Research Outline

E-Commerce Website Best Practices


To obtain best practices for an e-commerce website in order to inform the leadership team of the changes that need to be made in order for the website to be successful.

Early Findings

E-Commerce Facts & Figures

  • It only takes 0.05 seconds for people to form an opinion about your website.
  • 94 percent of first impressions are based exclusively on design. Before your visitor reads a single word of copy, he or she already has an impression of your company.

Best Practices

  • E commerce sites with simple designs have higher conversion rates. Don't distract people with clutter. Eighty-four point six percent of people believe crowded web design is the most common mistake that those in their industry make.
  • Simplifying menus are a great way to stay organized and group what you’re selling. But as just mentioned, you don’t want to over complicate things.
  • Speed is one of the most important elements of a successful e commerce website. Each page needs to load fast to yield high conversions. Research shows a one-second delay in page loading time can lead to a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and a 7% loss in conversions. If your site has a two or three second delay, you’re in big trouble.
  • Eliminate steps in the checkout process. Each additional step in the checkout process will increase the chances of them abandoning the transaction. In fact, 28% of consumers said they abandoned a shopping cart during checkout because the process was too long and complicated.
  • Send shopping cart abandonment emails. Often times, they were just a click or two away from completing the transaction. Clearly, they were interested in the product enough to add it to their cart.
  • Prioritize SEO- In fact, research shows that 46% of consumers start the buying process through a search engine, such as Google.
  • You can’t sell something with just a name. Each product on your website needs to have an informative descriptions. Explain how the product works by highlighting the key benefits. You don’t need to explain the entire history of the product or how it was made. That won’t drive sales.
  • Don't use your e commerce site as a platform to sell advertisement space to other brands. Sidebar ads and popups can look like spam. A visitor may be afraid to click through your site for the fear that they’ll be redirected somewhere else that’s untrustworthy. As you can see, 82% of consumers in the United States say that online ads are disruptive to their shopping experience.
  • Provide easily accessible customer service.
  • Run tests and analyze the results . How do you know if your e commerce site is set up for the highest possible conversions? If you run A/B tests on a regular basis, you’ll have a much better understanding. Now you can adjust the CTA placement, its phrasing, or button color. Determine which landing pages are driving the most sales.
  • Your e commerce site needs to be optimized for mobile devices. That’s because in the last six months, 62% of people who owned a smartphone used their devices to complete online purchases.
  • Don’t charge your customers for shipping. That’s because unexpected costs are the top reason for shopping cart abandonment. (56%)
  • Testimonials and reviews are another way to add credibility to your products and brand.
  • Leave plenty of white space between elements.
  • Reduce the number of choices you offer your visitors . Hick’s Law states that, as you increase the number of options you offer someone, the decision time increases as well. It’s often referred to as “analysis paralysis.”
  • The rule of thirds has long applied to fine art and photography, but it also applies to web design. When designing your site, use an overlay with two horizontal lines and two vertical lines evenly spaced.
  • Think of your website as a map with lots of disparate destinations. Your visitors can land on any destination based on how they arrived, but they also want to know where they are. Breadcrumbs are like those signs at the mall that say “You Are Here.” They tell you where your current page falls in the site’s navigation.
  • Similarity falls under the Gestalt principle, often referred to as the Law of Similarity. When we view a scene, such as a website, we automatically group similar objects in our minds. According to the Interaction Design Foundation, “Similarity can be achieved using basic elements such as shapes, colors, and size.”
  • Demonstrate site security. 17% of consumers abandon their cart due to a lack of trust.
  • A prominent search bar is handy for customers and seriously boosts business. Shoppers that use your site search are 3x more likely to see a purchase through.
  • Display key Information first and foremost. For example, 67% of shoppers will check your returns policy before making a purchase.
  • Personalize your homepage. One brand increased sales by 12% through AI personalization.