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List your main product categories in your menu’s level 1

They define the scope of your store One of the biggest issues I see when looking at stores (especially newer ones) is the lack of categories in the header. This is the main way for users to grasp the scope of your store. They scan your main categories and get an idea of what you’re […]



Have a tagline, guarantee, USP and/or offer in your header

  Tagline A tagline helps users immediately understand the store is all about. It’s typically short, just a few words. You can often see it right below the logo, or in a row above the logo. While most people treat taglines as an afterthought, you need to take your time. A bad tagline can do […]



Make your menu items big enough

While most mobile menus are well designed, desktop menus are something else entirely.  Good and well-sized desktop menus exist but far too many are cluttered and require a lot of effort to make sense of even for people with perfect eyesight. That’s assuming they even bother to linger so they can squint at the screen. […]



Place the post-sale actions above the fold

Above the fold While above the fold is a slightly dated description it simply refers to the top half of the screen. This is the part of the site your users can see without scrolling. But random placement won’t cut it. The ideal location would be in the header or the main menu.     […]



Order your menu’s main product categories by sales volume

Once you have your main product categories, what next? Ordering them can be a little tricky.  When someone visits an online store, in most cases they’re seeking something specific. Since there is no way to tailor your website uniquely for every new visitor (this can hopefully be accomplished in the future), the most effective method […]



Order your menu’s SUB-categories alphabetically

While ordering your menu’s main categories by sales volume is preferred, sub-categories are best listed alphabetically. This is simply a matter of practicality.  Sub-categories are usually listed vertically and can contain a pretty large number of items. Ordering a long vertical list randomly is no short of an act of torture towards your would-be customers. […]



Make your header sticky or semi-sticky

First, some definitions A sticky header stays put at the top of the screen when you scroll down. A semi-sticky header reappears at the top of the screen once you start scrolling up.     The purpose of having a sticky or semi-sticky header is to ease navigation. Your customers don’t have the time to […]



Place a search box prominently in your header

For large catalogs If you offer a large variety of products, search is indispensable to delivering a good user experience. The statistics are quite convincing as well: 43% of users immediately use the search box for navigation after landing on the homepage. The number is even higher for mobile users – 60% (according to Baymard […]



Provide auto-suggestions as users are typing in the search box

As they click into the search box… a good practice is to show their previous search history, and possibly popular searches.   As they start typing… You can show suggested searches, categories, and/or products.   Mispellings The auto-suggestions and results should account for common misspellings. For example, if they type ‘dreses’ it should suggest results […]



Add relevant search filters

For stores with 50+ products Having either a category filter (when searching) or search filters in the results page is especially important for stores with over 50 products or so. Some searches can be incredibly broad. A simple one-word search like dress or computer can return hundreds and possibly thousands of results on your standard […]



Always return search results

If a user searches for a product your store doesn’t have, showing an empty page is the worst thing you could possibly do. It leads them nowhere and causes frustration. Frustration can make them bounce from your store. Include some of the following components Alternate products similar to one searched for Category suggestions based on […]



Show previous searches before they start typing

Window shopping Customers don’t end up buying every single time they visit your store. More often than not, they come in, look around, and for any number of reasons leave without making a purchase. In most cases, they’re just window-shopping, if browsing products on an e-commerce store can be called that. Sometimes, they may be […]


Best Practices Search

First list products in search results

Search expectations 72% of ecommerce sites fail to meet search expectations and returning irrelevant search results is where many of them go wrong. Unless a user is specifically looking for a page such as your returns policy or one of your categories, then they’re looking for a product.   Most searches are for a product […]



Place a clear & descriptive CTA button above the fold

Motivate your shoppers to take action Your homepage exists to drive visitors into your sales funnel. After introducing your store, what next? What action do you want your shoppers to take? That’s where the CTA button comes in. Make it descriptive Avoid labels such as “Buy now” or “Order now”. Not only are they unimaginative, […]



Present specific unique selling points

How is your store differentiated and better? It’s rare to be a one of a kind store. More often than not you’re going to have dozens of competitors. Shoppers are spoilt for choice and with e-commerce stores, switching is almost effortless. You need to position yourself so they buy from you instead of the other […]



Avoid automatic carousels in your homepage’s hero section

On the homepage above the fold, avoid carousels altogether. A quickly rotating image distracts attention away from the CTA button. What I usually recommend is to either have a static background image or a slowly moving background video, especially if it is well-integrated with the text & CTA(s) above. I wrote an article on my […]



Feature your top categories right below the fold

A sign post to direct your users You have introduced your store and praised it to high heaven. Your shoppers know who you are, what you do, the benefits of buying from you, and are just beginning to trust you. What next? Many visitors on the homepage don’t know what they want to buy. Those […]



Help visitors choose the right product

Are you helping your shoppers choose? Getting users to your site isn’t helpful if they end up buying nothing. A wide selection of products is nice but there is something like having too many choices, counterintuitive as it may sound.) A famous field study was conducted on this very phenomena. Two tables with jam samples […]



Feature some products after your featured categories

On the homepage, featured categories are much more important than featured products (read more about featured categories, BP#28) But showcasing a few products helps get a sense of what you are offering, and potentially pique their curiosity. And that can be done above the fold or below the featured categories. User-controlled carousels are usually good […]



Choose font sizes that are easily readable (16px+)

Text is an integral part of design. It is used in product labels, product descriptions, and price tags. It’s easy to use and even easier to edit compared to stuff like images. It’s hard to go wrong with text though this still happens. A lot of these problems usually arise when you port the entire […]



Add social proof and build trust

Unless your store is a big established brand that most people already know about, building social proof and trust is a must. 80% of people are already concerned about their online privacy so first time customers are not just going to hand over their credit card information and residential address without some proof that you’re […]



Add user-generated content (UGC)

Having UGC is a must. And the more ‘genuine’ the better – meaning real photos from your customers, not just official photos.       Over half (51%) of Americans trust UGC more than other information on a company website (16%) or news articles about the company (14%) when looking for information about a brand, […]



Localize your store

The world is a large and diverse place. Efforts have been made to standardize a lot of things but some still evade us. Even the very number of countries in the world remains disputed. It all depends on whose side you are on in several territorial disputes all across the globe.  This makes localization incredibly […]



Make your homepage long and rich

Users visiting your homepage for the first time will most likely land on your homepage first. This is your chance to not only make a good impression, but also guide them into your sales funnel. Having a rich homepage should never be confused with having a cluttered one that is a pain in the eyes. […]



Add relevant sorting options

Sorting is an indispensable part of search and product browsing. It’s how users narrow down the things they’re interested in so providing relevant options is critical. Sorting is often used in combination with the filtering option.   Common sorting options:  Relevance Price Popularity New Arrivals Ratings   Relevance Sorting by relevance should be your default […]



Add payment and trust badges to the footer

Credit card logos They signify to users the payment options that are available. Showing them in the footer is a good way to reassure your customers. There are very few things more annoying than spending your time on a site only to discover that it doesn’t accept your payment method when you try checking out. […]



Add key contact information to the footer

Your customers will want to contact you. You are some person on the internet who wants their credit card information and their money. They’ll want to know if you’re real. Having clearly displayed contact information is one of the main methods you can use to boost your trust rating. In fact, 51% of your customers […]



Add a Live Chat to quickly answer your visitors’ questions

Shoppers need help A study by Econsultancy from 2013 of 5,700+ online consumers revealed that 83% of online shoppers need support to complete a purchase.  They also found that 31% of shoppers expect an immediate response, and 40% expect a response within 5 min. To be more precise: 31% of shoppers expect an immediate response […]



Add a chatbot to your Live Chat to give immediate responses 24/7

Shoppers expect a quick response As mentioned in best practice #39, your shoppers expect a quick response when they need help. 31% of people surveyed in the study expected an immediate response. A chatbot provides an instant response, and thus gives additional time for a human service agent to jump in if needed.   It’s […]



