The COVID pandemic hit a number of industries hard. There were some industries, however, that were able to withstand the global upheaval. One of these was eCommerce.
For proof, we don’t have to look any further than Amazon. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos saw his net worth grow by $25 billion during the pandemic. They also hired around 75,000 workers in order to keep up with the demand.
Although the growth of a colossus enterprise such as Amazon isn’t exactly shocking, eCommerce growth tends to be a national trend. In fact, US eCommerce sales rose by 14.5% from the previous year. With so much attention in the industry, it’s only natural that interest in starting an eCommerce business has risen over the past year as well.
Check out this graph from Google Trends on “how to eCommerce” grew over the last 6 months.
So, what does that mean? It means a lot of people are trying to break into the eCommerce world and if you’re one of them, how do you stand out?
One of the best ways to stand out from the crowd is by using sound eCommerce website development. Web development can be tough but necessary to keep visitors coming back to your website and increase sales over time. Web development plays a huge role.
When it comes to building the perfect eCommerce site, what web development mistakes do you need to look out for? Check out six things you should be aware of.
Consuming too Much Bandwidth
In today’s environment, people expect things ASAP and that’s never been more true than someone visiting a webpage. In fact, studies show that if your site or a page doesn’t load in three seconds, the user will bounce right off.
The average website is filled with high-quality images, banners, push notifications, and more. But if those items aren’t properly optimized, then your website will look like it’s trying to wade through mashed potatoes.
What are the processes and items you should be optimizing? For starters, you should:
- Optimize all images, compress their file size so they load faster
- Lower the amount of HTTP requests
There are other things you can be doing, but it’s best to start off with those three. Not only will you have a fast-loading site, but you’ll also rank better in Google.
Speaking of ranking better in Google…
Underestimating the Importance of SEO
Get ready to see this little acronym everywhere when you start developing an eCommerce website. You might think that search engine optimization is all about on-page elements, such as content, title tags, meta descriptions, and more.
While those things are very important, there are plenty of other SEO aspects you should be concerned about.
On the web development side you have to ask yourself: is this site crawlable?
For a website to be crawlable, it needs to have a proper site structure, minimal redirects, proper canonical tags, no duplicate content, a sitemap, and much more. The easier you make it for Google to crawl your website, the more visibility you’re going to gain over time.
You can check how Google sees your website by making use of Google Search Console. It’s a free tool that can easily be connected to your site.
Ignoring Responsive Design
Whenever you hear someone talk about web development, you’re almost guaranteed to hear them talk about responsive design. These two are the new peanut butter and jelly.
These days, the three devices people browse the internet on are: computers, mobile phones, and tablets (and iPod touches for those who were locked in a time capsule in 2008).
That means your website must be able to adapt to the various screens that people are using to browse the web. When it comes to building responsive websites, there are a number of proper practices and methods for doing so. WordPress will let you know if their themes are responsive or not.
However, even though you may be choosing a theme or design that says it’s responsive, there might be some more work to do on the development side to make it so. Oftentimes a theme or layout will look responsive but menus or other sections may not display properly, frustrating any visitors.
Being Browser Specific
Even though over 60% of web users have Chrome set as their primary browser, that doesn’t mean you should make your site Chrome-specific. Everyone has their favorite browser, but some of your users might be in that small percentage of people who still use Internet Explorer. If your website isn’t working properly for them, why would they stick around or ever come back?
It would be overkill to test out your website on every browser with every major change, but you need to be doing periodic checks in order to make sure your website is functional with each browser.
CSS is often a culprit in robbing you of all-browser functionality, so make sure you feel confident in your abilities if you jump into complex tasks.
Implementing Poor Web Security
“Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!” is just one of the many great quotes that Dwight Schrute had from The Office. But Dwight does have a point.
eCommerce websites with poor security can damage relationships with customers and torpedo your business efforts. When it comes to security, we often run into two words: authentication and authorization. What’s the difference?
Authentication is verifying the identity of a user and confirming who they are whereas authorization is giving said user access to a website, system, etc. More often than not, inexperienced eCommerce web developers will grant authorization without authentication.
In order to best protect users on your site, you need to implement proper security measures by using proper authentication and authorization methods. While the two words may be different, they must come together as one.
Above we mentioned some sound practices for making sure your website is crawlable by Google. Now we need to talk about how to make it easy for users. User interface and user experience will often fall onto the web design side. But you can make it easy for your web design team by thinking about navigation during the development process.
Plus, a crawlable website is much easier to navigate.
That means making easy-to-read menus, using simple structures, plainly distinctive categories, and a handy search function. The last thing you want to do is have visitors come to your site and be confused or frustrated while trying to navigate to a product page. Don’t count on users “figuring it out”. With thousands of other websites begging for their attention, they’ll just leave.
When it comes to eCommerce web development, there are plenty of mistakes that can be made. Some of them may be too complicated for those not fluent in web development. Here at Atiba, we have web development experts on hand to help you with any doubts. Make sure and reach out when you’re ready to take your eCommerce website to the next level.