Top 10 Common Mistakes in E-Commerce Website Design
Online selling today is more viable than ever – not only that it lets you tap into new and faraway markets, in times of pandemics and social distancing, it offers shoppers a safe way to purchase what they need, when they want to. It allows businesses to cut costs significantly too. However, you need to remember that every other business is online, and you have to ensure that your ecommerce site is professionally designed for maximum ROI. It is easy to make mistakes and drive away potential customers – but easy enough to avoid or even fix those mistakes. Taking a few precautions can accord a good shopping experience for your customers.
Mistake 1. Providing Inadequate Product Information
When you actually walk into a store, you are able to pick up a product, feel it, read the packaging labels, and talk to the sales staff for information if you need to know more. Online shopping is bereft of human interaction, and obviously your customers have to rely on how it looks – and the information you provide in the product description. When the product description is too brief and lacks detail, it could create mistrust in the minds of the customer. To offer an improved experience, provide as much detail about the product as you can. Without that, those browsing your site are likely to go in search of those products on another site.
Mistake # 2. Complicated or Time Consuming Checkout Process
This is one of the worst things you could do – and unfortunately, many ecommerce portals fall prey to it. The process is too complex, or it takes ages to complete: the customer is forced to create an account before they make a purchase, and the website asks for too much information. Nothing is likely to put off customers more than making them wait for a long time to check out their shopping carts. It is ecommerce suicide. Make it quick and easy, and help your customers purchase from you. Keep the steps minimal, and ideally it should be a one-page affair; two column layouts will make pages appear shorter. Don’t give them too much time to change their minds! Add the products, enter payment and shipping info, and click submit – that’s all customers should have to do.
Mistake # 3 Designs that Don’t Inspire Trust
You may not realize it, but the design of your ecommerce website is a crucial factor. For users to find it trustworthy, we recommend to hire a professional team from a reputed software development company rather than do it yourself. They can ensure that a tried and trusted ecommerce platform with a familiar and contemporary theme is used for your ecommerce portal. If design is very important for your brand, an expert designer can create a bespoke design and theme to reflect your unique brand and build trust in consumer minds. A shoddy job tells users that you are not serious about what you’re doing, and may create doubts in their minds.
Mistake # 4. Not Ensuring Responsive Design
With more and more people – a whopping 51% of adults in fact – using their mobile phones to browse and shop, if you don’t ensure that your site is responsive, you are on the fast track to failure. It is imperative that you cater to your mobile users and offer them a seamless experience when they browse your ecommerce site on their mobile devices. You are likely to do better by using a popular and fail safe theme with just a few tweaks to customize it for your business. Only if a unique design is absolutely essential for your brand should you go for it.
Mistake # 5. Not Displaying Contact Information Properly
No customer wants to deal with a nameless, faceless entity; they want to know who they are dealing with, and be sure that those people can be trusted. After all, they are handing over their sensitive financial information, and they need to be sure that they can talk to an actual person if something goes wrong, or if they need any help with anything in the near future. If the customer cannot find your contact information, in all probability they are likely to get suspicious, and not trust you enough to make a purchase. To avoid this, it is important to ensure that your contact information is prominently displayed on every single page of your E-commerce website. The best places to do this are the header, footer, or at the top of the sidebar. Mention different channels of contact like email, chat, contact forms, mailing address,, and telephone number.
Mistake # 6. Not Providing a Search Engine
When a potential customer knows exactly what they want to purchase, they are highly likely to use a search engine to zero in on the product, rather than go through filters and categories, which will obviously waste their time. Which makes it essential for your online store to feature a search engine. Again, you need to ensure that it’s adequate, and offers options to the user to filter out some results, because a search can return dozens, and at times, even hundreds of results, which means that the customer has to comb through all of them. Ensure that your ecommerce portal has an inbuilt search engine that enables users to search using keywords, and has filters that allow refining of those results on criteria. For example, if somebody is searching for shirts, the filters should include fabric, size, occasion, and so on.
Mistake # 7. Inadequate Product Images
As customers are not able to actually touch and feel your products before they add them to their carts, images of products are very important. Never make the mistake of uploading small images, or only a single image of a particular product. The image should be fairly large, clear, and taken from different angles. This provides a good experience to the consumer and offers a better idea about how the product looks; to five an even better idea about the size, you can place the product next to a standard item, making it easy for the user to compare. For example, if you’re selling ladies’ handbags, have at least one picture of a model holding the handbag so that it gives a proper idea of its size. Ideally, an image that can be enlarged up to 1024x768 pixels is what you should be looking at.
Mistake # 8. Poor Shopping Cart Design
The shopping cart is critically important for any ecommerce website. It should be flexible, allowing users to add several products, to modify the quantities, add or remove products as they need. You should ensure that the cart design is such that it allows the customer to add a product and go back to the last page they were on, or to add the product without leaving the page they were on. This helps them to continue browsing and shopping – which is what your business needs. Offer a preview of the shipping or delivery charges to provide an even better experience.
Mistake # 9. Confusing Navigation
Nothing irritates a shopper more than navigating a site that seems like going through a maze. If you don’t categorize your products, the customer will find it extremely difficult to find a particular product type. You need to remember also, to not make categories for the sake of it, if you have no products to add there. Navigation elements and categories should be carefully considered before adding products to your catalog; ensure that all categories have a few products in them, or bunch smaller categories together in larger categories that are similar. This will make it easy for shoppers to browse through various categories and navigate your ecommerce site.
Mistake # 10. Inadequate Shipping and Payment Policy Information
Maintaining 100% transparency in your website is extremely important. Nobody likes nasty surprises; like at the last step, an additional charge for shipping and delivery, or mentioning unavailability of cash on delivery, or any such information that is unpleasant for the customer. Be upfront about your policies regarding payment options, shipping charges, returns – whether you offer refunds or store credit, and the time period within which returns are allowed, and so on. All this information should be clearly mentioned and visible to your shopper before they reach the final payments page. Providing this information helps build trust, and gives the customer peace of mind.
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