ecommerce design mistakes

13 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Designing Your Ecommerce Website

By Jake Rheude

A lot of web designers today are facing several challenges when it comes to building an engaging, interactive, and unique e-commerce site. That’s why you should never fall into the trap of committing the most common website design mistakes.

Fortunately, there are several ways you could optimize your website, which can be helpful in streamlining your e-commerce order fulfillment process. Not to mention that doing so can help you improve your sales and revenue.

In relation to this, we have listed down some of the common e-commerce design mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs.

1. Complicated, Time Consuming Checkout Process

According to a study by Baymard Institute, having a complicated and long checkout process is the third most common reason why customers leave your site. This can cause prospects to abandon your site and directly impacts your conversions.

That’s why you have to make sure that once a visitor has chosen your products, they can make a purchase easily in just a few steps.

It is also crucial that you display the costs of shipping and taxes, making sure that this information does not remain hidden up until the last minute. It is your responsibility to make the check-out process as uncomplicated as possible. Your goal is to create a check-out process that is on a single page to bring in more conversions.

2. Lack of Shipping Options

A lot of times, people would expect options for shipping. That’s why you must provide them with a variety of shipping options in terms of delivery time and price.

It would be a great inconvenience for the customer to buy from your store if there’s only a single shipping option or that the shipping costs are the same as the amount to the product they’re buying.

Even if one option is effective, by still have to fulfill orders by switching to a completely different vendor. So, provide them with more shipping options because it will surely improve your business. Having a diversity of shipping options is also handy in case of a natural disaster or when banks are on holiday.

3. Insufficient Product Description

Your product description is crucial. As much as you can, give a detailed product description, covering all the selling points of the product. You can also answer additional queries about the product like how it is made and how it functions.

Moreover, make a list of materials that are used to create the product, the manufacturing process, and inform the consumer whether or not the product comes with a warranty and more.

4. Poor Search, Sort, or Filter Options

Not a lot of shoppers are aware of what they’re searching for. Therefore, your product display should be enticing enough to hold their attention. But having an attractive product with a big “Buy Now!” button will not cut it. You should do your part in helping shoppers find what they are looking for without all the trouble.

You could accomplish this by categorizing your products, letting visitors sort and filter through them. A search bar could help a lot as well. Other features that would let shoppers decide whether or not they want to make a purchase are FAQs, product reviews, and comparison tables.

5. Lack of Quality Image

A great driving force for any e-commerce site is attractive, high-definition product photos. Because the user cannot touch or test the product, images can help them discern the quality of your products. You could opt to hire a professional photographer so that you will have high-quality images on your website with better consideration over the lighting, product background, and photo editing.

Another best practice you should implement is using a magnifying feature on your product images. That way, your customers can have the option to enlarge the photo and see tinier details a lot easier.

6. Poor Customer Service

According to research, interactions with excellent customer service are four times likely to prevent losing a prospect than they are to build customer loyalty. Your web design holds the key when it comes to finding customer support. Your website’s support system must be positive and in line with your website’s design.

Several e-commerce sites also provide a live chat feature with a chatbox message. That way, whenever customers encounter an issue or if they are stuck with something, they know how to get in touch with you. You do not necessarily have to wow them with everything. All you need is to deliver your promise.

All of these tactics are a great example of the better usage of technology coupled with great design aesthetics. Moreover, it serves as a crucial trust element that shouldn’t be ignored. 

7. Complex Navigation

Another reason why people leave your site is due to complicated navigation. So, go with the best navigation practices and remember these things as well:

  • Anything that is clickable on your site should be big enough to be tapped on a smartphone or other mobile devices.
  • Give users top-level categories that are accessible on the menu.
  • Let the user sort your products based on recently added, price, review scores, etc.

8. Not Being Mobile-Friendly

Online shopping gives you the convenience of buying items in the comfort of your home. Smartphones and other devices even offer you the convenience of not having to sit at your desk and open your computer.

Also, there is no doubt that more and more users are using their smartphones when browsing the Internet. That’s why there is really a need for your e-commerce site to be mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you’ll run the risk of losing a significant number of your customers.

A site with a mobile-responsive design is a necessity for a majority of e-commerce stores in order to provide a better user experience. You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test tool to check whether your site is mobile-friendly or not.

9. Slow Page Loading Time

Approximately 53% of mobile users abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. Not to mention that a slow-loading website is one of the major reasons why a lot of users abandon their carts. Simply put, a slow page loading time can hurt your online sales.

Ideally, your web page should load in less than three seconds, or it can have a negative impact on your business’ bottom line. Hence, you need to boost your e-commerce site’s load speed if you want to provide excellent UX to your online customers.

10. Hiding Return and Exchange Policies

Unfortunately, some e-commerce businesses do not maintain full transparency with their customers, and as a result, lose a lot in the long run.

That’s why it’s crucial to make your company policy clear to all of your customers. In your policy, mention the terms and conditions of exchanges and returns so that people are aware of it. Mentioning these policies right off the bat will prevent any potential problems that might arise later on.

The best place to link your policies is usually on the footer section of your website.

11. Lack of Social Media Presence

If you are thinking that your e-commerce site is going to thrive without social media, then think again. Social media is helping small businesses generate sales even with a minimum investment. Hence, you should tap into the power of social media to spread the word about your products and services in the online world.

You can start by posting content on various social media networks, and gain the attention of people through social media marketing. Also, ensure that you place social sharing buttons on all your product pages.

12. Directing Traffic to Your Homepage

Most online marketers and website owners direct their site traffic to their homepage. However, this means that you’re redirecting your potential conversions to the wrong page.

Come to think of it, conversion happens on product pages and not on your home page. Despite having steady traffic and a good number of visits on your site, you wouldn’t make enough conversions.

That said, it is important to optimize your product pages so that you can redirect search engine users to where conversion can immediately happen.

13. Hard-to-Find Shopping Cart

Imagine going to an online store, you found the item you liked, but you come to check out, you could not find the checkout register. You want to buy the product, but you do not know where to pay.

That’s what your online customers will feel if they could not find the digital shopping cart on your website. To make it easier for customers to find your cart, you need to implement the following features:

  • The shopping cart should be identified with an icon that’s easy to recognize.
  • Users can quickly find the cart by searching for the words “shopping cart.”
  • The cart will appear on the same spot on every page.

Final Thoughts

For your e-commerce business, your website is your greatest asset. It is your main source of sales and revenue.

So, if you do not want it to turn into a liability in the long run, then you simply have to avoid the following mistakes that we have discussed in this article.

After all, you need to create your e-commerce site in a way that provides customers a world-class experience.

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Jake Rheude
Jake Rheude is the Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment, an ecommerce order fulfillment service provider. He has years of experience in ecommerce and business development. In his free time, Jake enjoys reading about business and sharing his own experience with others.

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