Looking to improve user experience but don’t know where to begin? Start creating the best shopping experience for your online customers with these 5 ways to Improve UX for eCommerce.
1. Improve Search Results
Did you know, up to 30% of online visitors will use the on site search tool? These shoppers also tend to be highly motivated to buy because they know exactly what they’re looking for. So why not make it easier for online shoppers to find what they want by improving your on site search feature.
Positioning Your Search Bar
Position the search bar in a prominent location (e.g. in the header of the page) and on every page of your site. This will maintain consistency and make it easy for shoppers to access your product catalogue. Consider how Amazon has strategically placed their search bar at the top centre of the page where customers will gravitate to.
Keywords and Search Phrases
Next, brain storm what shoppers might enter in the search bar in order to locate the items they want. This is where your key word list will come in handy. Account for misspelling of your products names as users tend to browse via touchable devices like mobile phones and tablets therefore are prone to make mistakes.
The most important thing to note is to provide accurate search results. Don’t misguide your users to products they don’t want to buy. Make it easy for shoppers to pay you by presenting relevant search results.
2. Improve Product Photos and Product Descriptions
eCommerce offers a lot of advantages over the traditional brick and mortar experience, however one key disadvantage is that eCommerce prevents shoppers from holding the real product in their hands. Consumers want to see it, touch it, and hey, why not smell it! While experts work on that kind of technology lets examine how merchants can counterbalance that.
Familiar with the phrase, “A picture’s worth a 1000 words”? Images are more captivating than words. When selling online, one way to present and display a product is by capturing the product details in a photograph. Display large product images along with several alternative photos and zoomed-in images of product details (especially if it is electronic equipment). Add videos that capture a 360 degrees view of the products. Selling clothing? show them how they look when you move. Add size guides, weight, colours and any specifications you will need to describe the product.
3. Simplify the Checkout process
Here are some of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment are:
- Shoppers are presented with unexpected costs
- Website navigation is too complicated
- Website crashed
- Process takes too long
- Excessive payment security checks
- Concerns about payment security
- Website timeout
- Price presented in a foreign currency
There’s no way to prevent shopping abandonment however there are some fixes you can apply to reduce the friction at checkout:
- Remove unessential fields from the checkout forms
- On sign up forms ask for information you really need. Do you really need Gender and Birthday?
- Optimize the site for mobile checkout with larger fonts, bigger input fields, clearer call to action buttons
- Add feedback to the user, let them know that something is happening after they click a button. You can always use the dreadful “loading spinner”, it’s useful and expected.
4. Customer Interaction and Service
Photos, banners, call to action buttons (CTA) should always link to the product shown. Use area maps to link to specific products when you show more than one in a photo, or sell them as bundle. Don’t let your users get frustrated. Let them find what they are looking for.
User Comments and Reviews
Pay attention to your user comments, reviews and emails. If customers don’t see what they like or want to see more information on a product, it’s likely that they will write to you. Having a live chat system like Olark.com will allow users to contact you quickly. Live chat comes in handy when a customer is about to checkout but may have some doubts about making the purchase. Some will turn to social media outlets like Twitter to contact you, so make sure you read and respond to your users. Improving the usability of your checkout process will directly help reduce shopping cart abandonment rates and increase conversion!
5. Optimize for mobile
Responsive. Responsive. Responsive.
Responsive design, responsive eMail, and responsive eCommerce. There’s enough statics out there showing that mobile is the future and we’re not going to debate that here. If your site is not ready for mobile, what are you waiting for? Think about how customers browse and as a merchant you need to be able to respond to consumers needs and adapt your eCommerce site to user browsing behaviour.
One of the most important traffic sources in eCommerce is the newsletter. How do users read emails nowadays? Easy answer, either on their mobile phones while commuting, walking down the streets or in a meeting (we don’t support this behaviours but lets be honest they happen). So what will happen if a user sees a product they would love to buy but they can’t view the site on their mobile devices? They are likely to abandon your site. So how do you overcome this:
Optimization of an eCommerce site, specially when it comes to UX requires a lot of testing and understanding how your users interact with the site. Get out there, ask your co-wokers, family, friends and even strangers how they will interact with that new functionality. Remember to ask different users like the technical users, the not computer savvy ones, even grandma could give you some tips to make the site more usable e.g. “Ohhh dear, I can’t see without my glasses, can you tell what it says there?” Anything and anyone can help you. Just make sure to listen and know who your user demographic is.