In ecommerce, your website is essentially the digital version of a brick and mortar store. Regardless of whether your business actually has a physical building your customers can step into, it’s important to think about your website like a storefront: You’ll want to draw in those first-time visitors, just as much as you’ll want your repeat customers to continue coming back for more.
But how can you do that? It’s simple: Offer a great customer experience!
Or in this case, provide your customers with a great user experience. User experience can be defined as a person’s emotions or attitudes regarding their interaction with a website, or computer application. And when it comes to ecommerce, the better the user experience, the happier the customer.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a poor user experience can do insurmountable damage. Not only will a bad user experience likely result in your first-time visitors never returning to your site, but an increase in abandoned shopping carts and fewer conversions. Moreover, once users have a bad experience, chances are that 88% of them won’t return.
Now that you understand the value of a great user experience, you may be wondering how you can deliver a better user experience to your customers. If you’re ready to invest in some ecommerce development, here are 5 ways you can start improving your ecommerce user experience.
1. Offer a quick loading speed.
With the convenience offered by smartphones, and all the information we could ever need right at our fingertips, many people have learned to expect immediate gratification. Likewise, users expect websites to load almost instantaneously.
In fact, marketing guru, Neil Patel, notes that 40% of Internet users will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Likewise, a mere 1 second delay can lead to a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction and 7% decrease in your potential for conversions.
In other words, if your site has a delayed loading time, you could lose a potential customer before they’ve even seen your products. Moreover, even if that customer survives the waiting period, they will likely be less satisfied with their user experience, and less likely to purchase a product or service from you. With this in mind, offering a speedy loading time is crucial.
2. Keep things simple.
As mentioned, your customers want your ecommerce site to load right away. Why? Because we’re living in the culture of, “I want everything right here, and right now.” So, even if your site loads quickly, your customers’ second expectation will be to find your products quickly and easily.
That’s why, in terms of web design, less is often more. To illustrate the value of simplicity in web design, Patel compares a product that requires a user manual to one that works right out-of-the-box. Which product would you rather use? Most would rather forgo the user manual, and use the product that they can easily figure out on their own.
Similarly, many people would rather use a site that’s easy to navigate, without any assistance. As such, ecommerce sites need to offer an intuitive experience, making the process of finding and purchasing products simple. If you’re not receiving the conversions you’d hoped for, or customers constantly ask, “How can I do x?,” it may be time to improve in this area.
3. Give your website a facelift.
While many of us say, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover,” we often do. That being said, your ecommerce site is just like a book: When we arrive on a page, whether it be a homepage, landing page, or blog, one deciding factor of whether or not we’ll stay is the site’s appearance.
First impressions matter, and users develop a first impression of your site almost immediately. In fact, research has found that users form an opinion about your website in 0.05 seconds. In that amount of time, pretty much the only thing that can have an impact on a customer’s opinion of your business is how your site looks.
But even in those milliseconds, customers will decide whether they want to continue exploring your online store or move on. And if your potential customers feel your site’s content or layout is unattractive, almost half (38%) will choose to abandon it. This in mind, consider evaluating if your site’s appearance could be improved to provide a better user experience.
4. Take advantage of responsive design.
No two devices are alike. Even with desktop computers and laptops alone, your potential customers are using devices with a wide variety of screen sizes. But throw in the variety of tablets and mobile devices available, and the disparity between your customers’ screen sizes can be quite significant.
Opting for a responsive design gives you the opportunity to better accommodate all users. If you think that you only need to accommodate different computer screen sizes, you should know that almost half (48.2%) of global online traffic in 2018 was mobile, and almost 40% of ecommerce purchases made during the 2018 holiday season were from mobile.
5. Offer immediate customer support.
By surveying customers in 9 countries, American Express found that 33% of customers will consider switching companies after one instance of poor customer service, while 67% of customers will switch after more than two poor experiences. To make matters worse, on average, customers will tell 24 other people about those poor customer service experiences.
Bottom line: Providing excellent customer support is important. For many years now, customers have been able to reach out to businesses via contact forms and phone numbers found on their sites. However, it can take several hours before an employee can reply to a customer’s email, and most businesses do not 24/7 phone support.
As with other aspects of your site, your customers expect everything now: 82% of customers expect an immediate reply to important questions, and 90% expect an immediate reply to very important questions. So, how can you do that? You can include live chat or chatbots on your site in order to offer the prompt replies your customers are likely expecting.
How Can You Make These Changes?
These are just 5 of the best ways to offer your customers a better user experience on your ecommerce site. To really evaluate how your site could improve, it’s critical to evaluate your analytics and review your bounce rate, how users are moving within your site, and more. You may also consider asking for customer feedback. From there, you can start implementing changes that will take your site a step up.
If you have your very own in-house software developer, you’re all set. Simply communicate the changes you would like to make with him or her, and your software developer can get to work. However, if you’re like most businesses, you’ll need to find a software development team who can work with you to make your ecommerce business even better.
ClikFocus could be that team. We’ve been building and improving ecommerce systems for businesses like yours for over a decade. With your business goals, budget, and timeline in mind, we can craft the appropriate software solution for you.