10 Sure-fire Ways to Ruin an Ecommerce Customer Experience

It has been estimated there are anywhere between 12 and 24 million eCommerce sites worldwide, and that means two things for your eCommerce site. Firstly, there is every chance that another site is selling the same or comparable products. And secondly, consumers visiting your site are fully aware of what to expect from a well-designed and well-managed eCommerce site. We’ll walk you through how you can create a staller ecommerce customer experience.

The elevated level of competition that eCommerce sites face means that you can’t afford to alienate any customers. It is easy to slip up and do exactly that. So, here are ten things that will push customers away from an eCommerce site.


1. Slow Site

Everybody is in a rush these days. If your site is sluggish to load, you can expect many visitors to leave before the first meaningful content has loaded. Indeed, a survey conducted by Forrester Consulting found that online shoppers will only wait 2-3 seconds for an online shopping website to load. So, if your site talks longer than that, you are losing customers before they even see your products.

2. Poor Mobile Experience

There are quite a few steps involved in locating and purchasing an item on an eCommerce site. Those steps must be as easy to take on a mobile device as on a desktop computer. First, the user must be able to browse the catalog to find the product they like. Then, they will want to review the details of that product and read customer reviews. They might also want to compare their chosen item with other options on the site. And finally, a purchaser will require a pain-free checkout process.

Any difficulties with the buying process experienced on the smaller screen of a mobile device will lead to frustration and probably a swift exit from the site. Consequently, mobile-friendliness is arguably even more vital on an eCommerce site than any other type of website.

3. Lack of Navigation and Search Features

Naturally, if customers cannot find the product they are after, you will lose that sale. So, easy navigation and search features are essential on an eCommerce website. The ability to filter products by price, size, color and other relevant criteria will help people find the exact fit for their requirements. Displaying related products will help too, and potentially create additional sales.

4. Low-Quality Product Images

The photographs of products on an eCommerce site are the first thing that customers will use to assess the suitability and quality of an item. If the photos are of inferior quality, people will not even bother to read the product description or customer reviews. Consequently, blurred, grainy, or otherwise distorted images will impact sales. Therefore, it is well worth investing in the services of a professional photographer to take product photos if you do not have the skills and equipment to do it yourself.

5. Substandard Copy

Poorly written product descriptions and other content are another sure-fire way to put people off buying your products. So, proofread written content and correct any typos, spelling mistakes, or incorrect grammar. Errors in the written content suggest a lack of care and attention to detail. Potential customers may be concerned that the same approach might have been applied to the products for sale on the site. Spelling and grammar mistakes are also commonly found on fake and scam sites.

6. Lack of Transparency

People are wary of buying products from eCommerce brands they do not recognize. Consequently, shoppers will be alert for any signs that a site is not to be trusted. Anything that suggests that you might be hiding something will be a red flag to many consumers.

The first way to gain shoppers’ trust is to have an SSL (secured sockets layers) certificate, but that alone will not convince everyone. It is also best to disclose contact details fully, including phone numbers and a physical address. And terms and conditions and shipping charges should be easy to find on the site.

7. Poor Customer Service

Poor customer service will alienate customers and damage the brand’s reputation. Therefore, attention must be paid to processing returns, dealing with complaints, and answering customer queries. Customer service extends to the user experience on the website, too. So, it would be advisable to consider the quality of the customer experience from landing on the site, through the ordering and shipping of the product, to post-sale customer care.

8. Last-Minute Shipping Extra Charges

The consequence of adding last-minute extra charges at checkout is well-documented. Yet many eCommerce sites fall into this trap. When you add high additional costs at checkout with no warning, you lose customers’ trust when they are about to part with their money. Consequently, they will then abandon their cart and leave the site feeling they were about to be cheated.

It is far better to include shipping costs in the product prices. Or, at the very least, make it clear that shipping costs will be added at checkout and disclose those costs prominently on the site. The same goes for sales taxes if they are not included in the published prices.

9. Overly Complex Checkout

Once customers decide to buy something, they want the checkout process to be straightforward. The closer you can get to a one-click checkout process, the better. If there are too many stages, forms don’t work, or you push too many upsells, customers will give up and buy the products from another site.

10. Spammy Email Marketing

Finally, once a customer has purchased a product or signed up to your mailing list, you will lose them fast if you bombard them with irrelevant emails. This mistake is easily avoided by personalizing messages, targeting emails based on subscriber segmentation, and limiting the number of emails you send.


To sum up, there is a lot of competition for eCommerce sites, and consumers expect online shopping to be effortless and enjoyable. Consequently, any barriers to swiftly locating, reviewing, and purchasing a product will likely result in the loss of customers. Of course, you also need quality products at competitive prices. But even with the right product and pricing, the above mistakes will alienate customers and prevent an eCommerce business from reaching its full potential.