During the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce grew steadily, becoming so relevant that it became the only way to keep a global economy in crisis alive. Social distancing immediately suspended the operation of physical contact channels and customers only had as an alternative the businesses that were already on the internet to satisfy their needs.
But this does not mean that just having a website with published products is enough to start being successful. On the contrary, it is very evident that while some are unable to cope with so many dispatches, others see with despair that their sales do not pick up. But this is the case beyond the current context, since in times of complete normalcy there are many aspects to consider to keep your e-commerce in good health and, among them, improving the user experience (UX) is a priority.
Perhaps this is your situation and you are looking forward to having the right clues to start working on improvements in your e-commerce. Does your site have few visits? Or, on the contrary, do you have visits but do not convert? It is likely that potential customers are not finding the product or service they are looking for in your store. Or, even, if they already found it, due to some deficiency in the usability or performance of the sales flow they could not make their purchase.
In this article we will see precisely what actions you can take to make your E-commerce business takes off and don't let more customers escape.
Start with the UX audit
You have already identified symptoms that tell you that something is wrong with your e-commerce. To know precisely what is failing and how you should improve it, it is necessary to carry out a complete review of the website and all the processes involved in selling online. We are talking about a full analysis or UX / CX audit that usually includes an expert evaluation of usability and user experience, and a data-backed performance analysis. Going into more detail, an audit of this type should evaluate the following:
- Navigation: menus, links, footer, etc.
- Home, product and category pages.
- Content: usability and optimization of texts, images and videos.
- Forms: optimal functioning and usability.
- Help and documentation center.
- Control and prevention of errors.
- Internal search, indexing and filters.
- Checkout: cart, payment methods, etc.
- Audience: who it is, how it reaches the site (traffic sources), how it behaves in the different stages of the conversion funnel and how it interacts with the content, functionalities and elements of the site.
If you are thinking that the matter got complex because you must already hire a team of experts to do this work, we have good news for you: this is not an expense, it is an investment in UX and usability, which, especially today, is very profitable, estimating that its return can be between $ 2 to $ 100 for every $ 1 invested. That is, you will only get benefits like:
- Carry out a quick but very thorough review of your e-commerce site.
- Detect usability and UX flaws.
- Receive concrete recommendations to improve the user experience and usability.
- Save on costs by not having to recruit people who represent your different customer segments, since the review is carried out by test experts.
Redesign or make UX improvements in your e-commerce?
A UX / CX audit for e-commerce should translate its conclusions into an actionable report that emphasizes those elements to optimize to improve the user experience and illustrate good practices with examples from the local and global market. With the supplies on the table, it is time to analyze and make a series of decisions that we could summarize in two important options:
- A strategy of continuous improvement on the e-commerce site that you already have in operation: if you take this option it is vital to prioritize the improvements that you must make, analyzing each of them by its ease of implementation versus expected impact.
- Completely redesign the site to start from scratch with a store that you already consider with all the necessary optimizations. In this case, our recommendation is to set up the new site on a specialized e-commerce platform, such as Shopify, a solution that we have implemented with our clients. The advantage is that you will pay for a service that already includes all the necessary web developments to start an e-commerce store such as templates, image galleries, integration with various means of payment, shopping cart, payment of various currencies, digital product downloads, stock management, content translation into other languages, email marketing, metrics, etc. Don't try to reinvent the wheel: use a platform that has already been tested by companies around the world and dedicate your efforts to flesh out the business instead of spending hours designing an interface and developing technology solutions. Pastry chef to his cakes.
The most common errors in UX and usability in an e-commerce
For the final part of this article we have reserved some information that will be very useful for you to begin to draw your own conclusions and take some measures now to improve the user experience of your e-commerce. We share with you some errors that we usually detect in our audits with clients and tips to correct them:
- An inefficient platform: This defines the ability to support simultaneous transactions and the design possibilities. Before creating your store, do your research to hire the best option according to your needs.
- Confusing navigation: Use clear categories to organize your products, this helps people to achieve their goal.
- An inefficient search engine: If the customer already knows what he needs, he will prefer to use a search engine. Optimizing it will ensure an agile experience and find indexed content fast.
- There is no information about the company: As there is no direct contact with whoever sells or with a physical store, you must give serious guarantees. Who created the company? Where is? Where do the products come from?
- Policies are missing: The client needs guarantees that you will respond to a problem and knowing them generates a relationship of trust. Post them in a visible place.
- Inaccessible means of contact: They are useful when the customer has a problem and tells him that he can confidently deliver personal information.
- Forget contextual help: Not everyone is an expert online shopper. Make the process easier by offering help with steps that might be more complex.
- Few details about products: People cannot directly touch or see your products. Talk about its benefits, difference from the competition, materials and colors. Use evocative phrases and don't forget the technical details.
- The products have only one photo and are of low quality: The photos help the customer to imagine using the product. Post several of good size from different angles, details, context of use and dimension references.
- There are no related products: It is a very effective tool to increase sales. They must appear under the product sheet.
- Extensive payment and dispatch flows: Use quick and simple forms. Do not force the customer to register and ask for the data strictly necessary to complete the transaction.
- Have only one form of payment: E-commerce is reaching more and more people, by putting at your disposal various means to make sales.
- Do not notify about shipping costs: Always inform your customers on the product file or on a specific page that is easily accessible.
- Shopping cart with a poor design: It is a cause of shopping abandonment. It should allow you to easily add and drop products, review quantities and total fee, and view add-on products.
- Social networks disconnected from the web: You must publicize your e-commerce site and social networks are a great platform to reach your target audience, study the market, interact with your customers and generate business.
- Forget the SEO strategy: A good design is not enough. Approach an SEO strategy to position your pages in Google search results so that people find your products.
By Brooke Lark and Myriam Jessier on Unsplash