Don’t Make These Mistakes on Your E-commerce Website

After six years of heavy use, my computer’s monitor is giving me signs that its end is near.  As I usually do, I searched online for the best monitor that meets my needs and then searched for the best price.  In this case (for a Dell Ultrasharp Monitor), Amazon had the second lowest price I could find. The lowest price was $33 cheaper from an online store I will keep nameless.  Normally, I would take the lowest price.  However, this online store made several mistakes in their website design and presentation that caused me not to order from them.  Here’s what they did and what you shouldn’t do:

  • No “About Us” page.  The monitor costs a few hundred dollars.  I know nothing about this company and an About Us page would be helpful in giving me a comfort level in sending them a few hundred dollars and expecting a brand new monitor be delivered.  I am not looking for a used or refurbished monitor.
  • Poor product description.  They had pictures and a detailed description of the monitor copied directly from Dell (a poor differentiator in search).  Unfortunately, the one key item I wanted to know about was whether the monitor (for a low price) was new or a refurb.
  • Diversity of product offerings which seems illogical.  The domain for the store included “pet store” in its name.  I’m buying a monitor.  Those two items don’t logically go together.  Other store categories include kitchen, baby and beauty.  I see no nexus among all these products.  We expect Amazon to sell everything in the universe.  Perhaps an About Us page would have helped addressed my puzzlement, but there was none.
  • The home page only contains “latest products.”  There was no text introducing themselves to visitors.
  • The physical address on their contact us page could not be found in either Google or Bing.  The city they claim to be located in is within driving distance of my office.  I could have gone there to buy the product.  But if Google and Bing do not know the address, how do I know it is real?
  • A reverse lookup of their phone number only returned their own contact page.  Usually, that would return other sites.
  • A Whois record that is anonymous and recent.  As a last ditch effort to get the “warm and fuzzies” about this company, I performed a lookup on their domain name registration.  What I found is that they used a contact protection services to keep their contact anonymous and that their domain name was only registered in July 2013.  I could not confirm their address or phone number.  Further, it was only registered for a year.  While not conclusive, these are not signals that the company wants to be known and plans to be in business for a while.  Most search engines would highly discount this in their results.
  • No online reviews of their site and no links to them on any other site.  I know they’re new, but surely they’ve done something notable or tried to get inbound links.  Being invisible on the internet is not a good strategy.  I found them via an ad they purchased on Google’s shopping arm.  Buying an ad does not confer legitimacy.

So is all this conclusive the company is a scam?  No.  Ecommerce is about relationships, and they have not done much to build one.  The internet is notorious for scams. As someone once said, the internet allows someone to be everyone and nowhere at the same time.  There are too many red flags on this one, so I took a pass.  Maybe they are legit, but they lost a sale.

If you’re looking for an ecommerce website, contact me to discuss.

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