10 e-Commerce Commandments

The usability of any website is important, but when we are talking about an online store, it is even more so. Why? Because every time a potential customer visits our ecommerce site and doesn’t know how to continue with the purchase process, we lose them. Our potential client can get frustrated if they do not […]

The 10 commandments of usability for e-commerce

The usability of any website is important, but when we are talking about an online store, it is even more so. Why? Because every time a potential customer visits our ecommerce site and doesn’t know how to continue with the purchase process, we lose them. Our potential client can get frustrated if they do not understand the options we offer them, or due to a lack of information, among other issues, and abandon us forever. In other words, poor usability within our store can lead us to lose sales.

In this post we show you the most important issues to take into account in relation to the usability of your internet sales site.

Some tips for your store

1. You will design your site around your products

It is a fact. The center of an online e-commerce site should be made up of products . It is possible that for us it is very important to transmit the history of our brand or its philosophy, but when we are talking about designing our site, selling must be even more important.

So, when we design our online store, we keep in mind that the most important thing is that our customers easily find our products in order to buy them .

Are we trying to say that the institutional information of your company has no relevance? No, by no means. On the contrary, this information is a fundamental piece of your store . It just shouldn’t get all the attention.

2. You will include very clear “calls to action”

It is key that when a customer is browsing our store, they know exactly what they have to do to complete the action they are performing. For this, we have to choose in each situation an action that we want him to carry out and guide him until he completes it . What we want is to strongly mark the path you have to take to complete the purchase. We want to be your GPS to the final destination, which is our checkout process.

Why is this important? Because we cannot ask our client with the same emphasis that in addition to buying a product, share it by email, through social networks, leave a comment or check the opening hours. On the contrary, we do want you to know how to start a purchase process .

The size, color and design are always attributes that help certain actions (for example, “Buy”) become calls to action (or calls to action) and are clear and striking .

3. You will define good navigation

A good definition of categories will make our customers feel more comfortable browsing our store and find the products they are looking for more easily. We may think that the more categories we have, the better the navigation of our store will be, but be careful! Sometimes too many categories can be just as bad as too few.

When we organize our categories, let’s think about how we would like to see the products if we were actually the customers of that store . Let’s put ourselves in each other’s place when creating our categories and we will obtain a better result.

A good idea is to try several options and ask our friends, family or regular customers to help us choose the final one.

4. You will use “breadcrumbs” to indicate to your client where it is

The “breadcrumbs” (literally, “breadcrumbs” in Spanish) are those links that appear within pages as we navigate deeper and deeper within a website. They allow us to understand at a glance what was the path we traveled to get there and also to return to one of the previous pages without having to guess where we came from. In particular, it helps make navigability within our store better .

Naturally, this tool will make sense as long as our categories are well defined.

5. You will accompany the products with good photos (and even videos)

The importance of a good photograph in an online store is nothing new. As you may have noticed, when our customers buy from us online they do not have the chance to touch, feel or try our products. It is for this reason that it is essential that the photos of the products are the bridge between seeing a product on the screen and feeling it as if we had it in our hands .

Going one step further, something we can also do is include product videos. This is particularly useful when we sell items that make our customers wonder “how is this used?”.


6. You will provide your clients with multiple contact channels

When we go shopping at a traditional (ie, physical) store and we have doubts, we naturally react by looking for a salesperson or any other person who can assist us and help us clear up our doubts.

On the internet, things are no different. If we are browsing an online store and we have any kind of doubt, we want to get an answer. But if we do not find available contact channels, what will happen is that we will leave the store without making the purchase.

To combat these abandonments, we simply have to offer our potential clients as many contact channels as possible : a telephone number, a contact form, an email address, a physical address of our premises and, why not, a chat to answer queries in real time .

7. You will allow your customers to buy without registering

For any of us it is very important to know who our customers are. For this, we usually find ourselves in the need to request this information directly from them. But as much as this seems essential to us, we should not be tempted to force them to create an account in our store before making the purchase, much less if we have plans to ask them for infinite data about their lives. This will only cause our customer to feel overwhelmed and possibly leave our site without completing the purchase process.

A good option is to allow our customers to buy without registering and ask for any additional information at the end of the purchase process, that is, once they have already paid for our products.

8. You will keep it simple

As we mentioned previously, one way to get our customers to complete the actions we want is to offer good calls to action that guide them through the buying process.

Another important point is to maintain a clean design, avoiding distractions and information overload. For example, it is recommended that the background of our store be a light and full color, or a simple pattern that is not too flashy to prevent our client from losing focus.

Something that we should not do under any point of view is to use photos for the background, which will only make our products lose the importance they really have within our store.

9. You will make visible the means of payment and shipments

Much of the work we have as online store owners is based on communication. And when we think about this, we must not forget how important it is to communicate the means of payment that are available within our store, as well as the means of shipping and their costs.

A good idea is to use the footer of our store or the product page, where we can add this information, usually in the form of icons (graphically showing the logos of the available means of payment or shipping). Also consider creating content pages to provide even more information and even an indicative price table regarding shipping costs.

10. You will not hide the search bar

Last but not least, we want to remind you of the importance of the search bar in an online store.

A good search will make it easier for our customers to find the products, on the one hand, shortening the path to checkout and, on the other, a happier shopping experience. Therefore, although it is not the most aesthetically attractive, it is essential that the option to search our store is always visible, on all the pages of our site.

Now yes, you know what you need so that the usability of your online store helps you sell more. What are you waiting for to put it into practice?