Ecommerce user experience (UX) is about understanding what makes the user experience enjoyable, engaging and seamless, then putting those insights into practice.
It starts with having empathy for your consumers and ends with adding as much value as possible.
How Ecommerce User Experience (UX) Drives Conversions
A pleasant user experience involves a few key building blocks.
From the speed of your site to having a safe and secure payment gateway, you need to nail each element in turn, or you’ll leave some users pulling their hair out and abandoning their shopping cart midstream.
By now, we’re all familiar with the techniques used by leading companies to improve their user experience and boost their sales, from personalized product recommendations to wishlists.
That’s because you can do everything else – product development, marketing, what have you – but without a good user experience, you’ll struggle to increase your conversion rate.
In this article, we’ll outline 10 UX best practices to drive sales.
1. Website Speed
When delivering a good user experience, your website’s speed, design, and navigation system are fundamental.
Customers can lose faith in a laggy site but will hang around when it’s quick, clean, and a cinch to navigate.
Fortunately, there are some handy solutions when your pages or site are slow. First, find out if you can trace the bottleneck to the overburdened infrastructure of your hosting provider. If it’s not that, consider using a content delivery network (CDN) to deliver much faster loading speeds for companies with a global audience. Finally, make sure everything you use – from product images to video players – are optimized and efficient.
Don’t forget that speed isn’t just about loading times – your customers also want to be able to find things quickly. Improving the website itself by having a personalized homepage and a search bar that works can go a long way in pleasing shoppers.
2. Product Pages
To convert site traffic into paying customers, you need to consider every aspect of the customer experience.
Improving your product pages is a key element of creating a hassle-free user experience. Why should your prospect choose your product over the competition? Here you get to communicate all the hard work you put into your product and illustrate why the customer should care about it.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks that help you create professional pages that work. Firstly, while you can sometimes use stories to beef up product descriptions, it goes without saying that we’re in a visual age.
So make your product images high-quality and remember their role in informing the customer. Show complete products from various angles and provide a zoom feature to help customers shop the full look.
And convey your range of variants – color, size, and so on – to give customers options. When it comes to product info, answer common questions without overwhelming the customer.
Finally, don’t overlook the benefits of customer reviews in driving customer satisfaction. Customers find an honest review section reassuring and helpful.
Getting visitors to buy your products requires effective use of CTAs (calls to action). Properly placed, they’re one of the main factors that influences ecommerce website performance and motivates customers to make purchases or (take the desired action).
Boost your conversion rates by making your CTAs pop. Grabby, contrasting colors and a simple, clear declaration of what you want your customer to do will increase the chances of getting them to do it.
A clear call to action is one of the most persuasive selling techniques, and it motivates customer actions that improve lifetime value and reduce customer churn. Even basic changes – like highlighting the ‘add to basket’ button in a bright color – can make a huge difference.
A clever way of converting visitors is directing them towards the right solution with a pop-up. Don’t worry – the erstwhile dreaded pop-up doesn’t have to be a byword for customer frustration.
The secret is to add relevant value when you use them in various scenarios. For example, an exit pop-up with an exciting promotion can recapture your customer’s attention, while a sign-up offer can encourage them to give you their details.
You can even initiate a conversation with a live agent to resolve a pain point in order to provide a helpful, proactive user experience.
Don’t be annoying or spammy, and give visitors a chance to read your content before swooshing in with an offer. The key to ensuring these pop-ups are helpful, rather than annoying, is investing in customer data and ecommerce analytics and informing your design with these insights.
5. Customer Support
Shoppers having trouble finding the right product can get impatient quickly – so much so that they’d sooner turn to a competitor than going to the length of calling customer support for help.
By deploying a chatbot to facilitate real-time conversations with your customers, you can provide the same level of customer service as you would in a brick-and-mortar store. A live-chat button on your website can help initiate that crucial customer support that improves customer experience and leads to more conversions.
6. Personalized Experiences
Industry behemoths like Amazon have set the example of personalized customer experience for everyone else to follow. While you might not have their resources, having the right strategy to segment your audience and deliver personally curated user experiences will go a long way.
With the advent of AI and machine learning, these trends are only likely to accelerate. Apart from the benefit of fast-tracking the shopping experience, customers are already enjoying smart product recommendations and specifically curated promotions.
Whether through segmenting your email campaigns, offering personalized recommendations based on browsing data, or having custom offers open to those who sign-in, it’s worth spending the time curating a personalized CX.
7. Simple Check Outs
You’ve found what you want, and all that’s left is the payment process. A long or complicated checkout experience can cause customers to abandon their cart while on the verge of buying your product.
To avoid losing sales, include auto-fill forms, allow a broad range of payment options, and provide a guest checkout option so customers can skip creating an account should they wish. Then offer to create a new account using the customer’s information and a requested password – to speed up the process next time.
Customers also appreciate clear information about shipping and your returns policy. So keep your checkout page clear and clutter-free.
You can also improve UX (and average order value) at the checkout stage by including an option within the cart to revisit items they’ve already shown an interest in.
Another commandment for UX-friendly customer care is providing omnichannel support. Offering multiple channels for customers to interact with your brand is no longer enough.
Instead, integrate every touchpoint so the shopper can seamlessly engage with your brand. They should be able to pick up where they left off from one channel – live chat, email, social media, or the conversation you just had on your cloud based phone system for small business – to the next. It’s really about guaranteeing the same quality of experience and ease across your website and mobile apps.
A checklist for keeping users happy with their ecommerce experience and driving sales is incomplete if it doesn’t underscore the need to optimize your site for mobile.
The number of mobile users continues to rise, so companies must get ahead of this trend in order to retain and gain customers.
Luckily, the growth of mobile ecommerce also gives brands the chance to target a wider audience with a user-friendly shopping experience.
In order to leverage the growth of mobile shopping, don’t lose sight of the usability of the platform. Invest in a quick-loading, responsive, optimized website with fonts and layout and large buttons ideal for mobile devices.
To master mobile commerce UX, take advantage of the taps and pinches of the smartphone experience and a dial pad for filling out forms. Don’t forget, developing a native mobile app for your ecommerce site is an increasingly popular option.
10. Visual Search
Another area of potential for rendering a more pleasant user experience is the use of visual searches.
Pinterest introduced a feature that allowed users to select images online and take pictures with their camera, and find similar pins on their platform. Ecommerce sites can use these visual search tools to deliver quick, fun, channel-hopping experiences – and that’s just the beginning when it comes to the possibilities of AI for smart business decisions.
To Wrap Up
As shopping increasingly takes place online, the ecommerce user experience becomes ever more fundamental to your success.
The user experience and the emotions it can evoke can be just as meaningful to people as the quality of your product. Follow these 10 UX best practices we’ve laid out here, and you’ll be sure to increase ecommerce sales and build your brand.