April 12, 2018
It’s no secret that the majority of the general public now prefer to shop online. In fact, more than half of all consumers prefer to spend their hard earned money from the comfort of their homes. Last November, CNCB reported that over $6.59 billion was spent online; the largest single online shopping total in history.
Despite all of the online spending, a large percentage of small businesses don’t have their own website, and for those that do, the user experience is less than impressive.
A good user experience is imperative to making sales, and believe it or not it can have a massive impact on customer satisfaction and conversion rates.
In the past we have discussed what can lead to bad a user experience; slow load times, confusing navigation and unclear checkout processes to name a few. These issues might seem only slightly annoying at the time, but the impact of them might be much more severe than you first think.
Here are a list of 5 ways in which you can improve the user experience of your website, hopefully leading to more sales, ongoing revenue and returning customers:
Unless you have collaborated with a UX designer, there is a high chance that your website has a few issues. Earlier we mentioned confusing navigation and unclear checkout processes, but the list of things that a UX designer can help you with are endless. We recommend making sure that you use clear icons and buttons that make sense to the functionality in question.
You and your team can probably navigate around your website very well, but that’s because you’ve seen it a thousand times. Pass the URL around, and find out how other people use your website. Is the user flow clear? Is the navigation intuitive? Does it work well on a variety of devices? These are all questions that you should be asking, and if any of your test users give you constructive feedback, take it on!
We’ve spoken about it multiple times, but since 20.6 per cent of all e-commerce activity happens on mobile (and by 2020 that figure is predicted to reach 45 per cent), any site that is not optimised for mobile will essentially be alienating almost a quarter of all potential sales.
With the growth of Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba, people are comfortable with the modes of online shopping that now seem to be a natural habit. An inventive, abstract design might look cool and edgy, but will your customers know how to do simple tasks like search or checkout? That being said, you can push the boat out a bit with design, as long as the fundamentals stay simple, so that users can navigate and perform tasks in the way that they expect.
We are aware that offering human support to your customers 24/7, 365 days a year is not practical, but in an age where virtual assistants are becoming more and more common, users understand how to interact with them and help themselves to the information you have on offer. Chat bots and other AI enabled tools are becoming much more intuitive now and are an easy way to offer round-the-clock support.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to improving user experience, but by defining the strengths and weaknesses of your e-commerce site and by making some of the changes above, we are confident that you and your customers will enjoy a better experience on your website.