improve ecommerce website

People are busy. They don’t have much time or energy. They want to get things done quickly and they don’t want to think about it.

When it comes to your eCommerce website, if they can’t get it done quickly and simply – they’ll hit the back button and leave.

They don’t get what they want. You don’t make a sale… No one’s happy.

But that’s not all

If this is a frequent occurrence (people hitting the back button), Google will view your website as having low value. Subsequently, Google will de-rank your website.

That’s why you should pay attention to what I’m about to share in this blog post. These 3 points I’m about to make may save you from that fate.

1. “No search results” and 404’s must offer value

ecommerce website 404 page

Imagine this scenario.

Somebody is trying to buy something off you, face to face.

You don’t have the item they are looking to buy but you know they’re willing to do business with you.

Now what would you say? Would you simply tell them you don’t have that item? or would you offer them something else instead? Maybe tell them about a great deal you’ve got on or ask for their contact information?

So when someone comes to your online store, with money in their account looking to do business with you… Is it any different?


It’s been said that almost 50% of all online searches end in a “no search results found”. And 404’s are inevitable. That means you are losing out on a lot of potential business if you don’t utilise these pages

What to put on your “no search results” and 404 page’s

Do you remember earlier when I was talking about face to face business and I said “tell them about a great deal you’ve got on or ask for their contact information”?

Do the same.

Explain to them you do not have what they are looking for and then show them your best deals or most popular items. You should also then give them the option to sign up to your newsletter – so they won’t miss out on any future deals or promotions.

Remember a visitor on your website is very, very important. Don’t give up on them that easily.

2. The “thank you page” shouldn’t thank them

Well it should, but it shouldn’t only thank them (this is where most eCommerce websites go wrong).

Let’s get back to thinking about someone buying from your eCommerce website.

They’ve just bought one of your products, their payment went through smoothly, nothing has made them feel uncomfortable and you’ve got their trust. So before buyers remorse sets in let’s see if they would like to buy something else.

The best elements to include on the thank you page

This is a great place in your eCommerce website to make an up sell.

Unlike the “No search results and 404” pages you’ve already got their contact details from when they made payment, so there is no need to show a subscription box for your newsletter.

Instead show them complimentary products they might like. Or offer a small discount if they buy something else now.

I understand from a development point of view these can be costly to code so have a chat with your developer about what the best thing your current system can allow you to offer.

Showing your best deals is always a safe bet and shouldn’t be too hard to code.

Always  make sure you don’t give up on anyone who has just made a purchase from you.

3. Always make it is simple as possible

This point should be more obvious than the previous two. But it’s very common for eCommerce stores to over complicate the processes of searching and buying.

Let’s think about the home page. What do you think needs to be there?

A search bar, the product categories, your top deals and promotions. Maybe somewhere to sign up to a mailing list, contact information…

Does anything else really need to be there?

Do you think your company’s background information is important on the home page? Or should it maybe go on an about page?

Overpopulating the homepage gives the visitor too much choice and makes them think about what to do.

Remember we humans don’t really like to think.

If we have to think too much about something, we usually find another way where we don’t have to think. In this case, find another website.

How easy is it to find a product?

An eCommerce store isn’t a catalogue. Your website’s visitors shouldn’t have to search through the website as if it was.

They want to type in what they want. And it show up in order of relevance.

So is your search bar visible on every page?

It should be.

Your search bar is one of, if not the most, important elements to your website.

How easy is it to buy a product?

It must be very clear where your buy button is. This is the most important part of the page so if there is any chance of it being missed or misunderstood, you have a critical flaw in your eCommerce website.

The buy button is your ultimate call to action. Don’t make them think about other options.

You never want to over complicate this page – make sure there is absolutely no useless information here.

Just product information, images and a very clear buy button.

Does your eCommerce website work on Mobile?

I don’t know about you, but nothing is more irritating to me when using my smart phone, than visiting a website and it not being optimized for mobile.

Scrolling from side to side and zooming in and out is very frustrating (more on mobile web design in my post here).

Now that the majority of the internet is responsive, when you find a company’s website that isn’t…it makes them look out of date and potentially not really taking care of their business.

And that does Not instil trust.

It’s also now a ranking factor in Google, so it’s really not optional anymore. You need mobile web design.

I hope this article has been of some use, please feel free to share it with anyone you feel may benefit from it.

Thanks for reading.

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