Organize products in a simple structure

There is a common mnemonic for this: KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). That means simple category names and as few categories as possible.  You should also avoid breaking user expectations. Organize products in their logical or socially expected categories. Take the example of a TV. Many people expect it to be listed under a category […]



Have relevant dynamic filters

For stores of a certain size Filters are particularly important for stores with over about 50 products. If your store only has a handful of products, there’s no point in filtering them.   My advice for your filters Provide category-specific filters in addition to site-wide filters (brand, price, ratings) (read more on this in this […]



Display these product attributes

The following product attributes are a must Image Title Price Star ratings + # ratings Product variations, if any (typically in the form of color swatches)   Title The product title should be a no-brainer. It should be clear, descriptive, and unique. You should also try to keep it as short as possible without compromising […]



Add urgency elements

There are several ways to build urgency Show how much they save on sale items Have limited quantity or limited time offers Offer free shipping or same-day (or next day) delivery if they purchase before a certain time Inform users about limited stock   Flash sales TBDress is the perfect example of the implementation of […]



Feature products, bundles or deals at the top

98% of visitors to e-commerce sites don’t buy anything. They come, look around, and leave. Brick and mortar stores solved this problem a long time ago. Many of them get 15% to 30% of their walk-in customers to buy something before leaving. Department stores can convert as many as 60% of their visitors into buyers. […]



Avoid pagination

There are many reasons why you shouldn’t load all your results in a single page: Performance issues Data costs Terrible user experience An unreachable footer   Pagination and infinite scrolling are common solutions to this problem. They’re not ideal. Baymard recommends using a Load More button if you have to.   Pagination isn’t great Pagination […]



Have multiple high quality product images for each product

Product images are the most important component Having beautiful relevant quality images is more important than the product information, a long description and ratings & reviews.   According to MDG, here’s the breakdown of what customers said is important to them: Quality of a product image – 67% Product-specific information – 63% Long description – […]



Add zooming capability to your product image gallery

On mobile, there are 4 main approaches No zoom feature, but users can pinch to zoom in the page, which also zooms in the product image. Allow to zoom within the product gallery area (and it does NOT zoom the rest of the page) Opening an overlay panel above the page with all the larger […]



Display the price clearly above the fold

Price is the most important factor influencing purchasing decisions. Shoppers have a price range in mind and need to know whether or not they can afford your wares as soon as possible. Clearly displayed prices also make price comparison easy. In fact, a Baymard study found that users had a strong negative reaction to sites […]



Add unboxing, explainer or promo videos

Video is one of the most beloved communication mediums of the modern era. For starters, it’s easier to digest than text.  Secondly, videos are quite easy to share. The same thing can’t be said of text pages. Video is also quite captivating, but most importantly, it works.   Video works Video appears in 70% of the […]



Have two versions of product descriptions: Summary and Detailed

Product descriptions need to be comprehensive but that doesn’t mean they should be overly long. Few buyers will actually read it in its entirety. The solution is to split the description into two:  A summarized product description close to the product title A comprehensive product description lower on the product page   The summarized description […]



Make your text sections scannable

Why is scannability important? Text is an extremely useful communication medium. You’ll need it for your homepage, category pages, product detail pages, help page, and many more. So it’s important to make your text scannable. If your product description is 200 words long, the average customer will not really read it in its entirety. They’ll […]



Include features, benefits and objection handling in product descriptions

The product description is where you actually sell your product if the title and images didn’t. A customer buying a 10-dollar chocolate bar or t-shirt might not bother reading a lengthy product description but someone buying a thousand-dollar computer almost certainly will. Your product description needs to convert as many readers as possible.   What […]



Provide Shipping & Return details

Shipping Time Shopping online can be stressful at times. You don’t get to immediately take your purchases home with you. With brick-and-mortar stores, even bulky purchases like furniture get delivered in a matter of hours. With online shopping, your purchases never get to you that fast.  Amazon has Prime Now but that is the exception […]



Display the date buyers can expect to get the product on

According to Baymard, 35% of ecommerce sites still display delivery information in this form: You’ll get your order in three days Or the even worse: You’ll get your order in three to five business days.   What should you do instead? Display the expected delivery date. Something like this: You will receive your order on […]



Clarify what is included in product kits

Why is clarifying what is in the product thumbnails important? Customers need to have a good understanding of what they’re buying. Customers should be clearly informed if they need to purchase extra accessories. Customers tend to assign a lower value to products that have zero accessories to similar ones that have accessories shown right beside […]



Use steppers for quantity fields instead of textboxes

What not to do This is the strangest quantity selector I’ve ever seen on desktop. A perfect example of what NOT to do:   This dropdown list is clunky and takes up a lot of space yet it’s performing a very mundane task. And to make matters worse it’s performing it poorly.  If someone wanted […]



Aim for 10+ customer reviews per product

Aim to get 10+ reviews per product, which is enough for shoppers to make an informed decision. If a big percentage of your products have zero or only a few reviews, that can hurt your conversions.   How? Place the Write a Review button prominently in the Reviews section  Offer sweepstakes or discounts in exchange […]



Sync product information and customer reviews across product variations

Some products come in multiple variants. A lot of these variations center around color and size. Ideally, different variations of the same product ought to share a product page. Take the example of a refrigerator, a portable speaker, a phone, a laptop computer, a shirt, or a pair of shoes. If the design is identical […]



Interlink product variants

A product like a shoe, an item of clothing, a phone, a refrigerator, a portable speaker, a cell phone, or a laptop computer can come in a variety of colors. These colors have no bearing on the product’s functionality. It’s the same product design and made of the same material (s). The colors are just […]



Uniquely title product variants

While some product variants are virtually identical, there are some cases where the variance is actually important to the customer. Let’s look at a few cases: Television set: A 32-inch TV and a 65-inch TV from the same manufacturer may be identical in most respects but size actually matters in this case because the customer […]



Add a FAQ and/or user Q&A to answer shoppers’ questions

Many sites offer sitewide FAQs but there are occasions when product specific FAQs are necessary. Some products like IKEA furniture and Lego bricks require quite a bit of assembly before they can become functional. If you sell such products you should offer assembly instructions in a downloadable manual or ship a hardcopy of the same […]



Incentivize buyers to leave a review

Product reviews are extremely important. After product images, reviews are the most utilized section of the product page. In fact 95% of customers surveyed by Baymard say they use reviews to make a purchase decision yet only about 0.5 to 3% of them ever bother to leave a review. So, how do you encourage your […]



Add urgency elements

Why are urgency triggers necessary? Psychology shows that people tend to act quicker when a sense of urgency is invoked. Urgency triggers human loss aversion and the fear of missing out.  The fear of missing out is the psychological need to to fit in.  Loss aversion is the psychological quirk that makes people’s desire to […]



Add a Wishlist feature to your store

It’s hard to keep track of all the products you’re interested in when window-shopping in a brick and mortar store. Online shopping simplifies this with the wishlist.   What does a wishlist do? It allows customers to keep track of products they want but haven’t made a final purchase decision on yet. Wishlists are also […]



Test removing social media share icons

VWO’s study A case study done by VWO revealed that removing social share buttons increased conversions by 11.9%. But that’s one of those things that you should definitely test. It will depend on your audience.   Some nuance by members One of the members of my Ecom Convert group mentioned that they’re getting a lot […]



Add USP bullets or images under the Add to Cart button

USP stands for Unique Selling Proposition. As a store you should have a few things that set you apart from the crowd. USPs tell a customer why they should buy from you and not the competition. Take Raycon for example. They have a free returns policy for any reason during the first 45 days after […]



