We’re starting to think about possible design failures when our websites are already live, and when users can already find it through Google. Have you ever thought about how many visitors abandoned your page because of its poor design or bad performance? How many of them simply clicked the “back” button in their browsers after realizing they simply got lost on your web resource?
The first impression matters.
So, in order to help your audience stay on your site, we will highlight the 9 most common mistakes of eCommerce designs and will provide solutions.
Let’s get started with the first point.
1. Slow Page Loading Speed
In eCommerce, every second matter. Slow page loading will not only tick off your audience, it will make them leave without waiting for all your site’s content to load on the page, but also affect your search rankings. The speed of your site means a lot to Google. The slower it performs, the lower your position in the search results is.
Not only desktop users expect your website to load lightning-fast.
Mobile shoppers are getting more impatient.
- 2 seconds is the maximum time that they can wait for your page to load.
- 3 seconds loading is barely acceptable.
Amazon has discovered that every additional 100 milliseconds of page load time resulted in a 1% decrease in sales. On top of that, websites that are not optimized for mobile users are abandoned by 75% of smartphone users, with 70% of shoppers leaving sites to look for better offerings elsewhere.
If you see high bounce rate numbers on your website, then most likely this is caused by the slow page loading. How can I find out about this? Try using any SEO audit tool to know about the issues to be fixed.
2. Poor Navigation
In an effort to make websites more diverse and feature-rich, many of us forget about one of the basics of good UX – intuitive navigation. More often than not, online shoppers reach your website without a single idea of what they are looking for. Your website’s navigation is there to guide them through your store’s categories and help them decide on what kind of product they want to buy.
Wrong labeling of your store’s items increases the chances of certain products not being found. For example, when developing an online store selling men’s shoes, do not organize the categories of shoes based on their type (e.g. Crossers, Oxfords, Brogues, etc.). Instead, make the whole categorization way easier by dividing all of your products into summer and winter shoes, for example. In that way, your audience will be able to reach the right solution effortlessly.
A well-designed layout of your website combined with intuitive navigation is the two key factors affecting your position in the search rankings and conversions. Here are the most common website navigation mistakes that they have highlighted in a blog post:
- Putting the main navigation panel in a non-standard location, i.e. placing it vertically in the down left side of a page instead of a horizontal location at the top of the site.
- Making navigation elements non-descriptive. This means that instead of using some generic phrases, it’s better to write in niche-specific words. In that way, people will better understand your objective.
- Data-heavy navigation bars. 7 is the optimal number of elements that a user-friendly navigation panel should include. 8 or more is way too much.
- Wrong order of navigation items. Psychology studies show that the first and the last elements get the most users’ attention. The least important elements should be placed somewhere in the middle.
- And finally, never use buttons in the navigation bar. Unlike text links, buttons are not searchable. It’s harder to update buttons with new texts than links. Buttons load slower than text links.
3. Too Much Text
Another widely spread eCommerce mistake that online merchants commit is creating websites purely with SEO in mind. Thus, we overwhelm web pages with a superfluity of written content that makes the layout both cluttered and impossible to read.
That’s why more and more often people shift from bright designs, the ones that are diverse in multiple types of content and elements, to those that are clear and concise.
I guess you might agree with me that, when you browse a web page that is focused on the effective presentation of products and is not overloaded with text and other data, you feel as though you are in control of the entire process, and know just what you’d like to do next.
4. Visuals that are not Impulsive
When you are selling online, the quality of images is of tremendous importance. Adding too small or pixilated visuals will hardly appeal to the audience. Buying online, the users do not have the physical ability to touch products.
In order to compensate for that, you need to showcase your store’s products and their features in the best way possible. Ensure the pictures are of good quality yet realistic; otherwise, the users will experience disappointment by receiving an item that looks better in the photo than in real life.
5. Lack of SEO Optimization of Visual Content
If you run an image-based site, having its visuals optimized for the search engines is a must. Image SEO optimization is not very different from the way that you work with common texts. Enhancing visual data with a few lines of text will make a difference. Here are several basic tips that you need to consider when optimizing an image-based site.
- Just like you do it with written texts, pick a keyword for separate posts with images.
- Image titles should be based on a focus or secondary keyword.
- ALT text describes your images to the search bots. Keep it below 140 characters for better results. Do not forget to include a keyword as well.
- Surround images with texts related to them.
- When borrowing visual content from other sites, do not forget to provide credits.
- Do not put hundreds of images on one page. Keep an optimal number of visuals, depending on the template you are using. Up to 10 should be enough. Otherwise, you risk reducing your server load.
If you are running a photoblog or an image-heavy site, using the caching plugin is a must, along with CDN. When used together, they will not only speed up your site’s loading time but also enhance the user browsing experience.
6. Complicated checkout
Making the checkout process complicated is one of the most dramatic mistakes made on eCommerce sites. On the contrary, you need to make it as quick and easy as possible. It doesn’t need to include any unnecessary questions or tricky forms that would throw your buyers for a loop.
If possible, opt for a one-step checkout that has all fields that the buyers need to fill, stored in one place.
Apple has a very simple and clean checkout page. Its minimalist design brings the users’ focus of attention on the CTAs. Moreover, there is a guest checkout option, which allows any user to place an order without the need to create an account.
7. Lack of Payment Methods
Payment methods such as PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, Amex or whatever – your website should allow users to pay with an option that is the most convenient for them. Including just one of these in your payment methods will hardly help you boost sales.
If your site visitor uses Visa but not PayPal (and that is the only payment option that is available on your website), he/she will simply leave without a purchase and is not likely to come back.
8. Lack of Shipping Details
When it comes to eCommerce, shipping details are probably one of the first things that people would like to find out before placing an order. I myself have many times abandoned a site after seeing the high shipping charges at the checkout stage. In order to omit such situations, it’s recommended to place shipping details on a visible place on your site.
Probably the best solution is to add a plugin or widget to your site, which will help users calculate the shipping cost on their own. In that way, you will give your clients an opportunity to find out the total price of their purchase before completing an order.
9. No “About” and “Contact us” pages
In order to gain users’ trust, you need to provide explicit information about your company story, its origins, the location of your warehouse, contact details with a phone number to reach you directly, the physical address of your office, etc.
In that way, people will feel certain that your business exists in real-life, not only online.
The way your About and Contact Us pages are designed is no less important. A clear and informative style of content presentation, with an easy to define data hierarchy will make it easier for your visitors to come across the data they are most interested in, and get back to browsing your inventory.
I hope that you must have realized the importance of designing, and will work on fixing any issues that reside on your eCommerce website page mentioned above. I would like to wish you success in setting up your online business in a way that attracts loads of new buyers and generates a huge number of sales while providing shoppers with a top-notch experience.