4 design areas to improve ecommerce conversion rates

Posted on - 6th Jul, 2017 | Posted By - E4K

Think how shopping behaviour has changed over the years. The shopping cart that we have been using to drag around the shop floor now looks like a tiny icon on a website.

There are now far fewer brick and mortar shops compared to digital ones. E-marketer estimates that eCommerce sales will pass $4 trillion in the year 2020.

In this massive market, you need first to survive, and then you need to get the right fit and then get your online store to a perfect stage.


“Steve Jobs said it right”

“Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works”


Ecommerce UI (User Interface) mistakes.

If you want to feel how customers feel when they go shopping online, try shopping in a randomly selected 25 online stores and do a mock shopping spree (Stop short of purchasing unless you really want to buy the products and have a fat wallet). I am sure that you will love some websites, whilst some others will not meet with your approval.

Some eCommerce UI mistakes ruin the shopping experience such as:

1. No search bar

2. Poorly designed product showcase

3. A flashy banner in home page

4. Limited product information

5. Lengthy checkout process

6. Keeping contact details under wraps

7. Weak shopping cart layout

8. No related products

9. Shipping rates a miss

10. Poor security

There are many other problems that you will probably be able to identify and add to the list. Maybe this list is not one of the mistakes after all but a lack of knowledge of best practices which prevents online stores from maximising their conversions.

Here are a few suggestions for online business owners to help improve their eCommerce sites. This will earn you increased time spent on the website and lead to more sales.

1. Display a reason to buy or value propositions

Free shipping or price guarantees are examples of value propositions that should be present in the website and easily visible to the users. My suggestion is place them near the website wide headers or near a call to action.

2. Search box in home page

A customer landing on a home page should be able to search for whatever information they need. It is the equivalent of at an offline store, where you welcome your customers in the lobby and direct them to what they need.

3. Ecommerce website security

Once a customer selects some products they then tend to click checkout – there we need to have a secure checkout. A OneUpWeb study found 77% of visitors expect a trustworthy and secure eCommerce website.

4. Display shipping promotions near carts

Visitors may abandon the purchase if they see high shipping costs. Here you can offer the advantage of free shipping by offering a promotion for an increased purchase.

Ensure that this free shipping offer is repeated throughout the entire checkout process.

Tips on how to show your products:

1. Take images that show products in outdoor lighting or in actual use

2. Use whitespace to show the image contrast

3. Multiple-angled images to show the product inside-out

4. Images with zoom-in and zoom-out functionality

5. Add videos to the pages whenever possible

6. Get reviews and ratings from the buyers

7. Display sold count or product ranking in the category

8. Social sharing buttons

9. Add to wish list option is a must

Shopping cart optimisation

The shopping cart is the most valuable place where 67% of the sales are dropping, commonly referred as shopping cart abandonment.

Whilst it is impossible to have zero cart abandonment in an eCommerce environment, we can take steps to negate the possibility.

The top reasons why customers abandon the shopping cart are shown below

reasons for online shopping cart abandonment infographic

Some tips to overcome these common reasons

1. Trustworthy store, then show it to customers, how? Trust seals, security badges from SSL certificate vendors

2. Offer multiple payment options such as debit / credit cards, online banking, Paypal, digital wallets, loyalty points, etc.

3. Disclose shipping costs in the product page

4. Be transparent about shipping time, if it is late then be open and inform customers

5. Always provide checkout using guest accounts, mandatory login creation will be a huge drawback


Home page, product page, and checkout page are the pages where the conversions happen. The home page sparks motivation, product page – to purchase, checkout page is where the customer is setting stage for payment.

If these pages work in a smooth way, then you will see a boom in sales. This is how the design plays a key role in the website. We mention the pitfalls of how design can be improved and ways your store acts as a magnet to lure buyers.
We welcome your tips and suggestions.