Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid In Your E-Commerce Website Design
An E-commerce website’s design is not only essential for attracting click-throughs and E-commerce leads, but it’s also one of the most important factors for keeping customers engaged and returning. Anything from functionality issues to improper wording or images can deter or drive off a potential customer. As a business owner, you want to make sure your website is running efficiently so that you gain more sales and an increase in brand awareness.
This blog post contains the following information:
Importance of E-commerce Website Design
Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid For Your E-Commerce Website Design
Bad User Navigation
Unclear Value Proposition
Too Many Pop-Ups
Unoptimized Product Descriptions
Slow Loading Interface
Complicated Check Out Process
Absent Trust Signals
Importance Of E-commerce Website Design
Let’s start with some statistics about e-commerce.
The current number of e-commerce stores worldwide is between 12 million – 24 million, and this number continues to grow every day. At the end of 2021, the size of the global e-commerce market surpassed 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. This means that despite all the difficulties, there is still a huge potential in the market. The latest research shows that 56% of people aged 18–64 shop online, while 67% of them use mobile devices for online shopping.
When it comes to E-commerce websites, the design really is everything. It’s the difference between having a site that’s easy for customers to peruse and one that’s so hard to navigate that most people refuse to even try.
In fact, according to recent studies, 75% of people will judge a company based on the quality of its website. And if a site takes too long to load, more than half of the users will abandon it altogether—and even more, will abandon it if it doesn’t look like it was designed for mobile.
So how do you avoid these problems?
Well, the most important rule is to keep things simple; less is more when it comes to E-commerce website design. You want your site to be easy to navigate and quick to load, with all needed information on the front page so that people can get what they need without scrolling through pages of text.
It’s also important not to forget about SEO when designing your website. By using keywords in your content and making sure all links are working properly, you’ll help ensure that your site ranks high in search engine results—which means more traffic!
The design of your e-commerce website should reflect the personality of your business and what it stands for. If you have a fun product or service, then you want your website to look fun and inviting. If you are selling a product or service that is serious, then the design should reflect this as well.
While these elements are important to every website, they’re especially important for an e-commerce website. This is because not only will you have to convince people that they need your products or services, but you also have to convince them that they can trust you with their credit card information and that you’ll deliver their product in a timely manner.
Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid For Your E-Commerce Website Design
With E-commerce design, it’s easy to make mistakes. You want your website to be attractive, so you add in a bunch of graphics, but then the layout starts to break down. Or maybe you added in a cool hover effect which looks nice, but it makes the site slow to load. Let’s not forget about those social media links mixed in with your content — that never goes well. We all make these mistakes, but are there any real ones we should be avoiding? This is why you should definitely read through the entire article to learn about the most common E-commerce design mistakes to avoid.
1). Bad User Navigation
Having a difficult time navigating your website is like trying to find your way at night in the woods without a flashlight. You want to get to your destination, but every step you take has you mired in uncertainty.
User navigation should be your top priority when it comes to designing an E-commerce website. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you could make, and if you don’t fix it, it could cost you money.
We’ve found that the most common mistake with user navigation is that the categories aren’t doing their job. One way to fix this is to take another look at how you’re organizing your products—are you using the right categories? Are there some categories that are obsolete or haven’t been used in years (maybe it’s time to get rid of them)? Could you create a new category or two?
Another way to improve user navigation is by adding filters. This lets users narrow down their search and find exactly what they’re looking for faster, which means more time for them to buy other stuff.
2). Unclear Value Proposition
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when designing your E-commerce website is not clearly outlining the unique value proposition of your product, service, or business. If you aren’t sure what we mean by “unique value proposition,” don’t worry. We’ll explain what it is, and why it’s so important to include it in your website design.
A “unique value proposition” is simply a statement that very clearly communicates what specific benefit you are offering to users who come to your website—and why they should choose your product, service, or business over any other available option.
For a product-based company, a good unique value proposition will address three key questions:
What are we selling?
- Who are we selling?
- What problem does the product solve?
A great example of a clear value proposition comes from Dropbox: “Your stuff anywhere.” It’s simple, but it tells you exactly what Dropbox does and how it can help you. By comparison, an unclear value proposition might be something like “We help our customers share files.” This tells us that someone is using the service to share files, but it doesn’t tell us which customer the service belongs to (the sender? The receiver?), nor does it tell us how having access to this particular service will specifically benefit the user.
3). Low-Quality Images
There’s a lot of pressure to make your E-commerce website look as good as possible. And while it’s tempting to just upload any image you can get your hands on, that’s a rookie mistake. If the images aren’t high-quality or relevant to the products you sell, they can actually hurt the chances of making sales.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful those photos are if they don’t accurately represent your products. For example, if you’re selling a pair of black heels, you need to include images that show all aspects of the shoes—from the front and back views, to close-ups of the heel and sole, to showing them from different angles so customers can see how they look from all sides.
As for uploading low-quality images… well, what can we say? It isn’t doing anyone any favors. In fact, it’ll likely drive customers away faster than anything else! E-commerce is heavily visual in nature; if you want to sell anything online, you need pictures that pop and grab people’s attention right away. If your photos aren’t up-to-snuff, customers will see that immediately—and click away just as quickly.
4). Too Many Pop-Ups
You want to make a profit, but you don’t want to annoy your customers. That’s why you should avoid the temptation to add too many pop-ups to your E-commerce website.
While it’s true that pop-ups are an effective marketing tool, adding too many to your site can have a negative impact on your user experience and ultimately drive away customers.
