eCommerce User Experience – best practices
Online shopping has become a standard of modern consumerism. However, not all online shopping experiences are ideal. And as a result of that, an eCommerce business can stand to lose a lot. Therefore, investing in creating the perfect customer journey through your website is a vital step in generating leads and increasing your overall conversion rate. In order to achieve that, you need to develop your eCommerce User Experience (UX). Digital Dot is an agency that understands the importance of UI and UX when it comes to both B2B and B2C websites. In this article, we will focus on the UX strategy for eCommerce websites and how to make yours bulletproof.
Why is UX so important for eCommerce websites?
Let’s step outside the fundamental concept of how web design affects conversion rates and look at other advantages here. It’s a matter of doing smart business online by providing customers with the ideal experience that will have them coming back – with others. Aside from the obvious aspect of conversion, investing in eCommerce user experience introduces other advantages as well:
- Lower customer service expenses;
- A simpler way to attract more customers;
- More referrals from existing customers;
- An easier way to retain customers;
- Higher overall customer satisfaction rate.
Of course, all this becomes much easier with the support of professional web design NYC services, combined with SEO strategizing. Putting those elements together with your brand can create something that customers will remember and always return to. But let’s start by laying the groundwork and looking at some fundamental ways to set up your website UX.
14 ways to increase your eCommerce User Experience
1. Use fullscreen welcome mats
Sliding across the entire page, a welcome mat can be used to capture the initial arrival of a consumer to a specific product or promotion. Much like impulse buys, the fullscreen welcome mat has that initial impact on the site visitor, grabbing their attention and focusing it on a specific deal or product. The way this contributes to your eCommerce user experience is that it instantly offers something that visitors will find welcoming.
2. Make your homepage transparent and clean
Modern consumers are used to going from one site to the next. As a result of this, impressing them can put quite the strain on businesses. Due to the ever-decreasing attention span of your typical site visitor, websites have less than a second to leave an impression. And since your homepage is the first thing a customer will see in most cases, it has to be able to communicate your offer and message clearly. So, if you want an optimal UX for your eCommerce site, start by focusing your efforts on a homepage that is simple and minimalistic but offers the core information related to your brand.
3. Make your website easy to navigate through
Anyone’s idea of an e-commerce website is a very simple to use layout that allows users to come in, find what they need, and make a purchase within minutes. If someone needs to spend an hour on a website to find what they need before even placing the order, something is off. And so, giving site visitors the ability to navigate through your website with ease creates that optimal e-commerce UX they look for. So, here are some very simple steps in optimizing website navigation:
- Accent your Calls to Action (CTAs) with contrasting colors, buttons and/or arrows.
- Use columns and sidebars to categorize your products.
- Always have a search bar present for those that know what they’re searching for.
- When labeling products, use simple and commonly used words and phrases.
4. Implement exit-intent popups to reduce bounce rate
Sometimes, customers might be in a hurry or unable to navigate through your website, which might cause them to want to leave it. And it is in those moments that you need to target them and keep them engaged. Using exit-intent popup software can track customers right before they attempt to leave a website and offer them a new promotion or popular product. Of course, such software solutions can also invite them to chat or talk to your representatives instead of leaving.
5. Optimize your website speed
As a professional New York SEO company, we can tell you that both search engines and customers expect web pages to load in under 3 seconds. Anything over that leads to over 60% of site visitors leaving the website entirely. Loading speed has become an essential factor when it comes to website performance. And so, it is only logical for it to be considered important among eCommerce user experience elements. So, make sure that all images are optimized and that you have as few things as possible that might in any way slow down your website.
6. Avoid Automatic Sliders, Video Backgrounds, Transparent Buttons, and Parallax Scrolling
Everybody wants to follow modern design trends and for their website to look superior to others. However, what most businesses fail to realize is that the more complex you create your website to be, the more likely there will be a chance for glitches to occur. And so, if you want your e-commerce website user experience to maintain high standards, you will want to avoid elements such as:
- Automatic sliders;
- Video backgrounds;
- Transparent Buttons;
- Parallax Scrolling, etc.
At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself if you want your website to look nice or perform great? UX comes down to functionality first and foremost. If you can’t combine certain visual add-ons while maintaining your overall functionality, then forget about them and move on.
7. Use geo-location targeting
Most people want to find a product that they will get as soon as possible, and one that is in their area. And this is where geo-location targeting contributes to the user journey. By displaying location-specific offers, you create a stronger engagement with customers, raising the chances of them making a purchase.
