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RainDrops Blog: Web Design & Dev Insights

5 Things To Stop Doing On Your E-commerce Website

It’s important to see past individual design elements and focus on conversion rate, user experience, and performance metrics instead.

5 Things To Stop Doing On Your E-commerce Website Doesn't this ruin the overall picture?
Doesn't this ruin the overall picture?

Web development has come a long way since its inception. Coding and marketing tools are very different from the ones used just a few years ago. Trends come and go, fads appear and disappear. Website design features gain and lose their “must-have” status. That’s why it’s important to see past individual design elements and focus on conversion rate, user experience, and performance metrics instead.

These are the 5 things to stop doing on your e-commerce website so that your customers have a great experience using it.

1. Quick View popups

Quick View popup is a popular feature that can be seen on many websites. 48% of the top 50 US-based e-commerce websites use it, so it must be helpful, right?

Quick View is supposed to be great for users. People can preview a product before committing to leave the main page and focus on that product’s description. However, this feature has several issues upon taking a closer look.

Many users confuse a Quick View popup with a product page. Yet the real loss occurs if the popup doesn’t have enough information about the product. They might miss additional important details as the shortened description just doesn’t explain everything the way the product page does. Many users click off the popup and move on to a different item because they assume that the product isn’t what they’re looking for. That’s how a business can lose a sale over a poorly done Quick View feature.

2. Image carousels in the header

Putting a slideshow on the main page is also one of those ideas that seem great on paper but don’t really work once implemented. Image carousels were meant to add some life to a pretty static home page. The slider was viewed as a way to employ multiple CTAs and highlight several offers at the same time.

However, now most web developers agree that image carousels should become a thing of the past. They add loading time to pages, especially if viewed on mobile. They add unnecessary JavaScript. And overall, usability is not that great since it is hard to make sliders look right and keep them readable on all screen sizes (have you noticed how titles that appear over small images are readable and the image isn’t visible?)..

There are UI (User Interface) implications as well. Image carousels look too much like ads. They rotate too fast for a consumer to read the sale information. Often they create visual clutter on the main page without offering much in return. Studies show that most people simply ignore them, and less than 1% of people actually click them. Additionally, they almost never comply with ADA, which potentially creates legal issues.

3. Too many popups

Website popups (or “overlays”) are used to introduce customers to a welcome offer and grab their e-mail address for the mailing list. They are helpful and useful, but having too many popups is a sure way to annoy your potential customers and make them click off your website. Most people tend to close them before even reading them.

Some brands opt to avoid popups altogether, focusing on product quality and business reputation rather than welcome discounts to close a sale.

4. Too much text

When customers visit your website for the first time, they want to know what you do and who you are at first glance. Nothing gets in the way of that more than a long bland block of text.

Text content can be extremely useful in various circumstances. It is great to add blog posts to your website for SEO and content marketing. And of course, products need to have well-written descriptions. However, large text blocks have no business being on the main homepage.

Users have neither time nor patience for anything but short snippets on the main homepage. Product lists and blog post previews should be designed to tease customers and make them want to know more. That’s the only way to make them stay and look at what you’re offering rather than click off out of boredom.

5. Using plugins that could easily be created with custom code

Anyone who’s ever created a Wordpress website is familiar with plugins. There are so many different ones, and they cover a lot of functionality that even the most specific themes would be missing out on!

Some plugins are extremely helpful as they are written by web developers who are passionate about their work. However, issues can occur when using them in combination with other plugins and programs.

First, they are written by a number of different people. Hence, not all plugins will work with each other smoothly. Compatibility issues are quite common when working with multiple plugins. Also, updating plugins and customizing them for your needs might be challenging since you don’t own the code, so your options might be limited.

You can always create custom code instead of loading someone else’s script. You can write your own code or hire a web design agency to create something unique and custom just for your website needs.

Website trends change. Design staples go out of fashion. It is important to analyze your website performance and see if the results you are getting correlate with your marketing goals. After all, your e-commerce website and its design are business tools, and no cool-looking feature is worth having your conversion rate drop.

We are ranked as a top ecommerce consulting agency. If you’d like us to take a look at your site and see how we can improve it and help grow your business, consider partnering up with us!

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