eCommerce Growth

10 Obvious Mistakes eCommerce Websites Are Not Fixing

How many times have you said “nothing is working, I’m out of this business”? You own an eCommerce website, you’ve tried many marketing tactics to grow your company’s visibility and strenghten the business, but none of them seems to pay off. Even though you’ve approached different techniques of conversion rate optimization, the risk of doing mistakes may hinder the growth of the company.


In this article, I’ll present the most common mistakes the eCommerce websites keep on doing. These mistakes can cause potential clients to move on to competitors and question your company’s credibility.

The eCommerce market is fast moving and constantly growing each day. According to recent studies, people buy more and more online, since 40% of the internet users world wide shop online from desktop and mobile devices. Due to the competitive market, big eCommerce websites include a conversion rate optimization plan in the business plan and dedicate a significant marketing budget to it.

Even though conversion rate optimization is an increasing trend word wide, and marketers tend to acknowledge the importance of it, some eCommerce websites are not providing the solution to obvious mistakes such as dumb filters arrangement, huge sliders, not using A/B Testing as a constant technique, etc.


Companies doing CRO on their website will see a long term profit and general improvement. Check out these numbers to see the crazy difference between a company that invests in conversion optimization and a company that only buys traffic.

Everyone interested in having a growing company and constantly increase revenues must acknowledge key benefits of doing conversion rate optimization:

  • It requires no further investements in buying new traffic: CRO works to transform current visitors of your website into paying customers.
  • You create a personalized website without any coding
  • You take visitors on a journey of your own choosing based on their actions
  • It helps you improve key metrics in eCommerce such as CLV (customer lifetime value), CAC (customers aquisition cost), NPS (net promoter score), etc.

All in all, here’s the list of 10 obvious mistakes eCommerce websites are not fixing:

#1. The search option is not functioning properly

When you go to a furniture shop, you ask for a couch. Or a bed. Or anything that you actually need. And if you don’t ask for it, at least you are searching for the right section to find what you are looking for. That means the purchase intention is higher if you search for something than if you are just doing window shopping.

Here’s a great example from Scrooge: simple and clear.

exemplu scrooge

So, treat properly all users that are already interested in certain products and services. Make sure you provide relevant search information and, as an eCommerce marketer, you’ll want to:

  • Have an attractive call to action button in the place holder;
  • Provide real time search and give customers relevant search suggestions;
  • Emphasize the search bar;
  • Have a great search results page, relevant for the customer’s search;
  • Provide options if the search returned no results and transform it’s experience into a positive one (empathy always creates positive emotions);

#2. Display too much information on the first screen 

The more options, the less chances that the visitors will actually buy something. Don’t try to put everything on the same page – navigation bar, product images, return policies, benefits, testimonials, thumbs with other images of the product and the nice social media sharing buttons on the same page.

Remember that we don’t read: we scan. The human eye can sharply see only an area of 1-2 degrees, corresponding to foveal zone from the retina. On a laptop, this is around 200 x 150 pixels. So, you can’t see 2 things at the same time!

My advice is to use attention grabbing techniques and be sure to put the most important thing first.

Here are some examples to make the point for it:

18 links:


24 links:


6 links:


Better right?

#3. Huge sliders and carousels

Although they are very fancy and make your website look good, the carousels are taking a lot of space and they are sometimes too “eye-candy” – so that they are actually directing the traffic to the things which are not the most important.


As I said before, it’s crucial to focus on the essential things that bring the best results on your revenue. Efficiency is the succes in any business.

#4. Not doing A/B Testing as an ongoing procedure

A/B Testing is the most used and common conversion rate optimization techniques. It’s popularity has risen in the last five years due to its core benefits:

  • Instead of hiring a team of developers and graphic designers, it’s cheaper to create A/B Testing experiments to discover what drives users to convert more;
  • A/B Testing generates statistical results and you can actually see the impact it has;
  • A/B Testing gives you the chance to discover how real users react to changes without interfering in thier on-site experience


Somehow, even if an A/B Testing experiment will show you which version of your pages users like it is only a temporary choice. As time goes by, people will change their mind and start to act differently. This is why the results of an A/B Test are relevant only for a while: to create a great UX website, designed by how your visitors like it, you have to constantly adapt it to their needs and never stop testing. 

One time testing is not enough!

#5. Not observing and investigating visitor’s behavior

This mistake is connected to the one I mentioned above. One of the first things you learn as marketer is to know your audience in order to address them properly. In e-commerce, one of the best ways to find out how a consumer thinks and reacts to different incentives is to directly ask them through surveys. Their answers will lead you their perspective on your website and point out what their are looking for and the problems they have encountered while surfing your e-shop.

For example, if your website have a huge cart abandonment rate, launch an on-exit survey and ask visitor the reason why they are leaving the shopping cart and not continue to place an order. Maybe it’s a security problem, the website’s loading too slow or maybe it’s trusting issue. You will never know what stops customers to buy until you ask them! 

