These days, there are more and more E-commerce websites sprouting up around the web every second.  For most businesses to grow, having an E-commerce website is a great and easy decision as it allows a retail store to increase sales of its products and brand presence on the internet locally and internationally 24/7. 

There is no one universal formula for building awesome websites, however there certainly are some commonly made mistakes on E-commerce websites that you should avoid if you want to increase your sales.

1. Overwhelming your users with information on the landing page

Don't put too much information (text, images, buttons, forms....etc) on the landing page and expect your website visitors to read them all.  In fact, only 16% of website visitors actually read word-for-word, while 79% of the people just scan through the page.  Giving your website visitors a wall of text will probably not give them interest in your products.

Too much information on the landing page

More isn't always better, you have to be selective.  Simplify the web design and the user interface to show the most important thing that you want your website visitors to see, so that you can guide them to the funnel and make the sale.  As a good rule of thumb, pick two actionable items (your primary and secondary) that you want to place emphasis on and make these items pop on your page.  Overdoing emphasis on too many items will lead to pages like the above.

2. Poor quality product images

Personally I will not buy anything if I can't see the product clearly, especially on the internet.  In reality, 67% of online consumers say the quality of a product image is "very important" when selecting and purchasing a product.  More so, at least 53% of the online consumers think good quality product images are more important than product descriptions and product ratings or reviews.  Actually, most people remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read.  Great product images not only boost your brand image, but also increase the likelihood of social media sharing from your website visitors or online buyers.  If you want to increase sales on your E-commerce website, make sure to use high quality and appealing product images which highlight the benefits of your product.

Only 1 product image

As your E-commerce website visitors are not able to touch the product, try it on, turn it around or look at it from every different angle, product images become a decisive factor when selecting or comparing products.  If there is only 1 product image, they might have doubts about buying it because they don't have enough information.  Using more than 2 tempting product images that are big enough and showcase your product on your E-commerce site is crucial.  If possible, show all the colors/models/styles/patterns you have for each product, as it can really make a difference in whether or not you make the sale.

3. Long checkout process and complicated navigation

The UX/UI design of your E-commerce website is going to make or break your sales success.  An overly complex and long checkout process will wear website visitors' patience and a cluttered or not intuitive navigation will also confuse website visitors.  Both of these issues can and will make website visitors abandon their cart and leave for another E-commerce website.

Having a well-thought-through UX/UI on your E-commerce website can help you increase sales and also improve your SEO.  Make sure that your website visitors can find what they want and easily purchase it, and keep the entire process fairly simple.  Try to make it as easy as possible for them to fill out any information (limit form fields if possible) and complete the order.  The more steps there are during the process, the higher chance there is for you to lose the sale.

Guest checkout

If possible, offer your online customers a guest checkout option, so that they aren't required to sign up before placing an order.  This move will decrease the hassle in the checkout process for website visitors and net more product purchases to you.  While we'd like to think that all users want to become members and frequent users of your business, this is not only the case and forcing users to provide more information than necessary can hurt you long-term.

4. Not having a mobile friendly E-commerce solution

Responsive E-commerce websiteI can't imagine any business owner these days would not think having their business website responsive is important, since almost everyone has at least one mobile device.  In fact, the majority of the people prefer shopping on the internet through their mobile devices according to research (Who wouldn't like to be lying on the couch in comfort and effortlessly shopping with your iPad?). 

We won't spend a lot of time on this point as it should be obvious by now, but if your E-commerce website is not mobile optimized, you are making a dangerous mistake.  The majority of web traffic is slowly leaning towards the mobile platform.  In order to catch this traffic and make more sales, your E-commerce website must adapt to the latest trends.  

5. Hard to find contact information

Don't try to hide your contact information from your online customers.  Offering your online customers real time service can increase sales significantly as you answer their questions right away.  Additionally, having contact information on your E-commerce website makes your company seem more credible and trustworthy.  Many shady businesses and scams will not have a phone number or address.  Adding one to your site provides an instant sense of security as they know they're dealing with a real business.

You can put your contact information on the header, contact page, or footer.  If you can, leave more than one way to contact you.  People aren't always by the phone waiting for calls and email servers occasionally go down.

Live chat

Live chat is a more and more popular feature used by E-commerce websites.  It makes your website visitors feel like walking into a store with real employees to help.  When they run into technical problems or have questions about products, using live chat can resolve it straightaway and they are less likely to abandon their cart.  

Live chat E-commerce website

If your main customer crowd is millennials, having a live chat on your e-commerce website can really help, since over 60% of millennials prefer live chat over other contact methods when they have questions.

Keep in mind that offering a live chat is providing an easier way to interface with customers.  It's okay to ping someone and let them know that you're available if they have any questions, but don't go overboard.  Persistent chat attempts are transparent and can become annoying and result in lost customers.

6. Ineffective site search

Did you know that website visitors who use search are twice as likely to convert?  Although not every website visitor will use the search bar, those who do are more likely to become customers because they have already made a decision to buy; they just need to find what they're looking for.  

An online shopper comes to your E-commerce website with a product in mind, but gets no search results for his query.  Do you think he's going to scan through your entire website to make sure you really don't have what he wants?  Very unlikely.

Make sure your site search works well and integrate various search features like auto-complete, the ability to handle long tail keywords, and fuzzy searching.  Search seems like a generic feature, but in reality can be become quite complex with larger sites and databases.  Tweaking your search to make items easier to find based on attributes or scoring terms differently can help users find what they're looking for faster.  This type of customer is the easiest to convert.  Don't let crappy searchability lose the sale.

Avoid these mistakes to have a successful E-commerce website that makes money for you

When it comes to converting traffic into money, a user-centric interface is the key, as it can not only increase the conversion rate, but also keep the customers retained for a longer time.  You'll probably notice that all the above items really point to improving user experience and creating a better website.

If your E-commerce website is not selling for you, check if you have committed any of the above mistakes.  With a better UX/UI, your E-commerce website will start making you more money in no time.  If you need a consultation for your E-commerce website, feel free to contact us.