9 Effective Strategies for Improving E-Commerce UX
Are You Thinking About Improving E-Commerce UX?
Most likely not!
Many online store owners never give much thought to improving e-commerce UX. They believe that having great products at reasonable prices is enough. Unfortunately, in today’s hyper-competitive online marketplace that is not enough to engage and convert demanding mobile consumers.
There are dozens, if not hundreds, of e-commerce sites selling the same or similar products as you do. If you want your online store to stand out from the digital noise providing the best possible user experience must become a priority. But improving e-commerce UX is easier said than done.
Providing a great e-commerce user experience requires more than just a pretty website. Improving e-commerce UX involves multiple components working in harmony to help visitors navigate a site and efficiently complete their goals. To improve e-commerce UX, you must carefully consider and optimize every element, from website structure to product details.
Let’s look at a few simple, yet effective, strategies for improving e-commerce UX. But first, let me explain what e-commerce UX is, and why it is so important.
What is E-Commerce User Experience (UX)?
The e-commerce user experience includes all parts of the buyer’s journey, from when users visit your page to the moment they buy your products to their post-buying experience. Unfortunately, the UX of an eCommerce store can create or spoil the website.
An excellent experience can convince users to buy, enhance your company’s confidence, and form sturdy relationships between brands and clients. Conversely, a poor customer experience can confuse website visitors, leading to a high bounce rate, annoyed customers, and low conversion rates.
Why is E-Commerce UX Important?
You should provide a great user experience on both desktop and mobile, or else there is a risk of losing promising consumers. According to Startup Bonsai, 88% of consumers are less likely to return to a site with bad UX. In addition, with the fastest-growing traffic from mobile devices to e-commerce websites, you should make some responsive changes to make your website look good and function well on every screen.
A good user experience allows customers to quickly find the products they seek, which increases your order value. Undoubtedly, it makes their buying experience flawless, encouraging them to stay on your website longer and buy more products.
Since a good UX can help convert more customers, your customer return rate increases because buyers are more interested in returning to a store they find easy to use and flawless.
9 Strategies for Improving E-Commerce UX
Guide Users with Personalized Product Recommendations
Personalized product recommendations can help you guide users to the right products and allow them to discover new ones, thus, potentially increasing their average order value and creating a better user experience. It’s like having a customer representative giving product suggestions.
For instance, you can have product recommendations to display similar products to the one the customer views in a section called “Customers who bought this item also bought ….”
Another widely used recommendation is a “best seller” or “trending” section. These work well because they offer social proof. It makes customers think that if other people are finding those specific products, it must be for a good reason—and those may be the best items to buy. Everyone wants to be part of a trend.
Another great way to use recommendations is to up-sell and cross-sell products. To up-sell, you can show visitors similar products of higher quality, and to cross-sell, you can showcase complementary products that can enhance the product experience.
Imagine walking into a home store and finding bed sheets mixed with bathroom decor or aisles with mixed-up signs. How would that make you feel? Lost? Disoriented? Your e-commerce visitors can get a similar feeling if you have poor website navigation. It can take them longer to find the products they’re looking for, making it hard to discover new ones.
So, what makes good website navigation? Of course, it depends on your ideal customers and how they shop. Shopping behavior will determine your product classification and what categories you choose to highlight on your main menu. However, there are standard best practices that you can use to enhance the user experience.
Start by choosing your top menu categories. For example, if you’re selling products for both men and women, these will usually be the categories at the top and the top category products.
Another best practice is to use filters to help users find the type of items they intend to buy. Some standard filters are category, price, color, and size. So, for example, if someone visits the tops section, they can filter for the type of top (crop top, long sleeve, etc.), then arrange the selection starting with the lowest price, and choose a color and size. This process will save a lot of time skipping product pages.