Allow users to purchase temporarily out-of-stock products

A reason to bounce “Email Me” buttons or waitlists are ineffective for out-of-stock products, because users will just go shop somewhere else.   Let them buy anyway Allow instead users to purchase temporarily out-of-stock products, warn them, and increase the delivery time. Also prominently display product alternatives.   Discontinued products For discontinued or deprecated products, […]



Suggest products they might like

Recommending products a user might be interested in is a cornerstone of increasing ecommerce sales.  Brick and mortar stores rely on attractive visual displays to encourage impulse purchases but an ecommerce store has something better: the personalized storefront. That’s an extremely indispensable part of your sales cycle. The average ecommerce customer is spoiled for choice. […]



Offer upsells and/or cross-sells when adding a product to cart

An example from Raphael Here’s a good example of how to offer upsells/cross-sells when adding to cart. This was extracted from a video shared by CRO expert Raphael Paulin-Daigle on his LinkedIn.   See the other two ways he talks about by watching his video on LinkedIn:   Relevance, relevance, relevance In the example below […]



Avoid horizontal tabs in Product pages

28% of sites use horizontal tabs on the product page. While professionals like web developers have little issue with them, ordinary Joes are experiencing some trouble with them.   Users don’t see them According to Baymard, 27% of users overlook the hidden content in the inactive horizontal tabs. In fact, horizontal tabs happen to be […]



Make your specification sheets easy to scan and understand

Spec sheets are not needed in many categories but if you sell technical appliances, their importance cannot be overemphasized. For things like computers, cameras, refrigerators, heavy duty blenders, power tools, and the like, your spec sheet may make or break a sale.   A lot of spec sheets are terrible According to Baymard, a full […]



De-emphasize the “continue shopping” link

Your checkout flow should have zero distractions. Customers should be directed towards one goal: paying. If they get distracted they might abandon their carts and that is not good for anyone. Many e-commerce stores have a “continue shopping” link on the cart page to encourage customers to keep shopping. Some store owners say it increases […]



Add a ratings distribution summary with a filter

Shoppers use reviews extensively as part of their pre-purchase decision-making but the interesting thing is that they always seek out the negative reviews. Negative reviews in turn tend to be ranked pretty highly in the review section especially if you have something like a like button or an upvote button that pushes the best reviews […]



Mention your Free Shipping near the Buy section

High shipping costs are the leading cause of cart abandonment at checkout. That’s why users are highly motivated by free shipping. If you offer free shipping, mention it often and prominently.   Say it again On the product page, your shipping and return information needs to be reiterated. If your unique selling points (see BP […]



Estimate the shipping cost

If your shipping isn’t free If you offer free shipping on all purchases, then ignore this best practice.   Some data About 21% of US online shoppers abandon orders because they aren’t able to see the total order cost upfront before checking out. And about 64% of users look for shipping costs on the product […]



Include at least one “in scale” image per product

One of the advantages of shopping in a physical store is that you can always know the size of every item with a single look. You never have to worry about whether that couch will fit in your living room or that carpet will fit on your floor or whether that refrigerator would pass through […]



Allow buyers to edit or cancel their order right after placing it

Customers are humans and sometimes they make mistakes. At times they may pay for stuff only to immediately regret the purchase. They may want to return the product for refund or exchange it for another variant or a different product entirely. In physical stores, returning products before leaving the store with them is hassle free. […]



Offer relevant compatible products

Offering relevant compatible products is a great way to offer a customer convenience and increased functionality while simultaneously giving your sales a much needed boost.  There are two kinds of products you have to recommend: Necessary accessories Products commonly used together   Necessary accessories A number of products can’t function properly on their own. Take […]



Allow users to set a quantity of zero (0)

”One” is usually the default quantity whenever a product is added to cart. The “Add to Cart” button is often accompanied by a quantity selector that allows customers to add larger quantities of the product to their cart. Yet, shoppers might want to change the quantities of their cart items for a number of reasons: […]



Support cross-device shopping

While the ideal customer comes in, finds what he wants, buys it, and leaves, this is not always the case with online shopping. The average customer may make a few store visits before completing a purchase. While a majority of these visits are always on the same device, a subset of shoppers tend to device […]



Highlight items that are in the shopper’s cart

Shoppers often use the cart as a storage and comparison tool. Let’s say Jonah wants to buy a rug. He finds three that he really likes. They’re all checked. One has red and blue squares, the second one has black and blue squares while the third has red and black squares. He adds them to […]



Don’t claim to be number one

I am the number one piano player in my house. Hell, I am the number one piano player in my neighborhood. I am also the number one pencil sharpener in Canada on Friday mornings at 9.24 am. All these claims show how easy it is to claim to be number one as long as you […]



Visually distinguish between visited and unvisited products

Your shoppers need to distinguish products they’ve viewed from those they haven’t. The web already has a default standard for this: unvisited links are blue while visited links are purple. Yet, only 74% of sites change the color of their links once users have visited them. And for e-commerce, that percentage is certainly lower.   […]



Avoid breaking Back button expectations

The back button is an extremely important part of web navigation. Shoppers expect to be taken right back to where they were before engaging in whatever action necessitated the use of a back button when they press it. Implementing it might sound easy but things are rarely so simple. The problem comes when there is […]



Avoid ads (or what looks like ads)

Ads have become an unavoidable part of the web browsing experience but that hasn’t made people hate them less. For most sites (blogs, news, social media et al), users have come to accept ads as part of the experience. Even then, they still do their best to avoid them.  For e-commerce sites however, ads are […]



Add sub-category links

  Product categories often overlap. Sometimes, a product could belong to more than one category. Let’s take the example of a clothing store. You could have a men’s category and a women’s category.  This creates a little problem for unisex items like socks and t-shirts. Where do you keep them? You could solve that problem […]


Link to all depicted products in inspirational images

When you go shopping for furniture at your local retailer, you don’t find the sofas just stacked on top of each other. The store will organize them in a living room-like setting. Clothing retailers do this as well, putting their clothes on display hangers for more visibility instead of folding and stacking them on the […]


Display breadcrumbs

Navigation out in the real world requires knowledge of your current position and the location of other places relative to your position. The web is no different. The visitors on your site need to know exactly where they are and where they could go from there.  Whenever people feel lost on the internet they just […]


Have intermediary category pages for the first 1-2 levels

In e-commerce, shoppers might come in without fully made up minds on the exact product they want to buy. Many have a rough idea but whether or not they act on it depends entirely on the purchasing options available.  Let’s take clothes shopping as an example. We can use a customer named Jane to further […]


Keep and answer all negative reviews

Ecommerce customers love reviews. That in itself is a great thing. A customer who makes a purchase after thoroughly researching the product in question is going to be satisfied and will be less likely to suffer from post-purchase regret.  Satisfied customers also tend to turn into repeat customers so you have that to look forward […]


Allow users to search within their current category

Search is an indispensable part of the ecommerce shopping experience yet it can be a leading cause of frustration if implemented improperly. The biggest cause for concern with searches on most sites is the fact that they’re too broad. You search for a red jacket and get 200+ results. This disappointment is a direct result […]


Make your shopping cart persistent

A persistent cart stores items in a shopper’s cart for their next visit. If Jonah adds a number of items to his cart on Monday, he should find them when he comes back on Friday. For guest users, the feature is best implemented by use of cookies. For customers in possession of user accounts, cart […]


Add security, guarantee, and trust badges to the Cart page

Internet users are suitably concerned about handing over their private information to just anyone. They are especially sensitive when credit card details are involved. No one wants their bank account emptied by some hacker. If yours is a small store with little brand recognition, this customer reluctance can be a crippling handicap. In fact, 18% […]


