Success or failure in eCommerce relies heavily on the experiences that your users encounter. eCommerce User Experience, (UX) goes way beyond having a site that is visually appealing, it encompasses the purchasing process as a whole – from start to finish.
Why is User Experience so important?
The calculation is simple right? More traffic + more sales = higher conversion rates. Not quite! An effective UX goes beyond the business’ needs – it not only has a direct impact on the performance metrics of your online store including the conversion rate, but also the average purchase value, purchase frequency, and retention period.
Offering a great UX not only creates brand impact but is also one of the most effective ways of convincing consumers to choose your product repeatedly, rather than going to a competitor. UX enables brands to give customers what they want, improve usability, and create a more positive emotional attachment between consumers and brands.
It is at the centre of every decision your customers make, and their journey towards making a purchase – so you need to get it right! Each step must be cleverly and meticulously planned to make the experience faultless.
6 Ways to enhance eCommerce UX
We have compiled some UX theme design principles that will help you offer the best possible experience to your customers:
Site speed – Generally speaking, people have short attention spans when it comes to online shopping, and what’s more, they expect immediate responses. If your customers are forced to wait for more than a couple of seconds for a laggy page to load then they are likely to consider shopping elsewhere. This is a really common way that sites lose even long term customers! BigCommerce’s enhanced site speed optimisation ensures your website loads quickly, meaning better SEO, a lower bounce rate, and most importantly more sales.
Mobile optimisation – You might have the most aesthetically pleasing website when viewed in a browser, but if your site is not fully mobile optimised, you could still run the risk of losing potential customers. Always make sure your site works well and can be navigated easily on multiple device sizes.
Personalization – According to Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to buy from companies who remember them and provide relevant offers. Customers like to feel special or considered by the brands they spend their hard-earned cash with. Using a product personalisation tool such as Nosto can help you tailor product recommendations to individual shoppers, targeting their previous purchasing or browsing behaviours.
Engaging imagery – High-quality photography that reflects the brand in the correct way is vital for improving user experience and retaining a good reputation. Presentation is everything, and giving eCommerce product pages an effective, clean, and varied image selection helps users navigate the site more easily, helping to build trust, loyalty, and improve conversion rates. This also links back to your page’s site speed, which you have to make sure is fast despite it being rich with imagery.
Be the answer not the question – By the time your customers are asking questions, they may already be frustrated with the service. During the design phase, it is worth considering UX journey mapping, which allows you to create diagrams of the experience from the user’s initial awareness to conversion.
Ease of checkout process – You really want to avoid cart abandonment at this stage! Giving your customers a smooth, secure, and simple checkout experience can help eliminate this risk. You should also think about the element of trust here e.g does your site show an SSL certificate? Some tips for checkout are below:
- Offer a guest checkout option (you could offer a discount for setting up an account to incentivise)
- Avoid asking for the same information twice
- Allow customers to use other accounts to checkout e.g Facebook or Google
- Refrain from asking your customer to register in order to continue with checkout
- Remove distractions e.g banners and pop-ups from the checkout page – keep the page minimal but on-brand to improve trust
Google has recently announced a set of performance metrics that relate to what users see and experience. These metrics will soon factor into SEO as they’re incorporated into search rankings later this year, meaning that it will soon become crucial that you deliver an effective user experience as brands compete for the top spot.
We recently recorded a webinar with our partners, Klevu and Yotpo – A customer saved is a penny earned; the secret to long term growth and success with customer retention, where our Head of Design, Chris Baker explores strategies and highlights the benefits of UX and how it can be used by your business either with internal teams or when working with an external agency. Click here to access the full recording.