5 Ways Your eCommerce Site Is Ruining Your Brand's Image: How to Avoid These Common Mistakes

ByVladana Donevski
June 13,2022

As an online business owner, you know that your website is the key to your success. It's where customers go to learn more about your brand and make purchases. If your eCommerce site is inadequate, it can erode sales and bring your growth screeching to a halt.

In the age of social media, word-of-mouth travels fast, and a single customer who is unhappy with your website can undermine your reputation. Check out the 5 ways your eCommerce site is ruining your brand’s image and learn how to avoid these pitfalls. 

1. Poor Website Design and Navigation

Many eCommerce businesses have poorly designed websites. These can be hard to navigate, confusing for customers, and just plain ugly. It also makes your business look unprofessional and gives the impression that you simply don’t care about your online presence, or even worse, that your business is a scam.

An eCommerce website builder is one of the tools that can help you avoid this mistake. You should have your customers in mind when creating your website. Navigation should be easy, and the overall design should be visually appealing to create a positive brand image.

Think about the websites that you frequent when doing your shopping. What are they doing right? Use those positive aspects as inspiration to help you enhance your site.

A good rule of thumb is to make it exceptionally easy for customers to find what they're looking for on your site, learn more about your brand, and make purchases. It will also give your business a professional appearance; your customers will feel appreciated and help you stand out from the competition.

Having a well-designed website is important for any brand, but it's especially crucial for eCommerce businesses.

If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources and professionals who can help you create a stunning website that will improve your company’s brand image. Hiring a good UX design agency is an avenue worth exploring.

2. Outdated Descriptions, Images, or Out-of-Stock Items

Another common mistake eCommerce businesses make is not keeping their product descriptions, images, and stock levels up to date. This can be a big turn-off for customers, as it makes your store appear unreliable or abandoned. 

Keep in mind that your customers are at your store to purchase something, and you need to help them overcome all the online shopping challenges. Since they can't simply walk into your store and physically inspect the products, you need to provide the necessary amount of information in the product description sections.

You need high-quality images, and the descriptions should be as accurate and as detailed as possible. Think about everything that your customers will want to know about the product you are selling and place it in the product description.

Failing to provide the necessary details can result in consumers associating you with negative branding. If your customers are unhappy with what they got, they likely won't return to your store or recommend it to others.

Out of Stock Items

Out-of-stock items are another reason why your customer might not return. If they like what you have but can't find it in stock or the product is constantly out of stock, this will lead to frustration. Nobody wants to keep checking back only to find that the item they're looking for is still not available. This can lead to them giving up and looking elsewhere for what they want.

This is one of the most common challenges of online shopping. So, here are a few things you can do to avoid it:

- First, try to keep better track of your inventory levels. This way, you'll know when items are running low and can order more before they run out entirely.

- Second, if an item is constantly out of stock, consider removing it from your site until you can get more. It's better to have a smaller selection of items in stock than a larger selection with many things that are frequently out of stock.

- Third, make sure to update your site regularly so customers know what is and isn't available. If an item is out of stock, say so on the product page to avoid additional brand damage. If you plan to purchase more (and you should since the product is doing well), make sure to let customers know when this will happen. This way, customers won't waste their time trying to purchase something that isn't available.

3. Poor Customer Service

When speaking of frustration, poor customer service is often the main culprit. According to customer service statistics, 95% of consumers think that customer service is an important factor in their brand choice. That’s a significant number of customers who will likely never come back if they have a bad experience on your site. To preserve your company's brand image, you need to make sure that your customer service is top-notch.

First up, make sure customers can contact you through multiple channels, including email, phone, and live chat. You should also have a Frequently Asked Question section that is easy to find. 

Another thing you need to take into account is response times. If a customer contacts you with a question or complaint, they will likely expect a quick response. The longer you take to get back to them, the more frustrated they will become.

Ideally, you should aim to answer all questions within 24 hours as this will help you improve the image of your brand. If this isn't possible, make sure to let the customer know when they can expect a response.

4. Bad Reviews

Bad online reviews can travel fast and do a lot of damage to your brand. A good review is your eCommerce store’s best salesman, while a set of negative ones will send your customers to your competition. If you don't have a system to deal with both of them, it can quickly get out of hand and negatively impact your brand. 

To avoid being ranked among companies with bad publicity, keep an eye on all platforms where customers can leave reviews. This way, you can catch any negative reviews as soon as they are posted and address them quickly. 