In eCommerce there is a crucial KPI that reveals how customers feel about your business. NPS (Net Promoter Score) has a direct impact on earning loyal customers, and it reveals how likely it is that your customers recommend [the company/website] to a friend? There are three types of customers: promoters, passives and detractors. Using the information you get from your surveys, you reduce the number of detractors, by transforming the detractors into passives and passives into promoters.

#6. Delivering the same message to all your traffic 

There’s one question that has been pointed out in a previous article from our blogIt’s 2015. You’re not displaying the same content to all your traffic segments, are you? I truly believe that smart web personalization and advanced traffic segmentation are not optional when it comes to creating a powerful website.

How many times did it happen to enter an eCommerce website and be faced with irrelevant pop-ups containg messages that have nothing to do with you? How annoying that is? And, how fast did you leave that website? Instantly!

That’s way, you should have a personalized communication with your audience. Welcome new visitors, offer free delivery in thier city and make them feel comfortable.

Take the example of Bonobos: they welcome new comers:


Here’s a great example on how to use personalization to increase conversion rate. By simply crafting a message according to the part of the day, the downloading rate for the OLX mobile app increased by 60%.  Also, OLX tested 20 images containing representative buildings and surroundings from a certain region (Muntenia) to make visitors feel familiar while using OLX.

#7. Creating CRO experiments without any research

A solid conversion rate optimization plan, with effective results, is based on detailed research. It is useless to create A/B testing experiments on a page with no value, with no traffic or test something you might think it would have an impact on your audience. Of course intuition is a great source of inspiration, but it is not necessary, especially if your are new in the marketing industry.

Therefore, before starting any optimization experiments on your websites, make sure you do a full research. Consider doing a CRO audit  and include both quantitative and qualitative analysis in your documentation.

The quantitative research will reveal how the visitors are using your eCommerce websites, what are the most valuable pages, the most high converting traffic segments. Also, this type of research will show you important KPIs, such as bounce rate, time on page, non-converting traffic segments, etc.

The qualitative research is necessary because it helps us marketers the reasons behind their actions: why they choose to leave the cart page, what are they looking for on our websites or what they’d want to find.

#8. No UVP 

Along with the hero image of your homepage, your Unique Value Proposition provides the essential reasons to continue the navigation on your website to your visitors.

Moreover, the UVP tells your visitors why you’re different, why they should buy from your site and what you offer to them.

There are several ways to communicate these essential aspects to your prospects.

  • Show 3 key benefits above or below the hero image
  • Test a different UVP near your logo
  • Make your Unique Value Proposition to really stand out

#9. Not having a clear call to action

No matter the page, you main call to action buttons have to be either big or have a totally different color than the rest of the elements on the page. Don’t worry if the color doesn’t fit your brand. The call to action should be VISIBLE.

Let’s take for example your product page: how many links are there to distract your users’ attention from clicking the call to action?

  • social share buttons
  • menu
  • product recommendations
  • other product categories
  • save for later option

Always make sure to emphasize the main call to action on your key pages . Here are some things to test about buttons:

  • color
  • size
  • micro-copy
  • placing
  • the empty space around the button

Here’s a positive example from H&M:


Repeat after me!

Shoppers don’t want to think.

There is even a book about this topic called “Don’t make me think”.  Read it, change your perspective about the web, and increase your conversions.

#10. The fly to cart effect

The fly to cart effect is when you add a product to the cart and it goes up in the top-right of the screen.

It’s unnatural to see websites that let visitors stay on the same page right after they have taken such an important action in the funnel. If you have such a system, make sure to show a clear, visible call to action button to pass them to the next step.


ASOS shows visitors what they should do next.

4 Replies to 10 Obvious Mistakes eCommerce Websites Are Not Fixing

  1. Good morning Valentin,

    My name is Jianu Culic.
    I am Sales Manager at Geronet Cul Srl.
    We are very young in the e-commerce bussines. This year in June we launched the online store We are retailing electronics, IT products and home appliances.
    I kindly ask to give some time to our site and to navigate a little bit trough it. Please tell us your opinion about how the site is configured and how is it working. I would really appreciate your onest opinion with all the negative and positive reviews.

    Thank you for your attention,

    Kind regards,

    Jianu Culic

  2. Very informative article. We are a website that specialize in baby apparel and accessories. We have been in business 1 year on March 2017 and have started to struggle with sales and conversions. Please feel free to visit our website @ and tell us what we could definitely be doing differently..thank you for your time and unbiased opinion

  3. Hey Valentin,

    I agree with the points you have listed above. I am working in this e-commerce digital marketing industry from the last couple of years. In these years, one of the most common issues I faced is the website loading time. By using heavy images and sliders people ignore the importance of website speed. Now as the people have started using smart devices it’s quite important to build websites which load faster and give a better user experience.

  4. Great article. This will help me in reducing the time for my website development process. Thanks for sharing it.

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