User Experience can be a huge pain for any business, but that’s especially so for eCommerce sites. There are a lot of great ways for any site owner to improve user experience, but eCommerce sites have a lot more heft to them, and therefore have a lot more potential problems. If you’ve got an online store of your own, check out these hacks to help you solve some common UX issues.
A key aspect of functionality is allowing customers to easily navigate from your site’s homepage to the product or service they are looking for. It’s important to the user’s experience that your landing page is minimalistic, to the point where UX is stressed more than design. Easy navigation isn’t the only way to enhance your homepage; don’t require users to sit through a long video or navigate a pop-up advertisement before entering your site, and make sure to keep both words and photos to a minimum, which will benefit mobile users especially.
Quality photos and product descriptions are a huge key to turning sales, but adding a product video aspect to your ecommerce site makes it 144% more likely that customers will buy. Part of the reason product description videos increase sales is that they are simply more user-friendly. According to the ClipChamp Blog, it takes less effort for a user to watch a video than read a product description, and it also allows you to convey more information in less time. User Experience is all about making things easier and more efficient for the consumer, so creating videos for your ecommerce site is a UX hack that is well worth the effort.
Displaying “related products” near the bottom of product pages not only generates more sales, it leads to a better user experience. Not all clients will click through to these suggestions, but those who do will appreciate the quickness with which they can find similar products that are within the realm of what they are shopping for. “Shopping around” is something every savvy consumer takes part in, so allowing them to do so within the scope of your site helps retention rates and will lead to higher revenues.
Speaking of “shopping around,” one important aspect of that for many customers is user reviews. A whopping 92% of consumers say they trust earned media, so including customer feedback in different aspects of your website, marketing, and social media campaigns is paramount. Embedding user reviews into your actual product pages appears to have its pros and cons, but most of the cons can be examined closer. You won’t always get positive feedback, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
When you are representing your own branded products, the ability to respond positively to negative online feedback actually builds a lot of clout. If your ecommerce site offers several different brands, there might be products you carry that seem amazing, but you won’t know there’s a usability issue if you don’t actually purchase and use the product on a regular basis. Allowing feedback from your customers who do can alert you to low-quality and not-worth-the-investment products before they have a chance to hurt your brand. Furthermore, you’re allowing the user’s actual experience to influence the potential user’s experience, which builds trust and brings the “UX” concept around full circle.
The ux problem of shopping cart abandonment often stems from the fact that your site doesn’t offer the right payment solution. When shoppers can’t pay for the things they want to purchase with the methods they have available to them, they are much more likely to take their business elsewhere than they are to try and acquire a medium that you accept. The best way tos to hack this user experience issue is to use a third-party company that accepts a healthy and thorough assortment of payment methods. You can bump up your ux a little more by keeping an eye on all of your eCommerce financials with a payment tool that offers a POS dashboard, which will allow you to make adjustments that will ease any payment pain points your customers run into along the way.
I think it’s safe to say that in this day and age, having an eCommerce site that is optimized for mobile browsing is a must, especially since we are now past the tipping point where more online traffic comes from mobile devices than desktop browsers. An article by Rehan Jaffer points out that more than half of online eCommerce traffic came from mobile users, and a third of all online purchases came from mobile devices. The fact that those numbers don’t match up means that there is likely a universal ux gap when it comes to mobile shoppers and their shopping experience. The best way to find out what is and isn’t working for you is to utilize mobile analytics to understand why users are not interacting with or staying on your site, so you can improve those areas of ux to prevent future losses. You’ll be surprised what you’d learn from analyzing and observing the data from what is likely the majority of your visitors.
Those of us hoping to actually sell our goods and services online have a lot more on our plates than the average blogger. These days, customers are all about convenience and ease when it comes to finding exactly what they’re looking for. If you wish to pull ahead of the fierce competition that is eCommerce, you’ve got to make sure that your site is optimized for your users, and that they encounter little, if any, issues, while making their way to checkout. I hope these tips have been helpful for you, and if you have any of your own, please share them in the comments.