Online shopping: it’s quick, convenient, and gives you a rush of retail therapy without the associated baggage of trawling around town. As e-commerce comes into its own, eCommerce web design is its own special niche, with trends and best practices evolving all the time. Yet in this fiercely competitive arena, there are pitfalls we can all fall into. Deadly sins that will send your customers sprinting into the arms of your rivals…
Lust – Getting Overexcited
Seduction is a subtle art. When we try too hard, it’s easy to come off as desperate. Too much waffle, annoying pop-ups, asking customers to commit too soon – it’s all terribly off-putting.
Think of your eCommerce website as a dating profile. Keep it short and sweet, and leave them wanting to know more. Use only the best images. Demonstrate why your brand is a great match.
Related reading: Psychology Based Web Design
Gluttony – Trying To Cram Too Much In
Ah, the old classic. Who needs white space? It’s still common to see websites that pack in so much content, you don’t know where to look. Unfortunately, this leads to poor digestion.
Consider how you can streamline your content to make it easily digestible. Cramming content is not the answer – everything competes for attention. Present your customers with a few choice morsels and let them follow their gut.
Greed – When Ads Become The Center Of Attention
Sure, a well-placed ad or promotion can be a good way to drive up your revenue. But too many, and your website starts to look like a billboard. Deals here. Promotions there. All of this runs the risk of devaluing your brand.
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It’s all about focusing your customers’ attention. What is the most important priority, in terms of the next step you want them to take? If there are too many ads and CTAs competing for attention, you’re reducing the likelihood of your customers behaving as you want them to. Try limiting promotions to their respective categories – and if in doubt, leave it out.
Sloth – Always Cutting Corners
You can always tell when not a lot of effort has gone into creating an e-commerce website. And that lack of attention to detail communicates that you don’t really care – about your business or your customers. What might this look like?
- Poor quality imagery
- Lack of useful information
- Badly thought-out navigation
- No meta-tags
- Slow loading time (very sloth indeed)
Essentially, you make things difficult for your customers. If you’re time-poor, there are ways around building a website from scratch. Hiring a web designer or buying one that’s already in business from an online store marketplace is a viable alternative.
Wrath – Getting On Users’ Nerves
Can you recall a time when you had a bad online shopping experience? Most of you have, at some point. And it certainly has the ability to get a person riled up. Naturally, this is the opposite feeling you want to be associated with your brand.
Here are some ways to ensure users won’t want to shop with you again:
- Make it really difficult to find anything
- Categorize unintuitively. Don’t include a search bar
- Require customers to create an account before they can place an order
- Have multimedia content that auto-plays as soon as they land on your website
- Ensure there’s no way to get in touch with you
Envy – Failing To Cultivate Your Own Brand Identity
When designing a website, one of the first things we often do is scope out the competition. Perhaps you saw another website you liked and thought you’d like to do something similar? This approach is fraught with issues, namely:
- What works for them won’t necessarily work for you
- It shows a distinct lack of creativity and personality
- By copying your competitors, you’ll (at best) only do as well as them
You can use your competitors as a source of inspiration, but copying them outright is foolish. Every brand needs its own identity – one that’ll resonate with its audience and offer something that isn’t already out there.
Pride – Assuming You’re Already Perfect
And the final sin: pride. Falling into the trap of believing that your website is already perfect as is. It may be so, but it won’t stay that way for long. The industry is too fast-moving – there are always new things on the horizon.
Not only that but keeping your website fresh and updated helps in other ways too, such as building domain authority and growing traffic. While a lot of businesses focus their energy on content marketing, many neglect to tweak and refine the design and functionality of their websites. But this is just as crucial.
So if you hope to reach e-commerce heaven, be a good citizen of the internet and avoid committing one of these 7 deadly sins – lest you be relegated to the fiery pit of business floppery.
Victoria Greene is a blogger and brand consultant. She writes a blog called Victoria Ecommerce. Here she offers website tips for new business owners looking to start 2018 with a bang!