8 Tips To Improve Ecommerce Website User Experience

Recent figures suggest that the UK’s ecommerce market is set to further expand, with The Ecommerce Foundation predicting that the UK market will top €170bn by the end of this year. There really is no excuse for a retail store, or any business with a retail arm, not to have an ecommerce store.

Usability is paramount to the success of any ecommerce website. Some of the reasons that visitors may choose to click away from an ecommerce site include clunky, slow loading pages; poor quality images and unusable navigation; illegible content and complex filters. Below are 8 tips to improve the usability, and therefore the user experience, of your online retail store.

Make Search Easy

When people can’t find the specific product or even category that they are looking for, they will usually turn to the search bar or search box. If your search box is hidden away, or not immediately obvious, then you will be losing some visitors as they go looking for better designed ecommerce pages.

Hover menues do not have to be obtrusive, and as well as offering quick and easy access to top level links, you can also provide a search box that will follow users around. Do, however, ensure that the hover menu does not take up so much room that it becomes a nuisance.

Use Relevant, Good Quality Images

There are many benefits to shopping online, but one of the few disadvantages is that consumers do not get to see, hold, or experience the products that you sell. Provide a valid and descriptive description, offer videos if you have them, and ensure that you offer plenty of images, in high resolution.

You don’t have to fill product pages with images, offer thumbnails and enable your visitors to choose which they want to view so that they can click on the image thumbnails and enlarge them.

Improve Navigation With Breadcrumbs

Your navigation needs to be as clear and intuitive as possible, and this shouldn’t be limited solely to your navigation bar or menu. Breadcrumbs offer a simple and convenient means of navigating around categories, and it enables your visitors to go back to search results quickly and easily.

Breadcrumbs are hyperlinked text links back to categories and previous pages. They typically appear at the top of pages and they appear even when a user lands on the page from search results or other websites.

Have, And Highlight, A USP

Whether you offer free delivery, ship items that are not available in high street stores, or you provide cashback on large ticket items, you need to identify your Unique Selling Point (USP); the factor that sets you apart from the majority of your competition.

Once you have identified your USP you need to highlight it and make it clear to your visitors in order that they have good reason to use your website and services, and that they buy your products and goods.

Incentivise Email Capture

Capturing visitor details enables you to make sales even when a visitor leaves your site. Rather than simply asking for email addresses, offer incentives. Provide discount vouchers, or offer to keep list members updated with the latest price reductions and sales.

Ensure that you get appropriate email permissions, so that you can send marketing email without your emails being reported as spam.

Utilise Crowd Sourced Content

Crowd sourced content can take many forms. Ask buyers to leave reviews, encourage them to send in pictures and videos of them enjoying your products, and even host competition for the best submissions.

You can automate a lot of the user review process, or you can have reviews and submissions enter moderation so that you can check them before they are published. Other visitors will place greater credence on reviews that were genuinely written by existing customers.

Out Of Stock

It is frustrating to go through the whole buying experience only to find out on the final page of the shopping cart that the product is out of stock. Worse still is informing your potential customers by email, after the transaction has taken place that they will have to wait several weeks until the item is back in stock.

Break the bad news as early in the process as possible, ideally as soon as a visitor selects an item and chooses filters like colour and size. Offer them alternatives, and your visitors will be more likely to buy alternative or related items.

Be Communicable

Sometimes, no amount of user experience optimisation can fix every possible problem. Visitors are still likely to have questions or concerns, or they may experience problems when using your website. Provide contact details, ensure that they are genuine and that you respond to queries quickly.

You can provide email, offer Twitter or Facebook communication, and you should also provide a phone number. Live chat boxes can prove beneficial, although you should avoid forcing the chat box on every visitor that turns up on your pages.

Create-Summit is a full service design agency. They offer physical design features for brochures and letterhead designs, as well as ecommerce websites that are designed to offer enhanced user experience.


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