Overcoming Common Problems While Developing eCommerce Websites
By Neha Bharati, Community Contributor - May 11, 2022
eCommerce is a booming industry, especially since customers are spoilt for choice. eCommerce websites are online platforms where people can buy and sell their products from anywhere, so, if built correctly, they can churn in huge revenue for businesses. So, it is crucial to leverage this and avoid common problems while developing successful eCommerce websites if you want a flourishing business.
Increasing trends in eCommerce Websites
Let’s look at what eCommerce websites have accomplished so far and why they are so popular. The global e-commerce market was valued at USD 9.09 trillion in 2019 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.7% from 2020 to 2027.
Global eCommerce Market Growth Image Source
This number will only increase owing to the ease of access to such growing markets. Nowadays, anybody can set up their online store with just a few clicks through websites like Shopify and Amazon. Apart from this, companies have made constant efforts to make online selling easier by handling logistics, infrastructure, and payments integrations.
So, what are the key points that a seller should consider for ease of selling online:
- Ease of Access: It should be easy to find your store/products online; otherwise, customers cannot access your website.
- User Experience: Users must be able to interact well with your website. Slow page loads, unnecessary redirects, and payment failures are a big no-no.
- Responsiveness: Mobile accounts for approximately half of the web traffic worldwide. In the fourth quarter of 2021, mobile devices generated 54.4 percent of global website traffic. So it is vital to make sure your website works across all devices and browsers. As seen below, mobile eCommerce is growing consistently.
Mobile eCommerce sales Image Source
- Cross Browser Testing: Users access websites on different devices, browsers, and OS combinations. Hence it is imperative to conduct cross-browser testing before launching your website to the public. Below is the global market share of the most popular browsers.
Global Browser Market Share Image Source
Challenges For eCommerce Websites
Since eCommerce websites are vast with multiple shopping categories, it also becomes a challenge to handle traffic, build the user experience, and manage its overall functionality. The main challenge is making it as simple as possible for the customer to navigate your website. Here’s what you need to look out for:
- Website Security: Getting SSL certificates, a secure payment gateway, and multi-layer security for your website can prevent malware attacks and increase customer confidence in your website.
- Customer Attraction: Make sure you know your market and put all your resources into attracting them to your website.
- Customer Retention: You always want to keep customers returning to your website. This is achieved with good UX, clear CTAs(Call To Actions), and data security.
There are a lot of eCommerce websites that fail to get traction because they don’t solve these common problems:
- Tech Stack
Your product tech stack defines how good the website performance and user experience would be, which helps in customer retention. Before beginning the website DevOps process, deciding on a tech stack suitable to your business needs is crucial.
Learn More: How to fit QA into a DevOps setup
- Building User Trust
A user is likely not to browse your website if they feel that it’s not secure. A couple of red flags could be
- Lack of security authentication: If the website isn’t secure with the SSL certificate, it affects the website traffic. It will be low on the SEO score for starters, and users also won’t trust such a website.
- Long loading times: A customer is 41% likely to leave your site if it takes a long time to load. By checking the lighthouse score of your website, you can optimize this easily.
- Intrusive popups: Bombarding your users’ screens with advertisements and banners will discourage them from visiting your product pages. This is especially true on mobile devices, where a simple pop-up takes up most of the user’s screen.
- Payment Integrations
One of the essential processes in any eCommerce website is the checkout process. Errors in the payment gateway process can affect sales drastically, while proper checkout optimization can increase conversions by 35.62%. Your eCommerce platform should have integrations with the most-preferred payment gateways, wallets, and banks, as payment flexibility is key to winning their loyalty.
- Ease of Navigation
The user should be able to easily understand and maneuver through the website, possibly with a few clicks. A good practice would be to arrange the different category pages so that the shopper doesn’t have to dig through a rabbit hole to buy your products. This makes e-commerce web design tricky since many of them have hundreds of products, and all of them should be arranged properly.
- Search Functionality
Most of the time, avid shoppers know what they want and would want to search for it as soon as they land on your website. Investing time in optimizing your search functionality to be accurate will guarantee customer satisfaction.
