Starting an e-commerce website? The worst mistakes in website design

E-commerce sites have become an effective avenue for seniors and retirees to build something in their later years. For some, it is a good option to make the pension nest egg last a lot longer. But for every e-commerce site that has managed to succeed, there are another ten who have, for various reasons, failed. There can be multiple reasons for a site’s failure, including infrequent update of stock, poor quality of products, or simply poor management of the business. But more often than not, an e-commerce site’s failure is due to the poor design of the website itself.

Designing a website poorly can be caused by a web owner trying to cut costs and thus using the services of an inexperienced or unprofessional designer to build what ought to be a specialised website.

Some of the more commonly seen mistakes seen on poorly developed e-commerce sites include:

Not making SEO a priority

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is what makes it possible for a website to be highly ranked on a search engine’s results.

When a website is properly optimised, visitors/searchers should be able to find it on at least the first page of a search engine result. This high ranking will make it possible for the website to get a large amount of organic traffic. But a website cannot be properly search engine optimised if it is not designed or arranged in the appropriate manner. For example, a poorly navigable website will be difficult for search engine bots to crawl. If search engine bots cannot effectively crawl a site, data necessary for a high rank will be missed which leads to a low search engine ranking.

Clumsy domain name

Part of building a successful website is picking a domain name, but, sadly, many of e-commerce site owners do not take this task seriously. A domain name should be something that can be easily remembered by visitors and can also be easily associated with what a website is about. A domain name that has not been well thought out can lead to an e-commerce site being unable to brand itself or get the proper type of attention it needs.

Registering a domain name with a registrar takes only about 5 minutes and you can be offered several alternatives to the one you have in mind.  That makes it easy to find keyword rich domain name options. The process is 5 minutes, but when you start building your brand it is not easy to switch, so you need to think strategically when registering the domain name.

A busy screen

An e-commerce site needs to be clutter free in order to make it possible for a visitor to easily identify what is what and be able to easily accomplish a desired goal on the website. A cluttered website can lead to distractions, such as pop-ups, leading a visitor away from a website. Best practice when designing an e-commerce website is to follow a minimalistic approach that allows for everything on the screen to be easily identifiable and for a call to actions to be clearly visible. Each element and content on a web page should be able to coexist alongside other elements without overpowering or overshadowing them.

No pictures

A picture is worth a thousand words. A website without pictures or with unclear or insufficient pictures is highly ineffective. Pictures used on an website should be high-resolution ones that are clear as well as true depictions of the advertised product. A product picture that exaggerates the quality of a product can be counted as false advertising. Also, pictures on an e-commerce site should carry meta-descriptions that will help boost the SEO of the website. In addition, make sure the size of your images don’t make it such that it leads to slow loading speeds on your website. 

No product description

Product pictures work well alongside a concise and easily understood product description. Not having product descriptions or having poorly crafted ones on your website can lead to confusion and can also put visitors under the impression that your website is an unreliable one. To avoid such a scenario, be sure to place well-crafted product description clearly beside the products they are describing.

Not taking advantage of social media

Social media is arguably one of the most powerful tools you can use online. Designing an e-commerce website without social media integration is a big mistake because visitors will be unable to share your products with their friends and thus advertise your wares. Use social media to your advantage by having your e-commerce site designed with the ability to allow visitors easily share the wonderful things your website has to offer.

No responsive design

Having a website with an unresponsive design is a huge mistake all website owners should avoid. This is because current statistics show that a lot of web users currently access the internet through their smartphones and other mobile devices. What this implies is most visitors that come to your website will probably do it with the use of a mobile with a small screen. If your website does not have a responsive design, it will not be able to display properly on small screens and will thus not be accessible to mobile users. This is tantamount to shooting your e-commerce site in the knees. To avoid losing potential traffic from the increasingly large number of individuals using their mobile devices, ensure that your website is designed with a responsive design.

No security

Activities that involve the sharing of personal information occur a lot on e-commerce site. If such information or data were to fall into the wrong hands, not only the web owner but also the website users could be at risk. To avoid such an incident, a website should be designed with quality and uncompromising security features to protect both the users and the integrity of an e-commerce website.

By avoiding these design mistakes, your e-commerce website is in a better position to prosper and properly satisfy the needs of visitors.