Why do you think Google gives better rankings to websites that have good structure and fast speed, and which are user-friendly? They know that these components affect UX or user experience, which is vital to help websites succeed. That’s also the reason why Google and other companies, like Amazon, invest in building expensive algorithms. They offer higher personalization and insights to deliver a better user experience.
Good UX can help you increase sales and keep customers coming back for more, but, if user experience is so important, how come so many businesses get it wrong? I find that many eCommerce merchants place too much value on how a website looks, visually, and forget to think about the psychology behind the design.
Look beyond just making your website pretty and really think about how the user would interact with your site. Keeping the user’s intention in mind will make it easier to map out the conversion funnel and lead to a better user experience and record sales. Learn from these mistakes to become an eCommerce expert and increase conversions.
Your website can be a powerful one-stop-shop for all parts of the funnel—it’s a place for shoppers to learn about your brand, become more invested in your story, and eventually (hopefully) buy a product.
But even if your brand content is powerful and your web pages are beautiful, you could be losing out on sales due to simple UX problems.
Customers usually like to take their time and explore their options. But no matter how long it takes for them to look around, once they’ve set their minds on something, they expect the purchasing process to be quick and easy.
This experience not only covers physical stores, but online shops as well. Much like how a brick-and-mortar store is laid out in a way that adapts the process of purchasing, a website should also be designed with the customer or user in mind.
User experience (UX) is defined as the user’s interaction with the business and its services and products through the website, app, blog, or user interface (UI). A user survey by eConsultancy reported that 95% of respondents believe that good UX is essential. For businesses, it will not only streamline the buying process, as it also helps in conversion, which also means an increase in revenue.
An optimized blog or website is essential to UX, with 70% of consumers saying that they learn more about the company through these web pages instead of ads. This also makes UX a key brand differentiator that would likely overtake price and product by 2020, especially since 84% of companies are expected to increase their focus on UX metrics.
Embracing the need for good UX means focusing on its six pillars:
- Contextuality: ensuring that users are aware of where they are on the journey.
- Being Human: being approachable, trustworthy, and transparent; using human interactions over machine-like interactions.
- Findability: providing wayfinding signs to users.
- Easy: being consistent and precise with visuals and message to make navigation effortless.
- Simplicity: using messages that are intelligible by avoiding distractions, jargon, and long loading times.
- Delight: design a delightful experience and create an AHA moment that makes us fall in love with a product.
Before Improving Your UX
Before thinking about your website’s user experience, it’s important to understand your target market. It will help you put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and visualize how they would interact with your site.
Think about different case scenarios and how your website would help the buyer in each situation. For example, if you’re selling products for women but want to appeal to men that buy gifts for them, you may want to add a link on your navigation for “perfect gifts.” This will save men the guesswork and help them have a better user experience than scrolling through hundreds of products they don’t even understand.
User experience is not only about the design but everything involved in improving the user’s experience: the site’s structure, content, navigation, and more.
Prior to making any changes, you’ll want to benchmark your current site’s performance and sales. To do this, you’ll need to install tracking software such as Google Analytics. We’ll talk more about tracking, monitoring, and optimization in the last part of this article.
But apart from knowing what’s right, in order to optimize your website’s UX design, you’ll need to be aware of what NOT to do.
10 Most Common UX Problems Killing Your Conversions:-
1. An Unresponsive Ecommerce Site Design
First off, if your site isn’t mobile-responsive, it’s time to fix that. Leaving Mobile out of the Mix.
There is no doubt that most people are consuming content through mobile devices, with 52% of customers saying that a bad mobile experience would make them less likely to do business with a company.
Make sure that your site is relevant across the board—be it desktop, laptop, phone, or tablet. First, optimize the UX for each specific device, as the design will not translate the same for all devices. This means also checking the readability of the text on different gadgets in different conditions. Then, conduct tests and quality assurance for each to see if all the elements are working.
For mobile, it may be better to require fewer taps on a single screen to effectively convert.
