8 Ecommerce Website Flaws That Hurt Conversion Rates (And How to Fix Them)

You’ve invested so much time and money while pouring a […]


You’ve invested so much time and money while pouring a whole lot of love into your ecommerce business. You’ve handpicked the products, created buzz on social media, and even tweaked your SEO. But you’re still not seeing the conversion rates you’d like. So, what could be going wrong?

Don’t beat yourself up – everyone’s prone to a few slip-ups with their ecommerce websites. Sometimes, it’s the smallest details that deter potential customers. The good news is that we’ve identified eight of the most common ecommerce website flaws that keep those conversions from flooding in. We’re going to show you how to fix each one.

Think of this as your toolkit for a lucrative online business. Read it carefully and revisit it as often as you need in order to understand what you need to keep working on. Imagine how much revenue you could recover by addressing just a few of the critical flaws we describe below.

Assuming Visitors Understand Your Product

First up, let’s get real. You live and breathe your product every day. You know its ins and outs, its features, and its benefits like the back of your hand. But here’s the kicker: your website visitors don’t.

Many ecommerce pros mistakenly assume that what’s obvious to them is equally obvious to their site visitors. We’re here to tell you that, in fact, it’s not.

You see, you’ve got just a few seconds to grab attention and convey value. No one’s going to spend 15 minutes decoding your product specs or sifting through jargon to figure out why they should make a purchase. It’s 2023 – consumers want information, and they want it now.

The Fix: Product Clarity through Stellar Content and Videos

If you’re scratching your head, wondering how to bridge the comprehension gap, look no further than Getsafe – a medical alert systems company. These guys have nailed it with their “How Our Medical Alert Systems Work” page. The moment you land, an explainer video is front and center. No digging, no hunting – it’s right there to tell the story of their product.

What’s genius about this is the fact that explainer videos combine audio and visual elements to quickly deliver key information. It’s a one-two punch of product education and engagement.

Source: getsafe.com

If videos aren’t your jam, quality written content works wonders, too. Use layman’s terms, vivid imagery, and real-world applications of your product to get your point across.

Think bullet points, bold headers, and clear CTAs, just like in the GetSafe case. Direct, crisp content doesn’t just guide the consumer – it nudges them a step closer to that “Buy Now” button. So, go ahead and get crystal clear on what you’re selling. You’ll start noticing a positive change in your conversion rates in no time.

Not Optimizing Your Site’s Performance

We’re living in a time where instant gratification takes precedence over patience, which makes every slow website a conversion killer. No kidding. A 100-millisecond delay in page load time can result in a 7% loss in conversions, according to data from Akamai. That’s not a typo – just a tenth-of-a-second lag can mess up your game.

The Fix: Speed Up and Streamline

Wondering how to fix this velocity void? Start by minimizing large image files and cutting down on unnecessary code. Leverage browser caching and consider using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to speed up access for users spread across different locations. And if tech isn’t your strong suit, hiring a professional to audit your site’s performance is money well spent.

Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool can give you a snapshot of how your website performs and point out specific areas that need love. For a deeper dive, you can also explore tools like GTmetrix or WebPageTest. These platforms provide a granular analysis of what’s slowing down your site and how to kick it into high gear.

Treat your site’s speed as a priority, not an afterthought. Your conversions will thank you for it. And hey, it’s not just about retaining customers; search engines favor fast-loading sites, so you’re also boosting your SEO.

Only Providing Social Proof on Product Pages

Here’s the thing: Social proof is gold in the ecommerce realm. You know that. We all do. But the mistake many make is tucking that social proof away solely on product pages.

Seriously, why confine those glowing reviews and star ratings to one corner of your website? Your potential customers are interacting with multiple parts of your site, and sprinkling social proof throughout their journey can solidify trust in your brand.

The Fix: Spread Social Proof Everywhere

Here’s your action plan: sprinkle testimonials, user-generated content, and star ratings across your site – be it the homepage, collection pages, or even the checkout page. Make your brand’s trustworthiness visible and inviting at every corner.

