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This is a guest post from Simon Walker. Simon is an eCommerce consultant with more than 8 years of experience helping eCommerce businesses generate leads and increase sales. Currently, he is the marketing manager at FMEextensions – a leading Magento development firm.
User experience (UX) is just as important for an eCommerce store as the display and interiors are for a brick-and-mortar store. It helps users browse a website, search for products, place orders, and remain connected without hassle.
User ease and comfort significantly contribute to their purchase decisions. An attractive web appearance may draw in users, but ensuring they stay and interact with features (and complete the checkout) requires a strong UX design.
If you struggle to retain users or convince them to place orders, you need to review your UX design. Below, I will share some valuable tips that can help you improve your website’s UX and boost your eCommerce store’s profit margins.
When you enable customers to find products or items easily on your eCommerce store, you can expect them to place an order. One way to achieve this is to upgrade your website’s navigation so visitors understand the catalog structure and can search for products in a simple way.
Navigation should require little thought on the shopper’s part. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel; simply follow navigation best practices so visitors can quickly grasp how to maneuver around your site.
With that being said, you can introduce some creativity by improving filters and categorizing items with logic. These can be based on type, style, design, usage, best-selling, etc.
A search option is another way to improve navigation for higher conversions: Allow users to find a product or page by typing a word related to it and receiving relevant suggestions. By suggesting the closest-matching products or landing pages, users are more likely to locate what they want quickly and continue through to the checkout.
The design and layout of a landing page or product page can move shoppers further along the buyer journey or stop them in their tracks.
A key component of a converting landing or product page is photography. Invest in a professional photo shoot of your products so visitors have a clear idea about the make, model, and size. To reduce server load, you can replace product photos with WebP images. WebP is the latest image optimization technique that compresses images without compromising their quality. It cuts image sizes to almost half so the pictures load faster.
Relatedly, consider your landing page’s color palette. Test different combinations to find the one that best matches your business and web design theme. Unappealing colors can discourage users from moving forward with their orders.
Also, consider each page’s textual content: Revisit the product’s copy to make it more attractive and persuasive; in the description, cut long sentences short so it’s easy and enjoyable to read, as well as informative; add keywords to the product page as well so it ranks higher in search results.
Calls to action (CTAs) are another crucial element for your store’s web pages. Sometimes, shoppers may be confused and need guidance on how to proceed with their order. With a customized CTA, you can quickly and easily move them to conversion. Again, choose appealing colors to highlight your CTA.
Including filters to facilitate product search is mandatory. However, you can further boost its UX design by introducing more specific ones. This lets people narrow their search so they return only relevant results. Search extensions like the Magento 2 Improved Sorting make a huge difference in conversion rates.
Be sure to give attention to the display of additional filters rather than simply slapping them on a side menu. Design experts must ensure the usability of these extra filters. If shoppers find it difficult to use them, they’ll ignore them, and you’ll have wasted your time and resources.
Have your webmaster or eCommerce store managers keep an eye on their efficacy. Heat maps, for example, can help determine how easy it is for visitors to interact with these features. Consider the following tips as well to improve the UX of your product filters:
Checkout plays a major role in your eCommerce store’s conversions. If users get stuck at any point in the process, they may decide to abandon their cart. According to BayMard, 17% of cart abandonments happen because of a complicated checkout. Other factors include difficulty in calculating order costs, compulsory user registration, and extra costs.
Look into revamping your checkout experience to secure sales and accomplish more ambitious conversion goals. You can start with autofill forms that grab users’ locations like country, state, city, etc., from their IP addresses or suggest options with the help of Google Maps. This helps them easily enter billing and shipping information.
You can also accelerate the load time between multiple steps in a checkout process for a better experience. Or, modify the design and replace a multi-step checkout with a single page (if you’re able) so that people fill in all details at once and submit without any load time delays or errors.
Consider waiving mandatory user registration as well so they can place orders as guests and create an account later if they want. This allows users who don’t want stores to retain their data to checkout with peace of mind. Although a guest checkout option reduces user data collection, it can boost your eCommerce store sales.
Mobiles, cell phones, and other smart technology are carving out a larger presence in the eCommerce industry. In fact, mobile responsiveness has become a basic requirement for online stores. Therefore, your online store must provide a brilliant mobile experience to compete and thrive in the market.
Google has included mobile responsiveness as a ranking signal, so your eCommerce store needs to comply with mobile-friendliness standards to appear higher in search results. Incorporate mobile responsiveness in the development of your webshop and, later on, optimize it for better UX.
Review how pages look on mobile screens to ensure they’re concise and on point. To target local communities, optimize your website for local searches. Help people find your eCommerce store by including target keywords.
Additionally, mobile users may expect smart functionalities like easy tap and scroll. Keep design elements accessible with tap options. Avoid making your contact form or surveys too long to answer; use checkboxes or multi-select options.
The need to serve an increasing number of customers and preferences has made eCommerce brands expand their catalogs. As a result, shoppers have to work harder to find the right product. However, robust search and voice search offers a simple solution to this problem.
To go the extra mile, consider adding a smart visual search option for people who have images on a mobile device or computer and are searching for look-alike items. Visual search features allow shoppers to upload an image and obtain relevant results. They don’t need to know an item’s name, design, make and model, brand, or designer — your site’s search feature does the work for them.
You can boost eCommerce store sales further with smart product recommendations. Track consumers’ search and shopping history to suggest matching or related products and potentially increase their cart values.
Your eCommerce store’s conversions are directly tied to the preferences, likes, and shopping behaviors of your consumer base. If you put effort into removing the hassle from their shopping experience and making it more enjoyable, you can enjoy greater success. Implement the tips discussed in this post and keep testing various design elements to maintain a helpful and converting UX that benefits both your customers and your business.