With a continuous increase of buyers shopping online with mobile devices, mobile optimization has become more important than ever. Whether you decide to go for a completely different mobile design or just optimize your current one, it’s important to test your user experience on different sizes of mobile phones and tablets.
People buy differently on desktops than on mobile devices. The small screens make space limited for content, images, and buttons. Poor mobile designs often contain elements that are too small and tough to click or elements that are too big and make it impossible to navigate through the site. In any case, an eCommerce site that is not mobile friendly makes for a bad user experience and a decrease in conversions.
Start by checking your product images. Do they look crisp and neat on a mobile device? Make sure they don’t look stretched out or distorted. Also, consider your buttons. Make sure they are easily tapped and visible across different screen sizes. Buttons should stand out from the rest of the page with a contrasting color and bigger size.
It’s also very important to check your forms and checkout process. Make sure you can easily fill out the form from a mobile device and keep the number of fields to a minimum. Having a guest checkout option is ideal to improve the user experience.
2. No Clear Message
Landing on a website with no clear message feels a lot like being lost in a place one has never been before. You don’t know where to go or what to do; you have no direction.
When visitors land on your site, they have to clearly know what products you are offering and feel identified with your brand. Otherwise, they can feel lost and end up visiting your competitor. With so many options available, why would someone make the effort to try to figure out a website that is unfriendly? It is easier to just exit out and go someplace else.
Another main message businesses fail to deliver is a clear value proposition. This message is what sets you apart from the competition and is your promise to deliver value to the customer. If you can’t give potential buyers a good reason to buy your products, how are they supposed to come up with one?
The ideal value proposition should answer questions like “How is your product going to help me”? and “Why should I buy from your store instead of another one”? It should be clear and easy to understand. Avoid over-complicated words that confuse the reader and focus on one of the four main types of consumer benefits: quality, affordability, luxury, or must-have. By focusing on one main category, you will avoid trying to be everything to everyone, which, at the end, doesn’t make you appealing to anyone.
3. Overly Complex Menus / Neglecting your Navigation
No doubt, users will get wedged in the navigation route of your website, if it is not properly designed. If this number rises, then it’s time to sound the alarm signal. It’s the business objective to create a simple, hassle-free website design that the visitors can exploit to carry out their functions. A UX designer plays a crucial task here, as he is the only one who can analyze the user interaction with your website. Software technology has advanced a lot nowadays and it got the furthermost assets of all businesses when client engagement is concerned. Adding up an interactive online assistance to your site can critically enhance your site’s user experience and amplify your conversion rates.
Navigation is everything. If your customers can’t figure out how to go through your site, your beautiful product photos and lightning fast site don’t count for anything.
Here are a few things you can do when optimizing your ecommerce site’s navigation:
1. Make your internal search bar prominent
2. Make sure your menus are logical
3. Use product categories
4. Offer your customer the chance to filter your products
5. Use Breadcrumbs: Breadcrumbs show the overall path from home > category > subcategory > product page. Just like Hansel and Gretel, leave breadcrumbs so your customer can find their way back through their navigation.
4. Slow Site Speed
Today’s shoppers are much too impatient to wait around for a slow-loading ecommerce site.
Have you ever gone to a site that had a gorgeous design but ultimately was unusable?
Speed is everything today, and having a site that is beautifully designed but never loads means that no one is ever going to see your site, much less purchase from it.
We live in a world where everyone demands the best to be delivered as fast as possible. People don’t want to wait for taxis; they order Ubers. They don’t want to wait in line, so they use an app to get groceries delivered. The eCommerce demands are no different. Visitors expect your website to have top mobile speed and desktop speed; otherwise, they will go to your competition.
Yet, how fast is your website supposed to load? According to Radware, “3 seconds is all it takes for a customer to abandon a page if it does not load quickly enough.”
Website speed is so important for the user experience that Google penalizes websites that are not up to par. It will lower your quality score in pay per click ads—making you pay higher prices for ads—and it will also affect your organic ranking.