Let’s take Golf Cart Tire Supply, a supplier of golf cart equipment, as our first case in point. These folks don’t just lock away their customer feedback on product pages. They showcase it front and center on their homepage.

They’ve got this nifty reviews flyout that’s packed with detail – separate site and product reviews sections, textual reviews, star ratings, and share buttons. Their approach is incredible because it immediately greets visitors with trust signals. 

They leverage this aspect because they understand that these aren’t just reviews. They’re stories, visual proofs, and recommendations from people who have made the same purchase journey your potential customer is considering.

Source: golfcarttiresupply.com

A popular baseball gear and equipment brand, Anytime Baseball Supply, sets another perfect example. They include star ratings right on their collections pages, not just individual product pages.

Take a look at their portable pitching mounds collection page. It shows you how many of their products have received top ratings, acting as a vouch for their entire line-up, not just one item.

Source: anytimebaseballsupply.com

Not Simplifying Your Cross-Sell Functionality

Cross-selling: that fine art of suggesting additional, relevant products to a customer who’s already keen on making a purchase. It’s like the salesperson in a physical store who asks, “Would you like some matching shoes for that dress?”

It works great from a marketing perspective, but the common issue is that too many ecommerce sites make cross-selling a convoluted mess, turning what should be a seamless experience into a confusing ordeal.

The Fix: Make Cross-Selling a Breeze

For mastering the art of simple yet effective cross-selling, Amazon remains an unrivaled example. As soon as you add a product to your cart, Amazon offers you a curated list of “Buy it with” items or “Products related to this item.” It’s streamlined and intuitive, and it works as a charm.

Check out this Ascent SmartPrep Kitchen System product page to see what that looks like:

Source: amazon.com

Now, if you’re keen on offering customization options, check out Ray-Ban’s “Customize” feature. This eyewear titan allows customers to design their own sunglasses, from lenses and frame colors to engraving and case options, all without overwhelming them. The interface is clean, the steps are straightforward, and the end result is a product that’s tailored to the customer’s exact liking.

Source: ray-ban.com

So, what can you learn from these ecommerce giants? Keep your cross-sell and customization interfaces clean, intuitive, and focused. Don’t drown your customers in too many choices. Guide them towards what they’re likely to need next, and make it as easy as tapping a button to add it to their cart.

By simplifying your cross-sell functionality, you’re not just selling more. You’re enhancing customer experience. And in the long run, a satisfied customer is a repeat customer.

Not Leading with Brand Differentiators

Your customers are window shopping – digitally. They’ve got a gazillion tabs open, comparing you with every Tom, Jerry, and Harry in your niche. If you’re not waving a unique flag that screams, “Hey, look at me! I’m different!” you’ll be easily forgotten in the sea of browser tabs.

The Fix: Your Unique Selling Proposition, Front and Center

If you lead with your differentiators, you won’t be just another tab in your customers’ eyes. They’ll bookmark you as the tab that offers something special. That’s how you leave a lasting impression.

So, don’t just blend in. Stand out. Show your visitors what sets you apart from the competition the moment they land on your site. We’re talking about presenting “above the fold,” or in other words, showing your value before your website visitors start scrolling.

Take Vivion, for instance. This brand sells bulk ingredients, and let’s be honest, so do many others. But here’s what’s cool about them: their header proudly states, “We provide safe, ethically sourced, and contaminate-free ingredients.”

In one sentence, they’ve told you why they’re not just another ingredients supplier. This value proposition sits right up top, so it’s the first thing you notice. It makes you think, “Ah, so Vivion is the ethical choice.”

Source: vivion.com

Your unique selling proposition (USP) doesn’t have to say you’re the best. It just has to show you’re different in a way that matters to your audience. Whether it’s superior quality, ethical sourcing, unbeatable prices, or unparalleled customer service, make it loud and clear from the get-go.