Get Customer Feedback
Even following the world’s best practices, there will always be room for improvement. Getting customer feedback is essential to determine what areas need improvement and make the appropriate changes. Customers often even provide suggestions for improvement, saving retailers the time to guess 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. Otherwise, sending emails one by one can be very time-consuming and ineffective whenever you get a chance to remember.
Additionally, offer an incentive for customers to provide feedback. For example, offering a discount code or a gift on the next purchase is a great way to encourage customers to take action. Many apps can help smooth out this process and track results, which you can integrate with platforms like WooCommerce or Shopify.
Once the feedback is collected, you can showcase it under specific products or different parts of your ecommerce site. It will help gain the trust of new visitors. If you get bad feedback, make sure to follow up with the customer to acknowledge that you are aware of the issue.
Offer Save to Wishlist Option
Adding to the cart can sometimes be a big commitment for some users. For example, they may like a product but may want to keep browsing for more items to compare them at the end. Or, maybe they are not sure and want to save products for another time. Whatever the reason may be, giving the option to save products before purchasing allows users to shop comfortably without being pressured to make an immediate decision.
Without such an option, users would have to remember the products they like and then try to find them later, which would mean more work and time for the customer, which equals a terrible customer experience. Also, the “save to wishlist” option provides you with another way to get the user’s information. Once the customer clicks to save an option, you can take them to a simple registration so they can keep their list.
This option is advantageous because you’ll be able to send email reminders to those customers to remind them to finish their purchases. You can even send them a unique discount code to motivate them to purchase sooner rather than later.
Allow Users to “Drop a Hint”
Another way for improving e-commerce UX is by adding a registry option. Saving an item to a list works well when customers shop for themselves, but what about when they are looking to get a gift from someone else? Having a “drop a hint” or a registry option allows users to send “hints” to others for gift ideas.
Even if there’s no special occasion, this feature can encourage users to share products with others, bringing more traffic to the site. Also, you’ll get the chance to get the email address from both—the user sending the hint and the recipient—which you can use to send future email reminders to make a purchase.
Make sure to create a segment in your newsletter list for emails collected from this form. In that way, you’ll be able to tailor the email’s message accordingly.
Create an Omnichannel Experience
Providing a unified or omnichannel experience is key to success in a multichannel purchasing world. It will ensure all your visitors get the same messaging and brand image regardless of their platform or the device they are using. 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. For example, should they choose your store for fast shipping, high quality, or affordable pricing? Delivering mixed messages can make your unique value proposition lose power.
Create Trust with Transparency
The more transparent your website can be with information, such as product details, company policies, and shipping, the more trust you’ll be able to gain from your visitors. Being transparent can help your visitors feel more confident about their purchase, knowing they have all the information they need to make an informed decision. In doing so, it creates 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. Some types of the basic information you should show include product 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 more trust.
Offer Social Proof
You can show social proof through customer reviews, user-generated content like social media feeds, or the number of followers or email subscribers. Any data you can provide that offers support from others can influence visitors to gain more trust in your store, reducing potential doubts or concerns about your products, which makes for a better user experience.
Engage, Re-Engage, and Reward
Customer journeys don’t end with their first purchases. So, in addition to asking for feedback, it’s essential to engage with them constantly to keep them at the top of their minds. You can do this with the help of emails and social media ads.
Then, once your customers return to your store, figure out how you can 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 serve as an encouragement to bring 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.
Reasons for Improving E-Commerce UX
A good user experience will help you increase your order value by allowing customers to find the products they are looking for faster and by enabling them to discover new ones quickly. Also, the shopping experience would be so engaging that customers would want to stay on your site longer, increasing the chances of purchasing more items.
Additionally, improving e-commerce UX can help you retain more customers, which increases your customer return rate. Shoppers are more willing to return to an e-commerce store they find pleasant and easy to use.
Remember that understanding your target customer’s behaviors and expectations is key to improving e-commerce UX. Only by understanding your ideal customer’s expectations and how they interact with a site will you be able to make accurate UX decisions. We are here to help!
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By Gregor Saita
Co-Founder / CXO