As with any project, building and maintaining a digital commerce website includes a lot of trial and error; it’s not always easy to know exactly what might work and what won't, especially when you’re just starting out. But throughout our many years of working in this industry, we at BlueBolt have outlined some of the most common mistakes we see and are here to provide you with advice on how you and your team can avoid them.
Mistake: Not aligning your project timeline to your business goals. Digital commerce projects usually require anywhere from 12 to 24 months (give or take) from beginning to end depending on many factors, including scope and complexity. If you’re trying to accomplish certain quarterly or yearly goals with the launch of your website, you won’t want to start your project too close to any deadlines. Trying to move too quickly puts pressure on your team and any partners, which can negatively impact the quality of work and ultimately customer satisfaction.
Solution: Think ahead and be realistic. There almost always are delays and complications – allow extra time to respond to those. Be deliberate and timely with approvals for each phase of the project from discovery through design and implementation. Any delays in one part of your project can be difficult or even impossible to make up for later on.
Mistake: Overlooking valuable data. Analytics tools like Google Analytics [link] can be great for reporting on data points, but unless you’re taking the time to delve deeper into the numbers, you’re not utilizing these resources to their full potential. For example, it’s one thing to see how many clicks a page has, but it’s another tactic to create separate triggers within your analytics tool and measure which buttons on that same page create more engagement. This more comprehensive information will enlighten your design and strategy from there.
Solution: First and foremost, it’s critical to ensure your analytics tool is set up correctly so that you have the most relevant and accurate data at your fingertips to inform your ongoing strategy. Test often and track activities to continually learn how to best serve your customers. Using segmentation like customer type, behavioral patterns, and device, you can discover more in-depth actionable insights that can inform everything from site navigation to product assortments and promotions.
Mistake: Not harnessing the power of content. Think about your favorite book – why is it your favorite? Most likely it’s because it brings up certain emotions in you or provides something that you connect with. Now think about the content on your eCommerce site – are you delivering an experience that enables you to make customer connections that matter? Businesses that don’t take advantage of content strategies miss the opportunity to build experiences to meet increasingly high customer expectations.
Solution: Content is what connects us as humans, and the content on your site is what gets your customers to interact with you the first time and the next time. Developing great content, and in turn, implementing a robust content management system supports the buyer journey across your site. Through all the hype of changing technological expectations, having great and engaging content to support your customer experience is a must.
Mistake: Redesigning for the sake of it. As we previously mentioned, using data and analytics is essential to having an informed digital strategy. However, businesses sometimes invest in a redesign because they think they need to, even when a change may not be warranted. For instance, if your traffic and conversion rates are within industry norms, making a change to the design of your site may do more harm than good.
Solution: More important than having a good-looking site, is having a functional site with a seamless customer experience. If your current site experience is getting you the results you expect, don’t risk changing it too much. Instead, focus on taking advantage of your already-working design by increasing traffic to your site via organic and paid search, affiliate marketing, email marketing or other marketing activities.
Mistake: Setting it and forgetting it. Making the investment in a quality eCommerce site is just the beginning. Without thinking about your future strategy, your site is as useful as a luxury car low on gas–it may look great, but it won’t get you very far.
Solution: Allocate the right resources - people, time, and money - to ensure that your site can serve not only your long-term business needs, but also meet ever-changing customer expectations. Once you get customers to your site, put strategies in place to keep them coming back, building loyalty and ensuring ROI.
As you know, digital selling strategies cannot be boiled down to an exact science – if they could, you wouldn’t need articles like this! However, by avoiding the common pitfalls we’ve mentioned, you’ll be able to optimize your business and customer experience for greater success.
And of course, if you need someone to point you in the right direction, BlueBolt’s experts are available and ready to help! Contact us today.