5 E-commerce Design Mistakes to Avoid

Design plays an important role in any website and eCommerce is no exception. It is one of the factors that determine if a website will be successful or not. An eCommerce website is a website designed to sell products and so, you must design it in a way that will drive sales. If you have an innovative and trend-setter idea for eCommerce but have a website with poor design, you may not survive the harsh world of eCommerce.

For every eCommerce business, the layout and design of the website can either boost sales performance and user satisfaction or hinder it. Some important consideration when designing an eCommerce website include:

  • Are users easily able to find what they are looking for?
  • Is the process of buying something simple?
  • Does the listing of items on the site inspire users to make a purchase?
  • Can users purchase items using their mobile devices?

There are many good practices for designing an eCommerce website that will help to give your users a wonderful online shopping experience. However, some web designers ignore these practices and this affects the business negatively. If you want to make the most of your virtual storefront, you must avoid the following design mistakes.

1. Making website navigation difficult

Creating poor website navigation is one of the design mistakes you must avoid for your eCommerce website. Poor website navigation will give your customers a negative user experience. If they visit your site and can’t find what they are looking for easily, they’ll get frustrated and leave. Some users may never visit that website again and this can be a big loss for the business.
Follow the practices below for great site navigation.

  • Include an on-site search option that will be easy to find
  • Organize navigation menus and make them clear and easy to understand
  • Consider a sticky navigation bar
  • Use meaningful labels to organize products
  • Optimize drop-down menus
  • Make top-level navigation clickable
  • Make the product search easy for the customer
  • Create a product category hierarchy that will make sense to your users

2. Creating a complex checkout process

Payment option

Creating a complicated, time-consuming checkout process is another eCommerce design mistake you must avoid. eCommerce is very competitive and having a complex checkout process will do you no favor. You must give your customers a fast and easy online shopping experience and one way you can do so is by designing a simple and short checkout process. If your checkout process is complex, your users may not complete purchases and this will adversely affect your revenue and growth.

To optimize your checkout page, follow the practices below.

  • Offer option for checking out as guest
  • Deliver a one-page checkout process
  • Be upfront about shipping costs
  • For a longer checkout process, ensure you add a progress bar
  • Avoid redirecting to different pages for shipping and payment options
  • Rather than starting with billing information, start with shipping information. Starting with billing information may lead to cart abandonment.
  • Clearly label all fields.
  • Ensure your checkout page compliments your brand. The look and feel should be the same as the rest of your website.
  • Offer a variety of payment options.

3. Failing to create an excellent user experience

Some web designers fail to create an excellent user experience when designing an eCommerce site. The UX design of your eCommerce site is something you must take seriously. If the design of your site does not give your customers an amazing user experience, it may lead to a decrease in your conversion rate. An effective user experience on the other hand is a great marketing strategy that will keep your customers engaged when they visit your site. Other benefits of having an amazing user experience include better reviews, higher search engine results page (SERP) ranking, increase brand awareness, and more.
Best practices for improving your site’s user experience:

  • Deliver an organized and clean design
  • Focus on amazing functionality
  • Simplify the checkout process
  • Add personalization as it will help to create meaningful customer relationships
  • Let customers create lists
  • Launch an eCommerce app
  • Add a search bar for customers to easily sort through your products
  • Pay attention to your product pages, descriptions, categories, and images
  • Keep close track of the eCommerce industry and technology trends

4. Not securing your website

SSL Certificate

Another eCommerce design mistake is the failure to properly secure the eCommerce site. Security is very important to an eCommerce site; it protects your business and also your customers. Securing your website sends a message to your customers that you value their well-being and this helps them trust your brand. When you have visitors to your website and they find a message “not secure” in the navigation bar of their browser, they won’t feel secure purchasing products from your site. That message is a red flag that will drive customers away from your site.

Some practices for securing your website include:

  • Ask your web development team to install an SSL certificate on your website. This will help to encrypt sensitive information and other important data of your customers.
  • Display trust badges throughout your website. Some recognized trust badges include McAfee Secure, PayPal Verified, VeriSign, and BBB Accredited. Displaying trust badges on your website will give your customers the extra feeling of security they need to do business with you.

5. Delivering ineffective product pages

Delivering ineffective product pages is another common eCommerce design mistake. You won’t get the result you desire from your eCommerce business if you have ineffective product pages. Product pages get more traffic and are shared more often than your homepage. So, it is important that you make your product pages effective. An effective product page can turn your visitors into customers while an ineffective one will make you lose potential customers.

Some practices for optimizing your product pages include:

  • Creating detailed product descriptions
  • Making pages SEO friendly
  • Providing high-quality product images
  • Delivering clear and visible call-to-action buttons
  • Including product videos where possible
  • Including all shipping information
  •  Creating responsive product pages
  • Incorporating social sharing buttons
  • Providing recommendations for related products


There you have it – the top 5 most common eCommerce design mistakes to avoid. You will succeed in the eCommerce business if your website can deliver your customers a world-class experience. Your website is your greatest asset for your e-commerce business; to prevent it from becoming a liability in the long run, you must avoid the mistakes discussed above. To avoid or correct the mistakes mentioned, follow the listed best practices.

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