Offer upsells and/or cross-sells on the cart page or panel

Upsells and cross-sells are some of the easiest ways to boost sales. While they’re used primarily on product pages, they still have a place on the cart page and can prove quite beneficial if implemented properly. To be clear, I’m referring here to the cart page or slide-in panel when they’re accessing the cart (typically […]


Limit the exit points during the checkout process

The checkout process is extremely important to any online store. It’s here that all your work either comes to fruition or falls flat. After optimizing everything you can, this is the part that determines whether your customers actually give you money or walk away and become another cart abandonment statistic. Due to this, optimizing your […]


Offer a guest checkout

Some data According to Business Insider, 28% of US online shoppers abandon their cart because they don’t want to register/create account just to make a purchase. According to Baymard, it is the reason given by 31% of shoppers. (source) ASOS’s approach removed the account creation step on the checkout login page and it reduced their […]


Offer relevant upsells at checkout and after purchase

Once you’ve made a sale your job is over, right? No. As long as you have inventory you should keep selling. The order confirmation page is constantly underutilized yet it provides an unmatched opportunity to provide more value to your customers and grow your sales. The leading cause of conversion problems in e-commerce is customer […]


Offer multiple payment methods

Typical payment methods Credit card PayPal Google Pay Apple Pay   PayPal In regards to PayPal, roughly half the stores I looked at (see the table below in the examples) offer an express PayPal checkout with a CTA button at the same place as the normal ‘Checkout’ button (in the cart). And the other half […]


Implement inline validation in forms

Imagine spending your time filling out a long form, submitting it, and then receiving an error message. It is incredibly frustrating. This is where inline validation comes in. Inline validation checks user inputs for errors and informs them immediately.   How do you implement inline validation properly? Proper error message placement – Show the error […]


Clearly mark form fields as optional or required

Forms are at the very core of the checkout experience. This is the part where a shopper does the most ‘work’ on your site. While other parts of the page only require scrolling, clicking, and tapping, forms involve a lot of typing.      Sadly, a lot of shoppers approach forms with apprehension. Filling a form can […]


Ask for the minimal amount of information

Forms are an indispensable part of the sign-up and checkout processes so reducing friction by limiting the information users have to type here as much as possible is instrumental to a great user experience.   Reduce the number form fields People are always intimidated when they see a long list of form fields on a […]


Make the billing address the same as the shipping address by default

Everyone understands the necessity of a shipping address. Their purchases have to be sent somewhere after all. The billing address is used to validate the credit card and determine fees like sales tax. However, not every customer knows this so requesting the billing address can be a little confounding to them.  Users hate typing and […]


Expand the credit card fields only once that payment option is selected

Credit card fields can be long. The standard credit card form can have anything from 4-8 fields. The required fields: Billing address Credit card number Security code Expiration date   The optional fields: Cardholder’s name City  State Zip code   While massively popular and widely used in North America, credit cards aren’t the kings of […]


Allow and auto-format spaces in the credit card number field

Look at these two numbers: 7826924512354720 7826  9245  1235  4720   While both numbers are identical, B is a lot easier to read than A. That’s how numbers are printed on a credit card and your formatting needs to reflect that. Formatting isn’t just necessary for readability, typing a 16-digit string of random numbers is […]


Deduce and display the credit card type automatically

Checkout flow should have as little friction as possible. Eliminating unnecessary selections and typing is a great way to go about achieving as little checkout friction as possible. The fewer hoops a customer has to jump through, the sooner they can make a purchase.  Asking customers to select their credit card type is a good […]


In the checkout form, use field labels instead of placeholder text

Forms are an indispensable part of e-commerce. They are currently the only means of collecting information like shopper details (name, address etc) and credit card information at checkout.  There are various implementations though the traditional one has always been a label with a rectangular box beneath it. Without the label, these rectangular boxes don’t mean […]


Match the length of form fields to the length of the input

If you’re planning to go on an overnight trip, let’s say to the next town, you won’t carry your two changes of clothes in a full size suitcase because that would be insane. The suitcase would be too large. You don’t stuff them into your pockets either because pockets are too small for clothes. You […]


In the checkout form, autocomplete the address as they start typing

About 5% of packages are undelivered. While shoppers like to blame vendors, improperly typed addresses are the leading cause of these delivery failures. There are ways of reducing errors during the entry of addresses to reduce cases of undelivered packages. Automatic zip code lookup is one way but it only gets you so far.   […]


Place the country field before the state/province field

Things tend to follow a certain order. Take dating as an example. When you meet someone new, first you say hello, then ask them out, talk, eat, or perform an activity together, and maybe walk them home. It’s only after a certain level of familiarity that you can try something like reaching in for a […]


Avoid dropdowns in forms for fields with fewer than 5 or more than 10 items

Dropdown menus show a list of collapsible options a customer is expected to to make a choice from. They are among the most popular design elements on the internet. Nearly every site has them. Their widespread adoption is due to their incredible space saving abilities which allow for simple and uncluttered interfaces. However, these darlings […]


Autocomplete the state/province

Autocompleting place names as they are typed is a good way to guarantee accuracy. A user types in Ca and you suggest California. For auto completion to work well, design needs to account for a few things:   Abbreviations US states and Canadian provinces have two-letter abbreviations that should be accounted for. AR is the […]


Test both a one-page and a multi-page checkout

The decision as to whether your customers can check out in one step or multiple steps is a tough one. Over 60% of sites use multi-step checkout but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best kind. Usability studies have shown no significant difference in conversion rates between single and multi-stage checkouts.  They both have their […]


Offer optional account creation

People online don’t like being forced to create accounts. In fact, nearly a quarter of American shoppers have abandoned their carts because a site forced them to create an account. This creates a conflict with online stores that need people to create accounts for things like marketing. There are a few reasons why customers are […]


Use input masks for restricted fields

Customers at times make mistakes when typing data into forms. They might omit a digit or two, mistakenly type a letter into the credit card number field, reverse the day and month values of a date, or type a phone number without the area code among many other numerous mistakes. Using input masks reduces the […]


Increase the perceived security of your checkout page

Customers are jittery about small brands According to Baymard, 18% of shoppers (from 1044 respondents in the US) abandon their cart because they do not trust the site with their credit card information. I would assume that as a site owner who is serious about your business you’d take your security seriously. If you use […]


Offer the possibility to return products in-store

Returns are an unavoidable part of e-commerce. The best you can do is make them as simple as possible for yourself and the customer.   Customers prefer in-store returns Mailed returns can be taxing. First, a customer will need to read through a lengthy legal document to determine if their particular circumstances qualify for a […]


Test social login

Older research Research from 2012 / 2013 reveals that: 86% of people are bothered when needing to create new accounts on websites. 92% of users have left a website instead of resetting or recovering their login. 31% do so frequently. 60% of shoppers are more likely to use social login on mobile 64% of millennials […]


Validate the address and warn the shopper if it cannot be verified

Catch errors and suggest a correction I’ve seen examples where you could type an address with a street number (only a street name), which is invalid. So depending on the quality of the address finder, you may still want to have an address validator to catch invalid addresses that the Address Finder allows. If the […]


Explain why your shoppers should create an account

While creating an account is usually beneficial for both the store and the customers, those customers are often reluctant when prompted to create a new account. Nobody wants to have to remember a new username and password.    How are user accounts important to you as a retailer? You can analyze shopping habits and deliver […]


Avoid email and password confirmation fields in the Account Creation form

Confirmation fields lead to abandonments Email and password confirmation fields are the leading cause of abandonments on the sign up form. Zuko (formerly Formisimo) observed over a two-month period that their password repeat field was responsible for over a quarter of all the people that abandoned their sign up process.  Along with a few other […]


Use low password requirements

It’s become widely accepted that password rules are now too restrictive. As the joke goes, some sites require an uppercase letter, a lower case letter, a number, a special character, and the blood of a vegan cat.   Strict passwords cause abandonments According to Baymard’s large scale checkout usability, “strict password rules can cause a […]