Another thing you need to do is respond to all negative reviews, regardless of where they are posted. This shows that you care about your customers and their experience with your brand. It also gives you a chance to defend your brand if the criticism is unwarranted.

There are reputation management services you can hire to improve your brand image if you have been ignoring these for too long. But this is a short-term solution; you need to be consistent and actively communicate with unhappy customers.

Ultimately, a bad review is a blessing in disguise. It allows you to talk to your unhappy customers and remedy the situation. Depending on your business processes, you can offer free products, waive shipping fees, or offer other options to turn a bad experience into a positive one. If your customers leave the conversation happy, you did your brand a big favor.

Finally, make sure to take any constructive criticism from the reviews to heart. Use this feedback to make changes to your site or business processes so that future customers will have a better experience and consequently improve the brand’s public image.

5. Not Enough Promotions

If you want customers to keep coming back to your site, you need to give them a reason. One way to do this is by running promotions and discounts on a regular basis. Furthermore, this could be a great way to gain new customers, as 62% of consumers tell their friends about online deals.

However, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when offering these promotions. First, make sure that the promotion is relevant to your target audience. There's no point in offering a sale on items that your target market wouldn't be interested in.

Second, make sure the promotion is for a significant enough discount. While calculating your margin and pricing properly is one of the biggest challenges of eCommerce for store owners, you should still work to find room for large discounts. A small percentage off isn't going to entice customers to come back to your site. 

Finally, make sure the promotion is easy to find on your site. If customers have to search for it, they likely won't bother. Also, make sure to include it in any advertising you do.

Failing to do this properly can negatively affect your website. Promoting the wrong things at the wrong time with the wrong price can ruin your image.

All in All

These are the 5 ways your eCommerce site is ruining your brand’s image and tips on how to solve them. By improving your customer service, addressing bad reviews, and running promotions effectively, you can maintain a positive image for your brand.

Take the time to assess your website and find things you can improve while keeping your customers' interests in mind. A little effort goes a long way in maintaining a good image for your brand. And a good brand image can improve sales and help you grow your revenue.

What are some of the challenges of online shopping?

One of the main challenges of shopping online is that it can be difficult to know what you're getting. This is due to the fact that you can't see or touch the product before you buy it. This can be a challenge when shopping for clothing or other apparel items, so it is important for eCommerce stores to make descriptions of products and product images as detailed and accurate as possible.

What are some bad brand image examples?

One of the most notable bad brand image examples is the Super Size Me documentary about how Mcdonald's food affects people’s health. Mcdonald's is one of the companies with bad publicity due to the negative health effects of its products. But the documentary created by Morgan Spurlock, who ate nothing but McDonald's Supersized meals for a month, led to a serious drop in sales. 

Mcdonald's responded by quickly creating a new menu to include healthier options.

How to improve a brand’s social media reputation?

There are a few ways to improve your brand's social media reputation. First, make sure that you're actively engaging with customers on social media. Respond to comments and questions as quickly as possible. Second, make sure that the content you post is relevant to your target audience. And finally, make sure to address the 5 ways your eCommerce site is ruining your brand’s image.

