ecommerce owner

eCommerce website design has become a significant factor in increasing website visits and sales. Certain aspects, like navigation, responsiveness, images, and the like, impact how visitors and prospective customers view or browse on your website. 

If you lack any important eCommerce design aspect, you might lose customers in the process. Steer clear from the mistakes previous eCommerce sites have made before.

In this article, I discuss 12 common eCommerce design mistakes and how you can avoid them.

1. Unresponsive Design

Most online shoppers purchase items through mobile. After all, more than 50% of online shoppers purchase something on mobile.

Many website experts will agree that any eCommerce website should be responsive. This guarantees that your site appears on screens correctly on any device.

A fatal mistake in eCommerce design is not optimizing your site on mobile. You could lose leads and have a higher bounce rate because the eCommerce site isn’t mobile-friendly.

So, if you want customers to stay longer on your site and purchase items, you need to optimize your eCommerce site on any device.

2. Unintuitive Navigation


You want to provide a smooth experience for your customers on your eCommerce site. The website navigation will help your customers find different pages, buy your products, and contact you when needed.

If your eCommerce site has poor navigation, expect to have higher bounce rates. You want to aim for a lower bounce rate because you want people to stay on your eCommerce site, browse, and even purchase items.

You can start by organizing your products in categories. You also want to have different sections like a blog, about us, contact, etc. You should also consider the placement of your logo because users could get lost on the site.

3. Poor Checkout Process

Your eCommerce website should make it easy for your customers to add items in their cart and proceed to checkout. However, some eCommerce websites make the mistake of not providing a seamless checkout experience for customers. This, in turn, could increase abandoned cart rates.

  • Unsecure checkout

On every part of your website, you need to ensure security. eCommerce websites are prone to hacking due to cybersecurity attacks like DDoS attacks or phishing. It’s crucial to make your checkout process much more secure. 

You’ll lose trust from your customers if you don’t have security measures undertaken there. After all, they provide private data. Your eCommerce site should be safe from vulnerabilities and attacks.

  • Difficult checkout

A typical checkout process takes about 3 to 4 steps. Don’t overcomplicate checkout. You want customers to buy something in a couple of clicks. Don’t turn a checkout into an abandoned cart.

  • No sign-up options checkout

Your eCommerce design should provide a guest checkout option. It’s for those who want to make an immediate purchase of the item. It could also be for first-time customers who don’t want to commit yet. 

Alternatively, for returning customers who no longer want to input their details on your site, they should get a sign-up option. This will streamline the process after they added items on their cart.

To curb this, you can put security seals on your checkout page. Plus, make sure that your website URL is HTTPS, meaning that it’s secure and safe for visitors to browse.

4. Not Following Design Elements

Website design has become a priority for most businesses. This will get more visitors to explore your eCommerce site and might stay there to purchase something. However, if you still have an outdated eCommerce design or website, they might not bother wandering around.

Here are some of the essential elements of an eCommerce website design:

  • Visual hierarchy (e.g., white space, composition, scale, proximity, repetition
  • Simple, flat, clean design
  • Cards or grids
  • Illustrations, icons, images
  • Menus

If you have these elements in your eCommerce design, visitors can stay longer.

5. No Search or Filter Options

A search bar is an essential part of an eCommerce design. It’s for customers who have figured out what they wanted to buy. It’s also for those who are returning for another purchase.

If you add a sort or filter option that would level up your search feature. This would work best for those who are still navigating your site. They can see different colors, types, or sizes of products you offer. This will help them make a decision.

6. No Contact Details

mobile phone

Imagine wanting to buy an item, but you have questions about that item before you purchase it. Then, to your surprise, there’s no way to contact that eCommerce site. If you don’t offer any form of contact with your customers, they might visit your competitor.

Most eCommerce sites would add their contact details at the menu bar found at the top of the footer. Some would have a contact page where a customer can sign on a form, send an email, or call for any inquiry.

7.  No Targeting Strategy

You should always put your customers first. If you want to connect with them and them to engage with you, your copies and overall look should look the part.

One of the subtle things you can do to “target” your audience is to have an appropriate theme installed. Let’s say that you’re an eCommerce site selling gadgets. You might not want to use a theme intended for fashion or home products. 

On the other hand, you shouldn’t use an outdated eCommerce theme. Make sure to have a modern one that keeps up with the trends.

Another way to approach targeting is through copy. You might target customers locally (geo-targeting) or your type of audience. For example, you could say something like “sneakers in New York City” or “eco-friendly shampoo bars.”

8. No Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies

An eCommerce site is no longer just a website where you can sell items. It has also become a marketing strategy to increase more sales. Thus, it’s necessary to add ways to convert visitors or prospects into returning and loyal customers.

Most eCommerce websites would include an email newsletter form where visitors can sign up for updates. You should include that at the end of the page as they scroll down your homepage.

Another way to do it is through landing pages. Landing pages have become a tried-and-tested method of converting users. It’s effective because of persuasive and powerful copy, plus high-quality hero images that entice users.

9. Irrelevant and Low-Quality Images


Images have become a crucial part of any website design. People process images 60,000x faster than text. 

You shouldn’t forget to post high-quality images of your products. High-quality photos impact the buying decisions of your customers. If you upload a product photo that looks different than your product, expect customers to return it.

Aside from posting product photos, of course, you can use other graphic designs or illustrations.

Once you load a website, most eCommerce websites would direct you to their landing page. From there, you’ll upload one of your most essential website images: hero images. Uploading this will determine if your website is engaging enough for the visitor.

Here are some examples of hero images you can use:

  • Products
  • Illustration
  • Contextual

10. Slow Website

No one wants a slow website nowadays. Most people want everything in a snap, and you have to cater to that need.

So, your website should load, at the most, in five seconds. This way, visitors will linger on your site much longer. Unbounce finds that you might have a 70% increase in website sessions if your website loads in a few seconds.

Here are some ways you can speed up your website:

  • Optimize your photos (hero images, products, banners, etc.)
  • Use only necessary plugins
  • Make sure to cache

11. No Proof or Evidence

What makes your products different? What do people think about it? What’s the purpose of buying your product if no one else can prove that this is great?

To address that, you need to add social proof. It’s a way for most eCommerce sites to convince visitors that others love the product. Social proof can influence visitors by making a purchase. If they see someone who can vouch for your product and know if it’s worth buying, they will consider it.

One of the best practices is to add reviews from customers on the homepage or landing page. You can also use media shout outs or features. If you’re still a new eCommerce site and might have a few reviews, badges are the best alternatives. 

12. No Branding

It’s a no-no if you don’t add a logo on your eCommerce website design. You need to establish your identity on the website. A logo is one of the first things your visitors or prospects see on your website.

Another way to integrate branding on your eCommerce design is to refer to your visual guidelines. So, how else can you incorporate your brand digitally?

  • Color (what’s the color scheme of your company?)
  • Typography (what fonts do you use?)
  • Photography (what is your photography aesthetic?)

This could further strengthen your branding online. This way, more would remember and recall your eCommerce site and come back when they need your products.

Final Thoughts

You need to ensure that your website is well-designed and optimized before launch. This way, you’ll encounter little to no errors when potential customers visit the site. 

Since most eCommerce sites use a theme from the platform they use, it doesn’t hurt to level up your overall aesthetic. To do that, you can find a website designer or subscribe to an on-demand graphic design service like Lead Pixels that will make your website look and function much better.

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