8. Use clear CTAs
When it comes to e-commerce websites, the wording for CTAs is very limited, mostly to Add to Cart, Buy Now, and Proceed to Checkout. And there is nothing wrong with that, as it is familiar and user-friendly. No need to get overly creative and try to impress site visitors with irrelevant details when your goal is for them to make a purchase and not ponder on your creativity.
eCommerce User Experience comes down to being very straightforward. It saves time and energy for both the customers and yourself. And so, make sure that your CTA buttons are easy to spot and easy to understand.
9. Optimize the checkout process
Nearly 8 out of 10 site visitors will abandon their cart before finalizing the purchase simply because it takes too long. By optimizing the checkout process, you lower the chances of visitors leaving your e-commerce website before making the purchase. And the best way to accomplish this is through the use of one-click checkout buttons. That way, customers will see an easy way to make the purchase even if they are in a hurry to move on.
10. Allow guest checkouts
Asking customers to create an account in order to place an order is a sure way to sabotage your conversion rate. Not only does it take time for customers to create an account, but it also creates an initial tension between your brand and the customer. Nobody likes to get pushed into creating an account and sharing personal information for a single product that they might or might not like.
Instead, by offering the option of guest checkouts with a brief contact form, you will be able to gather the basic contact data you need while not troubling customers with having to waste time creating an account. The fewer steps your visitor has to go through, the more likely they are to finish their purchase. And that’s what eCommerce User Experience is all about.
11. Make your content count
When people visit a product page, they expect useful information about that product. It is that information that will ultimately end up selling the product to them. Images, price, quality, availability, features – these are all elements that will contribute to both your UX and SEO efforts. It’s all about creating a product page template that will have all your bases covered and be able to satisfy all fundamental inquiries.
12. Make sure to include reviews for products
Modern consumers value the opinions of others that have bought and tested the product. And so, including reviews or testimonials for your product on the page will be an essential selling point for site visitors. They need to be able to get an honest opinion from someone other than your company before making the purchase. And it will contribute to the overall user experience of your eCommerce website to offer such an option.
- Nearly 90% of consumers make purchases from eCommerce sites with primarily positive reviews. And so, showing reviews conveys trust and credibility that contribute to your brand development.
And, of course, remember to put the spotlight on your positive reviews. Nothing wrong with a couple of negative reviews to demonstrate credibility, but no need to put them at the very top of the line either.
13. Use social proof to give extra value to your products
In addition to reviews and testimonials, there is other social proof that you can use to give your products credibility:
- Social media shares and mentions;
- Case studies;
- Trust badges on your website;
- Real-time stats;
- Media mentions;
- User-generated content, etc.
14. Diversify your payment methods
If you want to create an optimal eCommerce user experience, you need to offer people a variety of options. Why? Because consumers love to have options when shopping. And accepting different payment methods leads to:
- Higher level of customer convenience;
- The option of payment customization;
- Higher level of security;
- More international sales options.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should go ahead and offer every possible payment option out there. Consider which payment options your target audiences prefer most and create a list of 3-5 most popular and practical ones.
Don’t forget about mobile eCommerce user experience
As more and more customers use mobile phones and other devices to make online purchases, you need to make sure that your website is up-to-date as well. Ensuring that your website is responsive is not enough when it comes to optimizing e-commerce websites. Due to the smaller screens and more scrolling, it becomes more important what you display on your web pages.
So, you need to take the time to test out all the ways of boosting UX for your e-commerce website on mobile devices. In fact, most companies today start by developing mobile versions first, only to move onto their desktop layout afterward.
Always try to focus your website optimization efforts on the user flow
The digital race for online rankings is more difficult and important than ever. With an estimated market of 2.1 billion digital buyers on a global scale, companies can’t afford to pass out on the opportunity to get their share of the profits. And so, creating a well-organized system that maps out the journey of your customers from interest to conversion becomes an essential selling point.
Everything you create, from the simplest line of code and basic content to the complex marketing campaigns and site functionalities – should focus on the user. Securing a concrete user flow ensures a smooth e-commerce user experience that leads to higher conversion rates. And so, it is that user journey that will make or break the overall performance of your e-commerce business in the eyes of others.
Start working on your e-commerce UX today
The conclusion we make here is that having a good eCommerce user experience gives quite a large competitive advantage. And it is definitely a project worth investing in. As keywords are getting more challenging to rank for and ads are becoming more expensive, returning to the basic principle of offering a sublime customer experience is the smart approach to take. And with digital marketing NYC agencies such as Digital Dot to offer you guidance, you should have no trouble getting your website to a place of dominance.