The main point of your eCommerce website is to generate sales, right?
Then you want to focus on making your website design as user-friendly as possible.
When you’re selling products online, your website is more than just your online home, it’s your first impression, your trust factor, your cash register, and your customer service all in one. It’s basically your most valuable employee.
Your eCommerce website doesn’t sleep or “clock out”.
It works around the clock, showcasing your brand and products to your ideal audience….day and night, even when you’re comfy in bed snoozing away.
Your website is a big deal.
It requires a lot of planning, work, maintenance, and fine-tuning.
Double check and make sure you’re not making one of these 9 eCommerce web design mistakes.
They’re pretty common, but they can have a huge negative impact on your bottom line.
1. Bad Image Quality:
The best part about shopping online is that you don’t have to get out of your house….or even your pajamas. The worst part about shopping online is that you can’t physically hold and inspect the product before buying. THIS is why you need high-quality photos of your products.
Humans are visual beings.
We process images 60,000x faster than text.
Use this to your advantage on your website. Provide multiple angles of your products, color variations, or options. Don’t upload a tiny photo and expect people to rush over and click the “add to cart” button. You want them to be able to zoom in on the picture(s) and be able to get the sense of “holding and inspecting” before buying.
2. Confusing Product Descriptions:
Your single product pages are an important piece of the selling online puzzle. They attract your customers and talk them into buying. Descriptions combined with high-quality images let your website visitors experience the product without having to hold it.
Add a little personality to the descriptions.
Be engaging and informative.
Tell them how your product will solve their problems and why it’s so awesomely awesome.
I’m not saying write a novel for every single one of them, but you do need to give your consumers the details they need to make an educated purchase.
If you’re getting a lot of returns from your online products, you might want to revisit your product descriptions and make sure you’re describing them accurately and in a clear manner. Ask a team member, colleague, family member, or friend for their opinion on your product descriptions. Sometimes all you need is a second pair of eyes to make the correct tweaks.
3. Lack of Trust:
When you’re selling products online, most of the time your website is the only impression you’ll get to make on your customers.
When you have an online store, you don’t get the chance to meet all of your customers. You don’t get the chance to shake their hand and introduce yourself. You don’t get the chance to give them a smiling face and wholehearted hello.
You have to gain their trust and make yourself credible….virtually.
Your website should be clean, attractive, and target your ideal customer.
What things should you avoid, like the plague?
- Confusing, outdated web design
- Misspelled words or bad grammar
- Low-quality images and visuals
- Confusing brand message and style
Trust and credibility are two HUGE components of the online shopping world.
People buy things from people they trust.
4. Complicated Check-Out Process:
When your customer finishes browsing your website, adds the product(s) that they want to the cart, and starts to check out, refrain from hitting them with an additional 10 unnecessary steps.
The longer the check-out process, the lower the conversions.
The more confusing the check-out process, the lower the conversions.
Don’t complicate the process.
Multiple checkout pages and poor design will result in people leaving mid-transaction and loss of sales for you.
Believe me. I’ve done it.
No matter how much I wanted that adorable pack of perfectly designed stationary…..being thrown into a PITA checkout process, made me exit, real quick….and I ended up buying a similar stationary set somewhere else. Tough, I know, but that’s life…..and that’s what I’m trying to help you avoid.
We live in a busy world and I wanted my stationary set without having to jump through unnecessary hoops.
Offer a “Check Out as Guest” option if possible so that user’s that don’t want to create an account, aren’t forced to.
5. Not Being Mobile Friendly:
For the love of cookies, PLEASE make sure your website is mobile responsive. In today’s society, the number of users buying products via mobile devices is increasing…..rapidly.
“57% of consumers will not recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site and 40% of consumers will go to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.” – Chris Belew, Apptive
Having a mobile-friendly website is so crucial to your user’s browsing experience that search engines like Google PENALIZE websites for not being mobile optimized. (That means in search results your competitor’s mobile responsive website and products would be listed before yours if your website isn’t mobile-friendly)
Not sure if your website is mobile responsive? Pop your URL into this free Google tool and it’ll spit back the results for you.