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Add the human touch by including the customer’s name or a personalized message to add credibility to your website. 2. Not Including a CTA For the best Thank You pages, make sure to include a CTA. Asking customers to refer your business or subscribe to your newsletter are good actions to be taken. Without a strong CTA, you’re missing out on an opportunity to engage with your customers. Design your Thank You page with conversions in mind and make it easy for visitors to take action. You will likely see a high bounce rate if your page isn’t optimized for conversions. 3. Failing With the Design Your Thank You page should be consistent with the rest of your website, especially with the landing page. It will create a cohesive customer experience and make visitors more willing to take action on the page. Failing to grab your customers’ attention with a catchy Thank You page design can result in them leaving the site without taking any action. 4. Flooding the Page With Content Another common mistake is flooding the page with too much content. Too much information can overwhelm customers and cause them to leave the site. Adding more than four or five lines to the page can be too much for customers to digest. Also, it can result in visitors not noticing your CTA. So, keep the content on your Thank You page concise and to the point. 5. Not Tracking Performance We’ve seen many “thank you for your purchase” page examples without the necessary metrics to track performance. Without tracking, you won’t be able to determine what’s working and what isn’t. As a result, you may continue using ineffective strategies or miss out on opportunities to improve your page. Make sure to include metrics such as conversion rate and bounce rate to track the performance of your Thank You page. Bottom Line Thank You pages are a valuable tool that improves customer engagement and encourages them to take further action. 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By Danica Djokic · June 24,2022
Did you ever notice a small black lock at the beginning of a website’s URL? Do you know what that is? Even those who don’t know the lock represents a Security Sockets Layer (SSL), know it means you can trust the website with your personal information. But, what is an SSL certificate? How do you know if a website has one, and why are they essential for online security? This blog post will explain what they are, how they work, the types of SSL available, plus the benefits of using them. We'll also provide you with tips on how to get an SSL certificate for your website. Read on! Understanding SSL Certificates and How They Work An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that uses encryption to secure information as it travels between a website and a user's web browser. When a website has an SSL certificate, the connection between the two is said to be "secure." Any information exchanged- such as credit card numbers, passwords, or personal data - is encrypted and protected from hackers and other malicious actors. To have SSL certificates explained in full, let’s describe the verification process. It goes along the lines of: When typing in the address you would like to visit, your browser or server attempts to visit the web server the SSL-secured website is hosted on. The browser asks the web server to identify itself. The web server will provide a copy of its SSL certificate, which the browser or server will read. If it trusts the certificate, it will signal it to the web server. The web server will return the signed acknowledgment to start an encrypted session. The server and web server then share the encrypted data. This process is also known as the SSL handshake. How To Know If a Website Has SSL Encryption One way to tell if a website has an SSL certificate is to look at the URL. 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An SSL certificate can give your visitors confidence in your website and build trust. Now that we’ve covered the main question - What is an SSL certificate used for? - and sold you on its benefits, it’s important to mention there are also a couple of cons to keep in mind when choosing your certificate: It can be costly as not all certificates or authorities are the same. As mentioned before, it will cost you $60 per year on average.  Ensure that you’re using a reputable certificate authority, as there is a chance that your certificate could be fake and provide no security benefits whatsoever. SSL certificates do not guarantee 100% protection from all hacking attempts - they just make it much more difficult for hackers to steal your information. In Conclusion SSL website security certificates are a vital part of online safety. They help protect website information from being intercepted and stolen by hackers, improve your search engine ranking, and build trust with your visitors. While there are some potential drawbacks to using an SSL certificate, such as the cost and possibility of fake certificates, the benefits outweigh the risks. If you're in the process of building a website for your business, or even already running an unsecured one, it's well worth your time and money to invest in an SSL certificate.
By Vladana Donevski · June 24,2022
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If your web hosting provider lacks such a package, you can always purchase a domain name from another domain hosting provider.  We would advise you to look for a web hosting provider that can provide you with both because it’s cheaper and drastically simplifies the customization process.  2. Pick a hosting provider When you pick out a domain name, the next step is to pick a reliable host provider and a hosting plan. The hosting provider gives your website a home on a server. You can host your own website by sharing space on a server with other websites or having an entire server to yourself.  It’s not uncommon for hosting providers to offer domain names as well, allowing you to host your domain and your website with the same provider. Of course, you can always transfer your domain, website, or both to another host.  With more than 330,000 web hosting providers, how do you pick the right one for your website? There are several key factors to consider when choosing the host of your own website and a hosting plan:  Uptime guarantee Redundancy Backups SSL certificates Bandwidth Database type  Email service Scalability Accessibility Customer service Uptime Guarantee Websites don’t have working hours, so naturally, you want them to be accessible round-the-clock. The last thing you want is for your website to experience upgrade or downtime complications. Therefore, the host of your website must offer an uptime guarantee of 99.5% or above.  Redundancy If you don’t want your business to suffer financial losses due to server-related issues, look for a hosting provider that offers redundancies. In this case, the redundancy offer refers to compensation for financial losses caused by a server-related issue.  