Use a visually consistent style for the Account Dashboard cards

Shoppers will need to manage their account features from time to time. There are many reasons for this: A customer who has moved house will need to change their shipping address.  A customer whose credit card has expired, got lost, cancelled, or changed will need to update their credit card information.  A customer might just […]


Notify shoppers of no longer available

E-commerce customers are never under any pressure to complete a purchase. The buying process is rarely linear and while some customers buy what they want in a single session, others might take days, or even weeks to complete a purchase. Such a customer will come in, look at the products, and add an interesting one […]


Send a relevant account registration email

A welcome email The welcome email is your first touch point via email with your prospects or customers, so it will set the tone for your communication with them. Make sure it contains some or all of the components below: Your logo Links to the main product categories Links or buttons to access the account, […]


Send cart abandonment emails and/or SMS

Cart abandonment rate According to SaleCycle, the cart abandonment rate in 2016 was about 75% across all regions. (source) Baymard mentions it is 69.57%, based on 41 studies, and that stat was last updated in September 2019.   Abandonment emails Cart abandonment emails are one way to convert some of those people who left their […]


Optimize your website’s loading speed

Performance and conversion are inextricably connected   Slow pages cause abandonments According to Unbounce, 1 out of 5 shoppers will abandon their loaded shopping cart if they perceive the pages as being too slow. (source) According to AnnexCloud, a slow website can increase abandonment by 75%, and loyalty drops 50% when your site is slow. […]


Have an About Us page, share your story

An “About Us” page allows shoppers to learn more about you and your business yet many sites treat it as an afterthought. A lot of “About Us” pages on the internet are practically identical once you remove the site name. They’re usually a few hastily written paragraphs that barely elicit any reactions from those reading […]


Test purchase notifications

15% increase in CR? According to TrustPulse, activity notifications (such as purchases by other shoppers) have been shown to increase conversions by up to 15%. These typically appear in a small popup as purchases happen, at the bottom of the screen.   Types of activities There are different types of activities you can notify your […]


Warn users in the cart for products low in stock

E-commerce customers don’t always make a purchase outright. They’ll add multiple items to their carts and forget about them for a while (see BP #142). The reasons behind this kind of behavior are numerous: Customers may be waiting on money before completing the purchase. Customers may be taking the time to compare products across multiple […]


Offer free shipping or free shipping above a threshold

Extra costs cause abandonments Extra costs too high (shipping, tax, fees) is the #1 reason for cart abandonment, according to Baymard (source).   Free shipping Free shipping is the best kind of shipping. You get bonus points if it’s also fast. It eliminates a major pain point for ecommerce customers and helps you conquer a […]


Speak to your customers

People want to be appreciated and feel valued. Talking to your customers directly is one of the better ways to do that. Human contact always works best since people want to do business with other people, not soulless corporations or robots.  You shouldn’t just talk to your customers when there is a problem or when […]


Analyze your shoppers’ behavior

Data has often been called the oil of the 21st century, and for good reason. Google, Facebook, and Amazon are among the most successful companies of our age thanks to their dominance in data. They analyze every tiny little thing visitors do on their sites and figure out how they can use that information to […]


Auto-apply discount codes

Everyone likes a deal. It’s the entire reason why sites like Groupon exist in the first place. Your customers will always take advantage of any opportunity to pay less though implementation can cost you conversions.   Discount code fields might lead to checkout abandonment Many checkout forms have a discount code field. Customers are very […]


Add a store locator link prominently

Having a physical store gives you a competitive advantage over stores that sell purely online by simplifying some of the complexities of e-commerce. Shopper’s can find products in-store, pick them up directly from your store instead of waiting for home delivery, and return products to the store instead of having to mail them back. However, […]


Localize your payment methods

When expanding into international markets it’s important to integrate local payment methods into your basket of options in addition to things like using local currency, language, and measurement units. People are less likely to complete a purchase if their preferred mode of payment isn’t supported.  While credit cards are used for the bulk of ecommerce […]


Design header icons so they’re easy to understand

The usability issues of text-heavy headers and the standard shopper behavior of wanting to read as little as possible has led to a reliance on icons in most designs. They look good, save space, reduce clutter, and make for a more seamless and minimalist design.  But not all icons are created equal. Some are universally […]


Automatically redirect to important pages

The standard website has a lot of support pages: shipping information, order tracking, customer support, return policy, contact information, “About us” page, the FAQ section, and so on.  While links to support pages are often added in the headers and footers, shoppers may not always be inclined to scrolling and scanning the page just to […]


Interactive Color Swatches

More options available On IKEA, instead of showing variants there, they add More options available under the product. Interesting approach, it makes visitors wonder what the other options are. I think that is both a good and a bad thing. Curiosity is good, but it creates some confusion.   Show the color variants Macy’s, alternatively, […]

Landing Pages

Test post-click landing pages

The post-click landing page is where visitors from all your marketing campaigns land. It should be an independent page aimed at convincing a visitor to only do one thing (buy, sign up, or download). According to Monetate, visitors on post-click landing pages convert at twice the rate of those landing on product pages.   Google […]


Answer customer questions quickly

Repeat business is key to the success of practically every enterprise in existence. But to have repeat business, you must first keep your customers satisfied. Customers will often contact you for a variety of reasons. Some will need help to complete a purchase, a few will have specific questions (warranties, discounts, and the like), and […]


Avoid Quick Views

Quick views are often used to display additional information that couldn’t otherwise have been provided without cluttering the product list. While their functionality is clear, they make for a terrible user experience.   Quick Views are a bad idea According to Baymard, They’re generally used to paper over the cracks of poor product list design […]


Show product attributes consistently inside of a product list

Unless yours is a single product store, it’s almost guaranteed that shoppers will not find what they’re looking for the moment they land on your homepage. In nearly all cases they’ll either have to search for a specific product or use main navigation. Let’s take Jonah as an example. He comes in looking to buy […]


Separate the product title from the brand or type

The standard e-commerce product title usually has at least three elements following a general pattern: brand + model + a host of relevant product attributes. This lengthy title is aimed at communicating as much information about the product as possible while simultaneously contributing to search engine optimization. The more detailed and descriptive a product title […]


Educate your shoppers in your category pages

Where? While customer education is commonly done in product descriptions and the homepage, you can also educate your customer on the category page. A thorough understanding of your product and the processes by which it came into existence would greatly improve conversions.  There are cases where educating your customers on the category page might be […]


Offer personalized recommendations

High up NN/g recommends prioritizing them over more generic recommendations. Put that ‘Recommended For You’ section high up on the homepage. (source)   Tell them how Specify how you came up with those personalized recommendations. They can be based on their previous orders and interests. At a minimum, mention that these recommendations are ‘Based on […]


Make your popups contextual and relevant

10 mistakes to avoid with popups (By Nielsen Norman Group – source)   1. Showing a popup before the page content loads This is especially bad on mobile, as Google penalizes sites with interruptive popups. Give visitors some value first, and trigger the popup only when it’s relevant for the user. The exceptions to this […]


Show a different image for each product variant

Due to the huge diversity in tastes, social norms, and financial capabilities, products are often sold in multiple variations. A refrigerator could be sold in three or four sizes and in even more colors. Visually focused products like clothing, carpets, curtains, and cosmetics like lipstick are often offered in hundreds of colors. This brings us […]


Make it easy to trigger the product comparison

The product comparison tool isn’t that common in e-commerce. In fact, a majority of sites don’t even have it. Even when sites have it, shoppers don’t use it as much as they should. The first reason has to do with shopping habits.  We buy cheap stuff all the time and only buy expensive stuff once […]


Avoid ALL CAPS text

Hard to read One of the members of my Ecom Convert group shared some interesting research about ALL CAPS text in a comment to a mini-teardown last week: Roughly 90% of people find all-capped text to be harder to read, in general.   These two articles were given as sources:     I […]


Choose brand colors and a style that attract your desired audience

Store personality Choose a font that fits your company’s personality, such as ‘serious’ or fun’ Color increases brand recognition. (source)     Other thoughts Make it legible and memorable Incorporate the domain name and store name which should be the same Keep it simple, avoid photography and 3D graphics.  


