Which factors do you think matter most to your ecommerce company’s success?
The truth is there are a lot of different elements business leaders need to consider, from selecting the perfect price point, to ensuring they offer their customers the highest quality of products.
With so much to think about, it’s easy to see why “user experience” is usually an overlooked point in ecommerce store optimization. However, user experience, or “UX” could be the most important factor in determining whether your company is a success, or a failure.
88% of online shoppers wouldn’t go back to a website after a bad experience, and Forrester found even the simplest changes to your UX design could boost conversion rates by 400%.
So, how do you improve your ecommerce store user’s experience, and fast?
Importance of Good User Experience
Today’s customers expect fast, convenient, and consistent experiences whenever they’re shopping, online or offline. We’re living in a world where market leaders like Amazon have led to significantly higher expectations from your target audience.
Something as simple as a slow loading page or a clunky checkout experience could be enough to convince your customers to leave your store forever. For instance, 79% of customers are less likely to buy from a store again after a page doesn’t load quickly.
The good news is that improving user experience on your ecommerce site doesn’t have to be as complicated as it seems. Solutions exist for virtually every issue you can imagine. For instance, if your customers are sick of inventory going out of stock and being inaccessible, a funding solution that allows retailers to place additional orders with suppliers can be the perfect solution.
A service like 8fig allows ecommerce sellers to access accurate and adaptable funding, on their terms, without giving up crucial equity. This means fewer “out of stock” notices on your site, and more conversions from happy customers.
If the bane of your customer’s experience is a clunky browsing experience on certain mobile and desktop apps, you can use something like Browserstack to see how your site performs on different platforms, and make the appropriate updates.
Let’s explore some of the easiest ways to improve user experience on your ecommerce store.
1. Invest In Responsive Website Design
Starting with the basics, your customers expect an excellent experience on your website across all devices. According to some studies, around 79% of smartphone users have purchased something online with their mobile device in the last 6 months.
In a fast-paced and mobile world, we’re spending less time on desktops and laptops, and more time browsing from mobile devices. Your website should reflect this fact.
Most of the tools available for building ecommerce websites today, like Shopify or Wix, naturally come with access to a range of responsive templates built to work perfectly on any device. You can even go a step further and use something like Editor X to create a site with custom breakpoints, for ultra-responsive and dynamic site design.
Alternatively, work with a dedicated designer to get the perfect site built from scratch.
2. Prioritize Excellent Loading Speed
Speed is everything for today’s busy customer. Your clients want to be able to access your site, find the products they want and check out in a matter of seconds. If your site isn’t loading quickly enough, then you’re going to lose your conversions.
In fact, 53% of mobile visitors will leave a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Yet the average time it takes for a mobile landing page to load is usually around 22 seconds.
There are a few ways you can boost your site’s loading speed. The first option is to remove everything from your site that it doesn’t need, such as huge images and animations, widgets, and apps. It’s also worth making sure you have the right hosting package to support quick loading times. A good host can make or break a smooth shopping experience.
3. Seamless Navigation
Your customers are never going to buy your products if they can’t find them easily on your website. This means you need to ensure the navigation process is as streamlined and simple as possible. The good news is it’s pretty straightforward to build a good website navigation experience.
Even beginner tools for ecommerce site building like Wishpond come with a range of options on how to organize your navigation. The best thing you can do to ensure success is to assess your target audience. Ask yourself what kind of sites they’re used to navigating, and what sort of menus and buttons they use.
There are some handy tools you can access to get feedback from real users about your site’s navigation. Usability testing tools like Optimizely make it easier to see how people naturally navigate your content, so you can arrange your site accordingly.
4. Personalized Product Recommendations
One of the biggest downsides of shopping online for most consumers is the lack of a personalized experience. When you’re buying products from an ecommerce website, you’re missing out on the guidance you would typically get from a dedicated service representative in a store.
Fortunately, there are ways to fix this issue. Personalized product recommendations allow you to guide your customers to the products they’re most likely to want to purchase anywhere on your site. You can dynamically change the content your customer sees on their homepage based on what they’ve bought in the past, or show “people also buy” recommendations in the checkout.
Tools like Dialogue integrate seamlessly with Shopify and allow ecommerce companies to create custom journeys for their audience based on real-time browsing data. You can suggest the kind of products your customers are most likely to want through each step of the purchasing journey and increase average order value.
5. Easy And Secure Checkout
Few things are more likely to harm your ecommerce sales than a bad checkout experience. The checkout is the final touchpoint you have with your customer, and it needs to make them feel secure, confident, and ready to spend their money with you.
Make sure the checkout is as transparent as possible, with information included about any taxes and shipping costs so your customer doesn’t get a nasty surprise. It’s also a good idea to simplify the checkout process, removing as many form fields as possible, so your audience doesn’t have to enter too many details to finish their purchase.
Where possible, offering a “guest checkout” option is usually a good idea, as not everyone will necessarily want to sign up with your company to buy something.
Once the purchase is processed, make sure you use a “Thank You” page to let your customers know their purchase was successful. Remember, security is a big deal for the checkout, so trust seals like “Verified by Visa” can be extremely useful.
As an extra tip, make sure you offer lots of payment options at the checkout too. Most of today’s customers will want the option to checkout through PayPal, Amazon, and even Buy-Now-Pay-Later services. The more payment options you offer, the more sales you’ll make.
6. Improve Customer Service
Customer service is everything to today’s customers. For the majority of customers, a good level of customer service is more important than price, product features, or anything else. In fact, 58% of customers say they’ll pay more for a guaranteed good service.
There are various ways you can upgrade your customer service strategy in your ecommerce store. One option could be to use automated emails to keep your customers up-to-date about the delivery process every step of the way, and allow them to track their order in transit.
Another option is to integrate new tools for communicating with your customers. For instance, live chat is one of the most popular ways for ecommerce customers to seek help from businesses today. An app like “Live Chat” will allow you to instantly respond to your audience whenever you’re online, and drive better customer satisfaction in the process.
7. Go Omnichannel
Ensuring an excellent user experience on your ecommerce site is a good start, but it’s also worth thinking about where else your customers might want to purchase your products. Social commerce and selling through social platforms is more popular than ever in 2022.
If you tend to interact with your customers just as frequently on channels like Facebook and Instagram as you do on your website, it might be worth implementing store capabilities into your social platforms too.
It may also be worth looking into other methods of selling, like hosting the occasional pop-up shop, or selling your wares through marketplaces like Amazon. The more options your customers have to buy from you, the more money you’re likely to make.
Ensuring a good user experience for your target audience is one of the most important things you can do as a budding ecommerce business. With the steps above, you can begin to implement subtle, but meaningful changes which make your users want to spend more time on your ecommerce site.
Don’t forget, it’s worth monitoring your customer conversion rates and KPIs whenever you implement a change to your UX too, just so you can see which strategies work best.
Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.