User-centric website design is the backbone of your eCommerce site’s success. It indicates your trustworthiness, inspires conversions, and helps you retain loyal customers. Customers are also starting to understand the importance of your online store’s design and optimization when buying from you. Recent research says that 79% of them will go back to search engines and visit another site if they’re not satisfied with what they find on your site.
Here are a few practical tips on how to improve the UX of your online store.
1. Take a Customer-Centric Approach
Today’s customers expect brands to provide highly personalized user experiences. They want to understand their needs and preferences and offer them products, deals, and content they’re interested in. Statistics say that 40% of customers spend more when their experiences are personalized, while 74% of them get frustrated if the content they receive is irrelevant to them.
Here are few ways to use customer-centered design on your eCommerce site:
- Adjust navigation to users’ interest. If they’ve already been on your site and shown interest in a certain section, why not guide them directly to that section next time they visit your site?
- Show product suggestions based on previous browsing experiences.
- Use geo-targeting. This is what many popular eCommerce sites do to show appropriate products and information to different customer segments.
- Show discounts and offers relevant to the category a customer browses. Customers generally love discounts, especially if they’re related to the products they’re searching for.
- Suggest complementary products to the one a customer bought.
- Provide returning visitors with personalized offers.
2. Use Voice Search to Simplify Searches
With the rise of mobile users, the AI-powered technologies have grown. And, users are adopting these trends impressively fast. According to some recent statistics by Salesforce, 40% of customers use intelligent assistants before making a purchase.
Let’s take the example of voice interaction and dictation. Mobile searchers don’t want to waste their time typing keywords into the search bar or using a bunch of filters to find the desired product or information. They want to get the information as fast as possible.
Voice search is faster and more convenient, making customers more comfortable and giving them an opportunity to interact with your site in a more natural way.
However, you need to implement it wisely. When optimizing your site for voice, rethink your keyword research strategy. Voice searchers don’t have to search for exact-match keywords. Instead, they’re using casual phrases, questions, and full sentences. This is why you need to optimize your product descriptions, blog content, FAQ pages, and navigation menu for long-tail and conversational keywords.
3. Simplify the Website Navigation
One of the main reasons why customers don’t buy from you is complex navigation. Your website architecture needs to be user-friendly, designed specifically to cater to the customers at different stages of the sales funnel and guide them towards making a purchase.
For starters, simplify the navigation menu. Too complex menus may overwhelm a user and prevent them from finding the desired product. Also, pay attention to your navigation menu labels. Instead of some generic names like “products,” opt for more descriptive and informative phrases that help customers find what they’re looking for.
Finally, instead of vertical sidebars, use horizontal ones. They’re easily adaptable, as you don’t have to use checkboxes only. They can be pinned to the page, meaning that they won’t disappear as a user scrolls down. This is immensely important for mobile users. Finally, they let you leverage the full width of your page so you can use larger images or include more product details.
4. Keep the Signup Smooth
People generally don’t love signups. If your checkout form is too complex, chances are they will ditch the shopping cart without making a purchase. Here are a few ways to simplify the checkout process:
- Keep the registration process simple. Asking for a name and email address is enough – you don’t have to ask them for a phone number, location, or credit card information right away.
- Use a single-column checkout form. This is especially important to mobile users that don’t want to waste their time zooming and pinching the screen endlessly. Single-column forms are simpler, as they let customers’ eyes move naturally from beginning to end, providing faster user experiences.
- Break up form fields into semantic groups. You should minimize the number of form fields and ask only for the information you really need. However, if your forms are larger, make sure all fields are placed logically, into semantic sections.
- Check the entered information after a user fills out each field. If a user makes a mistake, let them know immediately. Don’t wait for them to complete the entire form just to ask them to check their data again.
- Don’t force users to register. There is a bunch of reasons why people want to buy from you without registering. No matter if they’re in a hurry or they simply don’t want to join your newsletter list, you should respect their decisions. This way, you will minimize the shopping cart abandonment rate and build trust with your customers.
5. Optimize your Newsletter Signup Forms
Email newsletters give you the opportunity to build closer relationships with your target audience, engage them, and convert them into customers. So, don’t forget to add a functional newsletter signup form to your store to collect users’ emails.
Now, your customers are sick and tired of brands spamming their inboxes. Even though they see lots of newsletter signups daily, they rarely decide to give them their email addresses. So, how to inspire a visitor to leave their email without hurting their user experience?
- Use catchy CTAs – make sure they’re catchy and pleasant to the eye. Also, allow users to sign up with social networks.
- Pick the right words – make sure your CTAs are informative. Be convincing and emphasize the benefits of joining your email list.
- Use a pop-up window to grab their attention and inspire them to enter the email address. Still, give them some time to browse through your site and research your offers before interrupting them with a pop-up.
Improving exceptional user experiences is key to your store’s success. It helps you engage customers, build relationships with them, convert them into sales and, above all, inspire them to come back to you again and again.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist, contributor to bizzmarkblog.com and an entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.
**The views & opinions expressed in this guest post are of the guest author’s and do not necessarily reflect the opinions & views of the Design Roast community as a whole.**