Top 10 Ecommerce Design Mistakes to avoid and save yourself a fortune and a serious headache.
Different selling models use different online techniques, and what might be fine to do in 1 sector maybe a complete turn off in another sector.
Ecommerce Design mistake no 1.
1. I want this to look completely different from other sites ?
This is a a really nice to have but to do this you need to devote a large amount of time to high quality UI and UX that users will get immediately. This is possible to do with a large budget and using experienced and verified ecommerce UI UX experts.
Put items where customers expect them to be. Customers will spend too long searching for the basket will leave.
Research your customer personas carefully. You can do this but do not under estimate the time and cost involved.
2. All the product information is not on the product detail screen.
Incredible but true. If a customer has to go off page to find more product information you have an 80% chance of them not purchasing.
- Shipping Charges
- Shipping times
- Lots of Images
- Customer reviews if any
- Contact Information
- Lack of detailed information
- Social Sharing
- Stock levels
- Quantity Price Breaks
- Free Shipping Basket levels
3. Poorly designed Search
So many opensource ecommerce products have poor search out of the box. Many need addons to make their search usable.
- Make search sticky and visible on all pages.
- Include Part Numbers, Manufacture SKU, Barcodes and Tags in search. Customers can use any reference
- Make search a type ahead, so the results are showing immediately you type
- Show search results all on 1 page
- Search results should have detail links
- Search results should have filters and options to sort by price
- Search results should show if products are discounted
4. Collecting too much information at the checkout.
- Most people like to shop without an account.
- Some business models do not require a billing address ( think florists and gifting sites ) Remove these fields as it only adds confusion.
- Some sites still collect Date of Birth, its only needed where legally required. It is a turn off on most sites.
5. Cross selling products in the checkout.
When a customer is in the checkout remove all links to categories of products, special offers etc. Remove any navigation that will distract the customer from checking out the whole way. Cross selling in the checkout rarely works unless its to get free shipping. It usually pushes up cart abandonment rates. Think godaddy checkouts, ryanair etc. Cross selling hell.
Use popups with caution and for an actual purpose. Trying to get a visitors email address 5 seconds after they visit your site is plain rude. Most visitors will immediately click the window shut and maybe leave the site. If you really want to do a popup make it be 30 – 45 seconds after visiting and make the presentation and UI very soft. Even making the presentation and UI very soft may result in large abandonment rates.
7. My product is industrial it does not require pretty design
Wrong : beauty always sells. No matter the product the presentation graphically has to be 100%. Grainy images of spare parts shot on yellow creased sheets are not going to sell as well as a product shot in a white box, with uniform lighting and high resolution.
8. Ignore your categories at your peril.
The category is where most of the permanent SEO value of a site is. This content remains stable while all the product under it is flexible. Well curated category pages can be used to promote, feature and educate the visitor with some quality content presented in an attractive presentation.
Too many category pages are ignored and are simply relegated to mere page heading and maybe a poorly chosen stock image that is just plonked on the page with no effort in the presentation.
Think of your category page as the display you see in a departmental store when you enter the department. It usually consists of a sample of the best products in the department at mid price range so as to entice you in further. It is the gateway to the department.
If you do not create good category pages in ecommerce it is like have a set of swing doors on your department when opened simply present you with rows and rows of product with nothing standing out.
9. Confusing Navigation
Many store owners make a navigation and category structure that makes sense to them. Think about it. As a store owner it is impossible to know how your customer will search and navigate your site. Use services like crazyegg to track your customers journey on your site and use this refine the navigation and remove extra steps. Keep category structures as flat as possible. In many large inventory sites such as spare parts most customers will use the search box more than the navigation.
10. The whole site looks cluttered and untidy.
This is usually as a result of multiple layers of addons for various requests over the years. Look at a redesign as a way of keeping all these addons but presenting them in a tidy well laid out way that is attractive to the visitor. This happens mostly on sites with many competitors where they are chasing the competition all the time. If competitor A has a chat box, I’ll put that on my site. Competitor B has an instagram feed, I’ll add that in somewhere on my site too. Eventually the site is a soup made of all your competitors features but really looks a mess from afar.
This post is based on 17 years building ecommerce sites where all the above errors have been made. We use our experience to steer our clients in the best direction for them. However we are not so cocky as to think we know your business better than you from this we learn and then apply our experience on top of this. Think of it like icing on a cake. Everyone wants an iced cake !