In the world of ecommerce, you should always strive to create the clearest, most convenient path to your products. Consumers want to shop online at specific retailers, so you sell your products in those stores and include more purchasing options on your website.
But any time you send potential customers to an online retailer, there’s a lot that can go wrong along the way if you’re not paying attention to the path you’re sending them on. People can get lost or frustrated, and never complete their purchase. Or they might discover a competitor at a lower price point, and choose them over you.
A lot of brands lose sales because of simple ecommerce errors.
In episode five of our podcast, PriceSpider Ecommerce Connected, our global sales executive Anthony Capozzoli highlights five of the most common ecommerce mistakes that cause brands to lose sales.
1. Broken links
Online retailers are constantly updating their websites. Changing categories. Altering URLs. Moving product pages. But while this is all done in an effort to optimize and improve their site, it can create ripples that cost you sales—if you aren’t paying attention.
If a retailer modifies the URL of one of your product pages and you don’t notice, then all of a sudden you’re sending your potential customers to a page that doesn’t exist. Your site tells people they can buy your product at their favorite retailer, they click the link, and they get a 404 error code.
This leaves them with a few options:
* They can give up.
* They can go back to your website and try another retailer they don’t like as much. (Unlikely.)
* They can search for your product or product category on the retailer’s site (or worse, Google), which lets competitors get in the mix.
Error codes and broken links create barriers on the purchase path and strain a consumer’s loyalty to your brand. It’s a signal that what they thought was an option isn’t actually available—even though you told them it was. It also reveals that your website is outdated, which reflects poorly on your brand. With this one mistake, in an instant, someone can go from wanting your product to actively seeking a competitor.
Hopefully, your retail partners create redirects any time they change the URL of your product pages. But if you count on that, you risk losing sales.
2. Not linking to retailers
Sometimes brand manufacturers want consumers to know their products are available in major stores without driving their website visitors to those stores. So they put up the logos of those retailers on their product pages, but don’t link to their websites.
But here’s what happens when you do that. People click and tap those logos expecting it to take them to their preferred online retailer, where you’ve just told them they can buy your product. And nothing happens. In order to actually do what you’ve just told them they can do, they have to enter that retailer’s URL or Google it, then hunt for your product page. And at every step along the way, there are opportunities for them to either lose momentum or encounter one of your competitors.
By including the logos of retailers that sell your product, you’re teasing the idea that a visitor’s preferred path to purchase is an option—and then you’re placing obstacles in that path.
It’s a terrible experience. And it costs you sales. If you’re already putting in the work to tell visitors where they can buy your products (and you should be), then there’s really no reason not to go all the way and link directly to the relevant product page on each retailer’s website.