Give navigation options on your 404 page

The error 404 page is one of the most infuriating pages on the internet. Visits to this page rarely come from visitors using internal site navigation. A lot of error 404 page visits come from prospects following a search engine link that is either broken, erroneous, or has been changed.  Regardless of the cause, it’s […]


Give navigation options on your Empty Cart page

Once a customer has emptied their cart, there remains little else to be done on the cart page. It’s a dead end. Some may have deleted the items on their cart while others may have checked out. It doesn’t matter.  Customers with nothing to do on your site are customers on their way out. Many […]


Offer mixed bundling, not pure bundling

Mix & match Give your shoppers the option to mix & match. Mixed bundling: products in the bundle can be purchased individually also. Pure bundling: products are only available together and cannot be bought separately.   Nintendo offering mixed bundling Timothy Derdenger and Vineet Kumar from Harvard Business School  discovered that when Nintendo offered mixed […]


Test Web Push Notifications

Push notification This is what web push notification (with Chrome) can look like.  That notification comes from in case you want to check it out for yourself.   Triggered mobile push notifications From a 2016 study, triggered mobile push notifications drive 2,770 percent higher conversion rates for the same number of sends as compared […]


Provide a size comparison image

Everybody has a concept of what inches and feet or meters and centimeters measure like. But we don’t think of sizes that way. When we see a sofa, we don’t think of it as an object that is four, five, or even six feet wide. We think of the sofa as a three seater or […]


If your products are available in-store as well, add an in-store filter

Having a physical store can give you a serious edge over your online-only competitors. The store can be used for pick-ups, returns, and even purchases. While nobody bats an eye about buying 20-dollar novelty mugs online, customers are a little more reluctant when it comes to subjective purchases (clothing, makeup, etc) or big ticket items.   […]


Provide easy account password recovery

Your shoppers will have password issues from time to time. A shopper who hasn’t used your site in a while might forget their password. Another who recently changed their password might keep re-entering their old password. Some users also tend to mix up their passwords across different sites. You need to have a “Need Help?” […]


Show the number of items in their cart

Customers often use the cart as a storage and comparison tool. As such, they tend to add multiple variants of the same item (four comparable cameras for instance). Due to the fact that online shopping often takes place over multiple sessions, shoppers tend to lose track of all the items in their carts. This might […]


3-4 images per row on desktop, 2 per row on mobile

Displaying products in a list can be a little tough. You don’t want to clutter a display with too many products but you also don’t want to have too few products since that increases the amount of scrolling and new page loads a customer has to suffer through. There is also the not-so-small problem of […]


Show the keyword searched and the number of results

Search is the most important site navigation feature. Therefore, showing both the search query and the total number of search results goes a long way in improving the search experience for your customers.   Why persisting the search query is important Sometimes people can get distracted. If someone turns back to their phone or computer […]


Provide a sizing chart or dynamic fit finder

While “close enough” is often good enough for the sizes of most products, clothes and shoes are different. The lack of an exact size can break a sale. In fact 46% of shoppers have returned a product for being the wrong size. A sizing chart is extremely essential in fashion due to all the contradicting […]


Show color swatches or thumbnails for the selection of the color variant

Avoid dropdowns Avoid having users select a color from a dropdown with color labels (‘red’, ‘black’, etc.). Make them choose the color variant from a list of color swatches (circles or squares filled with color) or small thumbnails of the product in different colors. If some of your products have multi-color design variants and some […]


On error, focus on the field that needs to be selected

Mistakes happen all the time. People might forget to select a size before adding an item to their cart. On forms, people might mistype email addresses, zip codes, city names, and credit card numbers. Sometimes, they might leave a required field blank.   Default values For items that aren’t very size sensitive, you can preselect […]


Show available payment options below the Checkout button

Payment is inarguably the most important part of any business, online or offline. Business decisions are often geared towards attracting sales. All the optimizations in the world don’t mean a thing if a customer is unable to to give you their money for one reason or another. That’s why you need to have multiple payment […]


Clearly indicate where users are in the checkout steps

Humans love to see progress. It’s why we invented calendars, clocks, and mile markers. We like transparent beverage bottles so we can see exactly how much is left. Progress bars that are displayed when downloading or transferring a file exist for the same reason. Progress is calming while the lack of it is extremely unsettling. […]


Ask for a review on their return visit

While reviews are indispensable to the online shopping experience, obtaining them isn’t always easy. Customers like reading reviews but they are more reluctant when it comes to writing them. Also, customers who have a bad experience are more motivated to leave a review compared to those who have a good or an “ok” experience.  Therefore, […]


Offer and promote a generous refund policy

Free returns Allowing your shoppers to return for free the products they bought builds trust with them. It lowers their fear of making the wrong purchase, as they know that they can easily return them if needed, at no cost. People starting out often think that a strict and challenging returns policy will discourage returns. […]


Add urgency to product pages

Online shoppers are rarely in a hurry. They can browse endlessly, leave, return, and keep browsing. They’ll even compare your prices to those of your rivals. Consequently, a sale can take days. This isn’t ideal. The faster they make their purchasing decisions, the more you can sell. This is where urgency elements come in.   […]


Offer relevant cross-sells

Cross selling doesn’t just increase your average order value, it benefits the customer by recommending additional products that they’ll probably need. For example, someone buying a TV will probably need a wall bracket to mount it. The product page provides a great opportunity to cross-sell.   There are several types of cross-sell sections that you […]


Display the image and relevant attributes for each product

In the cart From a quick glance at their cart, it should be easy for shoppers to recognize the items they’re about to pay for. Customers need to confirm their selections and catch any errors or items they may have added to their carts accidentally. As such, you need to include relevant product attributes to […]


Repeat your unique selling points in the cart

Your unique selling points (USPs) are what set you apart from other stores. They tell customers why they should buy from you instead of your competitors. They are an important part of your store’s branding and value proposition. USPs can sometimes be the deciding factor when it comes to a customer deciding to buy or […]


Allow users to save their cart for later

Cross-device shopping One of the main reasons why this is needed is so they can continue their shopping experience on another device. Oftentimes, they’ll shop on mobile and purchase on desktop. See best practice #90 for more details on that.   Continuing later Another reason why users save their cart for later is to make […]


Prevent package theft

Statistics on package theft are all over the place. One survey says 15% of Americans have had at least one package stolen from them in the last year. Another one put that figure as high as 79%. Many other surveys place the figure somewhere between those two extremes. If we go with the conservative 15% […]


Show the order summary persistently throughout the checkout

Order summaries help remind customers of exactly what they’re paying for. As such, they should be shown at every stage of a multi-step checkout process except for the account selection step.  This is partly because the total order cost tends to increase during checkout once shipping costs and sales taxes are tacked onto the price. […]


Allow users to check the availability of the product in store

Convenient as online shopping may be, shoppers like to buy some items in person. These are mostly high value items: home appliances like refrigerators and luxury goods like handbags. Products that heavily rely on sensory perceptions like perfume and lipstick also fall in this category.  Some people might also prefer to buy certain clothes like […]


Use short but descriptive product titles

Product titles identify your product to consumers and also to search engines which helps drive organic traffic to your store. Due to this, it might be tempting to overload your title with keywords. Don’t do it. Google’s algorithm has grown sophisticated enough to notice keyword stuffing and will punish you severely for that. Besides, such […]


