10 Most Common Mistakes To Avoid When Building Your E-Commerce Site

online shopping

Building an e-commerce website, either on your own or with assistance, isn’t a task to take on without knowledge of the mistakes that others have made – and there are many.

1. Slow loading times

Research into the subject of slow loading times has uncovered some startling facts. The biggest cause for concern here is the abandonment rate, the rate in which visitors will abandon your website due to slow loading times.

The abandonment rate is, according to research by Gomez (Compuware’s application manager), 8 percent for every 2 seconds which means that if you cut your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds your conversion rate will increase by 74 percent.

2. Complicated website and page layouts

Your website and page layouts should be simple for your customer base with some experts advocating no more than five steps to make a purchase.

• Home/cart contents page
• Bill-to section
• Ship-to section
• Payment section
• Confirmation page

Keep it simple is the trademark of a good e-commerce website.

3. The wrong e-commerce platform

There are a number of e-commerce platforms to select from so pick the right one for your customers’ needs and the resources you have to support the ongoing management of your e-commerce website – don’t overlook the need for ongoing management.

4. Poor showcasing of products

The better your products are displayed the more likely they are to be sold, so spend some time perusing other e-commerce websites to gain an understanding of how it’s done. Good sized, high-definition photos accompanied by a detailed product description are what you should be aiming for.

5. Hidden contact information

Hiding (or not making available) your contact information is a major no-no and makes it hard for customers to trust your business, so make your contact information clearly visible.

6. Inadequate internal search engine

Outstanding user experiences are essential and to provide visitors to your e-commerce website with outstanding experiences you need a great internal search engine. When you create a website online with SiteZulu ensure the search engine selected is adequate for your customers’ need and therefore the number of items and pages on your website.

7. Confusing checkout process

The best way to look at the checkout process is that the more steps you put between a potential customer’s decision to buy and them paying for it, the greater the risk of abandonment. Make it as easy as possible for customers to add items to their cart and navigate their way to the checkout.

8. Inadequate payment options

Cater for your customer base by providing them with an adequate array of payment options. Each major credit card should be catered for and adding a PayPal payment facility will help to boost conversion rates. Displaying the PayPal symbol on your homepage will help to further this trend.

9. No back (return) button

This is frustrating for visitors to your website and will also make them feel inclined to abandon your website in favour of another. Abandonment isn’t only a phenomenon where slow loading times are concerned.

10. Failing to get feedback from your users regarding usability

Something you’ve probably heard about good website design is that ‘it’s all about the user’. Nothing is truer than this with regard to e-commerce websites, so seek feedback from visitors regarding usability.

Usability is more than the buzzword that it’s become in recent years; it’s a metric by which websites are measured and therefore one you need to cease restricting to your marketing efforts and start applying to your e-commerce website.

E-commerce websites are all about user experiences – keep this in mind to gain a competitive edge.

Article by Sonia Allen

Sonia has written 1 articles.

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  • Sunday April 10, 2014, 7:28 am

    Hi,
    I could not agree more with this post. There are lots of mistakes that should be avoided when building an ecommerce website. This is a website that requires huge traffic and huge database. The mistakes of loading time and complicated website designs should be avoided. This is not to say that all of the mistakes shared here are not important.

    http://kingged.com/10-common-mistakes-avoid-building-ecommerce-site/

    • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:06 am

      Hello, Sunday! Thank you for sharing your insight with us. It’s always nice to have supporting information regarding what I’ve already written.

  • Ann07 April 10, 2014, 10:59 pm

    Very well said.

    In anything, simplicity will always be the best perspective. Transparency and honesty among people you deal with- whether face to face or virtually. I mean, yes though you make a one-time huge sale because of fraud, these are real people and word of mouth is faster than a wild fire. You will soon find yourself with nothing…but ashes!
    Advice for item no.1, avoid using images with high file size. Using these would increase your site’s abandonment rate. : )

    Best,
    Rose

    By the way, saw this post at kingged.com

  • metz April 11, 2014, 12:54 am

    I can’t stand it whenever I open a link and sluggish loading time is there to welcome me. This is one of the problems that visitors experienced the most.

    A webpage leaves a Yin and Yang collision depending on its format/layout. If in the first fleeting-look, it will give the impression of being messy and disorganized, less than 5 minutes, the visitor of your ecommerce website will run off

    Nice share Sonia. I couldn’t agree more. There are several mistakes, I know. On the other hand, these 10 are important to take note. It’s been redundantly shared over the net yet forgotten. Thank for the reminder!

    I found this post shared on Kingged.com, the Internet marketing social bookmarking site, and I “kingged” it and left this comment.

  • Arun Kallarackal April 12, 2014, 7:49 am

    Hi Sonia,

    Well, starting an E Commerce site is not on my cards. But still, I decided to give it a read. Hey, new information and knowledge is always welcome in my case!

    As I read through each point I listed, I could relate to them very well. Because I frequently use E Commerce sites to make purchases.

    I personally hate such sites that load slow. Because, most of the times, I’m in a hurry to purchase the stuff and the site keeps me waiting.

    Another turn off is poor navigation and layout of the site. A good E Commerce site will allow its users to find the products he/she needs without them needing to look around much!

    And then comes the payment options. Some sites offer limited very limited choices when it comes to making payments. I just hate such sites!

    A very good article! Will be sure handy for those, who plan to make an E Commerce site in the near future.

    I found the link to this post on Kingged, where I’ll also Kingg it! :)

    Arun

    • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:07 am

      Hello, Arun. It’s nice to know that even people who aren’t building e-commerce websites are reading my article. I hope that whatever I wrote would improve the quality of online shopping sites everywhere to spare customers like you from the headaches and hassle.

  • Kool Design Maker April 14, 2014, 3:24 am

    eCommerce websites always full of complicated codes therefore running an online business not an easy thing, you have to keep in mind different things which you described effectively in this article. The most important thing is user-friendly website and easy to add products in shopping cart. Your all described points are very helpful to create a perfect website for successful online business.

  • Adam April 14, 2014, 4:24 am

    Very useful tips! A lot of people make e-commerce site without experience. I completly agree with you! Thanks a lot for your article!

  • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:01 am

    Hello Ankit! I’m glad to hear that you find my article helpful in regards to building an e-commerce website. Thank you as well for encouraging other people to read my post.

  • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:01 am

    Nice to meet you, Lisa! Thanks for reading my post! I really have to agree with you about mobile readiness and speed being huge factors in the quality of a website. It’s surprising how many people tend to overlook them though they’re so essential.

  • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:02 am

    Hello, Sunday! Thank you for sharing your insight with us. It’s always nice to have supporting information regarding what I’ve already written.

  • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:02 am

    Thanks, Ann for sharing that tip with us. Yes, it’s really better to just avoid images with huge file sizes as they can take forever to load.

  • Sonia Allen April 16, 2014, 3:05 am

    Hi there, Metz. I hate sluggish loading times as well which is why I made it a point to advise people to avoid making such a mistake! Thanks for reading my article.