Marty (Scenttrail) Note: 27 Bad Ecommerce Designs
These CSS Design Award Winning sites illustrate why designers shouldn’t be in charge of your commercial website. In a recent G+ post I shared our journey across time, place and money online (Why Time Is Money Online: https://plus.google.com/102639884404823294558/posts/RdjAjWoJTHw ).
It’s easy to get lost. We kept trying to make narrative, movie and book-like) logic work on our ecommerce site and it never did. To the extent we told stories we depressed conversions and we conducted these tests before the web was drowning in content.
Not that the web has been fully “content shocked” to within an inch of its life one of the FIRST jobs any ecommerce site must accomplish is loudly and clearly proclaiming their STORE-NESS.
These 27 “pretty picture” designs are find for big established brands people trust, but they would CRUSH a new commercial site. The “store-ness” is confusing. Are these content sites or can we buy stuff here.
Some communicate some “store-ness”,but none have the “ditch digging” realities of large, successful ecom sites such as REI.com or Schwan’s.com (highest converting ecom site in world). Call-To-Actions are missing (mostly), navigation is murky and not keyword dense and images don’t you line of sight rules (viewers’ eyes go where people’s eyes in your images go).
Real ecommerce needs a few things to be successful that most of these sites ignore, miss or don’t know such as:
* Email subscription forms (email list = your most profitable channel because YOU OWN IT, don’t believe BS about email marketing being dead mobile is making email marketing different but dead =nope.
* AN OFFER – see REI.com’s “daily deals” or Amazon’s ability to sell any and everything.
* Great navigation balanced between seo and customer engagement.
* Images mapped to produce CLICKS where merchants want them.
* Every image, click and share creates analytics and data so part of what you need to map into an ecom design is WHAT DATA YOU NEED. Can’t figure out what actionable thing I would know after a month’s traffic on these designs.
* Sense of TIME and PLACE (what season are we in? Where are these sites?).
* TRUST and that comes from other people (testimonials, curation of User Generated Content and NONE of these have anything like that so unless they are major brands they won’t pass the trust test with many shoppers).
* TRUST MARKS = didn’t see a VISA or MC logo either. One way to create trust online is to align with brands and marks people already trust. Those badges look like ugly scars to designers and they help make merchants millions.
* Content – we love VISUAL MARKETING but some context such as the context one satisfied customer would share is a must.
* Design = Trust – we grant that these sites look amazing and looking amazing helps with creating trust, but junk ‘em up a little and make more money.
That last bullet reminds me of a story from my P&G tenure. My boss Russ Mills taught me to never leave a display too neat. “People won’t disturb a display that is too neat,” he explained. These ecommerce designs are too neat for me (by half). If you aren’t a major brand ignore every one of these 27 “inspirational” ecom web designs.
PS. Favorite has to be the example in the picture above. Not only do we chop people in half we ask visitors to kiss their behinds (lol). Opposite of the welcoming atmosphere I want to create on my ecom sites (lol) back when I was responsible for millions of online sales yearly. At my core I remain an online merchant, but I don’t miss not sleeping and sweating sales numbers from now until Valentine’s Day. Don’t miss that at all :).