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After analyzing over 100 shops on Reddit, I discovered 24 most common mistakes people are making with their businesses

Hey folks…

The sad truth is that most businesses these days have the authenticity of camouflage and the charisma of a lawnmower. After analyzing over 100 shops on Reddit, I discovered the 24 most common mistakes shop owners make.

When you are reading this, your last few website building and marketing endeavors have been humiliating failures most likely, and your ego cannot withstand another.

But I'll promise, reading the following, It'll be the best thing you've done all minute.

I don't know about you guys but the most important thing I've learned through the last couple of years and 1000s of hours of educating myself and practicing( and drinking too much rum that is healthy lol) is that you need to develop the skill to separate the great and valuable information from bad.

Information, anything along the scale of 'scam to worth their weight in gold.'

Anyway, that's something I had to learn the hard way.

I would have left my day job a long time ago if I had been on the right track from the beginning…

But it is as it is.

That's why it's sometimes scary to read the advice people give, praising those random dropshipping stores with no chance of converting. I've been at the other side of the receiving end by following bad advice for a VERY long time, wasting a bunch of money…and my most important asset, my time.

It's tough!

I'm not anything special. There are def some people that are smarter, far more technical, and more polished than me. Each business IS different, AND you should take everything you hear with a grain of salt!

At the same time…

Shopify is selling the dream that any Tom, Dick, or Harry can whip up a website.

That you can list random products and never touch them, and sit back and watch the money roll in, with no risk.

ABSURD I TELL YOU! It's frigging disgusting.

No wonder people make posts like:

"I spent $50 on AdWords this month, no sales, and now I'm broke."

Anyway, after being active on different Reddit groups, I noticed a bunch of patterns/mistakes( more like 24) you guys are making.

I'm going to cover everything below.

So stay tuned my friend…

So, we all agree that business should pay YOU, not the other way around, right. Otherwise, it's not a business but rather a hobby.

Long story short. No matter what marketing efforts you are doing or how good your ads are, it always comes down to the website because it does the heavy lifting of getting the sale.

Meaning, even when you have the world's best ads but your website sucks… then you are not getting any sales. And that's the most common issue here on Reddit. Meaning, people are struggling to get even those initial sales.

Obviously, things are always not so black and white, but when you have a great offer, then fixing your site is one darn massive step in getting your business going.

They are not in a specific order btw.

So, here they are…

ABOVE THE FOLD

Above the fold content is the part of a web page shown before scrolling. Any content you'd need to scroll down to see would be considered 'below the fold .'The 'fold' is where the browser window ends, but the content continues underneath.

You have around 50 milliseconds to create an opinion from your site. When you fail to do that, people leave. Also, people's attention span these days is around 2-3 seconds. You need to explain what this page is about through your design, pictures, and messaging within that time.

If you fail to do that, then people simply leave. Marketing 101: you never want to confuse your customers, as a confused mind never buys.

Above the fold is the location where the initial opinion is developed.

Most people get wrong with all three: design, pictures, messaging.

GENERAL SHOP.

There's a good reason people say that riches are in the niches…

You need to remember that the journey from your customer reaching your site to purchase consists of a series of micro yes(es). It takes a long unbroken sequence of micro yes(es) (customer experience) to achieve a macro-yes( the sale), but it takes just a single "no" to undo every previous "yes"

That's why when you mix several different niches into one brand, customers' first impressions is "meh" ( micro- "no"), they have no idea about what this company is even about etc. It decreases trust and confuses your customers:

Marketing 101: confused mind never buys. Simple as that.

Also, going with different niches simultaneously means more work, you are overwhelming yourself, and you are spreading yourself too thin. Find success with the first one, learn the ropes, and iterate everything with the second one.

HOMEPAGE. CTA.

Your CTA(call-to-action) on your Homepage ( above the fold) isn't prominent enough. The size, shape, or color isn't important. What is important is that it contrasts the rest of the page.

VAGUE/UNCLEAR VALUE PROPOSITIONS EVERYWHERE

What is a value proposition? A value proposition is a promise of value to be delivered. Think of it as an offer. It's the primary reason a customer should buy from you.

Basically, a value proposition is a clear statement that explains how your product solves customers' problems or improves their situation. It delivers specific benefits and tells the ideal customer why they should buy from you rather than from the competition.

The best value proposition is clear: what is it, for whom, and how is it useful? If those questions are answered, you're on the right path. Always strive for clarity first.

BAD DESIGN

This one is the hardest to get right, to be honest. The thing is that people don't buy from companies. They buy from people. From people they know, trust, and can identify with. You need to add a crazy good-looking and branded website and seamless customer journey into the mix to have the slightest chances of success.

A couple Shopify themes with a great design for inspiration:

  1. https://themes.shopify.com/themes/pipeline/styles/bright/preview
  2. https://outofthesandbox.com/collections/themes

CRAPPY PICTURES

Forget all those low-quality and /or stock photos. This is a massive turnoff for customers, and you hurt your conversions. An investment in product photography for your eCommerce business is one of the best business decisions you will make.

They provide your customers with a clear image of what they will expect to receive. A high-quality image implies that your product is high quality; it creates a good first impression of your brand. With great pictures, you inspire trust in your customers to buy from your store with confidence.

These days, people are accustomed to crazy high-quality pictures and websites, and if you fail to offer the same, you can't get many sales(if any).

Also, because people buy stuff because they want to show off, they need to see how they look on an actual person, actually in use, etc

CAPPED FONTS and/or using unusual fonts, especially on product pages

Having Capped fonts also provides a bad experience for your customers. It's hard to follow and read everything. Plus, it makes your website look and feel scammy.

