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Inspectors Checklist: 30 eCommerce Essentials

For a second, imagine a governing body like OFSTED with a one-way inward bound inspection on your ecommerce site; armed with a list of criteria which will either deem it ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ or ‘needs improvement’ to ‘unsatisfactory’. Terrifying isn’t it?  

Inspectors Checklist: 30 eCommerce Essentials

For a second, imagine a governing body like OFSTED with a one-way inward bound inspection on your ecommerce site; armed with a list of criteria which will either deem it ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ or ‘needs improvement’ to ‘unsatisfactory’. Terrifying isn’t it?

Well, luckily we know a guy, who knows a guy, who managed to get their hands on a copy just in case this imaginary scenario ever happened. And here it is…

Ecommerce Assessment Criteria:

Product Page

  • H1 tags – Is the site using H1 tags on all of their product titles? They must make sure they do because it will help search engines index product pages accordingly.
  • Images Firstly, are there any images? Secondly, are they any good? First impressions of a product are key to a customer’s purchase decision.
  • Add to Cart – Does this button exist? If it does, ensure it’s nice and clear and differentiates itself from other elements on the page like so: (example image)
  • Price – No excuses here. Prices should be prominent throughout.
  • Availability – If it’s not in stock or unavailable it should be identifiable before a customer adds it to their basket.
  • Payment – Are the payment methods visible through logos such as PayPal to reassure the customer?
  • Shipping – Do the shipping options clarify the following: ability to deliver, time frames and scales and costs?
  • Returns – Is there easy access to a returns policy or ‘help’ tab to ease customers’ woes on that dress that just doesn’t quite fit?
  • Copy – Is this content a copy and paste job from the manufacturer’s description or does it lend itself to the realm of personalisation and creativity?  Again, another SEO opportunity is going begging for descriptors that are unique. Much like the obvious key words in this example: (screenshot of product description with key words etc)
  • Product Detail – This is not a descriptor, these are the cold hard fats of a product. Do you see materials used? Dimensions? Weight? Cleaning and washing instructions? People need this information!
  • Size – Especially for clothing ecommerce stores, this is very important. Does the page provide a comprehensive size guide? By comprehensive we mean like this: (example)
  • Colour – If it’s necessary, are there any colour options for the products? More importantly, are there images showing how each shade looks on the product?

Product Page Total: ___/12

User Generated Content

  • Ratings - Are their products rated, either alongside it or as an average review towards the top of the page?
  • Reviews – Because customers will want to see the opinions of the products, there should be reviews showing or reviews in full elsewhere.
  • Tools – Can these reviews be rated like amazon famously do with questions like ‘was this review helpful?’ Mainly because this will help display the most useful reviews.
  • Sorting Options – Is there a function to be able to sort the reviews? For instance, being able to filter through multiple reviews of a car engine so that you can find expert opinion rather than amateur. (example)
  • Wishlist – A useful feature which enables shoppers to bookmark items for future reference or purchase. This opens the door for the retailer to learn more about the customer and remind them when they return or through a targeted email.

User Generated Content Total: ___/5

Elite Ecommerce

  • Video – Where possible, are videos used to help demonstrate the product in all its glory? (example)
  • 360* - Is there a tool which allows shoppers to explore all angles of a product?
  • Zoom – There’s nothing worse than not being able to get up-close and intimate with something you want. Is this feature available?
  • Internationalism – To be able to ship overseas, surely there has to be a currency convertor?
  • Trustmarks – Some ecommerce sites don’t feel the need to include them. However, they are a stamp of approval to establish a trust between store and shopper.
  • Live Chat – Customers crave answers and communication.
  • Code – Can you enter a product code into a search box to find what it is you need?
  • Offers – Are they highlighted? Discounted deals, free shipping and the like are worth shouting about.
  • Stats – Everybody loves a statistic. Are any visible in the form of views, fans or sales revealing customers admiration?
  • Social Proof – Social proofing can be really effective. It can demonstrate popularity of a product or recent interactions about them. Here’s some in action: (example) 
  • Social Sharing – Are there opportunities to share products or promote them via social streams or buttons?
  • Merch’ – Can you see complimentary items being suggested or recommended to go with the customer’s product of choice?
  • Up-Selling – Does the site push offers once it identifies what it is you’re viewing? For example, if you’re looking at The Office season 1 DVD does it offer series 2 as part of a bundle deal?

Elite Ecommerce Total: ___/13

Grand Total: ___/30

If you scored between 25-30, well done you’re ‘Outstanding’. A score of 19-24 is ‘Good’ enough, for the meantime. However, if you’re scoring any less than 18, you should really get in touch with us before you are earmarked ‘Unsatisfactory’ by your onlookers.

If you’d like further guidance and assistance, please get in touch with Studioworx either via email ([email protected]), telephone (+44 (0)1603 274285) or the website (

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