The Hippo Warning: 5 Potholes to Avoid While Setting Up Your E-Commerce Store

These are the traps waiting to ambush you when you're trying to set up your e-commerce store. The Hippo has sniffed out the commonest booby-traps for you:
 
1. Not making a clear value proposition:
 
This is the key factor for customer conversion; this decides whether the visitor lingers on your page looking at this or that, or just hits the back  arrow to leave your store.  You don't want your customers  to wonder "What do they sell here? It's called BumYum, has photos of uncannily happy-looking people on their website, and talks about Gobi Parantha on their homepage." Do you really see them hitting the "Read More" button after this? They'll just zoom off to one of the thousands of other websites that sell exactly what you do! So make your differentiating factor very, very clear on the home page, so that customers know why they should  shop with you in the first place. You could make your point with precise content or attractive photos. Simply put, if you are selling mufflers and overcoats, make sure the homepage has photos of Benedict Cumberbatch-lookalikes playing Sherlock; and don't forget to mention  "We sell winter garments woven by Eskimos here."
 
2. Assuming you don't need specialized SEO:
 
"SEO? It's not my priority, I have great products anyway. I'll just look around on the internet and do a bit of SEO myself."
This is the exactly the kind of thinking that will sink  your site's search rank  down faster than Titanic. Why is SEO important to you, you ask? Because it won't matter if you're selling cigars signed by Al Pacino when nobody knows about it! So make sure that your page is SEO optimized, i.e. it comes out right on top of search results when somebody searches for "Al Pacino Cigar Online Discount". There are hoards of tools available online to ensure this, so you could either poke around and research a lot or get a specialist's help. Of course, if you're on StoreHippo, we do all the work for you- but we don't like to show off too much.
 
3. Not being careful with product description:
 
In your product description, both images and content are important, depending on the context. Say you are selling refrigerators. Immediately your product description scores one over your thumbnail image. Sure, people want their fridge to be good-looking, but they care a lot more about its functions and features. On the other hand, if you are selling fridge magnets, photos are all that people will care about. I mean, fridge magnets are not very multifunctional or feature-oriented, are they? (Unless you're playing a shipwrecked sailor in your apartment.  In that case, the magnet can point you to the true  North. Seriously, Hippo vouches for it.)
 
4. Providing an information overload:
 
Keep calm and KISS, people! 
 KISS as in Keep It Super Simple- what were you thinking? A sure way to kill customer conversion is to put too much stuff onto the page. Overcrowding of designs, too much irrelevant description, over flooding of keywords and meandering content- these are the things to avoid. No need to strip it down to size zero, but cut to the chase pretty fast or you will lose attention. If you look at the most popular e-commerce websites, you'd usually find a streamlined design with a simple theme, concise descriptions and  attractive photos (by attractive, we mean that the customer would want to be the person in the photo). This is the painfully-obvious-but-oft-ignored Holy Trinity of an online store.
 
 
5. Slow Page load / Bad payment gateway and checkout / Not securing your site:
 
In short, bad technology! If you have all of these in your site, that means you're trying your customer's patience, asking her to pay (which is always unpleasant) through a complicated channel which keeps asking for a flurry or details and numbers, and on top of it making her feel unsafe. Not a very nice experience, you'd agree. Remember that slow page load kills 10% customer conversion, and forced account registration kills 26%. Just ensure that your platform is not lagging behind  technologically, and try not to involve third parties in payments- and you should be good to go.
 
Now, if you will excuse a little bit of self-trumpeting in exchange of all this knowledge we just endowed you with, let's point out that StoreHippo lets you create your own identity (thereby helping in points 1 & 3), offers a glitch-and-third-party-free payment gateway (taking care of point 5), ensures that your store is SEO-ready (point 2), provides beautiful themes (points 3 & 4) and is quite a few gallops ahead of its peers in terms of technology  (insert link to blog post 2). So, when are you hopping on board?

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3 Comments

Hi I have my own Web portal named koreajila.com, I want to add new features and ecommers products in my site. please suggest and guide me to develop more attractive and advanced site. And I also want to generate revenue from this portal. Thanks

By: Aditya Raj David
Aug 11, 2014   Reply

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Hi, I am planning to open an online store like flipcart.com f but i dont have any clue about how to start with, payment gateway, product delivery and COD facility. Also need to understand the legalities involved in this business. Request you to please send me details and guide me better to start my online store. Thanks.

By: sk.quadrat
Jul 30, 2014   Reply

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Hi, I am planning to open an online store for Lighting products, but i dont have any clue about how to start with, payment gateway, product delivery and COD facility. Also need to understand the legalities involved in this business. Request you to please send me details or appoint someone who can guide me better to start my online store. Thanks.

By: Vishal Agrawal
Jul 24, 2014   Reply

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