I often see that people use unusual fonts on the product pages. In general, the feature image and image gallery should be on the left side of the product page. The rest of the crucial elements like CTA, product description, and other things are on the right side of the page. I often see that those things are mixed up, CTA, product descriptions, etc are placed to the left, for example.

REVIEWS.

Clearly, there's an issue with faked reviews. People are not stupid. They notice these kinds of things, that's why fake reviews hurt your business more than do good. People are aware that the internet is full of scammers, and trust is a huge lever you should have when doing business online.

When people start doubting your integrity, then what's left?

Try to give your products to your family and friends, and ask them for HONEST reviews. Make those reviews clearly visible all over the website.

HOMEPAGE'S HEADER FULL OF CLUTTER

The Homepage needs to get people OFF the Homepage and down the sales funnel. You need to identify the most wanted action( for e-commerce, this is usually educating further and directing people to a category page or product page).

Then present a call to action that leads people down a certain path. Everything that doesn't contribute to this should be removed.

You can measure Homepage success( Header included) by calculating bounce rate and traffic flow to the next main step in the website flow.

Unfortunately, I can't give you exact bounce rate percentages, as these are very situational and are dependent on where the traffic is coming from, the layout of the Homepage, etc.

BUT…very often, your Header is overwhelming, full of distractions in the forms of social icons, shipping information, privacy policy, and other things that don't contribute anything to the customer's purchase journey.

Again, you are confusing people, and a confused mind most likely never buys.

HOMEPAGE. Pop-ups

You don't have pop-ups to gather emails, as email marketing is your best platform to get your customers the cheapest. Also, I don't imagine any e-commerce business could succeed without an email list and built-out sequences these days.

You don't want them to be too coercive, though. Add around 5-sec delay after people reach the site, after which the pop-up should be triggered. Or after people have scrolled a certain % of the page etc.

HOMEPAGE FOOTER MISSING or lacking information

Very often it looks clunky and poorly executed.

Things like Contact Us, Shipping Policy, Return Policy, Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, etc. are all missing.

Having those elements also increases trust and perceived value in the eyes of your customers. Not having those things makes your company feel like a scam or something.

HOMEPAGE. Whitespace

I often see that your website is too "empty," meaning there's too much whitespace everywhere. Having white space between different sections is a good idea regarding the design and perceived value. Enough white space helps your customers scan your site easier.

But, having too much lowers customers' experience, making your site look low quality.

PRODUCT PAGE. Too much information shown.

There's too much scrolling for guests to see everything. The less the customers have to scroll, the better. With each millimeter, you lose customers looking for information to remove their objections.

Consider using an accordion-type of product information/description sections that are previously categorized accordingly. In that way, you give your customers way more opportunities to see all the information available.

PRODUCT PAGE. Adding express payment methods

Consider testing using Paypal or other express payment methods on your product pages. When you have ATC and/or Buy it Now(or whatever you are using), you can have only one express method there. You can't use more because giving your customers too many options to choose from, they decide not to choose at all.

PRODUCT PAGE. Not enough product pictures.

Not enough pictures. For e-commerce, 4-6 is optimal. Not enough=cheapens your brand and may look scammy. Too much= confuses your customers. Conversion optimization 101: a confused mind most likely never buys. You can give a better experience for your customers and add gifs and videos.

PRODUCT PAGE. Product descriptions are missing. Or too text-heavy.

People online these days are not reading. They are scanning instead. To make scanning more manageable, you should use, for example, shorter descriptions, bullet points, etc.

Also, consider using an accordion-type of product description section to decide if they want to read more.

TRUST ISSUES

e-Commerce websites run on the fundamental principle of trust. Another huge conversion killer is likely that people don't know and trust you. Plus, in general, you don't offer any money-back guarantees, free returns, or whatever you can offer. I would show those guarantees near the ATC button.

PRODUCT PAGE. ATC or other call-to-action in the wrong place

Make sure that your CTA-s are inside the Above the Fold and prominent from the rest of the page. I've seen buttons placed way low on the page too many times, blended into the background, and almost not visible.

Your CTA should be the most prominent element on the product page, and this is something customers should notice on the page first.

PRODUCT PAGE. shipping info missing

"shipping calculated at checkout" "is probably a huge conversion killer. I would add a geolocation identifier that would calculate shipping costs in advance.

Call-to-action button clarity

You need to remember that copy on your buttons has to say where they go when they click on it. When it's unknown what happens when they click your primary CTA, and this frustrates your customers. The same goes with frustrating your customers: the more you do that, the lower your conversions.

Image Carousels and Sliders?

I would remove those sliders on the Homepage and replace them with static ones. Moving images actually lower your conversions. This confuses your customers. The reason is that they take the customer's attention away from moving further through their purchase journey.

PRODUCT PAGE. Price

The product price isn't prominent enough. This again confuses your customers. Make it clear what the cost of the product is.

PRODUCT PAGE.Missing detail-rich size charts(clothing)

Very often, there are no size charts. Or they are too general. When people shop online, the most common objection is "does it fit me?"

CATEGORY PAGE. Filters

In general, when you have more than 20 products, you should have a filter placed on the left side of the page and always be shown. Another version is instead to use a horizontal filter(always shown). Suppose your product filtering is not optimized to be as helpful as possible. In that case, there is only one outcome: your visitors will get frustrated and leave.

Product filtering is highly situational. The correct combination will depend on your vertical, product catalog, visitors, and various other factors.

However, there are some basic principles and guidelines that you can take into consideration.

  1. Indicate Product Quantity
  2. Hide Non-Existent Options
  3. Allow Multiple Filter Selections
  4. Make Applied Filters Obvious

When optimizing your filters, don't forget mobile filters!

I won´t lie. This one took me a while. If you´re enjoyed it, please show some love to the thread on Twitter: https://twitter.com/KagoMario/status/1483108855781470212

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