Auto-update the cart when a quantity is changed

Sometimes customers need to edit their orders at checkout. Jonah might realize he only ordered one pack of toilet paper which might not be enough. He could also have erroneously added three stormtrooper helmets to his cart instead of just one. In either case, he’ll need to adjust the product quantities to more reasonable levels. […]


Allow shoppers to vote on how helpful reviews are

95% of shoppers consult reviews before buying a product online. Generally, the more expensive a product is, the higher the likelihood that a customer will spend a considerable chunk of time looking at reviews. While a 10-dollar set of salt and pepper shakers might be added to the cart without a second thought, a 600-dollar […]


Highlight the current navigation path the user is in

Shoppers don’t always access your product and supporting pages from the main navigation. More often than not, they get there after using the search function or being redirected from a search engine. Breadcrumbs are often used but these can be misunderstood or overlooked by a subset of users. Showing them their navigation path helps them […]


Present the Guest Checkout as the prominent option

Forcing customers to create an account is one of the leading causes of checkout abandonment. Nobody wants to have to remember another username and password. There’s also the issue of people not being very eager to hand their personal data over to some site they don’t trust just yet.  Forcing users to create an account […]


Show the cutoff time as a countdown timer

Let’s say you sell flowers and offer same-day delivery. If a customer places an order at 10 am, you could reasonably expect to fulfill the delivery by the end of the day. If the order is made at 10pm however, you probably won’t be able to fulfill it by midnight. This necessitates the need for […]


Match the order of credit card fields to the physical card

At times, the most minor of tweaks and optimizations go a long way in reducing friction for your customers. The credit card form can be easily optimized by presenting the data as it appears on the physical card yet 36% still fail to do this according to Baymard.   Confusing Typically, credit card fields are […]


Allow shoppers to edit information directly in the Order Review step

People make mistakes. It’s the entire point behind the existence of the order review step during the checkout process. Customers are expected to look through their orders and other information like their delivery addresses and confirm everything is as it should be before finally proceeding to the payment stage.   Most stores overcomplicate the editing […]


Specify why the phone number is required

Required phone fields cause abandonments There are numerous legitimate reasons to request a customer’s phone number. You may want to be able to contact them in case of issues with their delivery or you may need it to validate their credit card information. However, customers will be reluctant to provide their phone numbers if you […]


Allow customers to edit their credit card number

Credit cards expire, get lost, stolen, or get maxed out. People might also switch their bank or credit card provider. Whenever any of these things happen, your users will want to update their stored credit card details. Many people believe they just need to edit the number. There is just one hurdle: PCI compliance.   […]


Mention your free shipping in the header

High shipping costs are the leading cause of cart abandonment at checkout.  That’s why free shipping is so popular. People are more likely to shop at a store if it offers free shipping. They’re more willing to add an item to their carts in order to qualify for free shipping and they’re willing to for […]


Improve your shipping speed

What advantages does e-commerce have over traditional retail? Convenience Convenience Convenience What advantages does traditional retail have over e-commerce? Speed Human-to-human interaction Some stuff about community and the environment that people talk about all the time but keep shopping online anyway because they don’t really care. Speed E-commerce has gotten as big as it has […]


Make your discounts more effective

Discounts. What are they good for? The benefit of a discount to customers is obvious. But what about you as a merchant? Is the increased volume of sales worth the reduced margins and the potential dent to your brand’s identity and prestige? Whether to offer discounts or not is a divisive subject. Some say offer […]


Avoid Title Case Outside the United States— use sentence case

In Title Case, the First Letter of Every Non-Conjunctive Word Longer Than Three Letters Is Capitalized. In sentence case, only the first letter of a sentence is capitalized. While sentence case is ubiquitous in the United States, it causes readability issues for your customers in other parts of the world. We all know America is […]

Landing Pages

How long should your post-click landing page be?

A lot of metaphorical ink has been spilt discussing how to get a customer to click your ad or open your email. What to do after you get that click is treated as an afterthought. Yet it shouldn’t be. Up to 90% of visitors to post-click landing pages don’t convert, something that can get quite […]


Send post-purchase upsell emails

What do you do after making one sale? You make a second and a third and a fourth, on and on, until you retire or die. A customer who has already bought something from you is more likely to buy again when compared to a complete stranger. It also costs less to sell to the […]


Conduct post-purchase surveys

We all know that repeat customers are the key to the success of any business. It just makes sense. Keeping them around is five times cheaper than attracting new customers. Satisfied customers are also the best brand ambassadors you can ever have. But how do you create satisfied customers? By providing great service and excellent […]


Personalize your Product Detail Page

Personalization is no longer just a buzzword in e-commerce. It’s increasingly becoming an expected feature. And no, you can’t just put the customer’s name in the account section and call it a day. People expect more. They want to be recognized and treated like the VIPs they believe they are. They expect personalization in every […]


Use a single URL when assigning a product to multiple categories

A t-shirt is a unisex item of clothing. Same with things like socks and sneakers. When assigning categories, where do you put them? Under the “Male Clothing” category or the “Female Clothing” category? Or do you create a unisex category of their own? In a case like this, double categorization is the best solution. The […]


Mute the audio on any auto-playing videos

Video is a great way to capture a user’s attention. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video has to be worth a lot more. But you shouldn’t just play videos willy-nilly. There has to be some rhyme and reason or you risk losing your customers. 92% of users find autoplay videos […]


How many products should you have in a category?

I held a poll in my Facebook group asking store owners the number of products needed to justify a new category. Of the four provided options, 60% of people chose 20 or more as the number of products that would justify the creation of a new category. 10+ and 15+ were both chosen by 20% […]


Products or categories first?

A typical homepage looks something like this: an array of featured products you’re promoting and then your categories. If a user likes one of the products you’re pushing and buys it, fine. If he doesn’t, he can browse through categories or use the search bar. But what if you only have a few products? Do […]


Brag about your BNPL plans if you have them

Buy Now Pay Later is as old as the act of commerce itself. But unlike the merchants of old, you don’t need to bear the risk of default anymore. There are dozens of companies out there offering BNPL plans to e-commerce stores and their customers. A customer who might be short on cash applies for […]


Put trust badges on the product page

As seen on TV. As seen on Forbes. As seen here and there. These are all excellent ways to show your customer that you are legit and you’re a big deal. The homepage is the traditional location for trust badges, but what about visitors arriving from an ad? Or those who search for the product […]


Contact customers with abandoned carts

A customer, say, John, comes into your store, looks at a bunch of products, adds them to his cart, goes to checkout, and then clicks off before completing a purchase. Now that full cart is just sitting there, mocking you, hinting at what could have been. What do you do? Ignore it? The cart abandonment […]


Should you have a blog for your store?

