23 Simple Ways You Can Improve E-Commerce UX
Why Improve E-Commerce UX?
In a recent post, I mentioned the importance of writing compelling product descriptions that sell. But product descriptions are only one aspect of your online store. Equally important is the e-commerce user experience you are providing. If you want to attract and retain online shoppers, it is essential to improve e-commerce UX!
The world of e-commerce is highly competitive. The ongoing pandemic has forced many businesses to develop a new digital strategy. As a result, more companies are fighting for the same space and online recognition.
If you want to succeed in today’s competitive digital marketplace, you not only have to attract demanding online consumers. Even more important, you must keep them coming back!
The simplest way to improve e-commerce UX is to help customers find information and complete a transaction as quickly as possible.
Here are some simple ways to improve e-commerce UX to create a better experience for your customers and stay a step ahead of your online competitors.
But first, let me briefly answer two simple questions many of our clients ask.
What is E-Commerce UX?
UX stands for user experience, which encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with a company, its services, and its products. It’s important to note that this includes interactions in different devices, which have varying screen sizes.
With ever-increasing traffic coming from mobile devices to e-commerce sites, it’s essential to focus on mobile-first user experience design. Mobile-first design ensures your site provides the best possible user experience across all devices and screen sizes.
If you have a great user experience on desktops but not on mobile devices, you risk losing potential customers.
Good user experience requires more than just a pretty design. It involves multiple components working in harmony to help visitors navigate a site and complete their goals in the most efficient manner.
From website structure to product details, you must optimize every element of your online store with the end-user experience in mind.
Why Is E-Commerce UX so Important?
A good user experience helps you increase your order value by allowing customers to find the products they are looking for faster.
By creating a pleasant shopping experience, you can keep customers on your site longer. The extra time spent on your site increases the chances of consumers purchasing more items.
Additionally, good UX can help you retain more customers, which increases your customer return rate. Providing a simple and pleasant user experience is the primary reason many online consumers return to any online store.
Before going into details, remember that understanding your target customer’s behaviors and expectations is key to optimizing e-commerce UX.
Only by understanding your ideal customer’s expectations and how they interact with a site will you make accurate UX decisions. Let’s get started!
23 Ways You Can Improve E-Commerce UX
1. Focus on Mobile-Friendly UX
Did you know that over 40% of people prefer using their mobile devices for the entire shopping process?
Making your website mobile responsive is not enough when it comes to optimizing your e-commerce website.
Mobile screens mean more scrolling, so it becomes much more important to consider what you have displayed on the page. You may even want to create an entirely different user experience for mobile visitors.
Go further in testing things like hiding certain unnecessary elements on specific screen sizes, reducing the size of any non-essential text, and playing around with different icons for better visibility on essential links.
The bottom line is that user experience on mobile shouldn’t be your afterthought anymore. Many big companies are starting with mobile-first design and making their desktop website a secondary priority.
What’s more, all new sites are indexed using Google’s mobile-first algorithms. Google’s crawling, indexing, and ranking systems will now utilize the mobile version of your page to rank you for mobile-initiated searches.
2. Design for the “One-Thumb” User
The majority of people (85%) use their smartphones with one hand. And three-quarters use only their thumbs to scroll and navigate through a site.
The size of larger mobile screens means that less content is within easy reach. So remember to keep critical actions within easy reach when designing the interface.
Larger screen sizes on mobile devices also lead to inaccurate tapping. So avoid putting irreversible actions like ’empty basket’ in areas where users could accidentally select it.
3. Create a Clean and Clear Homepage
You only get about half a second to make a first impression.
Your homepage is the first thing your users will see when they come across your site, and it’s usually the page that gets the most traffic. It’s crucial to make it look clean, uncluttered, and have a clear purpose.
Here are some tips to make sure that your site makes an excellent first impression:
- Use a simple, minimal design
- Emphasize elements that make an impact like your recent blog posts, for example
- Stick to a consistent color scheme
4. Maximize Page Load Speed
Modern consumers are busy and have shorter attention spans than the average goldfish. Customers expect you to provide a fast and efficient shopping experience.
