When it comes to user experience (UX) in ecommerce, the goal is always to reduce friction and make customers feel as comfortable and engaged as possible. Unfortunately, very few ecommerce sites do this well. Are you taking the time to continually optimize your site so that customers keep coming back for more?
UX is Everything
For ecommerce businesses, success ultimately comes down to one question: Are customers happy? There are many different ways to make customers happy, but satisfaction starts with a user’s first experience with your website. If the experience is poor, it’ll be fairly difficult to win that customer over and convince them to trust you enough to make a purchase. If the experience is healthy, then you’ll have ample opportunity to close a sale.
Just like brick and mortar stores focus on in-store displays, ambiance, and layout, ecommerce businesses must hone in on the various elements that influence online shoppers. While there will be some variances from site to site, the truth is that many principles of UX apply in all situations. By studying what successful sites have done and are doing, you can get a better picture of what it takes to thrive.
4 Tips for Reducing Friction
The key to establishing healthy UX is to reduce friction and remove aspects that detract from a shopper’s ability to find what they’re looking for in a timely manner. Let’s take a look at a few suggestions to get you started.
Decrease Page Loading Time
Page loading time is a big deal – and it’s becoming even more important as the months and years pass. Internet users are no longer used to slow internet speeds and poor connections. Fast is the name of the game. If your website slows shoppers down, they’re going to go somewhere else.
In fact, research clearly proves this. According to this infographic, a one second delay in page response time can lead to a seven percent reduction in conversions. For an ecommerce site bringing in $100,000 per day, that’s an annual loss of potentially $2.5 million in sales. You have to make speed a priority.
Offer Live Chat Options
Customers frequently have questions, but they’re becoming increasingly reluctant to pick up the phone and call a 1-800 number or take the time to send an email. They’d rather have their questions answered while on the site.
One solution is to offer live chat. This is something soccerloco does directly on their product and sales soccer pages. If a user has a question, they can simply bring up the chat feature and conveniently talk to a customer service rep without interrupting their day. Could your site benefit from doing the same?
Improve Product Filtering Options
When you’re selling lots of different products and SKUs, streamlining the shopping process for customers is quite important. One of the best things you can do is offer robust filtering options. Allowing shoppers to filter by size, color, gender, type, etc., you can show them the products that are relevant to them. Not only does this speed up their shopping experience, but it also means you’re targeting users with products that are designed for them.
Amazon is the gold standard when it comes to product filtering. With millions of products, the website somehow does an effective job of allowing people to find exactly what they’re looking for. It’s really pretty amazing. You don’t need nearly the same amount of options, but having a few can make a big difference.
Establish Trust with Security Features
Trust is always important in a business-consumer relationship, but it’s even more significant when it comes to online shopping. Users want to know that they’re doing business with websites they can trust – especially if it’s their first time shopping on a site.
The best way to enhance trust is by incorporating different security features and elements of social proof. There are a number of ways to do this. Start by incorporating trust badges on the site and enabling HTTPS security markers in the browser. Next, if you really want to go above and beyond, develop a guarantee and proudly display it.
Successful retailer L.L. Bean does a phenomenal job if this. On their site, they frequently display a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. When combined with free shipping, this means customers are hardly risking anything to place an order. It’s helped them increase their conversion rates significantly.
Put the Customer First
The customer has to come first. While you ultimately care about your bottom line – and that’s understandable – everything you do needs to be built around onsite UX. Sales and revenue will fall into place if you get this aspect right. Keep these tips and examples in mind and begin optimizing your site today with a user-first attitude. It’ll take some time, but you’ll gradually begin to see the results of your hard work and dedication.