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Avoid these top 5 ecommerce shop mistakes

Your ecommerce website is up and running and looks great. The sales are gradually coming in and you’re getting a steady stream of customers, but your thinking of how to improve and get more sales.

Before you spend money on advertising and marketing campaigns consider making the most out of the traffic you’re already getting. By avoiding these top 5 common ecommerce shop mistakes you’ll start seeing your conversion rate and sales increase:

1. Not clearly displaying your shipping info

I don’t know about you but when I shop online I want to get my purchase as soon as possible and at what cost. I don’t want to search the entire website to find the shipping information. By showing it on the product pages the shopper won’t get confused and distracted by having to click through and read the FAQs or shipping policy pages.

Showing your shipping information is especially critical during high sales volumes during the holidays. If a customer is surprised by the unexpected shipping costs upon checkout then most likely it’ll sink your conversion rates.

2. Having very generic and short product descriptions

Your shoppers also rely on product descriptions to help them make their purchase decisions. Many storefronts have either very minimal product descriptions or very generic product descriptions. These are missed opportunities to give additional context to the shopper that may have convinced them to make a purchase.

This in not uncommon and I can see why, writing excellent product descriptions can be time-consuming, especially if you’re dealing with dozens or even hundreds of products.

From what we’ve seen with my most successful clients, having well-written product descriptions is one of the differences between average shops and highly successful shops.

Product descriptions can also be leveraged far beyond increasing sales. They get more visitors to your site; product descriptions are an excellent place for dropping in keywords and phrases to help your SEO efforts. They’re also critical for branding: if your business has an interesting story, they’re the perfect place to show personality and differentiate yourself from your competition.

3. No visual feedback when clicking ‘add to cart’

When the shopper clicks “add to cart”, they’ve made choice to move one step further in the buying process.

Since we want the shopper to do this, and do this often, we should find a way to reward the user for clicking the button. The simplest way to do that is to give obvious visual feedback. Show an animation, show a banner, show that the “items in cart” number has changed; do something that makes it clear that the product has been added to the shopping cart. This also makes the shopper feel that the site is working properly and will trust you with their credit card information.

4. No product shots of people using your product

When you show your products being used, the shopper then can more easily visualize themselves using the product.

When a potential customer is browsing through your website, depending on your products, they’re constantly asking themselves things like:

“What does this look like in real life?”, “How does it look when someone is holding it?, “What does it look like from different angles?”

This is especially true if you’re selling things like fashion accessories or clothing. By displaying shots with people in it, you bridge the gap between the web and reality.

5. No call-to-action on your homepage sliders

Homepage sliders are popular these days. You include a series of pictures, then the slider automatically transitions from one to another. Although I don’t recommend them in all cases, It’s an easy way to show multiple products and can add some variation to your homepage.

The problem I see is that they’re often just that, a series of product pictures with no purpose. Most likely your homepage is the first page your customers will visit, so make sure it serves it’s purpose and leads them to a sale.

Avoid this by making sure that every product picture on your slider has a clear call-to-action. Do this by telling them to ‘Click here’ or to ‘Learn more’ to see it in more detail.


Well there you have it! There are others to avoid but those are my top ones. The key to making more sales is to reduce shopper anxiety and uncertainty. Things to question are: How can I make their online experience as simple as possible? How can I make the shopper as comfortable as possible while browsing the store?

A great web designer will address these questions for you in the beginning and ultimately avoid these common ecommerce store mistakes.

About David Zupec

David Zupec is a web designer at the helm of Sailors & Mermaids, a small web design studio based in Michigan. His passion is helping small businesses build a successful online presence.