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Keep your site simple to avoid annoying customers

12/13/2012 | Internet hosting |

We've written before about what you need to do if you want to host a successful ecommerce site, but with interest in online shopping exploding around the world, there's always things you can do to improve your offering. Because it's so popular right now, it seems a lot of businesses assume all they need to do is set up a web server, create a few product pages and a checkout process and they'll be ready to take a slice of the income. But what many firms fail to realise is if they don't get this right, they'll annoy potential customers and drive them to competitors.

Common mistakes
One of the most common errors is making your site overly complicated, particularly in the checkout process.
No-one likes having to fill out pages and pages of forms in order to make a purchase. After all, we've all got better things we could be doing rather than typing information into a box time and again. In fact, a survey released this week by ecommerce software provider Postcode Anywhere revealed 39 per cent of consumers said this is one of their top three reasons for abandoning a shopping cart.

Add tools to help with this
Obviously, you can't cut these steps out altogether, but there are things you can do to make it as pain-free as possible. Postcode Anywhere recommended using autocomplete solutions that can predict what a user will type and fill it in for them, or add their complete address based on their postal code.

More than four-fifths of people surveyed said this had a positive impact on their experience, with 34% claiming it's more convenient, 18% stating it helps cut out address input errors and 8% thinking it makes a site more trustworthy.

Don't stop there
Obviously, there are other steps you need to take to make your website stand out from its rivals. Other key concerns raised by the survey includes security issues, so having a valid authentication certificate, using strong encryption and following payment card industry guidelines are also essential things you can do.

Above all, don't make the mistake of thinking ecommerce is easy - while there's certainly huge potential for growth, this will only come if you dedicate time and effort to giving your customers what they want.

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