ecommerce design mistakes

Getting shoppers to your eCommerce store is hard enough. But once they’re there, you also have to convince them to buy. However, if you’re making some of these common eCommerce design mistakes, you might be making things a lot more difficult than they need to be.

In this post, we’ll introduce 13+ common eCommerce design mistakes, along with some tips for what to do to fix them when needed.

Let’s get this thing started:

13+ common eCommerce design mistakes to avoid

1. Not making your store compatible with all devices

Did you know that 60% of searches are initiated on mobile devices? Most shoppers rely on multiple devices to shop for stuff. Even if the purchase is not completed on a mobile device, the search and selection can happen on a mobile device, before a product is purchased from a physical store. Take a cue from this and ensure consistent user experience across multiple devices. This way, you can stay clear of one of the most common eCommerce design mistakes.

You can use a free tool like Am I Responsive? to see how your store looks on different devices:

Lack of responsive design is one of the common ecommerce design mistakes

2. Choosing the wrong theme or plugins

Don’t make the mistake of choosing a theme simply because it looks good on another site. Instead, while selecting a theme for your online store, first list out all the features that are important to your store. After that, it’s totally up to you whether to go with a ready-made theme with these features built-in, opt for a basic theme to which you can add custom code, or even code your theme right from scratch.

Here are some tips for how to choose a WooCommerce theme.

3. Not following conventional eCommerce design standards

Yes, “standard” might sound boring. But the thing is most shoppers have become familiar with a certain format for websites of online stores. They look for the shopping cart in the top-right right corner, contact details in header or footer, and a zoom option on mousing over.

Therefore, it’s best to stick to familiar grids and layouts so shoppers don’t have to search for buttons to click. From welcome screens to product display and shopping cart to checkout, the path to sales must be clear, no guessing required. One yardstick to use is that even a person who doesn’t know the language should be able to find their way about your website.

4. Poor search, sort, or filter options

There’s a whole category of shoppers given to gazing at shop windows. Many don’t really know what they’re looking for. Your product display needs to be attractive enough to hold their attention. But just being attractive with a huge Buy button won’t cut it here. Beyond that, you need to help shoppers find just what they’re looking for without too much trouble.

You can do this by categorizing products, and allowing visitors to sort and filter them. A search option can help too. Other features that can help shoppers to decide quickly are comparison tables, FAQs and product reviews.

5. Boring, unhelpful images

It’s images that sell, one picture = a thousand words. Not including high-quality photos is one of the biggest eCommerce design mistakes to watch out for. You can also include multiple photos per product to give visitors more details about products.

6. Not displaying related products

You’re leaving money on the table with this one. You have sure customers for one product, they are very likely to buy related products.

To display related products at your WooCommerce store, you can follow these instructions.

7. Not letting shoppers add items to a wishlist

Sometimes shoppers aren’t ready to buy right away. Letting shoppers save items to a wishlist gives them a chance to come back and buy at a time that’s right for them.

If you’re using WooCommerce, you can add wishlist functionality with a plugin like WooCommerce Wishlist Plugin:

8. Not displaying social proof in the form of reviews

When it comes to improving sales, nothing works like words of praise from existing customers. Therefore, make sure you display all the positive reviews about you in social media or elsewhere.

Reviews on third party sites like Yelp and other user-generated reviews can be displayed here to help shoppers to make up their mind. Don’t skip the negative reviews either – it lends credibility to the reviews.

9. A complicated, time-consuming checkout process

Long queues at the billing counter can put off many shoppers. Similarly, too many steps or screens to get through at checkout can also be counter-productive. To ensure a hassle-free and smooth checkout, it’s a good idea to offer multiple payment options, as suited to different customer profiles or geographies.

If possible, allow buyers to make payment on your site. Not all purchasers are comfortable with being redirected to a third party site for payment.

10. Not inspiring trust with your website

When you want shoppers to share personal information with you and make a payment on your site, you need to make sure that they can trust you. Your website must send out all the trust signals clearly – clear logo, secure website, contact details, testimonials, reliable payment options and gateways, and no spam.

11. Unreliable website hosting

Nothing kills a shopping experience like a slow loading website. Shoppers expect eCommerce stores to load faster than ever before. And when it comes to making your store load quickly, your store’s hosting plays a huge role.

Unless you’re just getting started, skip the cheap shared hosting and go with a quality VPS or cloud hosting option.

12. Forms with poor user experience

All those beautiful forms that you added to your store’s website? Did you validate them? Forms that don’t work properly are simply a waste of time and effort.

One way to improve user experience is to add inline validation after users have added inputs to the different form fields. Another way you can help is by communicating errors clearly.

That way, shoppers can quickly fill out forms without the annoyance of having to resubmit a form after making an error.

13. Not making sure your store looks right in different web browsers

Not every visitor uses Chrome. Nor do they update their browsers regularly. So, make sure to test your eCommerce store across multiple browsers and even different versions of the same browser. That way, you won’t lose a bunch of visitors who are not so internet savvy.

Here’s an easy way to test your website in different browsers.

And that wraps up our list of the biggest eCommerce design mistakes.

Are you committing any of these mistakes at your store? Have any questions about how to fix them? Let us know in the comments!

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