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The 5 Most Common Mistakes Made by eCommerce Professionals and How to Avoid Them

It is almost impossible to keep up with the world of ecommerce. New stores come and go as quickly as the blink of an eye. Each new startup is full of excitement and enthusiasm but most never get to the point where it becomes rewarding. So what sets those stores that are successful apart? Simply put, they offer the highest quality shopping experience and are dedicated to details. Furthermore, they don’t make any of the following five mistakes.

  1. Slow Hosting 

One of the key factors of importance for an ecommerce store is their website. Online shoppers are notoriously unforgiving of slow hosting times and will happily move elsewhere if it takes too long to load a page or to check out. The result of this is abandoned shopping cards and lost clients. To combat this, ecommerce stores must research the best web hosting solutions out there. When researching, they should pay particular attention to mobile solutions as well, since so many people shop on the go and want the process to be very quick. New ecommerce startups have tight budgets, however. As a result, they usually choose the cheapest webhost they can find. In the long run, however, this will only cost them money as those solutions can’t cope with growing demands and expanding stores.

  1. Bad Security

While security is crucial, most retailers do not have any expertise in this field. They are salespeople, after all, and that is what they focus on. The result is that security is often not implemented correctly, leaving the store vulnerable to cybercriminals. In fact, ecommerce stores are prime targets, because hackers know how easy it is to get in them. If their customers’ credit card details are scraped, which is common, they will be completely unforgiving, and it often means the end of the store.

  1. Poor Search Facilities

In most cases, when a prospective customer travels to an ecommerce store, they know what they want to buy. Hence, they want to be able to simply search for the product, filtering the availability, so they don’t have to look through thousands of items. If an ecommerce store doesn’t enable this or does so poorly, shoppers will be more likely to go elsewhere.

  1. Frustrating Payment and Checkout Processes

One of the greatest killers in conversions for ecommerce sites is a poor experience at checkout. Ecommerce stores should focus on creating a quick and easy solution, only asking for the pieces of information that are absolutely necessary. The goal should be to get people through the process in as few steps as possible. One way to achieve that is through social media sign-ons, meaning that they can link any of the popular social media sites and get their details from there automatically. When ecommerce stores remove the need for any manual completion, they set themselves at an advantage.

  1. Generic Product Pages

Last but not least, product pages on ecommerce stores must be unique and compelling. This requires a lot of time and resources, which is why it is often avoided. However, unless the store offers something that isn’t found elsewhere, customers will go to the competition. Investing that time and those resources is a must.

A final thing that ecommerce stores should remember is that without new tech, they won’t get new customers. They must, in other words, always keep their sites, individual pages, functionalities, and optimization fully up to date. Without that, their store will be yet another one that bites the dust.

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Business

Is Your Product “Good Enough”?

The term “good enough” comes from the world of software design. It’s the idea that most products will do what the customer wants them to do, even if they don’t have all the features the software developer would like.

Although the term has been around for a long time, the notion has been gaining traction in recent years. Technology, especially software, has developed dramatically, and this means that there are now a lot more features that most software developer companies can pack into their products. Although these opportunities are exciting, many people in business, as well as customers themselves, are now concluding that many software packages are over-engineered and it’s causing developers to rethink their approach.

This notion that products could be “over-engineered2goes against most developer’s intuition. They have been trained from a very early age to strive for perfection: but striving for perfection can just be another way of delaying and procrastinating, and not actually getting anything done.

As a result, more and more businesses are jumping on the “good enough” bandwagon. They’re ditching features left, right and center, and looking for ways to deliver products that customers will love, even if they don’t have world-beating functionality.

Google is perhaps the best example of a company that has mastered this particular art. Every month, it introduces new services and products. Often these products remain in beta for years as they are slowly developed over time. Google Maps, for instance, began as a very basic map service. In fact, compared to Apple’s offering, what Google offered was laughably simple. The first versions weren’t even integrated with GPS. But as the number of users grew, Google added more features and detail. It then integrated the app with satellite navigation and allowed businesses to connect with their customers through it. Over time, what was once “good enough” became a market leader, precisely because it identified a niche early on.

Google made use of tools for test management, making incremental improvements to its software over an extended period of time. Sometimes that software failed, (like Google Reader), but often it was highly successful, going on to be the go-to platform for customers and businesses.

Google’s strategy all along was to create minimum viable products – as they are known in the industry. It made products that offered the bare minimum to keep customers happy and did it very well. Once the products were used and tested, it then added new functions, at each stage offering customers more usability. Google Mail went from a very simple, if intuitive, email service to the best in the world, thanks to the numerous additions, including things like AI sorting of emails into primary, social, promotion and spam.

Google also placed a lot of emphasis on consumer feedback. What they they thought about their own products internally wasn’t important. Instead, they went out into the community and asked customers about the features that they would like to see. Customers soon responded, and Google implemented the ones that were the most urgent.

The bottom line for entrepreneurs is to understand that even the largest companies have tradeoffs during their stages of development. Google’s products have always been a work in progress, and so should yours.

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