6. Overwhelming Navigation:
Having too many options or describing categories too vaguely are the two most common design mistakes I see in terms of navigation. If your customers can’t find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, they’re leaving your website.
What’s the best way to optimize your navigation?
Think about your ideal consumer.
What are they looking for?
Organize your menu and navigation options to let them get to where they need to be in the LEAST amount of clicks as possible.
Another good way to reduce the frustration of finding things is to add a search bar to your website. (This is especially helpful if you have a TON of products). Let your website visitors search for what they want, so they can find it in a breeze and then head over to that checkout process.
“Customers who use on-site search to find products are more than 3x more likely to convert than customers who don’t.” – Andy Eades, Elevate Web
The less complicated you make the whole scenario, the more conversions you’ll see.
7. No Clear Way to Contact You/Customer Service:
Just because consumers are purchasing online, instead of face-to-face, doesn’t mean they don’t have questions. Make it easy for people to get solutions to their purchasing problems, and ask questions along the way.
You don’t need a whole call center for your customer service, especially if you’re a one-person show, but you should have a telephone number or email address available for people to contact you……and check that email regularly.
Putting your location details is also a great thing to add to your website. You might be an online store but sometimes customers like to know where you’re located or where you’ll be shipping from. This tiny piece of information could provide your customers with a little more trust in your brand or help them consider international shipping arrangements.
8. Loading Takes Too Long:
“Every second delay in page-load time leads to 11% fewer page views, a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and a 7% loss in conversions.” – Aberdeen Group
I mean….that quote kind of says it all.
People leave websites if they take too long to load.
Website users are impatient, especially when shopping online.
If you have a large eCommerce store, the amount of content and images that your visitor’s browser has to load could be…..insane, to put it simply.
Make sure your website is hosted on a quality server.
Make sure all of your high-quality images are optimized.
Make sure your web design and theme isn’t slowing down the loading time.
Make sure you have a caching plugin setup correctly.
The culprit of a slow website could be a large number of things.
If you’re not sure about the speed of your website, use this free website speed tool.
9. Your Pop-Up Sucks:
Pop-ups are known to increase conversions, but they annoy the hell out of consumers. If your heart is set on having a pop-up on your website, you have to make sure you’re doing it right.
Timing: Pop-ups are a great way to get important information in front of your consumer, but make sure that your pop-up isn’t being triggered AS SOON as the user gets on your website.
Nothing is worse than going to a website for the first time and even before you start to browse the products or check out the company, you get hit with a “HEY YOU WANT 25% OFF?” I mean, yeah I want 25% off, but I don’t even know if I like the products yet Mr. Pop-Up, gimmie a minute to browse.
It’s basically like a sales human running up to you in the department store as soon as you walked in the door, asking if you need help. Like, shit lady, I don’t know. I might? I might not?
Size and Exit: How big is your pop-up? If it’s not mobile optimized and its way too large for the screen, you could be blocking your users on mobile devices from continuing to browse around. I myself have gone on an eCommerce website, saw some stuff I liked, got hit with a pop-up that was basically invading my life and I didn’t have ANY way of closing it out or making it go away.
Having a super large pop-up without an obvious “Exit” or “Close” option is just asking your users to get annoyed and leave your website…..and we don’t want that. We want out consumers to be happy and stay, stay, stay so they can buy, buy, buy.
If you’re up in the air about having pop-ups all together, check out Google’s recently released algorithm that discourages pop-ups.
Whether you’re new to the eCommerce world, or you’re looking to update and tweak your current setup, make sure to avoid these mistakes. They could make or break the number of people that convert on your website!
Looking for a little inspiration? Check out these 23 Ecommerce Web Design Examples