Backups If you ask anyone who works in cybersecurity, they’ll tell you that having a backup is the best way to prevent data loss. The same goes for your website, but you don’t have to deal with it yourself. All the major web host providers offer 24-hour backup, which means that your host backups your website once every 24 hours. In the event of a cyber attack or catastrophic hardware failure, the host can bring your website back to life.  SSL Certificates Ensuring user privacy and safety is paramount when hosting your own website. Therefore, you want a website that has an SSL certificate. The SSL certificate will improve your Search Engine Optimization or SEO standing and encrypts data sent between the user and the website, which is crucial for securing online transactions. Some hosts provide them for free, and others are part of a paid hosting plan. Bandwidth Bandwidth represents the amount of data your website traffic generates, and contrary to common misconceptions, it doesn’t have anything to do with speed.  One of the more challenging questions when hosting a site is determining the amount of bandwidth your website needs. It mostly comes down to your expected web traffic and the type of website. If you plan on storing plenty of videos and images on the site, you’ll need more bandwidth. On the other hand, if the website is mainly text-based, you’ll need less. If you run out of bandwidth, your hosting provider may charge you extra, or the website could become inaccessible.  Database Type Different types of websites use different types of databases. The most common type of database is MySQL, but the one you choose will depend exclusively on your website. From there, find a host for your own website that offers the same database type as part of their hosting plan.  Email Service One of the advantages of hosting your own website is access to an email service from your provider. No longer will your email end with @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Instead, you’ll have an email address ending with @yourdomainame.com. Most hosting providers offer unlimited accounts.  Scalability Business owners hope to see their ventures grow and expand. When that happens, your website needs to be able to accommodate an uptick in traffic and activity. You want to be sure that your web host offers a way for you to upgrade your hosting plan when need be. Accessibility The best part about web hosting providers is that they do all the heavy lifting of hosting your own website, but you should still retain a certain degree of control. That is where accessibility comes into play. Your host provider should give you access to your website's control panel, allowing you to easily manage and monitor your website. Customer Service Like any service provider, web hosting providers should have 24/7 customer service to help you with any technical problems you may face. The availability of technical support is a crucial consideration when picking a hosting provider and a hosting plan.  3. Choose a suitable hosting plan All that is left to do now is pick a hosting plan. There are five different types of web hosting options to choose from. Types of hosting:  Shared hosting VPS hosting Cloud hosting Dedicated hosting Managed WordPress hosting  Shared Hosting If you are starting and don’t expect a lot of traffic, then shared hosting is the way to go. As the name suggests, you share the server and its resources with other websites. It’s suitable for small businesses and blogs that aren’t video or image-heavy.  Shared hosting doesn’t have enough resources to keep any medium-size or eCommerce business website running smoothly, which can lead to a bad user experience and a potential loss of customers. Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting VPS hosting is a step up from a shared server hosting plan. VPS hosting is still a shared server solution, but with far fewer websites hosted on the same server. Multiple websites share the same hardware, but each one runs on a virtual machine with its own allocated resources.  Hosting your website on a VPS is the closest thing you can have to a dedicated server. It has fewer resources than a dedicated server, but it’s also more affordable. That is why VPS hosting is perfect for medium-size or eCommerce-oriented websites.  Cloud Hosting Cloud hosting is the fastest-growing sector in the web hosting industry. It provides a reliable and scalable solution for any business. The top cloud hosting providers can keep your website online 24/7 thanks to cloud technology.  Cloud works on a decentralized principle, while other types of hosting work on a centralized principle. With the centralized approach, your website is stored in a single data center. Since the cloud hosting is decentralized, your website is shared between several data centers that don’t even have to be on the same continent. Dedicated Hosting Dedicated server hosting is the favorite choice for businesses that cannot afford slow connection speeds and service disruptions. With a dedicated server, you don’t share any resources with anyone. The server is entirely yours, and you have complete control over it.  If you are looking to get a dedicated server for your company, you have to be aware that there are two distinct types of hosting plans. One gives you complete control, and you have to manage everything. In most cases, companies hire a server administrator who handles such tasks. The second plan is a fully managed plan by the web hosting provider. Not all web hosting companies offer this type of plan, and even when they do, it costs extra.  Managed WordPress Hosting First of all, you can run WordPress on any type of hosting. But managed WordPress hosting is a specialized web hosting service for businesses that use WordPress for their content management system or CMS. The best web hosting companies offer fully managed hosting plans, which enables you to dedicate more time to growing your business. 4. Build a website and upload it to your hosting space If you’re starting from scratch, you can turn to a website builder or a web hosting provider that offers website building services. Once you have a website, you’ll have to upload it to your hosting space. You should be able to do it from the web hosting control panel, customize the website, make the necessary adjustments, and go live.  If you choose a managed hosting solution, the provider takes care of all the maintenance, security, software updates, and data backups needed to keep your website operational. With an unmanaged solution, the business behind the website is responsible for all of the configurations. The unmanaged option is only suitable for businesses with efficient IT departments and experienced web developers.    Conclusion There is a lot that needs to be considered when picking the right web hosting provider, and we aren’t talking just about the technical side and web hosting pricing plans. Now that you know how to host your own website, it’s essential to evaluate what your business needs, and only then should you look for a hosting provider.
By Julija A. · June 10,2022

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