According to Unbounce, nearly 70% of consumers are influenced by page speed.
And a study by Portent determined that website conversion rates drop by an average of 4.42% with each additional second of load time.
If your website fails to load quickly, you are at risk of losing your customers. This fact makes page speed optimization one of the most effective ways to improve e-commerce UX.
Imagine walking into a home store and finding bed sheets mixed up with bathroom decor or aisles with mixed-up signs. How would that make you feel? Lost? Disoriented? Frustrated? All the above?
Your e-commerce visitors can get a similar feeling, especially if you have poor website navigation. It can take them longer to find the products they’re looking for, and it also makes it hard to discover new arrivals.
Unfortunately, poor navigation is one of the most common e-commerce mistakes. So, what makes good website navigation?
It depends on your ideal customers and the way they shop. Consumer behavior determines your product classification and the categories you choose to highlight on your main navigation menu.
6. Focus on Functionality Over “Fluff.”
You can have exceptional web design, but if it doesn’t function well, you’re going to have some issues.
Design trends like automatic image sliders, video backgrounds, transparent buttons, and parallax scrolling are popular because, well, they look nice. When they work, that is.
But in reality, they’re prone to glitches.
These design elements can also slow down your website if carried out poorly and distract visitors from reaching the checkout page.
And considering how both site speed and user experience are SEO factors you need to consider, these design elements may not be worth it.
Functionality is what UX is all about. It’s not about adding extra elements and creating “fluff.” Every aspect of your page needs to support what you want the visitor to do.
7. Experiment with Interactive Design
You are losing customers running your business on a simple site. Cater to the needs of your customers with a seamless online experience through interactive design.
Interactive design allows you to engage actively, interact, and automate the visitor’s experience, thereby improving their UX.
Examples of interactive actions include voting, filling out a form, entering a location, using simple tools like budget calculators, or leaving a comment.
8. Personalize the User Experience
People are perpetually busy, trying to squeeze in tasks while waiting in line or during lunch break. Establish a more meaningful relationship with customers by personalizing content.
Provide suggestions based on prior transactions. Help people find products that appeal to their tastes and desires. Not only does this speed up the shopping process, but it also finalizes a sale in the shortest time possible.
9. Provide Detailed Product Information
Before buying anything from a store, you examine it thoroughly. The online world is limited in this aspect. Therefore, you need to provide concise, compelling product descriptions that sell together with clear, engaging product images. Details must be understandable and visible.
If you have a product page loaded with information, it will do the selling for you, which is what you created it for, right?
Some essentials to include in your listing pages are images, price, availability, breadcrumbs (for easy navigation), and product options.
These best practices won’t only help you improve e-commerce UX but will also benefit your SEO.
You want people (and Google) to understand the contents of your page. And content-rich, user-friendly pages consistently rank higher.
10. Use Product Images to Build Trust
When you visit a store, you can check out the products by picking them up and checking them. But when you are shopping online, it is not possible to physically inspect the item.
If you want to make your customers feel comfortable, you must use realistic pictures of products on the site.
Make sure that the clients get what they expect. If the product fails to meet your customers’ expectations, they will not return to your online store. You can build trust by being honest with clients.
11. Offer Virtual Assistance
As I mentioned earlier, customers demand attention. Posting regular updates on social media, writing blogs, or uploading videos is a great way to offer additional assistance. Today, email, chat, instant messaging, phone support, and social media are all widely considered standard practices.
12. Offer a Save to Wishlist Option
Adding to the cart can sometimes be a big commitment for some users. They may like a product but may want to keep browsing for more items to compare them at the end. Or, maybe they are just not sure and want to save products for another time.
Whatever the reason may be, giving the option to save products before making a purchase allows users to shop comfortably without being pressured to make an immediate decision.
Without such an option, users have to remember the products they like and try to find them later. This extra time and effort equal a terrible customer experience.
