A well-designed website is more than just aesthetics and visual quality (the User Interface or UI). It is also about usability and responsiveness. These two characteristics are the core ingredients of a good website User Experience (UX). Today we are going to discuss the top 5 practices to improve the eCommerce user experience.
Although what constitutes good UX is subjective, with no universal set of rules for every website, you can still follow many guidelines and practices to make your website faster and easier to navigate. Here are the top five practices to consider for improving your eCommerce website’s UX.
1. Fast Load Times
One of the most critical UX Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for an eCommerce website is responsiveness. Analytics platforms measure site responsiveness by checking how long it takes for each webpage to load.
Implementing changes at the company level, such as following DevOps practices (e.g., Agile development methodology, Infrastructure-as-Code), can help you improve website performance.
Excessive load times are detrimental to your business’ conversion rate. A 2015 Google study revealed that approximately 53% of all mobile users leave a website if it takes over 3 seconds to load. Regardless of the device type, the slower a website is, the higher the bounce rate.
Free tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights can test your site responsiveness on mobile and desktop page by page. They give you a detailed performance analysis and offer suggestions on how to optimize your website speed.
2. Keep The Homepage Clean
When customers enter your website, they typically land on the page with the most traffic: Your homepage.
First impressions are critical in eCommerce; if your homepage has a high bounce rate, you may need to redesign it. To avoid this phenomenon, building a clean, clutter-free homepage is critical.
Designing a good homepage is both a UI and UX issue because your website’s functionality and ease of navigation are closely related to its layout.
Good homepages should adhere to the following practices:
- Keep the overall design minimalistic, with simple design elements to minimize clutter.
- Choose a consistent color scheme and use relatively soft, eye-pleasing colors. If possible, match the scheming with your branding.
- Use high-quality, high-definition images and large, easy-to-read text.
3. Make Navigation Easy
Finding what you’re looking for in an eCommerce website should be as easy as possible. Think of it as the virtual equivalent of signage in a brick-and-mortar store. Too little makes it challenging to know where every product is, and too much or overly-busy signage is equally unhelpful.
Keeping site navigation as user-friendly as possible is one of the core tenets of good UX.
Prevent users from feeling overwhelmed by:
- Avoid busy backgrounds to keep text readable.
- Dividing your products into categories and using familiar words to label them, even if it means using inexact or technically incorrect terms.
- Keeping a search bar on all web pages so users who know what they’re looking for can find products or services quickly.
4. Capitalize On Your Product Pages
Two critical aspects of a good product page are informativeness and product reviews.
Informativeness is not just essential for UX, but it also helps your site with SEO. Each product page should describe the product in as much detail as possible.
However, remember that a highly informative product page is not just for the consumers. You also want search engines to see and understand your page contents, boosting your site’s SERP and bringing even more customers to your business.
Another essential factor in a customer’s purchasing decisions is product reviews. A 2014 PowerReviews survey found that 95% of consumers read product reviews, and a 2020 BrightLocal study showed that 91% of shoppers trust reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family.
Leverage the power of reviews by including a review function on each product page, and feature these reviews and testimonials as prominently as possible. Not only do reviews help you paint a picture of your customers’ opinions, but they also guide other shoppers’ purchasing decisions, improving their experience.
5. Let Non-Members Checkout
Users frequently forget their login information, and this could negatively affect your sales. According to a 2017 MasterCard and University of Oxford study, forgotten passwords cause approximately 1 in 3 shoppers to abandon their online purchases, and 21% of shoppers forget their passwords within two weeks.
Forcing visitors to log in before completing a purchase isn’t just inconvenient; it’s a significant source of lost sales. Yet, the solution is to let them proceed even without an account. Although it is a seemingly simple change, one major online retailer saw a $300 million difference after allowing users to check out without logging in first.
Improving user experience is about understanding the needs of your site visitors. Making your eCommerce website as easy to navigate as possible is not just a matter of convenience; it directly impacts your business. Good UX is essential for improving your search engine rankings, increasing site traffic, and converting visitors into customers.
Hopefully, these 5 practices to improve the eCommerce user experience will help you with your eCommerce website. If you need help from professional eCommerce web designers contact Matchbox Design Group today.