12 Mistakes that Leave your eCommerce Sites Dead and Buried

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Visualize the following scenario:

You are all set to buy a product online. Your eyes are meticulously studying the product’s varied features, and your credit card is out within minutes.

You enter your credit number once. Then twice. And then, thrice.

After all these futile attempts, the website crashes. You are left with nothing but annoyance, owing to the tedious experience.

This is one of the many horrors of e-commerce sites that prevent your potential customers from returning.

12 Mistakes that Leave your E-Commerce Sites Dead and Buried

An e-commerce website can be a huge boon to your business. But there are many aspects to consider when designing an eCommerce site. It’s not as simple as using shopping cart software and plopping products into a database.

Below are 12 of the most common mistakes that e-commerce sites make. These can undoubtedly leave your website dead and buried. But with a little careful planning, these can indeed be avoided.

Take a look?

Complex Checkout Process-Most Deadly Mistake 

  • Asking customers for unnecessary information?
  • Bad checkout design?

Nothing annoys customers more than these two problems on a site.

This gives users more reasons to click out and not finish the transaction.

The ideal checkout process includes a single page for consumers to check their order and enter their billing and shipping information and a confirmation page before submitting their order.

Anything more than that is only a hurdle in completing the checkout process. 

Good Example 

Challenging Navigation 

One of the biggest turnoffs for any visitor shopping online: Poor Navigation.

Your customers want everything to be easy, intuitive, and convenient. Don’t make it hard for them because when you do that, they abandon your website.

Don’t believe it?

Read this:

According to Baymard Institute, a web research company in the UK, 67.45% of online shopping carts are abandoned, out of which 25% are abandoned owing to complex navigation.

Your e-commerce site navigation needs detailed planning. Think carefully about designing your categories and navigation elements before you start putting products in your catalog.

Good Example

Lack of Payment Options

You must provide as many payment solutions as practical to optimize the number of orders you get.

Different consumers have different payment preferences; when it comes to making online payments, catering to as many preferences as you can, means you can satisfy the needs of diverse customers. 

Good Example 

Ignoring the Search Functionality

Internet Search Functionality is one of the most ignored features on an eCommerce site.

According to Andy Eades, an e-commerce consultant, Elevate Web, e-commerce customers who use on-site search to find products are more than three times more likely to convert than customers who don’t.

Hence, it would be best to ensure that the search feature on your site works well and preferably has filters for letting customers refine their results.

Lack of Product Images/Poor images 

Customers give up their tactile ability to inspect a product when shopping online. In this case, product images are of utmost importance.

It’s only through images that your potential customer will decide between buying the product.

What does that signify?

You need to provide multiple images of your products from various angles. Make sure the photo is big enough to zoom. By giving detailed shots of specific features, you can go a long way towards making a consumer more likely to buy from you.

Good Example

Poor Cart Design 

Adding multiple products, revising the quantities, maintaining transparency throughout- these are some of the complex functions your shopping cart is supposed to perform. Your shopping cart is one of the essential tools of your e-commerce site.

Ignoring the cart design would be one of the biggest mistakes.

To ensure your cart fits your e-commerce site perfectly, consider all the aspects- your functionality needs, feature requirements, integration requirements, budget, need for customizability, and design/theme needs. 

Good Example

Bad Customer Service Options 

Looking after your customers is one of your prime responsibilities.

You will annoy your customers by not providing a telephone number or email address on your site.

You need to make it easy for them to contact you if they have any product use questions. Also, consider offering a help request form for customers to fill out; this can instill more confidence than just an email address.

Good Example

Tortoise Pace Loading Time 

According to Gomez, the application monitor from Compuware, every 2 seconds of load time on your site equals an 8% abandonment rate. On the other hand, if you drop your load time from 8 seconds to 2 seconds, your conversion rate jumps up 74%.

Wasting your customers’ time can lead to a serious dent in your sales.

Loading time is a major contributing factor to the site abandonment. However, according to Dave Garr of User Testing, increasing site speed improved his conversion rate by 78%.

So speed up your site. If you don’t, its sales will plummet.

Underestimating Social Media 

SEO and backlinks are essential to any e-commerce site. Social media plays a vital role when it comes to these.

You miss out on big opportunities by not incorporating social media into your e-commerce site.

You can maximize your presence on digital platforms by making images on your website more pinnable. For example, by leveraging Pinterest effectively, you will boost your online business.

What will this lead to?

More traffic. More sales. More customers.

Good Example

Fashion retailer Madewell creates pinboards that inspire through the use of color.

Neglecting Product Description 

Product descriptions are as important as product images.

Don’t take the easy route of copy-pasting product descriptions from the manufacturer’s brochures or websites. Just don’t.

That will only lead to:

  • Google penalizes you for duplicate content.
  • Your site ranking is dropping significantly.
  • You will lose customers.

Invest the appropriate amount of time in product descriptions. A robust product description allows customers to experience and familiarize themselves with your products.

Point to remember: For product description, use descriptive words rather than technical terms, creating more impact on the customers.

Good Example

Adding shipment charges at the very end 

What if the customer is happy with the product description, the price, and other aspects? But as soon as they are about to proceed with the payment, the notification of unexpected shipment charges seems unreasonable to the customer.

The moment this happens, your customer abandons your cart.

Include the shipment charges right from the start. Don’t create any unexpected and unpleasant surprises for your hard-earned customers. That will only lead to a significant drop in your sales. 

Good Example


Don’t underestimate the need for having a FAQ page. Not providing your customers with one might compel them to shop from another site.

A dedicated FAQ page will help address the basic needs of your customers. This will also cut down on customer service requests, increase conversion rates, and create a more balanced shopping experience.

Good Example

Avoiding these e-commerce site mistakes will significantly improve the experience of your customers. Therefore, before embarking on a new e-commerce project or thinking over your current eCommerce site, you must bear these in mind. This will surely help you in creating a successful e-commerce site.

Author Bio:

John Siebert is the President and CEO of Tranquil Blue – Web Design Tampa that focuses on website design, mobile app development, and search engine marketing.

eCommerce Development