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Daniel Law

July 2, 2020

Common eCommerce Development Issues & How to Overcome Them

Sydneysiders and tourists use the internet, whether for keeping up with news, communication, navigation, or shopping. Because of the enormous market potential and widely available website development tools, eCommerce has become one of the biggest industries in cyberspace.

As a result, countless entrepreneurs and merchants are jumping into the eCommerce bandwagon, venturing into uncharted waters in hopes to expand their businesses and get more revenue.

However, not everyone has significant experience in website development and eCommerce management. Hence, many traders struggle during the development phase as well as the early stages of publishing their website.

What Makes eCommerce Sites Different?

Saying that eCommerce sites are like other websites sounds easier than it actually is. Unlike blogs and static websites, the products you post on your eCommerce page shuffle all the time. 

Additionally, several other factors should be optimised to ensure improved revenue, such as targeted marketing and SEO. Because of the sheer complexity of how an eCommerce page functions, there will be a handful of problems you may encounter during the web development process.

To assist your brand in overcoming common eCommerce problems, we’ve listed below what you should be looking out for.

Duplicate eCommerce Content

You might notice duplicate product content within your WordPress dashboard or another CMS you may be using. It could be outdated content that you forgot to delete after posting an updated version, or merely an honest mistake of posting the same product twice. 

Furthermore, ignoring duplicated content will increase your chances of being penalised by major search engines such as Google. That is because eCommerce products are categorised in multiple URLs that point to a single product page. Hence, duplicate content, especially those with non-readable URLs are tagged by search engines as internal duplicate content or meta-data ‒ which may affect your position in search results.

Other than that, it is an example of bad code within your HTML code, and if you didn’t publish it by mistake, then it must be a bug that you must promptly fix before it reoccurs in the future.

Solution

In dealing with duplicate content, you have to exclude areas such as category pages, sub-category pages, tags, and archives from search indexers by including them in the /robots.txt or embed these pages with a no-follow tag.

Depending on how people develop their eCommerce sites, some tend to separate reviews and shopping carts in different URLs. But for better results, you can exclude these pages from search indexes through a canonical tag or acquire a single canonicalised version of the page within your home page.

Non-Unique Product Titles

Most of the time, you will be posting unique products of the same category ‒ only to find out the clutter and drawbacks of confusing products and bad code. Besides, your customers may struggle to find a specific product within a plethora of similar items, especially if your page is growing larger in scale.

Relating it to the first problem, product variations that have similar keywords and tags are also considered as duplicate content and falls under bad and disorganised code. This could hit a punch to your website structure and may cause severe database problems in the future.

Solution

Arrange your product tags as using unique model numbers that will make every product unique and stand out when searched. You can also arrange them via brand, model, and item type to further organise the products and achieve a neat search results page.

Moreover, it would help if you use unique key phrases that targeted customers will certainly use when looking for a particular product. For your alt tags and meta title descriptions, you can still use the same phrases above the product name.

Inefficient Product Pages

Product description and product page optimisation are critical in bringing remarkable results for your business. It is also vital that you develop these pages around your company’s goals, search engines, and targeted consumers.

A webpage that isn’t fully optimised for all platforms may take time to load or even crash if viewed in a different platform or browser. Common causes of this problem include:

  • Unoptimised images
  • JavaScript issues
  • Excessive Flash content
  • Unclean code

Solution

As a solution, always check your image resolutions and utilise high-quality JPEG photos only when a customer chooses to zoom the product. Furthermore, you have to audit your JavaScript scripts to keep only what your page needs, ‒ and flash content isn’t one of them.

Additionally, it would help if you present excellent introductory content ‒ for SEO and consumer engagement purposes. You also have to utilise traffic data and targeted marketing to provide unique product suggestions for every type of customer depending on their search queries and product clicks within your page.

Product Variations

If you are selling different variations of a single product, chances are that you’ve classified them individually on different pages, or you fail to classify them at all. For instance, shirts typically come in various colours and sizes. And without classifying them correctly and efficiently, you run the risk of confusing your customers and create an issue from the content perspective.

When classifying new product variations such as size, colour, and material, many developers create a separate product page, resulting in a plethora of nearly identical and unnecessary sites.

Solution

More links mean more clutter, particularly in eCommerce. You want your customers to have a smooth and robust shopping experience. Hence, it would be best to use a JavaScript application to develop a single page in which visitors can view every product variety without leaving the site.

Homepage Redirects

All eCommerce websites need to have a homepage button that sends visitors back to the root of the site from which other product pages and content can be launched. However, some people still miss this detail and design their homepage references to redirect not on the main page but to another page.

Also, another problem is that other buttons, such as Contact and About are linked to the homepage. So whenever a customer clicks these buttons for help and product inquiries, they only find themselves stuck on the homepage and in an endless loop.

Solution

Depending on the type of CMS that you use for your site, homepage redirects may have problems if it uses session IDs when generating URLs for every page. You can prevent this by using unique title structures and checking every page link during development to see if they point where they should be.

Slow Loading Speed

You can get higher chances of visitor retention if your website is fluid and responsive across different platforms. That means faster content loading speed for your eCommerce website. Besides, search engines like Google now include page load speed as a vital ranking factor, putting sluggish webpages off the table.

Solution

Most of it has to do with content optimisation and a competitive web hosting service. If you’ve dealt with the previous problems and still end up with a slow webpage, try changing to a faster web hosting solution.

Moreover, you can install a server-level cache on your eCommerce platform to increase your resources, especially with a high amount of traffic. 

Aside from that, having a cache plugin installed on your CMS can help optimise its load speed as you’ll have more room for your content and plugins.

Conclusion

Developing a promising eCommerce platform is already a huge step towards leveraging the online marketplace. Besides, maintaining and improving your website takes a long way to go ‒ especially now that online trends and hot deals are getting increasingly volatile.

On the other hand, what matters is that you know how to deal with every small bump and innovate ways to work around difficult problems in terms of eCommerce website development.

You only want what’s best for your brand and your customers. That’s why if you’re going to beat the competition and translate your website metrics into revenue, then our team at G Squared can help.

At G Squared, we provide bespoke web solutions to suit all your eCommerce business needs. Call us today at (02) 9339 4500.

Daniel Law

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