- SEO Implications
eCommerce websites are different from other websites because they have many similar pages, images, URLs, and other content. The SEO for such websites is unique because one has to draw in users to the products you provide with limited content placement. So there are certain factors to be considered like:
- Product page titles and relevant keywords
- URL structure and site navigation
- Product pages content
- Keeping product sizes and colors on the same page
- Descriptive, well-written image alt tags
- Image Compression and Alt Text
There are a lot of images on an eCommerce website. Even if there are 100 products on your website, with 3-5 images per product, that makes 300-500+ images, it is not advisable to just upload these to your site since it dramatically slows the website and harms your search engine rankings.
Image compression maintains the image quality even after reducing its size as much as possible. Image alt text is added to every image, and it is displayed in case the image fails to load. This also affects the search engine rankings. It is an excellent practice to add alt tags that describe the image with relevant keywords.
- Website Security
It is undeniable that eCommerce website security issues are causing havoc during online transactions. This industry experiences up to 32.4% of all security threats annually. Hackers target e-commerce store admins, users, and employees using malicious techniques. A few security threats that one should be aware of.
- Financial frauds
- DoS and DDoS attacks
Read More: How to test an eCommerce website
Overcoming Common Problems for eCommerce Websites
Modern-day websites have evolved over the years, and it’s much easier to build eCommerce websites now. There are solutions to most of the problems that these websites face, and that is why more and more businesses have decided to come online and sell. Let’s see how these common problems for e-commerce websites need to be tackled.
Nowadays, it’s effortless to test your website design for responsiveness. There are cloud platforms available that let you do it seamlessly. Browserstack Responsive is one of the cloud platforms available for testing your website live. The process is pretty simple.
Here is an example of testing eBay. Sign in and type in the URL.
You can test your website across different phones and desktops to visualize how it would look. Here we can see quite a few models available for both mobile and desktop. Users can see the screen sizes and select portrait and landscape modes.
Multiple viewports available to test
ebay.com as seen on an iPhone X
Perform Cross-Browser Testing of eCommerce website
This is very important, as we saw earlier. BrowserStack Live provides a range of browsers and versions to choose from, and it’s very easy to set up. Just sign in and type your URL and select the browser and OS you want to test on.
Once it’s set up you can browse through it and test it. Browserstack also provides you with other features like local testing. You can switch between browsers or choose a different device to test on, too, as seen below.
ebay.com – Windows 10 – Google Chrome
Expect every eCommerce website to be accessed from a different browser and device combination. Your website will have to render perfectly on each browser and browser version, considering their various technical variation.
Validate User Interface
Your eCommerce website should focus on visual aesthetics and have a uniform UI because you’ll have a lot of product categories on your page. A consistent UI makes it easy for the eyes to navigate and add products to the cart.
Percy by Browserstack is an excellent solution as it provides pixel-perfect UI and makes it easy to integrate visual testing for web apps and components.
Test Website Speed
A faster loading eCommerce website leads to a positive user experience and high revenue generation. Google also ranks fast-loading pages higher. With BrowserStack SpeedLab, your QA team can run speed tests on multiple real browser-device-OS combinations.
Successful websites are not easy to create, but they are worth the effort. Incorporate the guidelines in this article, and start building an eCommerce website that is fast, result-oriented, high functioning, and appealing to the maximum number of users.
While now we know the challenges in developing eCommerce websites, we must also remember that it is easy to make the whole process easy by leveraging the tools available for marketing, testing, UI, logistics, inventory, and payments. It is most important to test out your website before launching it, and that’s where BrowserStack comes into the picture.
Read More: Website Launch Checklist
BrowserStack is an online cloud platform where users can test their websites functionally and visually. It also allows for third-party integrations to take responsive cross-browser and cross-device screenshots easily and quickly.
BrowserStack empowers millions of developers to build unique experiences on the web and mobile. We help Microsoft, Twitter, Barclays, Expedia, and over 50,000 customers deliver quality software at speed by moving testing to our Cloud. Your brand could be one of our success stories too!