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Security pitfalls and experience errors that sink online stores

Does your online store have SSL certificates? Is your domain protected from fraud? Does UTM tracking form part of your ecommerce marketing strategy? Have you created a mobile-friendly website, or any website at all? 

Store owners tend to be experts in their product, but not security or websites. This is normal and, I’d say, perfect for an online store! But security is crucial, and your website can be a huge revenue generator. So, I asked Andrew Smith, CGO at HiveHatch to save you some time (and lost sales) by sharing his experience trouble-shooting website protection and the customer experience.

6 common mistakes that store owners make on their websites

The below mistakes are common because they’re not immediately noticeable to those who aren’t web experts. Here are ways you might be exposing your online store, plus how to protect your site and increase sales:

1. “Firstly, they might not even have a website,” says Smith. This is problematic because retail sales from ecommerce are expected to represent 21% of total purchases by the end of 2022, and this number will grow 50% every year.

Why miss out on a huge opportunity to boost revenue because you don’t create an online store? Even a presence online is better than no ecommerce marketing strategy at all, as there are shoppers who browse products online, then buy in-person.

2.Sites that are missing an SSL certificate look untrustworthy,” says Smith. An SSL certificate is what allows websites to move from a http to https domain — the latter is more secure and the former might be blocked by certain firewalls.

“You can avoid your SSL even being a problem by using Shopify over other store hosts,” Smith advises. Shopify is considered a straightforward platform to get started on. 

3. “Many don’t update their information on Google, so their opening hours are wrong, the contact details are outdated, and so on.” These points are not hard to fix, you just need to set aside some time to either make, or update your business’ Google Maps page. While you’re at it, update your contact details on your online store’s website, including social media links!

4. The mobile-friendly version of your online store is easy to forget. Ultimately, stores do register sales and plod along just fine without one.

Smith — and many ecommerce marketing strategy experts — believe Mcommerce (mobile shopping) should be a major part of your sales plan. After all, why would you choose to miss out on nearly
half (44%) of your potential sales between now and 2025?

Mcommerce represents an enormous portion of purchases, not to mention browsing hours on mobile sites, even if shoppers later visit your ecommerce site from a computer just to pay and organize shipping.

5. “If stores don’t secure their domain for email sending, it can be easy for spammers to spoof your brand through email,” says Smith. If another person can imitate your brand with a fake website, not only do you open yourself up to loss of brand trust from customers, you may also expose yourself, contacts, and clients to fraud, ransomware, and blackmail.

What does Smith recommend to avoid this? A tool like DMARC does the trick, and is worth installing to protect your personal reputation as well as your business.

6. Stores that don’t use UTMs are missing out too, according to Smith. Few store owners are specialists in ecommerce marketing strategy and therefore, are not tracking effectively. As a result, they may be sending out ineffective SMS marketing, building content that doesn’t increase sales or awareness, or dedicating time to email campaigns that lack our best copy.

What is the solution to track effectively? Using a UTM builder is the most straightforward for an ecommerce marketing strategy. “Sprout and Hubspot do inject into their links automatically, but there’s still no central place to look at all your links.”

Smith told me that a company he worked with realized after beginning to work with UTMs that they’d “been sending this email for 2 years and it wasn’t generating any revenue.” The company was able to improve the email and use marketing efforts more effectively.

Have you seen any online stores tripping into these security pitfalls? 

We hope Andrew Smith’s extensive experience in growth helps perfect your ecommerce marketing strategy to increase sales, and protect your store’s site.

Stay tuned for more insights from this executive and investor in Aument, I’ll be sharing more insights garnered from my conversations with him and Hive Hatch!

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