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E-Commerce Website Design: 5 Common Mistakes

Small business e-commerce is a highly competitive field and shop owners need to develop a professional online website in order to gain a competitive advantage over others. Let's explore some common design mistakes that I've come across when shop owners reach out to me for design assistance.

1. Poor or outdated design.

OK, I can't help it. This is really the first thing that sticks out to me like a sore thumb - and I'm sure to your visitors too!

Many e-commerce websites reflect a poor outdated website design. It is important for your website to reflect a modern clean-cut look and feel. If your website design is not professional, like it was designed in the nineties, then it is important to consider re-designing your website. A professional design for your online shop is crucial. Period.

2. Not having detailed information on products.

Many online stores make a common mistake of not presenting detailed information on their product range. A common problem with e-commerce websites, especially small business, is the lack of detailed information on products being sold on the website. Even if your shop has a large product list it is important to have an independent product detail page for each and every product. Avoid only one line descriptions for your products. Information on products can easily be found on manufacturer websites and in most cases they are happy for you to use it on your website.

3. Don't hide your contact details.

"Where are you located?"

"How can I get in touch with you?"

"Are you based in China?"

Another common mistake with many online shops is the lack of visibility of the company's contact details, for example, the telephone number and address. Customers often look for this information as it helps build trust knowing that someone will be there to answer questions should a problem arise with the purchase or the product. It is often a good idea to include your telephone and address on all pages either on the header or footer. An easily accessible email inquiry form or request call back forms on the website also helps build customer confidence.

4. The benefits of buying from your company is not clear to the customer.

Another common mistake businesses (in general) make is failing to convey clearly via the website the advantages or benefits of purchasing from them. Customers usually research competitors before making a decision.

5. Not having a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.

Many e-commerce businesses make the mistake of thinking that if their website is there it will automatically attract new customers. I wish it was was that simple!

No matter how professionally designed your website is or if your website has been created with search engine optimization in mind; appearing on the first page of Google is not something that will be achieved on its own.

Thousands of businesses compete for first-page ranking for any given keyword however only 10 can appear on the first page. Incorporating effective search engine optimization techniques into the design of your site is very beneficial to your online shop. Here is a list of a few:

  1. Mobile-friendly design

  2. Fix broken links

  3. Website speed

  4. Writing “great content,” then optimizing it for Google's keyword search.

Having an online shop is fun and can be highly profitable if the right design layout and strategies are in place to help you succeed! If you would like a quick free review of your online shop, email me at

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