Summary: This article outlines 8 ecommerce UX best practices you need to implement in 2018 to ensure your online store is increasing revenue month-on-month and your customers are happy.
The primary challenge for every ecommerce business is converting website visitors into paying customers. If you’re offering products or services which people want and like, then you next need to ensure that anyone visiting your website can find what they’re looking for with ease and speed and are then able to purchase it quickly.
So what are the best ways for an ecommerce business to make their online storefront offer the best shopping experience possible? Here are 8 tips on how to implement ecommerce UX best practice in order to maximise customer satisfaction:
1. Don’t let potential customers wait to load your site
Studies show that visitors to an ecommerce site don’t tend to wait around. Recent studies show that when pages are slower to load, conversion rates drop and the chance of making a customer out of a visitor is reduced.
Optimising your site can be done by cleaning up code (trimming down where possible) and compressing images to ensure that they load as fast as possible.
To get a real-world review of your website’s pages use Google’s free tool Pagespeed Insights – it provides suggestions on how that page may be improved.
2. Use a wide range of high-quality images that inform customers
A good selection of imagery and videos can make the difference to a user considering making a purchase.
High resolution and well-taken photos that have zoom functionality, multiple angles, and show the product’s colours accurately gives customers a firmer idea of what they’re buying; great images are important, and can inspire purchases as well as serving to reaffirm how professional your store is.
3. Make your category pages tidy and aesthetically pleasing
There’s a fine balance to be struck with category pages; you need to ensure that the content isn’t too sparse, but at the same time too much text can overwhelm potential customers.
It’s also important to think about how you represent sub-categories on each category page: for example, it’s good practice to use neutral product images that are appropriately representative but will not cause confusion as to whether the page shows actual products for sale.
Ensure that your site has plenty of white space and, again, use a limited amount of text.
4. Think about how people read and scan for information
Key advice is to put all important sections of a website across the top and on the left-hand side — as people often scan a web page in a sort of ‘F’ shape.
Catch their attention with a strong and impactful heading, and set out the page clearly and concisely for easy scanning.
5. Offer chat bots or live chat
Ecommerce stores should be increasingly looking at chat bots that are able to predict shoppers’ wants and needs, providing guidance in the moments that can be most crucial.
An example can be when a customer is experiencing an error message at checkout; the implementation of a chat bot can immediately help to solve the issue.
Chat bots and live chat support agents can also give personalised recommendations to encourage customers to consider a purchase.
6. Your checkout process should be flawless and completely hassle-free
Some experts say that the biggest drop-off point is likely to be at checkout — sometimes this is due to consumer indecisiveness — but, it can often be because of a complicated and confusing checkout process.
It’s important to keep the process as simple as possible by minimising the number of steps needed to complete a purchase. It can improve the user experience if they’re able to preview items without leaving the main page.
It can also be a mistake to force customers to create an account and can be more effective to allow them to make purchases as a guest.
7. Design your home page so it’s easy and intuitive to use
When customers first visit your website you need to help them find what they’re looking for.
The main focus of your home page should be to give people rapid category level navigation, so that they’re able to quickly drill down to the products they’re interested in.
Customers should also be able to easily locate the return policy, shipping page, and customer service contact on the home page of your store.
8. Ensure your text is aesthetically pleasing and readable
Carefully laid out and well-sized text can help you to sell more. It needs to be large enough so it’s easily read — at least 16px/18px normally, and at least 24px for headers — on desktop, tablet, and smartphones.
Pay attention also to line spacing, which needs to be a minimum of 1.2 points to ensure that there’s enough white space in between lines.
The easier that your copy is to read, the more likely that people will actually take the time to do so, thus increasing the chance that they’ll receive the information you’re trying to give about a product or category.
Bonus tip: Innovative web design is great, but helpful design should be a priority
The shopping experience that customers now demand is seamless and straightforward, with very little patience for websites that fail to load quickly or present information in a clear, concise manner.
The aim of effective UX on an ecommerce storefront is to give potential customers all of the information that they need to make an informed purchase, while eliminating any unnecessary and extra steps between them searching for, finding, and then purchasing a product.
Providing the shopping experience that consumers have come to expect means that they’re more likely to return to your website, and can be an effective way to begin to build a brand relationship with customers while increasing conversion rates and helping to drive up profit.