Generating a steady stream of income from your online store is not a walk in the park.
First, you need to drive people to your e-commerce site.
Next, you will need to convince them to buy your product.
Lastly, you need to make sure that you have an efficient order fulfillment process.
On top of these, you need to be mindful of your website’s design and look. Otherwise, you will make it difficult for your online customers to transact with you.
11 Common WordPress Mistakes you could avoid
That said, we have listed down the 11 common WordPress mistakes when designing an e-commerce site, and how you can avoid it.
#1 Using a Non-mobile Responsive Theme
According to OuterBox, 79% of smartphone users made an online purchase using their mobile devices within the last six months. This means that having a mobile-friendly store is a must-have now more than ever.
Whether you are using a template or designing your e-commerce from scratch, it is important that your site and its content responds and adjusts accordingly to whatever screen size it is presented on.
And by “adjust accordingly,” we mean that it will not be difficult for your site visitors to tap a button on your online store’s mobile version.
It is also important that you can provide a consistent user experience to your customers. Meaning, if they browsed for your product using their smartphone, they can complete the purchase using their desktop or laptop without the hassle.
You can use a tool like Am I Responsive? to see how your online store looks like in different devices.
That way, you can steer clear of one the most common e-commerce design mistakes.
#2 Neglecting the Standard E-commerce Design
It might sound boring, but online shoppers are somewhat familiar with how a standard e-commerce website looks like. So, deviating from it just because you want your site to look fancy is a big no-no.
When designing your e-commerce site, here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Make your search bar prominent
- Have an organized navigation bar
- Categorize your products
- Dedicate an eye-catching section for promo and sales
- Keep it simple
A standard e-commerce web design makes it easy for your customers to tread the “path to purchase.” This includes product searches, reading descriptions and review, checkout and payment.
Your online store’s design should be so intuitive that even online shoppers who do not know your language would know how to navigate around it.
Keep in mind that the purpose of your website design is to make it easy for users to do what they want, which is to buy a product. Not necessarily to make it look fancy.
When designing your online store, it can be tempting to spill everything. However, it can be counterproductive on your customer’s part. That’s because having too many navigation options can be overwhelming for them.
More often than not, there is so much going on that it seems impossible for your customers to know where to look first. This explains why a complicated navigation bar is a major turn off to them.
Thus, it is important to know when to “kill your darlings” and streamline your navigation. And to keep things tight, you should get rid of the filler so you only communicate what your business represents.
Take a look at the minimalist clothing brand, Everlane.
They only have the following navigation options:
- Log in
- Sign up
Technically, they only have three options to choose from (Women, Men, and Denim). And because of this, a site visitor is more likely to make a decision that would be beneficial for you such as buying your products.
#4 Having Disorganized Product Categories
If you sell multiple products, you must organize your product categories.
For example, an online store that sells women apparel could have the following categories:
- Types of clothes: Activewear, underwear, swimwear, coats, dresses. etc.
- By brand: Calvin Klein, DKNY, Armani Exchange, etc
- By occasion or season: Cold weather, summer outfit, outdoor, wedding, etc.
It is also important that your e-commerce site has sorting functionality. That way, your customers can sort your products based on the new arrival, best selling, customer rating, or pricing.
Another must-have is the filter options. This will allow online shoppers to only see discounted items, a particular product type, size, brand, or price range.
It may sound cumbersome and tedious on your end. However, these functionalities (plus the search option) make it easier for your buyers to find what they are looking for.
Think of it this way, the arduous task of ensuring that you have organized product categories and functional filter options is a form of investment.
You are investing in a good customer experience, which can lead to an improved bottom line.
#5 Using Boring and Irrelevant Stock Images
They say that images can paint a thousand words. Plus, multimedia content can help reduce your e-commerce site’s bounce rate. But not if it is a boring and irrelevant stock image.
For one, stock photos lack authenticity. If you want site visitors to buy from you you must prove that your business is legit and trustworthy.
However, you cannot achieve that when you use a stock image. Not to mention that they may have seen your stock photos elsewhere.
To improve sales on your e-commerce site, keep these tips in mind:
- Use high-quality images. And by “high quality” we mean high definition images. That way, your online shoppers can see the fine details of your products when they zoom in.
- Provide multiple product angles. This is to provide your customers with a close-to-accurate indication of the size of your products. More so since they cannot touch your products physically.
- Show how your product is used. A high-quality image is nice and all but it will be more compelling to show how your product is used through images and videos. This can make it easy for your customers to envision how your product can help them.
#6 Not Featuring Related Products
Adding a section for related and recommended products is a smart tactic to cross-sell and upsell to customers. Hence, it advisable that you have this feature as part of your e-commerce web design.
