Your Ugly Website is Costing Your Business Big Time

The Impact of Poorly Designed Websites

Don’t make the mistake of rushing creation of your eCommerce website believing speed is all that matters when trying to get your products to buyers..

It turns out your rush job is likely going to lead to more skeptical customers than happy ones, according to new data from Vistaprint.

Vistaprint (NASDAQ:CMPR) conducted a survey of about 1,800 consumers on their reactions to eCommerce sites. The verdict? The survey revealed, in general, consumers with a bad impression of a site are less likely to buy from it.

The Impact of Poorly Designed Websites

Specifically, consumers don’t appreciate an unprofessional ugly website. Vistaprint’s survey found that 42 percent of consumers are “very unlikely” to buy from an unprofessional or ugly website. Another 21 percent of survey respondents say they are “not likely at all” to buy from an unprofessional  and poorly designed site.

And if you think you’ll get a break from customers because you’re a small business, think again. Online customers, at least, don’t care where their product is coming from so much as they do about whether they can trust the merchant.

Your website and its appearance speak volumes about that.

So, what can you do?

First, if your site isn’t live yet, don’t rush things. If the site is riddled with errors or lacks detail — another important factor for consumers, according to Vistaprint’s data — consumers are likely to “walk” away from it. Also, go beyond your eCommerce site. If the blog attached to your store site is a mess or your company’s homepage is a total disaster, that’ll say just as much about your credibility as a clunky eCommerce site does.

So, before you go live with your eCommerce site, make sure these things are in order. And if your site is already live, check for these key indicators of a trustworthy site.

Crisp, Clean Photos

Take great shots under professional-quality lighting to really get the best images of your products. Take them from all angles and upload them to your product pages. Customers want to see as much detail as possible.

Clear Descriptions

Don’t mince words with your product descriptions. Don’t confuse your customers. Get the basic information — and all of it — about your products onto the site first before you get cute with any descriptions.

Set Policy

Have a clear policy for returns and refunds. Make sure these pages are visible to customers.

About Page

Customers that may not be familiar with your brand need a story to attach to your site. Explain who you are and what your company does in an About page that’s easily accessible from any page on your site.


If you’re not a web design expert, hire one. If the budget is too tight, consider the many DIY site builders specifically geared toward small businesses.


Clean up any broken links. You can’t sell 404 pages to your customers and once they reach one on your site, they’re gone for good.

Image: Small Business Trends

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Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.