As eCommerce marketers enhance their efforts to raise conversion rates above the usual 1%-2% bar, it is vital to remember that user experience design has a pivotal role in this.
Catering to all of the aspects of an online store means to be aware of the impact copy, design, layout and navigation all have on UX.
In this article, we will discuss seven best user experience practices that will improve your customer retention, boost your brand credibility and, consequently, increase conversions.
Make Your Homepage Clean And Clear
Your eCommerce website’s homepage is the first thing your visitors will see and is the page that gets the most traffic. It is your online store’s window display.
The importance of a first impression in eCommerce should not be understated:
It is extremely important that your online shop’s homepage looks clean, uncluttered, purposeful and aligns with your shoppers’ search intent.
In order to have a homepage that makes a lasting positive first impression, follow these best practices:
- Keep your design simple and minimal
- Use high-quality, vibrant images
- Emphasize aspects such as discounts and special deals in your copy
- Keep your color palette consistent and well-coordinated
In 2021, 54% of all eCommerce sales will be conducted via mobile device. Also, since 2018, Google has considered mobile-responsiveness as a search engine results ranking factor.
There are numerous reasons why your eCommerce website should be usable on smartphones — one of the reasons being that over half of all internet traffic is happening on these devices.
However, mCommerce is not just about simply making your online store mobile-friendly.
mCommerce is about making your online store’s mobile experience top-notch every step of the way: navigation, payments, banking, location-based services, chatbots, AR and more.
In short, mCommerce website design and development provides a consistent and complete omnichannel experience for your shoppers.
So, what does mCommerce optimization entail?
- Making your mobile website load quickly
- Implementing mobile navigation, ie. placing the main menu at the bottom
- Making buttons big enough to tap
- Using a hidden, hamburger menu
- Leveraging a single column layout
- One-page checkouts and digital wallets
- Simplify And Enhance On-Site Search
On-site search is one of the essential components of eCommerce website navigation. However, it’s not enough just to have it – you should also make most of it.
By that, we mean that on-site search should help your visitors find exactly what they are looking for and find it fast!
The perk of having a user-friendly on-site search engine is a boost in user engagement, conversions and sales.
The best practices for on-site search bars include:
- Simple dropdown menu to specify the item a visitor is looking for
- Auto-suggest, autocomplete and recommendations
- Category filters
Make User-Friendly Categories
Another key consideration when it comes to eCommerce website navigation is the structure of product categories.
Prospects and existing customers who come to your website want to find what they are looking for easily and quickly.
The number one priority of good UX design should be providing easy, intuitive navigation. Having too many categories can intimidate certain users who may feel overwhelmed and leave.
For users who want to browse a category of a specific product, it is vital that they can locate the said category immediately and that it is located, in the hierarchy of categories, where they expect it.
In other words, keep your category structure familiar to what other websites are using. Too much experimentation is typically not welcome as it may ward off users.
Visitors should be able to reach your product categories from the main menu navigation. Keep in mind that an excess of categories may lead to readability issues. To avoid this, organize items into categories and subcategories, nested into each other.
Also, don’t hesitate to place one product into several categories if it fits there. This will make the item easier to locate.
Amplify Social Proof
Social proof content such as user reviews and client testimonials play a vital role in user conversion, as they can help convince your customers to go through with their purchase.
Social proof vouches for your business and guarantees that your products are of the highest quality.
It is one of the best practices for gaining customers’ trust and for boosting your overall brand reputation. 92% of shoppers trust their peers’ recommendations, and personalized customer testimonials boost conversion rates by 25%.
It is for these reasons that it’s vital to include social proof in your general UX design strategy by displaying them prominently.
Include client testimonials and positive PRs on your homepage and elsewhere, while making your user reviews stand out on product pages.
Use Exit-Intent Popups To Offer Deals
Like them or not, exit-intent popups can positively affect conversion boosting purposes.
The popup can contain a special discount deal, a call-to-action to download a brochure or invitation to chat with a support agent. As long as it is something that is of interest to your visitors, it can be used for popup content.
Tools that detect when your visitors move the mouse with the intention to leave the website can spring into action and, just before they leave, offer them an enticing deal.
Most people react negatively to spammy popups. However, discount deals, special offers and the like have quite a different effect.
You can also use exit-intent popups to instill a sense of urgency and fear-of-missing-out in your shoppers by displaying discount deal countdowns and coupon codes with expiration dates.
Design Easy-to-Scan Product Pages
Product pages are where your shoppers make their purchase decision. It is where their potential conversion into a customer is triggered.
How you approach your user experience design on product pages can make all the difference when it comes to boosting conversion rates. In order to nudge your visitors toward a purchase, it is important to display the information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm them.
The key here is eliminating all the visual distractions and making a product page they can scan quickly and find all they need.
A product page should, therefore, use an intuitive layout similar to what your customers are used to: a product name, description, reviews, specification, price and images should all be where expected.
The critical information should be visible immediately. Make everything else easy to access, but ensure it’s not in the way. Ideally, you want to accommodate both the users that need only an info overview and the users that need to know everything about a product before buying.
Essential elements of an effective product page include:
- High-quality photographs/video of a product
- Legible font
- Concise product description copy broken into smaller paragraphs
- Prominent product price
- Bold call-to-action button
The seven best practices of UX improvement we listed in this article cover all the bases of eCommerce website conversion optimization.
Following them will come with other beneficial side effects as well: greater user engagement and retention, better visibility in search engine results, alignment with prospects’ search intent and better brand recognition.