How your Online Store’s Design Impacts User Experiences

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As online shopping is becoming more and more popular, ecommerce brands need to find new ways to maintain a competitive advantage.

And, one of the first steps to take is to put your customers’ needs and expectations first.

This user-centric approach needs to be applied to any aspect of your online presence, especially in your website design.

Here is how website design may impact user experiences and, ultimately, your sales.

Website Responsiveness Appeals to Different Audience Segments

Did you know that about 60% of all online traffic in the U.S. is driven through mobile devices

Moreover, 52% of customers will kick their shopping cart after a negative mobile experience and never come back to your website.

Providing seamless experiences for both desktop and mobile users is the only way to reduce your bounce rates and improve website engagement and conversions.

There are numerous ways to increase mobile experiences. 

For example, avoid intrusive interstitials that annoy users. You should also eliminate any auto-playing video or audio content, as it frustrates visitors and makes your website slower. 

Use larger fonts and buttons to make it easier for mobile users to navigate through your website content. According to Apple, the button size should be at least 44px x 44px, while the fonts should be at least 14px. 

Make your website faster by choosing reliable hosting and a content delivery network, as well as minifying your code and optimizing your images.

Pay special attention to your website navigation. No matter which page they landed on, a visitor should know what brand it is, where they can click to browse products and make purchases, where their shopping cart is, and how they can write product reviews. Your store’s architecture needs to be logical and predictable. Every link and button should be placed strategically to help a user with their research.

Pay special attention to your navigation menu. Too many categories and subcategories, as well as generic category names, may overwhelm a customer. Simplify your menu to make your key products and categories easily discoverable.

Personalization Boosts Browsing Experiences

Today, almost 70% of consumers stop buying from certain brands because they feel these brands don’t care enough about them.

With the rise of numerous CRM tools, social media listening apps, data analytics software, and artificial intelligence, customers expect online brands to provide them with more personalized user experiences. According to SalesForce, more than half of customers are ready to share their personal data and wait more for personalized deals and offers. 

There are numerous ways to personalize user experiences.

For starters, to tailor your store design to your customers’ preferences, you first need to understand them. Do lots of research, collect their feedback, and listen to their conversations so you can feel their pulse. You can even hire a digital agency to do so for you. For example, if you choose to build your store on popular platforms like Shopify Plus, consult a Shopify Plus agency that will tailor your store’s design to your customers’ specific needs. 

One of the first steps to take is providing personalized product recommendations. For example, if a buyer puts an item in their shopping cart, why not offer then a matching product they may be interested in? You could also display a “Users who bought this product also searched for…” to inspire a user to view and purchase more products. 

Consistent Experiences Facilitate Purchasing Processes

Many customers start their research by googling product or brand names. However, search engines are not the only source of information. Many customers search for brands and interact with them on social networks. 

To appeal to each customer group and increase conversions, you need to provide exceptional and consistent user experiences across all online channels. Sure, this means creating a solid brand style guide, that would dictate the use of your brand elements, such as logos or colors, your value proposition, visual content, and tone of voice on both your website and social networks. 

As you want to guide your customers towards making a purchase, you should provide a link to your website on all social accounts you use, as well as include social buttons on your website to build stronger relationships with your customers.

Most importantly, consider allowing your customers to buy your products directly from social networks. For example, Facebook’s in-app purchase ads let you add a shopping cart to your Facebook profile, meaning that a customer can purchase without leaving your website. Such multi-channel purchasing options are an important step towards increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

Multi-Channel Experiences Increase Sales

We’re living in a hyperconnected era, where communicating with brands via phone or email is not enough for tech-savvy customers. The rise of instant messaging tools, AI tools like voice search or chatbots, and social networks, online users expect brands to be more tech-savvy and provide seamless customer support across multiple channels. According to Microsoft’s research, 96% of customers say that the quality of customer support impacts their shopping decisions. 

Therefore, start by boosting your customer service. Use live chat to provide personalized experiences and help customers solve complex problems. You could consider combining live chat with a chatbot to provide 24/7 customer support. Chatbots provide faster and yet, highly personalized and accurate answers to all customer’ questions. Given that, it’s not surprising that over 70% of customers prefer chatbots for quicker interactions with brands. Sure, don’t forget to make your contact information prominent on your website and integrate a fully-functional, mobile-friendly contact form. 

Over to You

As the number of your competitors is growing, just building an online store and selling high-quality products is not enough. To minimize bounce rates and shopping cart abandonment and increase website conversions, you need to design a user-centric website. Only by personalizing customer journeys at every stage, delivering value to them, and building stronger relationships will you encourage them to convert and visit you again and again.

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