Common mistakes in E-commerce design

E-commerce websites open up vast new markets for numerous businesses. While shopping on e-commerce websites, customer expects an easy and effective functionality. Complex design and functionality will lead to lower the sales and harm your long-term acceptability.
There are many things to consider while designing an e-commerce website. Following are some of the most common design mistakes to avoid which improve the customers shopping experience to a great extent.

Only one product image:
Customer might not feel comfortable about the product they are looking to make a  purchase as you provide a single image. You should include more than one images of each product offering enough views (front, back,sides) for the them. It will help the customer to take a quick decision toward making a purchase from your site.
Lack of detailed product information:

Most of the e-commerce website does not provide the complete description about     the specific product. You make sure to answer all the queries a customer may ask about the product which help for them to enhance the in-store shopping experience.

You need to provide as much product information as you can such as dimensions,     material, size, weight and any other relevant information depending on what the     product is. Focus on the product benefits using descriptive words rather than  just      technical terms. For example, in an online store, for clothing product you might     include colors available, size chart, fabric type, care instructions and much more.

Hiding contact information:
Prior to make a purchase, customer desire to know whether they are dealing with the reliable and trustable company as they have to mention their credit card information. If your website doesn’t provide any contact detail, customer are less probable to trust your website resulting in losing interest to do business with you.

Make your contact information clearly noticeable to the customers, which will help to increase the level of customer trust. They will be relieved that they can contact you whenever they have an issue.

Lengthy and confusing checkout process:
You must avoid the lengthy and confusing checkout process, by giving too much time  to the customer to reconsider with long forms. The ideal checkout process contains a only single page for customers to check their order, billing and shipping     information with confirmation page prior to submit their order.

You can combine checkout pages by using two-column layouts such as putting billing and shipping information next to each other to make pages seem shorter.

An inefficient website search engine:
Most of the sites turn out  with inadequate search results proving poor site search     facility. Sometime visitors know exactly what they want to purchase, so they opt to use a search engine rather than navigating through categories.

You need to make sure that the your website has an effective built-in search engine, and enables users to search by keyword and refine their results based on the categories your site includes. Provide the user facility to sort their search results based on criteria like new arrival, highest or lowest price, most popular etc. And eliminate the products that don’t fit within a certain category.

Minimal set of payment options:
Most of the sites allow customers to pay only with Credit cards, or to pay with a PayPal account. What about the customers who wants to pay by net banking or doesn’t have a PayPal account? Providing the limited options for payment for the customers will lead to decrease the number of sales.
You can expand customer base offering multiple payment methods to them as different customers have different preferences when it comes to making online payments. It will increases the choices your customers have while checkout, making them more likely to purchase from you.

Not showing related products:
You can design an e-commerce platform displaying all related products grouped together like any brick and mortar store look which can increase the add-on purchases for your business. For example, You can show mobile phone cases and other accessories in  the mobile phone categories. You can customized an ecommerce platform that enables you to manually choose related products and include them on product details page.

Confusing navigation:
If customer fails to find out the product they are looking for in a few clicks, you may lose an opportunity to keep them on the site. You should carefully design the navigational links and product categories to increase the site effectiveness.
Make sure that each category contains atleast a few products in it. You should make it easy and simple for customers to find out their preferred item, or move around your site.

Missing shipping rates:
When shopping online, customer intend to complete the order processing all at one time, without having to wait for an email with an exact shipping quote for approval     before processing your order. You must include your  shipping rates on your site.
You can use plugins or widgets which are available for shopping cart systems to evaluate shipping charges on your site. You can also make use of shipping  calculators offered by most of the companies. You can include a freight surcharge in the price for the particular  heavy products.

Missing store policies
Most of the customers pefer to know about your store’s shipping policies, return policies etc. prior to the purchase process. You can save a lot of annoyances later on from consumers who are not much happy with an order they’ve placed by making your store policies clear and upfront.
You should use FAQ or policies section on your e-commerce site to explain your rules in simple terms which can save lots of problems of the customers.