Hiding Your Availability

Let’s keep it 100: People like talking to people, not robots. When your customers have questions or concerns, they often want answers from a living, breathing human.

So, why do some ecommerce sites play hide and seek with their contact information? It’s a surefire way to lose potential customers who just need a small nudge or clarification to complete their purchase.

The Fix: Be Accessible and Inviting Across Channels

Optimize your conversion rates by taking a user-centric approach and being easily reachable. Your contact details should be visible on every page of your site. But don’t just stop there. Invite people to connect through multiple channels, be it phone, live chat, or email.

Take Canyon, a huge bike brand, as a prime example. The moment you land on their website, a live chat window pops up in the lower right corner, asking if their experts can assist you with anything.

It’s not an automated bot but real customer support agents ready to help. That’s not a simple service. It’s an invitation to engage, solve your issues, and assist you down the purchase path.

Source: canyon.com

By offering real-live availability, you’re not only extending a customer support function but elevating the entire shopping experience as well. This shows your customers that you’re not just in it for the sale. It proves you’re there for them every step of the way.

So take a cue from Canyon and make your brand incredibly accessible. You’ll not only resolve questions but also build lasting relationships, one real-time conversation at a time.

Complicating Product Comparisons

We’ve all been there – staring at an array of products, each with its own set of features, benefits, and price points. It’s like being at a buffet but not knowing the ingredients in each dish. It can quickly become frustrating, right?

Now imagine your customers feeling that way on your ecommerce site. We bet that’s not the experience you want to offer.

The Fix: Make Comparisons Simple and Interactive

If you’ve got multiple offerings within a particular product category, why not make life easier for your customers? Interactive product category pages can be a game-changer, letting customers customize products and compare prices all on the same page.

Shop Solar, a company offering solar power systems, nails this tactic with its home solar kits collection page.

It doesn’t just list similar products – it also offers a toggle for each product that enables users to choose different options. The prices update instantaneously with each selection.

So, in real time, your customers can weigh the pros and cons without jumping between multiple tabs or doing mental math.

Source: shopsolarkits.com

By simplifying the product comparison process, you’re streamlining your customer’s journey from browsing to buying. Plus, you’re showing that you understand their needs, which is a win-win for brand loyalty.

So, if your website makes product comparisons as hard as solving a Rubik’s cube, it’s time to step up your UX game.

Doing the Basics with Customer Reviews

Customer reviews are like gold in ecommerce. However, some online retailers choose only to scratch the surface, limiting themselves to text-based testimonials on product pages. If you’re doing just the basics with customer reviews, it’s time to level up.

The Fix: Leverage User-Generated Content for Credibility

Think beyond mere star ratings or written reviews. What really packs a punch is User-Generated Content (UGC). When happy customers share pictures or videos of themselves using your product, your product gets endorsed by the most trusted influencers out there – real people.

Mannequin Mall, a fashion mannequin retailer, gets it right. On their “Female Professional Dress Form With Collapsible Shoulders” product page, customers can upload images of their purchased product.

The outcome of this tactic allows visitors to see how real customers are actually using the product in real-world scenarios. This creates a whole new level of confidence in your product and brand.

It’s like a 3D review that tells a fuller story, making your potential customers gain more confidence in your brand.

By embracing UGC in your review strategy, you’re ticking the trust box and supercharging it. And once trust is established, those conversion rates are sure to follow suit.

Source: mannequinmall.com

Wrapping Up

Those were the eight common yet fixable flaws that might be sinking your conversion rates. Whether it’s about clarifying your product features or making sure you’re just a chat window away, each of these tweaks is designed to better align with what your customers want and expect.

It’s all about crafting an online shopping experience that feels intuitive, trustworthy, and, most importantly, focused on the customer.

So, dive into your ecommerce site and start making these changes. We’ve laid out all the know-how for you. Now, it’s time to put it to work.

About Author: Travis Jamison, founder, angel investor and search engine mega-nerd.

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