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9 Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Store’s Usability

9 Ways to Improve Your eCommerce Store’s Usability

27.Jul.2021 Hazel Raoult - Customer experience, eCommerce

Having a successful eCommerce store is easier said than done. It requires brands to explore new ways to bring in new customers, and more importantly, retain the existing ones with the help of a stellar user experience. 

User Experience (UX) goes far beyond just having an aesthetically powerful website design. User experience is the amalgamation of all the elements, features, and areas that the users interact with, on your website. Did you know that nearly 88% of online shoppers say that they would abandon a brand if they were unhappy with the user experience?

Poor usability can reflect negatively on the brand image, and chase away your hard-earned customers in a matter of seconds. What’s more, nearly 44% of people will talk to their contacts about a bad online experience. So, you would also be losing potential new customers along with your existing ones. 

Since so much of your business performance relies on your eCommerce store’s usability, you should be actively working on making it better. Here are a few ways to accomplish this. 

#1 Improve Loading Speed

An optimized page loading speed will not only boost your ranking on SERPs but also the overall user experience of your website. If a website takes more than 4 seconds to load, 1 in 4 visitors will abandon it. The high bounce rates associated with websites that have long loading times are testimony to the relationship between user experience and loading speed. 

For eCommerce websites, the ideal loading speed should be 2 seconds, as high spending shoppers are observed to have lower patience levels. To put the importance of loading speed into perspective, consider this: If Amazon’s website speed is reduced by one second, the company is likely to lose over $1.6 billion every year

#2 Offer Stellar Customer Service

Customer service is directly associated with customer loyalty. In fact, many say that the customer service of an eCommerce store is its most important marketing tool. 66% of customers switch brands because they experience poor customer service.

Having customer-centric policies and website navigation can help in enhancing your user experience. eCommerce stores should not only strive to personalize their customers’ buying experiences, but they should also aim to reduce their response time. Customers are likely to spend more time on online stores that have real-time responses. 

Moreover, personal shopping is also a new trend that eCommerce brands can capitalize on. Such a feature can help brands in positively shaping the customers’ buying experience. eCommerce brands should also consider having easy return policies and loyalty programs that boost customer experience and satisfaction. 

#3 Update the Website Design Frequently

Customers are heavily influenced by the website design. Poor or outdated design on an eCommerce store is similar to having a cluttered and messy brick-and-mortar store. Your customers will be unimpressed and reconsider shopping in your store.

More than 75% of people admitted to forming an opinion about a website based on its look and feel. 

One of the biggest mistakes that eCommerce stores could make is being satisfied with one website design and sticking to it. Customer preferences change over time, and technologies should evolve to address customer needs. Online stores need to be flexible in addressing these changes in their website in order to drive conversions. 

Constantly update your website by tweaking the user experience and place elements in a way that customers can quickly find them. Structure your CTA buttons properly, by targeting them on parts of web pages where they are most likely to spend time.

#4 Monitor the Core Web Vitals of your Website

A highly effective way to ensure that the usability of your website remains high is by monitoring the user-centric performance metrics. When Google released their page experience update, it was clear that websites needed to focus more on the user experience that they were delivering. 

Core Web Vitals specifically measure the user experience on your webpage and are considered to be key measures on which your performance on SERPs will depend from now on. The three important metrics that you should measure are: 

  1. Largest Contentful Paint – the amount of time taken for the largest content piece to be visible on the webpage. 
  2. Cumulative Layout Shift – the measure of visual stability of a webpage 
  3. First Input Delay – the amount of time taken before the user is able to interact with the page 

eCommerce companies need to implement mechanisms such as upgrading their server, integrating a Content Delivery Network (CDN), and making their website light and easy to use. 

#5 Explore Interactive Design

Interactive design boosts the customer engagement levels on your website and can contribute to a better user experience. Webpages with interactive designs also tend to leave a lasting impression on the users making it highly preferable for eCommerce brands. 

An interactive website design will also allow you to highlight the most prominent parts of your website seamlessly. You can also use interactive designs to optimize the purchase experience of customers by highlighting the CTA buttons and accentuating the decisive elements on the webpage. 

Doing this is a little expensive, but remember that for every dollar that you spend on upgrading your UX, you are likely to get a return of $100.

Having an interactive product page will help customers explore and find products easily. Interactive elements can also accentuate the aesthetics of your website, but you need to be careful that they do not compromise your website speed.

#6 Optimize the Checkout Process

Your checkout process can easily become one of the most time-consuming parts of your customers’ shopping experience unless it is optimized. As online stores are gradually moving towards one-click purchase options, other eCommerce brands also need to up their game so that they do not lose customers.

reason for cart abandonment
Source

The checkout process should also include considerations for minimizing distractions so that the shoppers can complete their purchases easily. eCommerce stores should also strive to make their checkout process smooth and seamless on mobile devices. Additionally, including multiple payment options including wallets and mobile payment will also positively impact your checkout process. 

#7 Have Easy Social Sharing Options

It is the age of social media and mobile browsing, so brands should consider both these aspects while building their websites. 

More often than not, customers visiting your website will want to share their recommendations or choices with their contacts. Customers might also want to share products with their friends before making a purchase decision. So, eCommerce websites that offer easy sharing options will be considered more convenient and usable by customers. 

Nearly 74% of customers rely on social media for product recommendations and reviews. This means that by letting customers share products and reviews on social networks, brands will essentially boost the word of mouth marketing for their brands. 

Additionally, you should also consider placing your social media icons prominently so that customers can easily find and follow the brand page. It is a great way to keep the customers updated on new products and offers. 

#8 Create Impactful Product Descriptions

As a growing eCommerce store, you should never take the importance of having great product descriptions for granted. Product descriptions are essentially the sales pitch with which you want to convince your customers to buy the product from you. 

So they should be impactful, highly targeted, and informative enough to aid the buyers’ decision-making process. Well-written product descriptions can significantly increase the likelihood of higher conversions. Your product descriptions should be able to answer any potential questions that customers may have while browsing through your products. 

eCommerce brands also need to strike a balance between making product descriptions engaging and SEO-friendly. For instance, if your store has been created on Squarespace, you can refer to online guides that help you navigate Squarespace SEO considerations and features.

#9 Seek and Implement Customer Feedback

One of the best ways to ensure a high-quality user experience is to let them know that your brand listens to what they have to say. For this, eCommerce stores should be proactive in seeking feedback from customers, and in implementing them.

Ask your customers to rate the quality of their buying experience and what kind of improvements they would like you to make. Ensuring compliance with customer feedback will ensure that you are meeting their expectations, and providing them a tailored shopping experience.

Implement exit-intent popups or follow-up on emails with the customers who have abandoned their carts so that you can identify the issues that negatively impact their shopping experience on your website. 

Key Takeaways

The online shopping experience delivered by eCommerce stores can impact their growth and performance. Delivering a stellar user experience should always be at the top of priority for eCommerce brands. 

Since customer service and experience can potentially make or break the performance of the online store, you should take proactive steps to ensure it. Plus, since your user experience can distinctively put you ahead of the competition, it is a good area to invest in boosting the performance of your online store. 

About Hazel Raoult

Hazel Raoult is a freelance marketing writer and works with PRmention. She has 6+ years of experience writing about business, entrepreneurship, marketing and all things SaaS. Hazel loves to split her time between writing, editing, and hanging out with her family.

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