Your main goal when you start designing an eCommerce website is always the same. To sell!
This involves attracting a large number of visitors, convincing them to buy your products, and retaining your first buyers so that they come back to your store. E-merchants spend a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money on their digital marketing and the activities that enable them to drive traffic to their online stores.
And for good reason! The competition is fierce and you have to fight for every customer. Given the stakes, losing buyers that you’ve already struggled to attract to your site due to web design flaws is not only painful. But above all extremely expensive!
Of course, that doesn’t mean that a bad homepage will sink your ship. Usually, errors in the design of a more complex eCommerce website will be the cause. This does not mean that it is not wise to check the solidity of the hull before setting off.
Can your product page better convert the leads you’ve worked so hard to attract to you? Have you made any mistakes that could disrupt your shopping funnel? Does your online store offer a 5-star experience?
While it is impossible to list in one article the complete list of all possible and conceivable design errors, we have condensed the most common problems into 5 groups. If you are planning to launch your online store, we recommend that you take a look. And above all, take it into account! And if you’re worried about your current site, the following should include a few ideas for improving it! And avoid shipwreck!
Design errors of an eCommerce website in the choice of images, layout, and visual style
A new visitor will have the first impression of your online store within seconds of arriving on your site. A cluttered, flashy, and messy web page will make her want to run away, not fill (and pay for) her shopping cart. Poor quality images, a lackluster value proposition, and cheesy branding can also hurt an already negative impression. Always use HD quality Images of the product, remove backgrounds of the product images, so that the customer can see a clear image of the product.
But there is good news!
The most visible design flaws in an eCommerce website are also the easiest to correct. If you can’t completely redesign your store, you can focus your attention on the details that matter.
Small, incremental improvements can increase your conversion rates without your visitors even noticing a change. Every pixel, every image, every nuance, and every word counts. A minimalist design enhances the look and feel of a web page. But excessive blank spaces can also make it too long.
Neglecting your customers is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to designing an eCommerce website. Without an in-depth analysis of your user behavior and research into the needs and preferences of your buyer persona, you won’t be able to improve your visual design, CTAs, and other essentials of your store.
Take care of your brand image
One thing is for sure: no one likes stock images. They take up precious space without presenting your products or what makes your brand unique. By giving the impression that your store is neglected, they can even ruin its design and damage the image (and therefore the turnover) of your company.
Speaking of branding, your logo is more than a lambda element of your homepage. Like your entire e-commerce site, it must arouse curiosity, or give off an impression of professionalism. Your logo and company name should reflect not only what you are selling, but also what you may be selling.
If the symbol of your company does not embody what it represents, it is high time to change it!
Take advantage of every space in your online store
Don’t waste space above the waterline of your homepage. Your visitors only need a few milliseconds to decide whether to stay or leave your store. You won’t convert visitors this fast without a great value proposition. The title of your page should be clear and concise. Illustrate it with an authentic and elegant image, which will put your product in the spotlight.
A short, mute but impressive autoplay video is even more effective. But that doesn’t mean the end of all worries. If you don’t immediately highlight the discounts, new products, or great offers that you reserve for your customers, you risk losing their interest. We recommend that you place eye-catching offers or at the top of your homepage. And to emphasize free shipping or any other incentive to buy.
This also applies to your product page. For a good design of an eCommerce website, remember that it must present all the essential sales elements above the fold. The worst mistake you can make at this point is if your product images conflict with their description.
Remember that bad images not only increase your bounce rate. But they can also hurt sales in your physical stores, as many users do their research online before purchasing IRL. If the photos of your products and the overall design of your store don’t impress them, they won’t make it to your physical points of sale!
A painstaking navigation and purchasing process
If a visually appealing online store doesn’t sell, it’s usually due to a poor user experience (UX). Don’t assume that your visitors have a lot of time to spend on your site. Reduce the number of scrolls and clicks required to make a purchase.
Nothing should distract a user from their purchasing process.
A common mistake in designing an eCommerce website is also to push visitors to look for exclusive offers or attractive prices. Searching for items in your store shouldn’t take a lot of their time either.
Instead, invest in your research experience. If your online store offers a wide range of products, a well-visible search engine will be essential. This tool must provide an optimal number of results, clear and legible. Consider using product image thumbnails for this.
Test the location, size, fonts, and colors of your search box. All of them will have an impact on your user experience. Also, don’t forget to design a distinctive badge to add to product images when an item is out of stock.
Streamline the shopping experience on your online store
Blank pages displaying “No results” or “Page not found” will also delay the validation of your visitors’ shopping cart. They can even encourage them to leave your store for good. Systematically suggest alternatives and devise smart ways to lead them where you want them to go.
