eCommerce website are by their very nature very complicated websites. They are not easy websites to design. You cannot just add a shopping cart system to your website and expect to end up with lots more business and sales.

Online businesses make the same mistakes every single day. The good news however is that these same mistakes are easily avoidable. All you need is more planning and thought in most cases. Read through the eCommerce website design mistakes below and start to improve online website and the experience of your customers, which will lead to more sales.

Poor or Missing Product Information

If you are in a traditional high street shop, you can pick up a product, take a look at what you intent to buy, read the label information and basically interact with what you want to buy. This is impossible with an online store.

A well designed eCommerce website has to do all of this on the product information page in order to improve the shopping experience. Put yourself in the shoes of your online customers. Is there enough information on the page of each and every product to sell it to the customer? Too little information will just mean that the customer is uninformed and they will walk away.

Whenever the customer does not know specifics about your products, they will try to find that information somewhere else – that’s great for your competitors.

You must provide as much information as possible about the products you want to sell. This includes size, shape, materials, weight, and practically everything that is of interest for the possible buyer. Talk about the benefits of this product as well as listing the technical details. An ipod may have 32gb of storage, but to some that is meaningless. Telling them that it can hold up to 190 hours of music means something more tangible. Sell the product and well as describing it.

No Contact Information

Every customer wants to know who they are buying from before they part with their hard earned cash. You need to demonstrate that you are available to help should the customer need it. If you make it hard for a customer to trust you, you are just making it hard for them to decide to buy from you too.

You need to be sure that your main contact information is easily seen and is visible on all website pages. Place your main contact details in the header of every page and repeat it in the footer as well. Where possible, try to offer more contact methods like an email address, mailing address, phone number and contact form.

Confusing Checkout Processes

A complicated or confusing checkout process will hamper your sales like nothing else. You have to make sure you avoid it at all costs. It is your responsibility to be 100% sure that the checkout process is as simple and intuitive as possible. If this is not the case, your customers will just walk away halfway through. If too many steps are put in front of the shopper, they can end up leaving without ever making the purchase.

A perfect checkout process should include only a few pages that would allow the consumer to verify the order and then enter shipping and billing information. Display a confirmation page as a final summary. If you too many other steps, you just end up putting unnecessary obstacles in front of making your sales.

In the event that there is a need to include more pages, you have to make them really easy to be filled out and quick. If possible, combine pages whenever you can and use multi column layouts in order to separate sections on the same page. This makes the pages appear shorter and less complicated.

Tiny or Poor Product Photographs

As already mentioned, the customer will not be able to physically handle your products before they place their order. They are effectively buying a photograph and description of the product. You have to improve their shopping experience. Having small product photographs just reduces their effectiveness. You need to be sure that you offer a large photograph of every product. Maybe not a large photograph initially, but it certainly need to be available via a zoom facility.

Customers need to be able to see a very large high-quality image at a high resolution. At the same time, you really should try to show a number of photographs. Maybe some of the product and some of the product being used in it’s final environment – what are known a lifestyle shots.

When you only have one product photograph, you basically determine that sales will never be as high as they could be. Try to offer images of the products sold from various angles and combine different colours if appropriate.

Never try to do photography yourself. You can have a fantastic website and completely ruin it with ‘iphone’ photos taken in your store room. Spend the time, effort and money to use a professional product photographer and you will gain so many more customers if your product look stunning. DIY will just turn people away – remember that your photographs is doing the selling.

Improper Customer Service Options

This is similar to the problem that we mentioned with contact information. Your potential customers need to find it really easy to find a way to get in touch with you in the event there is a question or a problem both pre and post sales. If a potential customer can get this help fast, this will help them in making the decision to buy from you.

Maybe offer a ticketing support system. What about a good Frequently Asked Questions section so that all the common questions can be offered. Also make sure that you provide easy links to your shipping, refunds, returns and terms and conditions.

Few Payment Options Available

So many eCommerce sites out there simply offer MasterCard and Visa. Some only allow customers to pay with the use of PayPal. This is a great way to turn customers away at the checkout. Not allowing customers to pay on their terms, means that they will not buy from you. Just offering one method of payment, means that if they do not have that method or don’t want to use it, then they cannot pay, so they walk away.

By choosing a good online payment gateway, one that will let your consumers to pay with the credit cards, electronic checkout, PayPal and anything else you could offer is the only way to go. When it comes to making an online payment, offering many opportunities automatically builds trust, which is something you need.

Lack Of Related Products

Whenever you visit a high street store, you will see items that are similar being grouped together. This makes it really easy for a customer to buy something else other than what they initially wanted to buy. The same thing needs to happen within your online store. For instance, if you sell a torch, you may want to include related products like batteries, a spare bulb or carry case.

Your eCommerce store needs to include great product descriptions, as already mentioned and should have related products. Your store should allow you to choose exactly what related products are added and offers a huge advantage since people can easily see other products connected to what they are currently viewing.

Poor Site Navigation

Don’t you just hate it when you look at an eCommerce site and cannot find what you are looking for. This is really frustrating and you do not want to have customers that are frustrated before they even find what they are looking for.

If your site navigation is confusing, poor categories or poorly structure you are just confusing customers. Some sites have categories that do not have a product in them or that only have a couple listed. In this case, a category should not even be considered.

You need to consider your site’s navigation elements and the product categories. This should be done even before you start designing your site. Every single category needs to include a good number of products and they must be the right products. The alternative would be to group the small categories into larger categories. The aim is to make it really easy for the customer to go through the site and find what they may want.

Conclusions

If you do not know much about what eCommerce modifications you need to make in order to increase your sales, you need to consider professional help.

The best eCommerce website is the one that manages to offer a great buying experience. You need to actively put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers. See what they would like or what they would hate. Seek feedback from friends, colleagues, customers or suppliers. Fix the poor components. Where possible, get some information from customers through a survey so that you can see what they do not like or would like to see.