don’t even need to own an inventory to get started. If you’re interested in this kind of online business, check out our guide to dropshipping.

However, in spite of such lucrative options when it comes to ecommerce a lot of businesses fail. While we’ll tell you what you can learn from the most successful ones, here’s what goes wrong-

Not Focusing on Customer Experience

When you’re selling products, you need to prioritize your customers. Profit making is no doubt the primary objective. But in this process, you cannot forget the customer if you fail to deliver the value to your customers, you might not succeed in the long run. No matter how good products you sell in the market, if you don’t deliver on the customer promise, you fail to establish your brand. In fact, the very foundation of online business lies in customer experience. One mistake and you can end up with a negative review. And if you’ve ever been on the Internet, you’d know that one negative experience can ruin it all. 

Losing Out on the Content

When you’re selling online, everything is in the written form of content. In other words, when you sell in a retail store, most of the content you deliver to your customers is spoken. Your salesman tells your customer about the product and other things. But, when you are selling online, the customer reads every single detail. Be it your homepage content, your tagline, CTA text, product description and more. Everything goes through the customer’s eye. For this reason, you need to be extra careful. Invest in your content and make sure that it is impressive. Let your customers be engaged with the content.

Poor Delivery

One of the most difficult parts of selling online is delivering the product. If you can deliver it well, your customer is impressed by you. On the other hand, a failed delivery can create an adverse impact on your business. For this reason, make sure that you invest in a good logistics platform. Dash101 Logistics is an excellent palace for you to get started with eCommerce shipping. Let your buyers turn into loyal customers with on-time and low-cost deliveries. 

50 Lessons Young Sellers Need to Learn from Shopping Websites

If you’re planning to launch an ecommerce business, this is a must for you. Read it to know about all the mistakes that you must avoid to run your business successfully. Similarly, if you already have your store, this is the perfect checklist for you. See what all lessons from online shopping websites are you missing out on and then pull your socks. 

Go Easy on Customer Risks

The first rule with customers is that they are scared to make the move. Suppose that you are a new ecommerce store in the market. You might want to put up a lot of things and your website. Similarly, you might also want to make profits off your customers. In this process, you have to make sure that you do not pose greater risks to them. For example, if you have forced it to the customer to enter their login details rethink it. In other words, don’t ask the customer for too much information. This might pose hurdles in the process of checking out. And the more steps the customers have to take to complete their purchase, the less likely they are to complete it. When you reduce the risk, you provide a guest checkout option. In this, the customer need not register on your platform, but you still make the sale. 

Let the Cart be Visible

What most businesses do is vanish the carts once the products are added. In other words, when the customer is done adding products, they can  no longer see their carts, until the very checkout process. Believe it or not, but this leads to a lot of cart abandonments. However, a little change in the UI of your website can make all the difference. 

This is when you make the items in your shopping cart visible to the customers. When the items of the cart are visible to the customer, there is a sense of scarcity built around the products. On top of this, if you are able to show that other people are also checking out these products, the customer feels FOMO. in other words, your carts are abandoned less!

Fewer Checkout Pages

One of the biggest hurdles in the checkout process is the greater number of checkout pages. For example, you might want to ask the customer about their contact information, shipping details, payment information and others. But, if you keep on adding pages and including unnecessary steps, it’ll lead to abandonments. To avoid this, add a speed checkout process to your product pages. The brand Amazon does it perfectly. One click checkout has more potential for sales than more superfluous pages. Remember that the more you cut down, the better your picture becomes.

Free Shipping

Ever wonder why some websites make a lot of sales, while others don’t? It seems like a lot has to do with shipping. When it comes to eCommerce, shipping can be a big game changer. For this reason, you need to make sure that you play it right. All customers look for a free shipping option. But, it is possible that it might not be feasible for all products. 

For this reason, you can try flat rate shipping. For example, if a lot of your delivery pincodes lie in a certain zone, you can offer flat rate shipping. To do this partner with such a logistics provider that offers this service. Statistics reveal that as many as 50 percent of the customers abandon their carts due to high shipping costs. So, if you offer free shipping or flat rate shipping, shout it at the top of your voice!

online shopping websites

No Hidden Fee

If there is one thing that customers absolutely hate when it comes to shopping, it is hidden fees. Be it taxes, shipping charges or anything else. If you reveal these costs to your customers at the checkout, they will abandon carts. Most ecommerce sellers make this mistake. They try to slip away the hidden costs towards the end of the checkout funnel. While it might seem like a smart way, it ruins the customer experience in many ways. Customers tend to abandon their carts with shocking fees and unwanted expenses. This way you lose business. Moreover, you also lose your customer. The best way to escape this situation is to tell your customers about all these costs in advance. In other words, let them know how much they’re going to spend before they get to the final payment. This way the additional costs don’t come as a surprise. The customer also gets to decide early whether they would like to move on with the purchase or not.

