The way you design your eCommerce website can impact the results you get. Poorly designed websites turn people off and send them towards a competitor. It’s second only to your products in importance.
If we look at Internet Retailer, their studies claim US eCommerce will grow by 13% this financial year. If your sales aren’t showing the same positive signs of growth, make sure you aren’t making any of these common design mistakes.
1. Product Information
A lack of product information will always spell the end of any potential sale. If you haven’t left enough space for a detailed product description, you have a problem.
Most of the time, this happens due to an improper written content to image ratio. It’s simply a matter of making some more white space for yourself.
2. Lack of Legitimacy
Legitimacy in the online world is difficult to establish because there are so many websites. A fraud management company called Cyber Source conducted a study and concluded 85% of merchants surveyed expected fraud rates to stay level or grow in 2013.
The easiest way to make your customers feel confident in you is to have real contact information. This includes more than a cell phone number. Display your address clearly on every page of your website. Make it part of the menu bar for extra points.
3. No Search Bar
If you have lots of products, the last thing you want is anything resembling a list. Make it easy for people to find the products they need with a simple search bar. It doesn’t have to be anything detailed. Most people use the standard keyword search bar anyway.
Install a simple search bar and make your site more functional. Customers will not waste time clicking and looking around for a product which you may or may not have.
Look at companies like batterystation.co.uk as a prime example of this. They have an obvious search bar highlighted by a bright color. Follow this example.
4. Following the Trends
The foundations of good eCommerce remain the same; making products visible, the buying process easy, and providing clear contact points. These trends are minor things which remain only for about a year, or even less.
Now look at the likes of eBay and Amazon. These designs have remained the same for many years. Constantly changing your designs to stick with the trends confuses your regular customers. Furthermore, not all new trends will necessarily resonate with the wider population.
5. Too Much Information
We want to showcase as many products as we can. This doesn’t mean you should assault customers with a barrage of things on the first page. You should make every effort to highlight only the most important products.
Sending too much information to your visitors at once will turn them off. It cheapens the user experience and makes every product less important.
6. Not Using Social Media
Social media bars should be displayed proudly on every website. Google has made it clear with updates like Panda and Hummingbird social media is here to stay. It will play a prominent role in the world of digital marketing from now on.
You can’t wield the full power of social media if you’re hiding the paths to your social media pages.
7. Checkout Process
You should have a maximum of three pages for the checkout process; not including the ‘Thank You’ page. Any more pages and you’re making the process long and arduous. It makes it increasingly likely they’ll abandon their purchase.
You should only ask for the information you need to process payments and deliver the item. Asking for lots of information for marketing purposes is only likely to make them suspicious and unwilling to continue.
8. Forcing an Account
Someone should only have to sign up for an account if they’re trying to buy something. Ideally, they won’t have to sign up for an account at all, unless they really want to. Some eCommerce sites force everyone to make an account.
You can’t bully anyone into doing this. If you don’t want to do something, you aren’t going to do it. The same thing applies to your target audience. Unless you’re selling something unique, there are always competitors offering a superior user experience.