One of the tools you can use to evaluate your website’s speed is the PageSpeed Tool by Google. Enter any URL and find out the website’s speed. You can even test your competitor’s sites. This tool will also provide suggestions to improve performance.
Some of the main causes of low speed are images. According to Radware, “images account for 50% to 60% of your web pages’ total weight.” Thus, if your images are not optimized, your pages will take longer to load. To fix this,
5. Having a Complicated Checkout Option
Have you ever shopped on an ecommerce site only to find the most complicated checkout system ever? It’s a pain.
The entire theme of UX optimization is removing friction between the time the customer lands on your page and when they hit the “purchase now” button. You want to remove as many obstacles as possible.
The checkout option can be considered as one of the most essential elements of your web design, as this is the end place where all of your clientele will ultimately reach. In this view, you have to make sure that it is designed suitably and it is not perplexing for the customer.
It is always suggested that the checkout process should be linear, pointing the consumer accurately, letting the proper information to complete the order. Moreover, the form fields necessitate having the descriptive tags attached to them and it is significant to emphasize and improve the responsive fields with reliable logos. These will craft the user to experience home shopping with you.
6. Too much content
Nowadays, potential customers are becoming more visual, meaning they prefer content like videos and photos on their UI. Text should still be present, of course, but it tends to be glossed over when it’s too long or is irrelevant. Make sure not to overwhelm users with useless content.
7. Not Having Enough Products or Guidance on the Homepage
Your homepage is your chance to convince visitors to keep browsing and eventually buy. If it looks empty or the user doesn’t find an item they like, chances are, they won’t care to browse around.
Your homepage is like a front store display. You want to showcase your best products to attract as many visitors to come in as possible. The difference is that, with eCommerce stores, you have much more real estate to work with. A front store display can maybe display a handful of products, but your homepage can be divided into sections and provide a taste of your whole collection.
It’s a good idea to showcase your latest designs. There are always people looking for the latest designs or trends. Displaying best sellers also helps. It allows you to show that other people are liking your products, which helps with social proof. In addition, you can advertise seasonal products and sales.
8. No proper handling of Out-Of-Stock Product
Never allow your out-of-stock products visible on your UX. Keep in mind; the goal is to build user assurance with every click. Not having the product what they like obviously is going to be a confidence killer. If you are thinking on getting additional stock, you can have a flipside in stock announcement app on your business product page.
9. Not Offering Recommendations
Part of helping visitors make a purchase on your site is giving them recommendations. As a sales associate would help a visitor in a store, your product recommendations will help your visitors find their ideal products. With more help, your visitors will be able to have a better experience on your site.
Amazon implemented recommendations early and, in 2006, gave a statement that 35% of their total revenue was coming from purchases of products that customers found through recommendations.
In addition to helping visitors find what they are looking for, recommendations can also help visitors find new product ideas. You can find this on Amazon, where they have a recommendation called “Customers who bought this item also bought.”
I got the recommendation above by browsing for sneakers, which makes socks a good recommendation.
Recommendations can also help you increase conversions by providing social proof. Use “best seller” recommendations to show your top products. Everyone is interested in knowing what others are purchasing. This can be especially useful when looking for gifts—choosing “best sellers” provides a sense that you’re choosing the best the store has to offer, which can provide a sense of relief when choosing a gift.
Another good place to add recommendations is your cart. Use this opportunity to recommend products that complement the products in the cart. For example, show a cellphone charger to someone who is buying a cell phone case. Implementing these recommendations might be as easy as installing a plug-in. Check your eCommerce platform for “recommendation plugins” to see what’s available.
10. No testing and feedback
As mentioned before, testing should always be done as early as possible in the design process. Testing and feedback allow you to see if your optimization efforts are successful, so you won’t waste resources on things that don’t push the needle.
A/B testing is a great way to expose your UX design to the real world. It will help you isolate individual changes to your website that drive conversion rates, so you can further optimize them. Just make sure that you’re only testing one variable at a time for the most accurate results.