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Why online stores fail… …and 5 top tips that give your e-Commerce site the best chance of success

by  David Dwyer on  18/12/2014

e-Commerce is big business, and it’s only going to get bigger.  

B2C (business-to-consumer) eCommerce in the UK is expected to reach a turnover of 200 billion euros by the end of 2019 – that’s an increase of nearly 15% over the previous year.  

Increased confidence in online security coupled with easier payment options now mean more than half of UK residents say they actually prefer to do their shopping online.  

One-fifth of all the money spent with UK retailers is now done on the internet – up from one-tenth just 5 years earlier. 

Making it Online 

With this increase in numbers predicted to continue well into the future, it’s safe to assume that starting an online store is an easy way to riches.  

Just get your products on the web and sit back and wait for the cash to roll in, right?  


In reality, many online stores fail within the first year. A myriad of factors will go into not just creating the perfect online store but also the online promotion, so it’s definitely not the simplest of tasks.  

The purpose of this blog post will show you what you require to get the best chance of success right from the get-go, and also cover some of the most common mistakes budding online retail entrepreneurs make when starting out – so you’ll know what to avoid.  

Your successful online store will need… 

  1. Dazzling Web Design 

In a survey, 93% of people said visual appearance was their most important factor when making a purchase online.  

That means the days of throwing up a free template and hoping for the best are over.  

Your design needs to be professional, stunning, and responsive - with relevant, high-resolution images that make your products come alive, and persuasive, engaging sales copy that compels people to buy.  

Avoid - Online stores will fail because of poorly designed, clunky, and unresponsive websites, unattractive visuals, and poorly written copy.  


  1. A Simple Sales Process 

By ‘simple’ we mean the fewer clicks there are, the better your results will be.  

Try and avoid any unnecessary steps during the sales process – they will affect your conversion rate.  

Your customers will be looking for a good buying experience, and that means easy to follow navigation that provides a fast and fluid journey from arrival to purchase.  

If the steps they have to follow are unclear, or there are too many, they’ll get frustrated and go somewhere else. 

Avoid – Complicated, hard to follow navigation will result in abandoned items in your shopping cart – if they make it that far.   


  1. A Good Conversion Rate 

Getting lots of website traffic is great, but not if they not don’t buy your stuff!  

A more important statistic is conversion rate – the percentage of visitors to your site who complete the purchase process.  

You must develop a strategy, then plan, then allocate resources to continually revisit the optimality of your conversion rate for your online store.  

A better conversion rate will mean lower customer acquisition costs, and increased revenue – and that’s what every business wants.  

Avoid – With no strategy to improve your conversion rate and no analytics to study, your enterprise will be doomed to fail in this competitive marketplace.  


  1. To be SEO Friendly  

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is key to receiving organic traffic to your website.  

Using the right keywords when you write your product descriptions and titles will not just mean a higher search engine ranking but Page Title can be used like click bait to outsmart your competition.  

This, in turn, will result in more visitors to your site and ultimately more sales.  

There are SEO tools you can use to help you find the right keywords – or you may want to use experienced professionals like Inspire.  

This can save you a lot of time and effort, and allow you to get on with the things you do best.  

Avoid – Technical SEO errors and poor product descriptions – perhaps exactly the same as the manufacturer’s website – will mean your potential customers won’t find you in their searches.  


  1. Paid for Traffic 

Google and Facebook are increasingly throttling back organic traffic and visibility in favour of paid search and greater prominence. 

So whether it’s paid for Search Engine traffic or appearing on Google Shopping or paying to reach new audiences on Social Platforms this is an absolutely critical part of generating traffic and sales. 

If you do not engage with this then you risk the success of your online business. 

Avoid – Not doing PPC at all will massively restrict your reach, but doing it badly will quickly drain your budget with little or no return. Inspire are experts at this so get in touch if you want a no obligation audit of your current campaign. 


  1. To Tell Your Brand Story  

If you’re looking to build your brand, your website is the place to tell your story to your target market.  

A good, unique, and authentic brand story will explain your business values and mission, and engage your audience - turning potential customers into fans.   

These fans will buy into your story and want to be a part of it - purchasing your products again and again. They will often be your best sales people too – sharing your story and brand with others.   

Avoid – Boring copy that doesn’t tell your visitors what you stand for is a no-no. If in doubt, use a professional copywriter to help you get your message across.  


How Inspire can help you reach your eCommerce goals 

Now you know some of the things you’ll need to accomplish to achieve e-Commerce success, it’s time to get started.  

If you’re not able to do it all alone, it’s best to partner with an experienced digital agency like Inspire who will help you achieve your goals.  

We offer a large range of services ranging from web design, development, and graphic design that will make you look professional on the web, through to Search Engine Optimisation and affordable e-marketing campaigns that will soon get you profitable online.  

If you already have a website/eCommerce site that’s not performing as well as you’d like, we also offer a web-consultancy service including website audits from as little as £99+vat.  

We’re here to help you succeed, so if you’re ready to get things done the right way, call us today on 01738 700 006 and let’s make your eCommerce goals a reality. 

e-commerce, Online Stores, Web Design
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