In this article we share 15 useful tips to get started with OXID eShop as a shopping cart system. Based on the actual responsive template named “Flow”, we point some pitfalls of the system and offer some advices to structure your content. We point out frequently made errors that we discover in our daily business as an OXID eSales partner agency that often gets shop projects that were initially started by non developers.
Read 15 headlines to get a better shop system.
OXID eShop offers the users to switch languages. As long as more than one language is actively maintained this might be a useful feature. As long as you maintain only one language you probably want to get rid of the language switcher dropdown. In the OXID eShop preferences navigate to the performance tab and uncheck the load languages performance setting. This will deactivate multilanguage loading in your shop template and also the switch that is displayed even if you have only one active language in language settings.
OXID eShop offers the possibility to switch prices to your common currency by setting the currency via the currencies dropdown menu. Currency exchange rates are not automatically calculated or synchronized by the base shopping system. There is no standard interface for this action. Adding third party software extensions like our currency connector extension your shop gains the possibility to automatically synchronize to the actual exchange rates against the euro rate. If you do not use third party connectors you have to manually set your rates in the settings area on a daily basis. If you do not want to let the user switch currencies you can disable the currency switch dropdown by deactivating it in the performance tab of the shop settings.
User login in the shop
The login button can be found beside the shops basket icon. By clicking on it you see a context menu opening up. In this context menu, you can perform your shop login into your account or create a new one. Strange thing is that the style of the login and the style of the register account buttons differ. Login is a button, register is actually only styled as hyperlink. Styling both actions the same would look quite nicer an not as much as a bug, but this is only a subjective kind of view.
Even more irritating is, that if you login with wrong login credentials, the window closes on the wrong login attempt and the error message is displayed in the middle of the page, not any near to the login window at all. You might oversee it. Better would be placing the error message inside or on top of the login form and to open this window again if the login attempt fails.
Trustworthy symbols and usp data should be placed in the shop header
Show your users how extraordinary your services are and why they should buy exactly in your eShop. Put the information directly into the header of your shop so that it is shown at shop load on each viewport size.
Optimize your product search
Our possible customers are struggling to have time for nothing anymore. Even for shopping there is no time left in peoples lives. The faster a user finds what he is looking for, the more likely it is that the he converts. By updating your standard search with a highly optimizable search plugin, the better a user can find products on a large shopping platform. An typo tolerant search and the possibility to display results while typing the first search term is a good beginning. Add facetted search to your after search navigation to filter out products that do not match your users needs.
Check for meta description and meta keywords on your shops homepage
Quite often we see OXID eShop platforms that do contain the standard meta description and keyword set that is installed with the default content data of an eShop installation. Be sure to check your shop title in the systems SEO settings and to edit the descriptions and keywords in the content management area of your shop installation. Otherwise you might be selling tires and display the OXID eShop sport page title.
Add homepage text content with a H1 html headline
By installing a base OXID eShop platform, you might notice that it has no primary headline set on its homepage. Add a headline and surround it with H1 HTML elements to define it as the primary document headline. This might be good for SEO purposes and offers your customers a quick indication what they can expect to find in your shopping application.
Homepage image slideshow
The image slideshow is one of the functions in OXID eShop that needs a little tweaking. You should add a headline, some subtext and a call to action button to lead your visitors to if they are interested in your slides contents. Even hyperlinks to articles or categories should be described with a little text that shows what your users can expect after a click was made.
Specify a value for this required field.
The most common used error text in OXID eShop software. Please try to add a little bit more precise error text. Long forms with many input fields are better to fill out with precise error messages displayed at the field. Try to check input values and be more specific on error text messages.
Brands and manufacturer slider
The brands and manufacturer slider on the shops homepage is only initially loaded if more than 5 active manufacturers or brands are setup in OXID eShop administration. Why don’t we just display them fixed and not as a slideshow if we have five or less manufacturers? Load them static and add slideshow functionality if needed would be a better solution for this feature.
Products media and images
Try to generate high quality product media, images and video content for your visitors. The more visual information you provide, the more a visitor can learn about your products and the higher is the possibility of a conversion.
So do not put in bad quality images, take your time to create high quality content if you have the option to do it. Free your images from not needed backgrounds and offer a good presentation of your content to gain more sales.
Product descriptions that earn their title
Write detailed product descriptions and contents. Structure your content so it is easy and understandable to read. Try to stop long and tiring sentences. Fill your content with corresponding images to make it richer. List attributes in alphabetical order to offer a more easy to read content experience. Add more corresponding contents to inform your users the best you can. Content that offers no benefit to the user is worthless. A user should always have a benefit reading a content area.
List characteristics of your products
Every product has some specific characteristics, some of them are specific to product groups, some others are not specific to product groups and match more than one product group. Structure the most important characteristics of your products to the OXID eShop attributes datasets. With this datasets it is later possible to filter product lists by characteristics. Filtering options as we know help visitors to quickly sort products to their needs. So get your visitors what they deserve. If you look for an easy way to enter product attribute data, try some third party attribute manager extension.
Make use of HTML attributes like “title” or “alt”
In many OXID eShop templates html attributes like “title” or “alt” are often unset or not used at all. The “title” attributes shows up if you hover an hyperlink so it is perfect for filling in further hyperlink descriptions. Two short sentences offer you visitor more information what to expect after a click on the hyperlink. The “alt” attribute is for image content and displays text instead of the image if the specified source has not been found. Some browsers behave like the hypertext “title” attribute and show the alternative image text on image hover. So here we have two attributes that can offer more information to either your visitors or search engines and the usage does not affect you website design at all.
Product groups / product categories
Product groups or products that are arranged in product categories offer a more structured user experience on your shop. make use of them by structuring your content in groups that match the same main characteristics. If you do so you can add further informational content for each product group you specify and gain a more effective user flow when it comes to content.