Gift Coupons

Whether you’re selling apparels, flowers, sweets or anything else, allow your customers to purchase gift coupons. This is a smart strategy in ecommerce. Think this in a way where your customers are providing incentives to more customers to make a purchase. 

And what is a better way to enhance your business. In other words, when your customers purchase gift cards, it is like they are paying for purchasing from you, but indirectly. They’re buying an opportunity for your sale. And when they give it to others, this is where the magic happens. Customers who come to your website with gift cards have incentives to shop. They go through a lot of options and make a purchase. And if they like your products, there will be nothing stopping them from returning. So, if you do not offer gift coupons to your customers, you are missing out on a lot of business.

Payment Options

Whether you’re just starting out as a business or have been running one for a while, this is mandatory for you. Payment options can be the real game changers in ecommerce. Remember the basic rule of ecommerce- customers shop for convenience! No doubt offers and other aspects of business do exist, but convenience lies supreme. One of the most important and convenient aspects of online shopping is ease of payment.

Customers love to pay via different modes. Some have credit cards, while others use their debit cards. Similarly, some prefer wallet payments while others do UPI. As a business, you should be open to providing customers with the opportunity to pay in any way they like. Because if you don’t they will move to the next alternative!

Checkout Progress

One of the biggest mistakes that customers make is that they make the checkout process fairly confusing. They keep too many steps instead of telling the customer upfront. The best idea is to avoid these. Because if you don’t tell the customers what all is required from them, chances are they might feel lost. In other words, tell your customers where they are in the checkout process. 

This will tell them how much farther they need to go to make a purchase. For example, you might be asking your customers to create an account, enter payment details, review the order, enter the address and or apply any coupons. The best idea is to show customers where they went through a progress bar. 

Wish List

Even a basic eCommerce website must have a provision for wishlist. Ideally, a wish list is like a bucket list with all the products that the customer is interested in. The customer might want to shop these products at some point in time. Alternatively, they might also be waiting for the right size to arrive. In order to stop customers from losing the sight of these products, let them add to their wishlist. 

Statistics suggest that as many as 41 percent of the shoppers abandon their carts because they are not prepared to make the purchase. When you give customers the option to add products to their wishlist, you give them a chance to prepare themselves. Remember that a wishlist will never hurt you.

Guest Checkout

Provide your customers on your online shopping websites with a guest checkout option. Most customers don’t want to get in the hassle of registration. In other words, they want to quickly checkout with a product and that’s it. Even statistics backs up this fact. As many as 29 percent of the customers don’t like to create an account to complete their purchase. On the other hand, there are some stores that provide the customers the option to guest checkout. This means that the customers don’t need to register on the website to make a purchase. 

The idea is to keep your options open when you are selling. Don’t risk losing a sale just because the customer didn’t want to create an account with you. A guest checkout option offers customers the ability to quickly buy their favourite products. In case you still want the information, you can ask your customers to provide their emails. And that’s it!

Product Images

When it comes to product images, most customers love to see a lot of them. In other words, online shopping websites lack the touch and feel experience of retail. The customers cannot touch the products nor can they feel the fabric. But, what ecommerce has is pictures. Pictures help a customer understand the product more closely. In other words, when the customer looks at the picture, they make a decision. 

Whether all that has been written about the product fits the actual picture or not. For this reason, you should provide your customers with high quality images. Include all possible angles and allow zooming in and out. This basically provides interactivity to the picture. And the customer believes that whatever you’re claiming, you’re selling it too. Remember that before the actual product, it is type images that sell.

Image Update

It is possible that you might be selling more than one variant of a product. For example, a linen shirt you’re selling might be available in more than a few colour options. When you create a listing, you add all of these in one product. But, the way your customer sees it is as different options. 

The point is that if you’re selling one product in different options, provide their images. Make sure that all of these have their separate images that are of equally high quality. You cannot show a white shirt and sell a purple one with the same image. Whatever the customer buys, they need to have a look and feel of it. Be it color options, size options, engravings or anything else, update your product images as the customer slides from one to another.

Category Pages

Just listing products on your ecommerce site isn’t enough. You have to equally pay attention to how these look. The most successful online sellers display their products as a grid on their pages. The best idea is to divide your products pages into different categories. For example, provide an option to shop from a family of products. 

Then list the products being offered in that category separately. This organizes your listings. For the customer, it is an excellent option to gain visibility to more products. The most popular way you can achieve this is through the grip view. Alternatively, you can also provide an option to switch between the grid or list view. 

Product Badges

It is possible that some of your products are special ones. For example, they can have an accreditation to some authority. Or they can be an example of standardization. The idea is to make these products get noticed in the eye of the customer. If you want your products to sell and get highlighted in the customer’s eye, this is necessary. At the same time, this also helps customers find precisely what they’re looking for. 

