WaterRower

UX Essentials

How to Improve User Experience on Your eCommerce Site

User experience (UX) is one of the most important aspects of any website. Taking users’ emotions, beliefs, and perceptions all into account, it refers to how enjoyable and easy it is for users to navigate your site and make purchases. A poor UX design will frustrate users, a good UX design will engage them.

UX is a concept that is closely related to user interface (UI), a term that alludes to the aesthetic elements of your website. Whilst UX focuses on overall usability, UI focuses on the visual interface itself. Clearly, how the website looks and feels will affect people’s experience of it. Therefore, although these two terms should not be used interchangeably, they are certainly intertwined. Before you can think about UI, you will need to think about identifying and solving user problems, and that is where UX comes in.

The Importance of UX for eCommerce Brands

In today’s landscape, your eCommerce site should be at the centre of your digital marketing efforts. UX has been proven to impact both your site’s ranking and conversion rate. Through conversions and retention, in turn, good UX increases sales and revenue.

How Does UX Affect Page Ranking?

There is an undeniable overlap between UX and SEO, and so Google’s algorithm pays close attention to user experience. In particular, UX is crucial to user engagement. User engagement variables such as bounce rate and average dwell time (or “average session duration” in Google Analytics) have become important ranking factors.

If a user cannot easily navigate your site, they are likely to click off very quickly. This can heavily damage your SEO efforts and, as we all know, the higher your Google ranking, the higher the chance that a searcher will click on your website.

How Does UX Increase Conversion Rate?

So, good UX will help get users on the page and keep them there, but what about converting this traffic into sales? As a general rule, anytime there is an increase in engagement rate, conversion rate typically follows.

The quality of someone’s experience has a significant impact on their decision to carry out a transaction on your site. A study by Forrester revealed that every $1 that is invested in UX returns $100, equating to an ROI of 9,900%!

Mobile UX

The Importance of Mobile UX

Last year, SISTRIX found that 64% of all searches were carried out on mobile, a figure only looks like it is going to increase. Being mobile-friendly, therefore, has never been so crucial.

Google’s recent switch to mobile-first indexing has made improving mobile UX even more important. Google now uses the mobile version of your website as the primary indicator for your site’s ranking. Thus, in order to rank high in both mobile and desktop searches, you must provide a quality mobile experience.

If you have not optimised your site for mobile, users are more likely to quickly leave your website and you will start to drop down the Google rankings.

Tips for Improving the UX of Your eCommerce Site

Most of the ways that we will now discuss to help you improve your UX apply to all websites; however, we make sure to explain them in the context of eCommerce. Other tips we provide are specific to eCommerce sites. In either case, this information should help you realise the true potential of your website and give you an edge over your competitors.

Simple Website Navigation

Use clear navigation menus, keep the layout tidy and simple, and make sure all the important information is easy to find. For eCommerce sites, this means attractive product presentation and easy payment flow. Your site should be dictated by logic so that the user can intuitively find where they want to go.

Appropriate product classification and choice of top menu categories are also essential to improving website navigation. You want the most important – or maybe even the most popular – product categories to be the ones that are foregrounded. If you are selling first and second-hand items, these two options need to be available immediately as top menu categories. The same logic applies when you are selling men’s and women’s clothes, for example.

Top menu categories need to reflect the decision that the customer makes early on when deciding what they want to buy. Eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) buttons should also help direct consumers to your site’s main offer(s). Ultimately, your job is to guide users through their journey to finding a product.

Website Navigation

Simple additions, such as products filters and search bars, can also be all-important to the user’s decision to stay on or click off your site. In other words, the difference between a sale and a missed opportunity!

Well-Formatted Content

Make sure that you use effective typography; poorly designed text can be a real hindrance to a good user experience. Use an appropriate font size and style, whilst taking care with spacing and alignment. Most importantly, make use of clear and concise headings. 

Beyond their importance for SEO, headings will help guide your reader through the website and help break up content. An unformatted block of text that is not broken up by headings and bullet points is a visual turn-off and may discourage the user. On your homepage especially, you need to concisely highlight the USPs, benefits, and key features of your product(s)/service(s). These formatting techniques allow you to do so.

