5 Issues That May Be Hurting Your E-commerce Website’s Sales

Dec 04, 2023 7 Min Read

Photo by Megan Rexazin Conde @ Pixabay

With the right tools and strategies, your small business can overcome adversity and thrive in a cutthroat landscape.

The online marketplace is a complex environment where customer expectations and market dynamics shift at dizzying speeds. New technological advancements also have the potential to change the game for online retailers as they roll out. E-commerce is thus an ecosystem that both enhances and redefines the rules of traditional commerce. Businesses, whether nascent or established, must not only adapt but anticipate the hurdles that lie ahead. Each click, each page view, and each transaction tells a story—one that culminates in either a sale or a missed opportunity.

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If you’re aiming to take your own online store to greater heights, you’ll need to know which strategies ensure consistent sales and cultivate customer loyalty. Hand in hand with this knowledge, you’ll also have to understand the common challenges that can deter potential buyers and what you can do to address them. Below are five issues that may be plaguing sales on your e-commerce site, as well as actionable recommendations to turn potential pitfalls into stepping stones for success:

1) An Inconvenient Checkout Process

The climax of a customer's shopping journey is undeniably the checkout process. A culmination of their browsing and decision-making, this step tests their commitment to finalise their purchase. However, an overly lengthy or non-transparent process might make even the most enthusiastic buyer think twice about pushing through. Hidden costs, a convoluted layout, or limited payment options can also frustrate customers and ultimately lead to cart abandonment.

It’s also worth noting that consumers also want the convenience of paying using the means they think best. Contemporary payment methods have expanded well beyond traditional cash and credit. Digital wallets, QR-based systems, and more alternative modes are now available for the modern online shopper to choose from, and e-commerce businesses that don't adapt to this highly diversified payment landscape risk narrowing their potential customer base. That means it’s essential to choose the best payment gateway available to you if you want to open up a wide array of payment methods for your business—and to do it securely, to boot.

Ultimately, optimising your checkout process requires you to take action on two fronts: (1) simplify procedures as much as possible, and (2) provide as many possible methods of payment as is feasible for your business. A reliable payment gateway like Maya Business’s Maya Checkout will prove an invaluable tool for both. 

Maya Checkout is a state-of-the-art online payment solution that has gained recent recognition as the best payment gateway Philippines-based businesses can turn to—and for good reason. For one, its fast, efficient, and highly secure checkout process means customers can complete their transactions quickly, without a single worry about safety. Maya Checkout also takes every form of digital payment currently available in the Philippines, from QR Ph payments to traditional debit and credit cards. This ensures that you have every base covered when it comes to customer preferences.

Supplementary reading: The Impact of Instagram Checkout on eCommerce

2) Poor User Experience (UX)

In the digital marketplace, a business's website serves as its primary storefront. Just as a cluttered, confusing physical store can deter customers, so can a poorly designed website. Inefficient navigation or a lack of mobile optimisation can quickly diminish a user’s eagerness to shop at a particular store. Every hurdle, whether it's an extra click or a page that takes too long to load, increases the risk of losing a potential sale.

The user experience doesn’t stop at what your website looks like or how users navigate it, either. Customers want to make informed decisions before buying, after all. To this end, they’ll be depending heavily on the content that sellers provide when making these decisions. If your store contains only sparse product information and unclear images, or if users need to click around at length to find the information they need, it’s highly likely they’ll click away from your store before buying anything at all.

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Auditing your website regularly is the best way to make sure that the user experience it offers stays consistently excellent. These audits can help you identify bottlenecks or other pain points that users might experience. Overall, you’ll want to go for a clean, easily navigable, and responsive website design that’s optimised for both mobile and desktop viewing. It also helps to enhance your content by uploading high-quality images and including detailed product descriptions for every listing. These steps can significantly boost user trust and engagement, pushing them closer to that coveted 'purchase' click.

3) Inadequate Customer Service

Effective customer service is frequently a key factor that helps e-commerce businesses stand out in a vast sea of potential competitors. Attentive, personalised support both builds consumer trust and encourages them to come back to your store over the long term. It’s also worth remembering that competitors are just a click away for most online sellers. Any shortfall in customer service, be it slow responses or a lack of adequate support channels, can swiftly erode the trust you’ve worked so hard to build with your clients. 

Customers today not only seek prompt responses but also demand varied channels to voice their concerns, from chatbots and emails to direct helplines. To meet these demands, find ways to diversify your avenues of communication. Integrate multiple platforms like chat services, email support, and direct helplines to offer them a more comprehensive assistance suite. It’s also worthwhile to train your team on customer service best practices regularly. With the right skills and knowledge at their disposal, they’ll be equipped to address all customer concerns efficiently and with empathy.

4) Technical Problems

No e-commerce store can run without robust digital infrastructure to support it. While users might overlook occasional hiccups, recurrent technical challenges such as slow load times, regular downtimes, or the presence of broken links can frustrate them enough to push them towards competitors’ websites. These issues will in turn significantly hurt sales, so it’s in your best interest to address any technical problems you encounter promptly.

Explore: Things to Consider When Expanding Your Online Sales

Take a proactive approach to mitigating and minimising technical issues on your e-commerce site. Regular website maintenance and monitoring, for instance, can help identify and rectify potential problems before they escalate. Investing in reliable hosting solutions and leveraging tools that provide real-time performance analytics also contribute to ensuring a seamless user experience. This focus on preemptive solutions ensures customers enjoy a hassle-free browsing and shopping journey.

5) Poorly Targeted Marketing

Visibility is more important than ever now that so much of modern commerce takes place in digital marketplaces. However, effective marketing requires more than just widespread exposure. Misdirected campaigns, whether due to misaligned messaging or a misjudged target audience, can lead to diluted brand impact and wasted resources. If you don’t have a precise understanding of your target demographic, even the most extensive campaigns can miss their mark.

The key to effective marketing lies in a data-driven approach. By analysing user interactions, preferences, and feedback, you can tailor your campaigns to better resonate with your target audience. Segmenting this audience, personalising campaign messaging, and choosing the right platforms for dissemination ensures that your marketing efforts engage and convert consumers.

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Navigating the e-commerce world may be fraught with challenges, but with the right tools and strategies, your small business is entirely capable of overcoming adversity and even thriving in a cutthroat landscape. Properly understand the hurdles that you face, and be proactive at addressing them, to achieve consistent sales growth and a satisfied customer base.

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Germaine Ignacio is a freelance writer. As a Psychology major, she is interested in how investing in personal growth and happiness can improve professional productivity. She is also an avid baker who lives with two cats.


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