For example, a customer might search for an iron on your online shopping websites. At the same time, they might also be looking for the one with the ISI mark. To make things more clear, make sure that you add product badges to the listings. This way the customer can rule out the options that don’t have these badges. Alternatively, you can also add badges to products that are new introductions or available at a lower price for certain periods. This aids in the purchase decision. 

Filter Options

Customers must be able to find the products they are looking for. In other words, they must be able to filter the options from the wide choices available. At the same time, your filters must not be overwhelming for your customers. In other words, your customers must be able to make the right selection, but not get lost in the options. Understand the total number of products you have for a particular category, then break them down into sub categories but only essential ones. This will help the customer filter the options, but just the right amount. 

From Online to Offline 

If you also have a retail store, this one’s for you. Most online shopping websites keep the online and offline experience completely separate from each other. In other words, they lose out on those customers who might visit their offline store. The best way to avoid this is to provide the store geo location option. In other words, help the customer find the local store near their area. 

To do this, you can provide a geo location option on your website. This automatically fetches the location of the customer and displays the store nearby. At the same time, it is also a good option for mobile customers. 

online shopping websites

Page Option

No one wants to scroll endlessly on a product page. This is a very poor way of letting the customer go through your products. Remember that you are not a social media website where the customers come to doom scroll. In other words, you have to create an experience where the customer can easily find products. Online shopping websites that allow scrolling instead of page change have poor experience. 

Imagine which of the following statements sound better-

  • I saw a product and liked it on page 2
  • The product on scroll 3 was good

Exactly! People remember pages instead of scrolls. This makes finding the products much easier. Scrolling unnecessarily complicates the process and becomes unuseful navigation.

Send a Clear Message Across

A lot of online shopping websites invest in making their online stores quie fancy. In other words, they add too many elements at one place. This complicates the viewing experience and turns the shopping experience to a design focused one! Remember that the idea of your store is to sell. And this message you have to get across.  Of course unless you’re a market giant like Apple where customers all over the world know about you. 

The idea is to avoid carousel on your home page. This shifts the focus of your website. Alternatively, this imposes another bigger problem, which product to place first in the carousel. And most importantly, why hide your products and wait for them to load one after another? Another reason that carousels don’t work is because websites with carousels take a lot of time to load. Thus, the customer experience is hampered. 

Live Chat

One of the most less utilized features by online shopping websites is a live chat. Live Chats help the customer gain confidence when buying from your business. They feel like they can reach out to you at any point of time without any hesitation. Moreover, if the customer has any issues about a product or making a decision, they can easily ask you. Live chat also helps reduce the burden on your customer service. Many customers want to know their order statuses, ask about any delays, returns etc. When you have a live chat option, you can deploy chatbots to help your customers. Some basic questions can be handled here. At the same time any complicated query can be forwarded to the customer service representatives.

Cart Intermediate Pages

Most of the online shopping websites have an add to cart option. But, what happens when they click it? If your answer is nothing, this lesson is for you. Almost all good brands use this as an opportunity. In other words, they provide their customers with an intermediate page. This page shows that the product has been added to the cart. At the same time, it also gives an opportunity to cross sell products. 

When you redirect your customers to this page, make sure you add an option of ‘Customers also bought these products’. It helps the buyer find more relevant products to their purchase. And for your business, you get more opportunities to sell.

Tracking Orders

One of the most important tasks in ecommerce is order tracking. People love to track orders. And that’s because it is the anticipation of receiving the product. Once the customer places an order, they want to receive it at the earliest. In this process, they want to know where their products are. Therefore, the biggest mistake in ecommerce you can do is avoid providing your customers with an order tracking page. All successful online shopping websites have this option. 

Make sure this option is easily visible on your website. It will help customers find easy links to enter their order number and know its status. While order tracking pages are mandatory, another important aspect is notifications. Any successful online shopping websites will tell you that you need to send your customers timely notifications. There are some customers who might not come to your website to track orders. But, they will still need to know where their products are. Therefore, when you send them notifications, you help them provide value. You nurture a relationship with the customer. 

Conclusion

Mistakes are a part of learning. But when it comes to the ecommerce business, they can throw you off the rails. Bad experiences can lead to bad reviews. And that’s all it takes for an ecommerce brand to go out of business. To make sure that these don’t happen to you, make sure you go through the lessons we highlighted above. The most essential part is to value your customer since they are the pillars of your business. Many websites come and go from the market. But, the ones that make the mark are the ones that provide value to the customer. Be this. Make your customers think that they are the only ones you have. Remember that most of the business one gets is from returning customers. So, if you are not paying attention to them, you will end up paying lot in acquiring new customers. 

 If you are not very sure of creating a website, you can leverage Dash101 for your business. Get the perfect website ready within minutes and use it to sell your products to your audience. Impress your customers with the best practices. Make sure you learn from other’s online shopping websites and prioritize your customers. 

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