e-commerce challenges

The Role of Usability in the Decline of E-commerce Sites

By | Blog | No Comments

The decline of e-commerce has forced many online marketers and site owners to reevaluate their marketing plans in hopes of salvaging their efforts to promote their sites. There’s a growing belief amongst many in the industry that a lack of usability features is the culprit behind the demise of e-commerce.

E-Commerce Usability

Analysts however, point out that e-commerce is far from dead, contradicting what doomsayers have predicted all along. In fact, the downfall of most e-commerce sites had more to do with site owners spending way more than what they earned, thus making it a classic case of a business going under due to overspending.

Usability Still Counts

Still, usability plays a major role in generating revenues online. A recent study was done on the effects of usability and online web behavior. The study involved Internet users making close to 500 attempts to perform basic tasks across 20 e-commerce sites of varying sizes in the United States. Not surprisingly, only about half of all attempts were successful. The result concur with previous studies which have consistently shown that e-commerce sites with poor usability lose up to half of their potential sales.

This translates to the simple truth that if users find it difficult to make transactions to your site, the chances of you making a profit become significantly lower. This also means that many of the sites that went under could’ve have survived if they improved their usability.


The solutions aren’t all that radical. Owners and webmasters of e-ecommerce sites simply need to make a conscious effort to make their sites more user-friendly and easier to navigate. With statistics showing that only less than half of all midsized e-commerce sites in the United States complying with usability guidelines, there is a lot of room for improvement. From better use of Flash, to pages that link in an organized manner, to content that’s clear and understandable, the areas to be focused on are nigh endless. Just get in touch with Enform anytime if you need guidance.