E-commerce has become a more popular and convenient method for consumers to shop for and purchase products, ranging from big-ticket items such as electronics and furniture to daily needs, such as groceries. For this reason, establishing a reliable and effective e-commerce system can help small businesses grow their customer base and cement their position in their respective industry.

However, entrepreneurs who are developing an e-commerce platform should proceed with caution and avoid simple mistakes that many first-time business owners make to avoid damaging their reputation or losing clients.

1. Amateur website designs

When customers are shopping, they may feel more comfortable on websites that look professional, neat and, most importantly, secure. For this reason, avoid website designs that look too cluttered or do not provide enough information about products to consumers.

2. Convoluted checkout process

Security and convenience are strong factors when it comes to making purchases online and customers will take these characteristics into account when conducting transactions on your website. It's important to make them feel at ease by first designing your website with their security in mind. Customers like to see logos or signs of encryption and other safeguards that reassure them that their financial information is secure. Second, customers are likely to become frustrated when forced to take polls, surveys or provide miscellaneous or personal information while trying to check out. The checkout process should not take more than a few seconds, so avoid adding unnecessary procedures that may make the transaction more time consuming.

3. Insufficient customer service

Regardless of whether your business is in-store, online or run out of a home office, customer service will always play an important role in maintaining loyalty and driving new customers. Make sure your company's customer service line is fully available and easy to access in the event of a payment issues.

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.