5 Ways Your eCommerce Site Is Ruining Your Brand's Image: How to Avoid These Common Mistakes
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 Outdated Descriptions, Images, or Out-of-Stock Items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.
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.
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.
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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