eCommerce Best Practice – A Shopper’s View (1)

Driving traffic to an eCommerce site requires time, effort and money. A carefully planned out eMarketing campaign will ensure new visits to your site, and encourage previous customers to repeat buy. Before making a substantial investment in a marketing campaign however, you need to set out your stall and ensure your goods are well presented, otherwise you risk wasting your money.

The slightest annoyance or obstacle encountered on your website can put a potential customer off buying, or taking the action that you desire. Have a browse at this eCommerce best practice guide to ensure your visitors are converted into customers, and are not deterred by any aspect of your site.



Let’s say a customer is searching for an item of clothing. After selecting their size and browsing through the selection of products that meet this requirement, there is nothing more annoying than clicking on an item you like to find out your size is out of stock. The customer is obviously not going to buy the item, as it is unavailable, but worse than that, they are likely to leave the site altogether, perhaps never to return.

Receiving search results that are inconsistent with your search criteria is another major turn-off; it puts doubt into the shoppers mind and suggests that you are unreliable. Ensure that your CMS updates regularly throughout the day and not just overnight to keep information consistent throughout your site.

To make a shopper buy an item online, they need to be able to imagine what they will look like in it. This is obviously why people try clothes on in-store. The best way to do this is to provide multiple images, showing the item from different angles, including shots of the item on a model or mannequin and complementing these with tools such as zoom and rotate. This is especially important when an item is very detailed. An extra image of the design with a zoom feature is a welcome addition and could seal the deal.


Shoppers need to be able to envisage how an item will fit in to their homes. It is imperative that you include dimensions and images. The number of descriptions online without dimensions is criminal and can easily be fixed. A lack of information will cause many shoppers to abandon their purchase, and avoid your site altogether if you don’t display vital information. If your CMS is run by a feed, ensure that furniture and household furnishings always have a dimensions field and endeavour to get this filled in ASAP!


One thing shoppers HATE is hidden surprises, especially when this means an extra cost. Finding out the cost of delivery at the checkout is too late. Customers can feel like they have wasted their time, or worse still, that you are trying to rip them off.  The best tactic is to be transparent and honest about your delivery options and the costs, so customers can take this in to consideration whilst shopping. Knowing delivery is free over a certain amount certainly encourages some customers to spend this amount of money. So why not set it a little higher than the average spend to encourage people to add one or two more items? Also, reward customers who can be a little more patient. Cheaper and slower delivery options are well received by the organised shopper.

What have you encountered on a website that prevented you from buying? Let us know!

Part 2 coming soon…