Although you will carry out these changes on desktop, you need to remember how your content will look on mobile. For instance, taking a smaller device-width into account, you will need to ensure that you do not put too much copy above the products on a category page. If you do, a user will have to do far too much scrolling to get to the products. In turn, you are likely to lose customers who find it difficult to navigate or purchase items on a small screen.

If you want to supply additional copy to target keywords for SEO purposes, it is simple as putting added copy below rather than above the products. You need to always make sure that you are not sacrificing SEO for UX – both are important, so you will need to find a happy medium.

Utilise White Space!

Remember, empty white space is essential to your website design.  Your website needs to be packed with engaging and unique content, but this content also needs to be allowed space to breathe. According to Crazy Egg, white space around your content increases user attention by 20%!

Online Shopping

Personalised Product Recommendations

Good UX is very much connected to giving your customers as personalised an experience as possible; creating a connection between the user and the brand. For eCommerce sites, the use of personalised product recommendations is a great way to do this. Again, it will help to guide customers to the right products and allow them to discover new ones. You often see this tactic used on eCommerce sites with the tagline “Customers who bought this item also bought…”.

Cross-selling items can be similarly effective, perhaps at a discounted price so the user knows that the website is tailored to their best interests. For example, if your eCommerce site sells furniture and a customer adds a wooden item to their basket, why not create an automatic pop-up that asks them if they would like to purchase a specialised cleaning product that will help them maintain it? Subtle techniques like this could help boost your sales.

Engaging Visuals

Back in 2015, Microsoft published a study that claimed that the average attention span of a human has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds since 2000. This birthed what is known as “the 8-second rule” and became a hotly debated topic in the UX world. Given that the rise of TikTok and other social media platforms has completely changed the way we consume content, the average human attention span could continue to decline.

Humans are visual creatures, and so this fact has made engaging visuals (and web design) a more important factor than ever to engage users as quickly as possible. The images that you use should be high-quality and highly specific to what you are selling. Nowadays, a generic stock photo is easy to spot and, more importantly, it does not convey the unique story of your brand.

Responsive Web Design

A responsive site will adapt to the device being used, whether it is a desktop computer or a mobile. Especially since an increasing amount of people are using their mobile devices for online shopping, you need to make sure that your site responsiveness is optimised across all devices 

Slow page load can very disruptive and, particularly given the decrease in the human attention span in recent years, will directly lead to a higher bounce rate. Image file size is one factor that hugely contributes to a slow page loading speed, especially on eCommerce sites with a large number of product images. Therefore, using websites such as Optimizilla to compress the size of your images could make a huge difference!

If you want information on your page loading speed for free, click here.

Page Loading Speed

Customer Feedback Forms

This is a great way to get feedback from your customers about their experience using your site. It can help you identify areas that need improvement but can also help you gather testimonials for use on your website or marketing materials! Consider setting up automated feedback request emails after a customer’s first purchase.

Get an eCommerce UX Audit Today

UX is a vitally important part of any eCommerce site, and by following the tips we have listed above, you can make sure that your site is as user-friendly as possible. Improving UX can help to increase conversion rates, boost sales, and improve customer satisfaction levels. So, why not give it a try?

If you want to explore how to improve your user experience at specific stages in the buying cycle, check out our guides on:

  • Product page UX: to find out how to get customers onto your shopping cart page.
  • Shopping cart UX: to find out how to persuade them to get started on the checkout process.
  • Checkout UX: to find out how to get them to hit that all-important “Place Order” button!

Trafiki is a London eCommerce marketing agency that specialises in providing UX audits for businesses looking to grow. We offer a UX audit service that is detailed, comprehensive, and utterly tailored to your brand. We will help you to create a website that not only looks great but is optimised for conversions. Click here to get in contact with us today.

ecommerce website
audit

Is there something wrong with your site? Are you struggling to rank on search engines? You need professional help! Get in touch below to find out about Trafiki Ecommerce audits:

Magento 2 Optimisation
BigCommerce
Shopify ecommerce optimisation
Woocommerce ecommerce optimisation
Google Logo
Amazon Shopping Optimiasation