Also, the “save to wishlist” option provides you another way to get the user’s information. Once the customer clicks to save an option, you can take them to a simple registration to add them to your email list.
This step is handy because you can send email reminders to those customers to prompt them to finish their purchase. You can even send them a unique discount code to motivate them to purchase sooner rather than later.
13. Establish Trust Through Transparency
Customers are in the search for information. They need to be able to make informed decisions. Since all successful businesses operate on the foundations of transparency and trust, you need to answer your customer’s questions and address their concerns.
Information about product details, exchange and return policies, shipping and delivery regulations, additional costs, etc., should be easy to comprehend. When you establish expectations upfront, customers are satisfied that you live up to them.
The more transparent your website is with information, such as product details, company policies, and shipping, the more trust you will earn from your visitors.
Providing all the information they need to make an informed decision can help your visitors feel more confident about their purchase. By doing so, you create a more comfortable, enhanced user experience.
There are key places where you should be as transparent as possible, such as on product pages, since they are essential in driving conversions.
You should show essential product information, including materials (cotton, spandex, etc.), dimensions, special instructions, benefits, and other product information that may seem relevant.
Additionally, add trust seals to your website footer and checkout page to instill even more trust.
14. Provide Social Proof
Whether it’s a complaint or a compliment, it’ll be on social media. It is one of the best ways to connect with your customers, whatever platform they are on.
Online stores can provide social proof through customer reviews, user-generated content like social media feeds, or the number of followers or email subscribers.
Reviews allow customers to relate to one another. According to Nielsen, 84% will purchase a product based on a recommendation from someone they know, and 71% are likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.
Reviews help visitors to develop trust in your brand, clearing up doubts and creating a better UX.
Any data you can provide that shows support from others can influence visitors to gain more trust in your store. In turn, you are reducing potential doubts or concerns about your products, which makes for a better user experience.
Maintaining an active presence on multiple platforms helps customers feel valued. Acquire vital feedback about your brand and smoothen out any issues that are causing glitches in a user’s experience.
15. Offer Personalized Product Recommendations
Personalized product recommendations can help you guide users to the right products and allow them to discover new ones. Recommendations potentially increase the average order value and create a better user experience.
It’s like having a customer representative giving product suggestions.
16. Implement Secure Checkout
Once a customer finds a product and decides to buy it, you need to seal the deal as quickly as possible. Improve UX by streamlining the process as much as possible. Baymard reported that 27% of customers leave because the checkout process is too complicated.
More importantly, provide a secure environment where customers do not doubt your website. Robust site security guarantees an exceptional browsing experience. For instance, customers are more likely to trust sites with SSL certificates.
Since e-commerce deals with sensitive personal and financial data, consider choosing WordPress e-commerce plugins to secure your website.
To boost UX at checkout, consider the following points.
- Refrain from asking your customer to register to continue with checkout.
- Avoid asking customers to provide repetitive information.
- Allow customers to use Google or Facebook accounts instead of creating a new profile.
- Remove any distractions from the checkout page.
17. Create a One-Click Checkout
Adding calls to action is a good step towards getting visitors to add items to their cart. Unfortunately, the average cart abandonment percentage is 76%.
In other words, nearly 8 out of 10 visitors that add a product to their cart will leave before paying a single cent.
However, there are things you can do to reduce shopping cart abandonment and keep those shoppers moving forward with their purchases.
Consider skipping the cart and adding a one-click checkout button right on every product page.
18. Let Users Checkout As Guests
Another reason for consistent cart abandonment is requiring users to create an account to complete their purchasess. This requirement is another common e-commerce design mistake you need to avoid.
But what about getting their email address and contact information?
Sure, you can push them for it as long as you’re OK with 34% of your guests walking away because you don’t have a guest checkout option.
That’s right. If you don’t allow guest checkout, over 1 in 3 customers will move to a competitor’s page. Is that worth getting a few more email addresses? You must consider this as you improve e-commerce UX.
19. Offer Different Payment Methods
Offering different payment methods on your e-commerce store has loads of advantages, including:
- Customer convenience
- Payment customization
- More security
- Higher international sales
But the biggest reason? People just like knowing they have options.