If your user is faced with an overwhelming number of options, they may also get dizzy and decide to jump ship. For example, we advise against offering a choice of more than fifteen links.
Just as frustrating can be having to flip through different product pages to weigh the pros and cons. Instead, let your visitors browse the products that interest them. And design a page that will allow them to precisely compare the articles they liked.
A complicated purchasing process and unpleasant surprises during payment cost e-merchants millions of dollars each year. Your purchasing process should be displayed clearly and as early as possible. Your shipping, return and exchange policies, as well as your customer support contact page, should all be accessible from your home page.
Few things confuse online shoppers more than discovering surprisingly high shipping costs. Or realizing that they won’t be able to use their preferred payment method. Display accepted credit cards and other payment options, as well as shipping costs and other relevant information on your home page and product pages.
Facilitate the registration of new customers
Even after your customer clicks ” add to cart, ” mistakes in the design of an eCommerce website can still cost you money.
Many stores continue to force their new visitors to register. If they only want to buy one product, they will be all the more reluctant to do so. In general, Internet users prefer to finalize their purchase, and then register. Give them the option to save their items to their cart as a guest, then register to complete their purchase.
Another common mistake is to discourage a buyer from signing up by forcing them to fill out a huge form. Make the registration process as easy as possible. It should not take more than 20 seconds.
Also, don’t forget about visitors who come to your online store to find the address of the nearest store. Place a search tab at the top or bottom right corner of the web page. If you have a very large outlet network, also offer the option to search by country, city, postal code, or address.
Those Design Mistakes Of An Ecommerce Website That Undermine Visitor Confidence
An outdated, poorly designed site and a confusing buying process will logically have a catastrophic effect on the trust buyers can place in you. But that’s no reason to overlook the design elements of an eCommerce website that specifically promote trust. Your goal is to encourage visitors who do not yet know you to buy from you. But also to share their personal information.
Almost 95% of people do not trust outdated websites(Source).
Testimonials and trusted brands should be very present on your site. These may be stickers or logos marking a security guarantee by an external organization. Product reviews can also encourage visitors to buy.
While these same elements on a big brand online store will often be exaggerated, they are essential when designing an eCommerce website featuring a new brand. If you find yourself in this category, consider adding the “ About Us”, FAQ and “Contact Us ” pages. A 24/7 hotline, live chat, or chatbot system can improve both your customer service and your credibility. Add relevant information in the header and footer of the website.
Lack of links to your social networks will also be a big mistake. Your network profiles not only make your support more accessible. But they also allow you to gain visibility, to communicate on your offers, etc.
Don’t annoy your users
Welcoming your future buyers with pop-ups is a bad idea. They have not only become obsolete, but they also have a knack for ruining your user experience.
Online shoppers hate filling out surveys, signing up for newsletters, or sharing their personal information without clear rewards. Bombing them with popups makes it worse. Instead, consider making your promotions visible in the form of banners in the sidebar of your pages. Users who want additional information will just have to click on it!
Ads that completely cover your webpage and force the buyer to browse around them are also dangerous. Your online store doesn’t generate revenue just from paid advertising. If this is the case, abandon any ads that interrupt visitors’ navigation on your site. In general, avoid using design elements that annoy buyers.
Create an online store that is not suitable for mobile devices
The average conversion rates on smartphones of e-commerce sites are higher than those of desktop computers! If you don’t optimize your store for mobile users, you risk losing at least 49% of your potential customers
Smartphones are what 51% of digital buyers use when making online purchases. (Source)
When it comes to designing an eCommerce website, follow the example of eBay. And opt for a minimalist interface with fluid navigation, more suited to smartphone and tablet screens. Streamline swap-based checkouts, for example by encouraging customers to check-in and save their data. Also, allow guest checkout for those who don’t want to share their private information.
If your online store is already well-optimized and user-friendly, but your sales are stagnating, a brand new mobile shopping app could do the trick. It will help you reach a new audience or improve the user experience for more mobile-centric groups.
The final word: what makes a good eCommerce site?
Designing an eCommerce website is a complex process. It requires constant iteration, updating the best products and the latest trends, as well as a strong data-driven multi-channel marketing strategy.
All of these must be aligned with this strategy. Including visual design, marketing techniques like search engine optimization, email marketing campaigns, social media, etc. Invest in an authentic, well-designed website with the best-personalized customer experience. Optimized UX will increase your conversion rate by 400%! (Source)
If your current site isn’t giving you the results you’re hoping for, it’s time to change it! But beware: a blind redesign can be counterproductive. Your team or designer should understand what you’re looking for and identify the sticking points that are affecting your conversion rate.
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