For example, if you’re running a sale or special promotion, it’s tempting to let visitors know that fact as soon as they land on your site with a big pop-up banner or lightbox. But what if they aren’t ready to buy something yet? If they see the same pop-up every time they visit your site, they may start to feel harassed and stop coming back altogether.
If you must use pop-ups on your E-commerce website, make sure that you’re not overusing them. For example, instead of showing a pop-up every time a visitor comes to your site, only show it once per session or after 30 days of inactivity. This helps ensure that people aren’t being bombarded by messages at every turn while still giving them ample opportunity to take advantage of any promotions you’re running at the moment.
Bad product descriptions are a death knell for your E-commerce store. If you can’t tell customers about your products in a compelling way, why would they buy them?
It’s important to give people some context about the things you sell, but the most important thing is to tell them why they should buy from you. You can get by with boring product descriptions if you’re selling an item that’s not made by anyone else and is needed for a specific purpose—like a custom-made packaging box. But even then, there’s no reason not to make it sound good.
Don’t just go into details about the product itself; tell your customers what makes your box special and why they should buy from you. Maybe you have free shipping or easy returns, or maybe you donate part of your proceeds to charity. Whatever makes you different, make sure your customers know about it!
In addition, use bullet points instead of paragraphs when possible as they will catch readers’ attention more quickly than long blocks of text. You should also consider breaking up large chunks of copy into smaller sections with subheadings or numbered lists.
A slow-loading theme and images can seriously impact your conversions and sales. Users are notorious for leaving sites before they load, which means that if your site takes too long to load, you’ll lose out on sales.
Additionally, slow site speed negatively impacts your search engine rankings. Google has specifically stated that site speed is one of the components that determine where your site will rank in search results. If you want to appear higher in the search results and drive more organic traffic to your site, then improving site speed is a must!
Fortunately, fixing this issue is relatively simple. You need to optimize your images and use a fast-loading theme. Optimizing involves compressing them so that they don’t take up as much space or bandwidth when they load on someone’s computer or mobile device. If you don’t have time or resources to do this yourself, then consider using a plugin or service like TinyPNG.
7). Desktop-Only Design
In the days of dial-up, when having a website was a novelty and not a necessity, it was enough to make sure that your site loaded correctly on desktops. Now, with the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, it’s no longer enough to just focus on desktop loading times. In fact, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device. If your website isn’t loading correctly on these devices, you’re missing out on a lot of business.
Plus, Google looks at whether sites are mobile-friendly and awards higher search rankings to those that are (in an effort to make their search results more relevant and user-friendly). So even if you don’t think about your online shoppers as being a mobile audience, Google does.
8). Complicated Check Out Process
In E-commerce, you’ve got just a moment to make your case—to convince your customer to buy from you. You don’t have the luxury of having an employee walk them through various options or pitch in-store specials. The only thing that’s going to move your visitor from the “Just Browsing” camp to the “SOLD” camp is a simple and intuitive checkout process.
When the checkout process on your site is difficult or confusing, it can negatively impact the way customers see your brand, and it’ll also reduce their likelihood of returning to your site in the future.
Many E-commerce websites come up short when it comes to the checkout process. Often, this leads to abandoned carts, which means lost sales.
According to a report by Baymard Institute:
- 69% of shoppers abandon their carts
- The average cart abandonment rate is 75.6%. This means 3 out of every 4 customers who visited your store decided NOT to complete their purchase.
Say you run an online t-shirt shop and you’ve got a long-form for customers to fill out before they can buy one of your products. That alone can cause problems. Sure, you need some information from them to make sure they’re who they say they are, but do you really need more than just their name and email address?
Also, if you have multiple steps in your checkout process (which we all do), make sure each step is clearly indicated by either a number or a progress bar. That way, customers know where they are in the process and how close they are to being done.
9). Missing Call-to-Action
Did you know that one of the most common mistakes we see on E-commerce websites is a missing call-to-action?
A call-to-action is that little button that says things like “Buy it now” or “Download your free trial now.” It’s what tells your users what to do next.
If you’re missing this, your users are going to be confused. They’ll look at your product or services and think, “Well, okay… I’m interested… but how do I get this thing?”
This is a huge problem because you have only seconds to convince people to stick around on your website, and if they can’t find the button that makes them feel like they’re taking the next step toward getting what they want, they’re going to leave.
So make sure there’s a big, bright button on every page that tells your users exactly what they need to do next. They’ll thank you for it—and so will your sales metrics!
10). Absent Trust Signals
Have you ever been looking at a website and noticed that it didn’t have a physical address listed? Maybe there was no phone number, either. If these things were missing, did it make you feel like the company wasn’t trustworthy?
This is an issue for many E-commerce websites today. Studies show that consumers are more likely to trust sites that display these important trust signals:
- Physical Address
- Phone Number
- BBB Accreditation
- Product Returns Policy
- Customer Testimonials or Reviews
- Secure Shopping Cart
When visitors don’t see these things on the site, they may leave without buying anything—and they might even tell their friends not to shop there. So if your site is currently missing one or more of these trust signals, it’s time to fix the problem so you can start making more sales.
As the E-commerce industry continues to evolve, designers will become more involved in the business of online shopping. That means it’s important that we understand what factors shape customers’ purchasing decisions and how design can successfully help shape their experiences. By avoiding the common design mistakes outlined above, we will be better able to create winning E-commerce experiences for everyone.
So if you are looking for an efficient and functional e-commerce website, Mpire Solutions has professional and expert developers ready to assist you. Connect with us for a FREE Consultation.