Yes, you should have a blog. At this point, it’s just the bare minimum. The best thing about a blog is that you write it once, put it out, and it will be out there pulling in organic traffic two or three years down the line. Why have a blog? There are several reasons but […]


Don’t split product variants into separate product listings

Online shopping has two dominant phases: the browse and selection phases. During the browse phase, a user looks at all the products on offer and makes a choice, usually by parking the products he’s interested in in a separate tab or adding them to a wish list. The selection phase involves the user going through […]


Give customers a time slot option for local deliveries

45% of customers will abandon their carts and switch to a competitor if your delivery options are unsatisfactory. This is bad for you. You have to go the extra mile. “But I have same-day delivery,” you may say. “How much farther can I go?” This is where timeslot delivery comes in. It’s exactly what it […]

Cart Product

Use buttons in your quantity selector

Baymard and the Nielsen Norman Group, after extensive research, both agree that the best way to design your quantity selector is by using the plus and minus buttons on either side of the default value. The plus and minus buttons are intuitively easy to understand while retaining a minimalistic elegance from a design perspective. They […]


Communicate delays clearly to your customers

You may have seen something like this: “We’re delivering heavy holiday volumes and putting safety first. Customers may experience some delays. Please track your item. Our call center has no more information.” Or: “We are experiencing some delays. Your stuff will get there when it gets there. For now, sit down and shut up.” The […]


Highlight the active field

When designing your form fields, it’s always a good idea to let users know exactly which form field they’re filling out. It’s a form of instantaneous feedback that saves the user precious seconds and avoids a fair bit of confusion. The active field should be highlighted in a color that sets it apart from the […]


Hide the coupon field at checkout

Do you offer coupons? If the answer is yes, then there is the question of presenting them. Many stores have a coupon field at checkout. You may consider doing the same for your store because it’s what everyone is doing but I’m here to tell you that you shouldn’t. Why? Let’s take a hypothetical customer, […]


Avoid using Accordions in product information sections

Accordion menus stack information under a series of vertical headers. The information can then be accessed by clicking the header, an act that expands the content underneath it. There are many reasons to use accordions, especially on mobile: They give a full overview of a page’s content at a single glance. They save valuable space […]


International shipping best practices

As a merchant, you want to make as much money as you can, usually by selling to as many people as possible. In the old days of brick-and-mortar stores, your customer base was limited by the number of people who walked by or drove past your door. Once you maxed out the footfall, the business […]

Category Product

Should you show all product variants in a single image?

When you have multiple product variants, sometimes it’s more convenient to show a customer everything you have to offer at a glance. Let’s say you sell chairs. The two chairs are identical in every aspect except one has a headrest and the other doesn’t. Thus, these chairs are variants of each other. How do you […]


Use free mini-samples to grow sales

When two researchers from Massey University in New Zealand tested coupon codes vs free samples, they came to the following conclusion: “Both product sampling and cashbacks promote incremental sales, but that discount coupons may only subsidize purchases that would otherwise be made at full retail prices.” We didn’t need a research paper to tell us […]


How ADA-compliant is your website?

In 2016, Guillermo Robles, a visually impaired man in California, sued Dominos Pizza. Why? Domino’s website and app were not compatible with his screen reader. Robles claimed this was a violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA requires businesses and public spaces to make their goods and services accessible […]


Create a loyalty program for your store

You know the stats. Keeping existing customers around is five times cheaper than bringing in new ones. Loyal customers spend more, flake less, aren’t too price sensitive, and will recommend you to their friends far more often than one-time purchasers. But what exactly are you doing to keep those customers around? Amazon has Prime, Starbucks […]


How to have successful Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions

There are a bunch of shopping holidays clustered around Thanksgiving. Blackout Wednesday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Sofa Sunday, Cyber Monday, and Matt’s Tuesday. The last one is still in development but it’s coming soon to a Facebook ad near you. Of all these shopping holidays, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the biggest. 2022 […]


Pay more attention to your packaging

In a brick-and-mortar store, packaging is everything. With a hundred separate products jockeying for a customer’s attention on the shelves, standing out is imperative. The same kind of pressure isn’t quite there in e-commerce. By the time a customer sees your packaging, he’s already bought your product. But you shouldn’t ignore packaging because of that. […]


Implement order tracking on all your shipments

It’s October 25. A customer, say, Bob, finds a T-shirt on your site that says, “Bob: apple bobbing champion.” Flattered and intrigued, he buys it. You promise delivery in 3-5 days so Bob waits, assuming he’ll have it by Halloween. Come October 29, four days later, Bob still hasn’t received the T-shirt. He figures he […]


Create a great thank you page

It’s not over just because you have made a sale. You want your customers to come back. For that to happen, you have to leave them as happy as possible. The post-purchase experience is just as important as the buying process. That’s where a thank you page comes into play. A thank you page makes […]


How to improve your customer support

If you have ever called your cable company, then you know exactly what bad customer support is. For cable providers, theirs isn’t customer support as much as it is deliberate customer frustration. Their entire strategy seems to be keeping you on the line until you give up and stop bothering them. Sadly for you, as […]


Personalize your homepage for every user

When you log into Amazon, the homepage tends to feature recommended products. And no two homepages are exactly the same. The recommended products vary from person to person. First, there is the “Pick up where you left off” section. Here, Amazon shows you a selection of products that you looked at but didn’t buy. Then […]


Should you put an “Add to cart” button in product listings?

The answer depends on the decision time. All products are not made equal. But to understand why and how cart button placement matters, let’s take a journey through the buying process. The buying process has four main stages: awareness, consideration, decision, and post-purchase evaluation. You look at your wardrobe and think: “I don’t have any […]


Add labels and badges to your product lists

Everybody is selling something. To make customers buy whatever you offer, you must show them how special your items are. But this is easier said than done. When it comes to e-commerce, customers can’t see or touch the product. It’s even harder in a product list. All they can see is a name and a […]

Category Product

Implement and display unit pricing

Joey is shopping for golf balls in your store. Let’s say he filters by price. The cheapest golf balls you have come in a six-pack and cost $19. Then there is a 20-pack box of golf balls that goes for $59. And finally, there’s a 36-pack box of golf balls that retails at $109. Which […]


Should you offer shipping insurance?

If you ask Google that question, the results on the first page will all tell you yes. Case closed, right? No. Once you dig into these responses, you find out they come from shipping insurance companies. These companies have a vested interest in selling you their product. It’s a perfect example of: “Never ask a […]


How many items should you include in a product list?

For a list of products or search results, the short answer is 50-150 items on desktop and 15-30 items on mobile. The number is a range because it varies according to context. Generally, the more information a customer needs to make a purchasing decision, the fewer the number of items you should include in a […]


How to implement responsive upscaling

A vast majority of your users access your site using either mobile phones or laptops. These tend to have more or less similar screen size ranges. But some of your remaining customers will also use tablets, phablets, wide-screen PCs, and even the odd smart TV. For an optimum user experience, your site needs to scale […]


Avoid dividing product lists into sections on a category page

When you click the category page for “Electronics” on Amazon, you’re shown Airpods, keyboards, monitors, external hard drives, gaming consoles, cameras, printer cartridges, smartphones, and all manner of other electronics. Amazon could break down its many electronic products into dozens of categories and subcategories, but it doesn’t. Amazon shows you the full range of electronic […]


How to properly use placeholder text in your search bar

According to hundreds of usability studies, putting placeholder text in form fields is a horrible idea and you should never ever try it. But what about the search bar? Is it immune to the horrible effects placeholder text has on usability? Is it special? Lots of sites seem to think the search box is immune […]


Persist the search query in search results

Let’s say you run a clothing store. A customer, Jonah, comes in to buy a t-shirt. In the search bar, he types in: “V-neck t-shirt.” He gets 726 results. That’s a lot more than he can sift through, so he refines his search term. “Instead of “V-neck t-shirt,” he searches for “Black V-neck t-shirt.” The […]


Implement implicit search

If you have ever searched for something on Google, you may have noticed just how relevant the results tend to be. You rarely have to go to the second page or even scroll to the bottom of the first page to get what you want. The answer you seek is usually behind the first two […]


Consider offering payment plans

When you go to buy a pair of 399-dollar Airpods from the Apple store, Apple gives you a choice, pay the $399 in full or pay it off in monthly installments of $16.62 over two years through your Apple Card. This completely changes the conversation. Apple puts a choice to the buyer. And that choice […]



Avoid pop-ups on the homepage

97% of pop-ups are dismissed on sight. And that’s the overall number so it’s skewed by high-converting pop-ups. The average pop-up is probably getting dismissed 99% of the time if not 100%. But your pop-ups don’t have to be another footnote in the 10-billion-page history of internet annoyances. You can get high conversions if you […]