If consumers don’t see their preferred payment method, they’re much less likely to complete their purchase.
Although there are over 200 different ways to take payments online, you don’t need to include all of them. You can find the best ones through market research.
Simply use the methods that are most popular with your target audience and their location.
20. Get Customer Feedback
Even if you follow all the best practices, there is always room for improvement. Getting customer feedback is essential to find new ways to improve e-commerce UX and make the appropriate changes.
Often, customers even provide suggestions for improvement, saving retailers the time of guessing the answer. Some essential components are crucial to having a successful feedback process.
One of them is automation. Automate feedback request emails to be sent out after a customer’s first purchase and after set periods. Automation will guarantee consistency and allow you to scale the process.
Offering a discount code or a gift on the next purchase is a great way to encourage customers to take action. Many apps manage this process and track results, which store owners can integrate with popular e-commerce platforms like WooCommerce.
Once you collect feedback, you can display it for specific products or different parts of your e-commerce site. Showcasing feedback helps to gain the trust of new visitors.
If you get negative feedback, follow up with the customer to acknowledge that you are dealing with the issue. It is part of the process to improve e-commerce UX.
21. Create an Omnichannel Experience
In the modern digital world, providing a unified or omnichannel experience is key to success. It will ensure all your visitors get the same messaging and brand image regardless of their platform or the device they are using.
In turn, this cohesiveness provides a better user experience and makes your brand more memorable. Otherwise, a lack of consistency can confuse customers and their expectations about your store.
Should they choose your store for fast shipping, high quality, or affordable pricing? Delivering mixed messages can make your unique value proposition lose power. To improve e-commerce UX, you must provide the same message across all channels!
22. Engage, Re-Engage, and Award
Customer journeys don’t end with their first purchases. In addition to asking for feedback, it’s essential to engage with them constantly to keep at the top of their minds.
You can do this with the help of emails and social media ads. Once your customers return to your store, figure out how to make their experience as efficient as possible.
For instance, you can show them a list of the products they last viewed or added to their cart. Awarding top customers with special offers and product exclusives can also encourage bringing them back to the site.
Once more, make sure that any special promotional codes or offers are easily redeemable. Otherwise, it can cause a bad user experience.
23. Keep Your Website Up to Date
Make sure that your online store is up to date. If you are keeping a blog, then you must add new content regularly.
If you have any new features or products to offer, you should update the site without any delay.
You can also improve e-commerce UX by ensuring that your e-commerce store design and functionality are up to current standards to meet user expectations.
Why You Must Improve E-Commerce UX
There are a lot of e-commerce websites. If you want your website to be successful, you must make a lasting impression on your customers. And that means you must improve e-commerce UX.
It is not easy to attract customers in today’s business world. Modern consumers are becoming ever more demanding and sophisticated. Businesses must work extra hard to get the attention of consumers.
Successful product brands focus on a customer-first design approach. They anticipate what a customer needs, provide relevant results, create ways to improve e-commerce UX, and leverage these experiences to generate better ones.
Remember, it’s all about enhancing the level of user engagement. Yes, your e-commerce site should concentrate on UX. But other aspects such as functionality, speed, performance, visual aesthetics, simplicity, and accessibility are equally crucial for success.
The competition in e-commerce is increasing, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep consumers interested long enough to make sales.
The best way of gaining and keeping consumers’ attention is to make sure they have the best possible shopping experience. Otherwise, they will not make any more purchases from your online store or revisit your website.
If you need to improve e-commerce UX, we are here to help.
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And if you are still not sure how to improve e-commerce UX, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will determine the best way for your e-commerce site to provide the user experience consumers expect.
Are You Providing the Best Possible User Experience?
Did you improve e-commerce UX? Did that increase your e-commerce engagement and conversions? If not, what is preventing you from providing the user experience modern consumers expect? What is the biggest challenge for you?
Do you have any UX tips of your own you would like to share?
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