Cros-selling through recommended products is ideal in case your customer is viewing a product that is out of stock. Using a previous example earlier, if someone is checking out an unavailable cocktail dress, then your website should automatically recommend something similar.
For one, it allows you to generate a sale even if the preferred product is out of stock. Second, it helps you to retain your customer’s attention.
Just keep in mind to recommend a product based on the customer’s behavior. If your buyer’s search history reveals that she’s been looking for black dresses, then it is more likely that it is her preferred color.
Upselling, on the other hand, is recommending another product that could go well with what your customer is checking out. Say your buyer is looking for a pair of jeans, you might want to recommend a shirt or blouse that could go well with it.
#7 Not Displaying Reviews and Social Proof
This means that it is important that you display customer reviews on your product pages.
That’s not because you want to showcase how awesome your products or service is. Displaying customer reviews is meant to drive engagement, build customer loyalty, and help boost your digital marketing efforts.
The review section allows your customers to voice out their opinion on the right platform. You, on the other hand, can use this to show your appreciation for those who left a positive review.
Also, the customer review section is a great avenue to showcase how you handle customer disputes professionally.
#8 Not Displaying Trust Signals
As mentioned earlier, it is important to show that your business is legit and trustworthy if you want customers to buy from you. This is where trust signals come in.
This includes a clear logo, security badges, and a URL with an HTTPS protocol. However, this is just one part of the “trust signals troika.”
According to Jeremy Smith, an expert entrepreneur, make sure that your e-commerce website displays the following:
- Customer reviews or client testimonials that are also trustworthy
- Social plugins and local contact information
- Multiple payment methods, badges, and certifications.
Trust signals will not just enhance your business’ trustworthiness, it can also improve your conversions. However, it is best to find the kind of trust signals that matter to your customers and then deliver on it.
#9 Using Forms With Poor UX
Forms that do not work properly is just a waste of time. So when adding an online form on your e-commerce website, it is important that (1) it is necessary and (2) working properly.
Sure, your online form’s design should be catchy, but it will not matter if it is not easy to fill. Luckily, there are now online form builders that let you create effective forms within minutes.
Just keep in mind that you should only ask for customer information that is necessary for your business.
Asking for your customer’s full name, contact number, address, and payment details could be useful for your online store. But it would be suspicious if you are also asking for their employment background.
Moreover, your online forms should be implemented properly.
Meaning, it is working on your customer’s end and that you can receive those forms be it through email or dashboard. This is crucial if you are using online forms when receiving orders from customers (which you should be).
Remember: Online forms for e-commerce could be the gate where your customers can enter (or convert).
#10 Publishing Confusing Product Descriptions
According to digital marketing consultant, Shane Barker, your product descriptions can help your business stand out from the competition.
A vague and confusing product description can dissuade a customer to complete his purchase. Thus, you should include clear and engaging descriptions of how your products look and feel, as well as how it can benefit your customers.
However, it is also important that you do not load the online shopper with information. Otherwise, they will be disengaged from your online store and less likely to return. That said, excellent copywriting is key.
#11 Complicating Your Checkout Process
In a study conducted by the Baymard Institute, a long and complicated checkout process is the third common reason online shoppers abandon their cart.
What some online businesses do not know is that this issue can be fixed through design changes. Simply redacting unnecessary form fields and improving the checkout design can lead to a 31% increase in conversion rate!
To do that, you mustn’t hide the applicable cost for every purchase. This includes shipping fees and taxes. That way, your customers should have full knowledge of how much it will cost them.
Second, remove forms and fields that would force your customers to divulge unnecessary and private information.
Why would you ask where your customer work, anyway?
You can opt to allow your customers to checkout as guests. Forcing them to create an account to proceed will just cause friction to their buyer’s journey.
Focus your e-commerce web design on letting them complete a purchase easily and within a few steps.
The idea of e-commerce web design is not to make your online store look fancy. It is meant to provide a frictionless buyer’s journey.
For one, it can help ensure that you will generate sales.
Second, this can encourage repeat purchases.
Third, excellent web design can compel a customer to spread the word about your business.
Most of all, it is what can set you apart from other businesses like yours.
The key here is to make it easy for online shoppers to trust your brand, decide what they want to do, act upon it.
Can you think of other e-commerce web design mistakes we miss? Let us know in the comments on how to best avoid it.
And don’t forget to share our guide on social media.
Note: This Guide on Common WordPress Mistakes was contributed by Jake Rheude. If you have a useful guide to contribute, then check our Guest Blogging Guidelines.
For more WordPress Guides on Website Designing,
- 13 Homepage Design Tips for a Better WordPress Homepage
- How WordPress Designers use Image Croppers to beautify their websites?
- The World of WordPress – 10 Popular Web Design Trends
- Designing a WordPress site: What you need to know before getting started
- Starting your First WordPress site – What you need to know?