User experience is central to the success of your eCommerce website. How your customers respond to your brand positioning and interact with your business largely depends upon their user experience (UX).
User experience is not just about the aesthetics of a website but is an organic harmony of different elements of your website coming together to assist the customers through a particular activity. UX encompasses the basic framework of your website to product details, information display, etc.
However, why is user experience important? And what is UX exactly in the first place?
Basics of UX
User experience simply is everything an end-user experience through the interaction with your brand, website, and your product/services. Suppose a visitor lands up on your online store. The first thing he/she experiences is the loading of your website. The next is the visual aesthetics and structure of your site. Then he/she tries to interact with some element of your store, like the navigation menu, product carousel, customer chat support, etc.
Thus everything, from the loading of your site to a customer that exists, must be absolutely flawless. The journey of a customer from landing to their exit and their intended activity in-between must be smooth and without hassle. Studies say that every $1 invested in UX results in $100 in return (9,900% ROI).
How will an excellent user experience (UX) impact your business? Well, there are various ways it benefits you:
• Foremost, it reinforces your brand value among your customers.
• It can increase your order value.
• If you offer a pleasant experience, customers tend to stay longer on your site, increasing the chance of them buying something.
• Helps you retain customers, and increases your customer retention rate.
• It directly impacts your sales. It can boost conversion rates up to 400%.
User experience differs based on the device your customers are using. Thus, your website for one must be mobile responsive. Your website should be custom designed for different devices so that users can get the same quality experience on any device.
We’ll look at important tips on how you can boost your user experience.
Easy Navigation & Site Structure
When customers walk into your online store, they should not find themselves lost or confused. The structure of your website must guide them towards what they are looking for. This can be done by simply organizing your website content, products into categories, employing an appropriate navigation menu.
The customers must feel at ease and should be able to make sense of your structure. Highlighting the right categories and determining product classification brings out what’s important to your business.
If you look at Nike’s main menu, you’ll see that they have a separate category called SNKRS. This could have gone under the shoe section but they deliberately emphasized this because of the popularity it has among customers.
Establish Visual Hierarchy
Visual hierarchy is a great way of establishing a structure and logic to your navigation. We as humans perceive shape, size, color and attach subconscious meanings to them. By employing a visual hierarchy, you can easily tell your customers what’s important, what’s secondary, and what they need to do next.
You must use heading, subheading, different colors, backgrounds, shapes, and text sizes to determine how your website looks visually. The moment a customer lays eyes on your website, they must feel familiar with it and at ease.
If you look at Netflix’s website, you’ll see that their every call-to-action button is red in color, similar to their logo. This establishes a connection between their brand and call-to-action. You can observe how they have used different font sizes, headings, and positioning to bring out a visual hierarchy in their design.
A study found that 80% of customers are likely to buy from companies that provide a personalized shopping experience. Personalization seems to enhance UX significantly, and boost sales by making your customers feel valued.
Based on a user’s IP address you can determine their location. This can let you offer them a personalized experience like a custom welcome message. You can use GeoFli which is geo-personalization software.
You can offer your customers personalized product recommendations based on their previous search or shopping history. You must have come across Amazon’s product recommendation “Customers who viewed this item also viewed…”. It is a great example of product recommendations.
Customer feedback is important in making crucial changes to your site. We say that customers often give more crucial insights than people working within your company sometimes. You must interact with your customer, solve their queries and implement their feedback if possible. This establishes a loop of trust and your customers are more likely to buy from you.
You can set up automated emails sent to your customer after their first purchase. This is the time when your customers are more likely to give you honest feedback. If you find that it is difficult to receive feedback from your customers, you can set up incentives for the customer to give you feedback. It can be downloadable content, a small discount on their next purchase, etc.
Be Consistent Across Channels
You mustn't send mixed messages. You should have a consolidated and concentrated brand identity. It is possible that running various campaigns parallel to each other might send out mixed messages. It is also likely that your online store is set up differently for different devices.
Be sure that your store communicates the same things across devices and social media channels. Generating an omni channel experience can be huge leverage.
Decrease Site Load Time
It is observed that 1 in every 4 visitors will abandon a site that takes more than 4 seconds to load and 64% of shoppers will switch to alternate stores if dissatisfied with their shop visit. Because buyers don’t have to wait in long lines, they prefer online shopping. Your website’s slow load speed must not defeat the purpose.
There is so much more to faster loading websites but for now, you must understand that a fast loading site retains customers and offers a great UX.
Employ Virtual Assistance
Sometimes, customers can face difficulty finding their desired page irrespective of excellent navigation. Maybe your customers want some quick basic info, and don’t want to search a lot for it or call your customer support. Here virtual assistance can work miraculously. You can employ chatbots that guide your customers to various sections of your website.
Chatbots can also help them resolve simple errors and queries or guide them to human assistance for complex issues. This is seen to improve the UX immensely. Dominos's simple chatbot allows you to do simple tasks with ease and provide important info at your fingertips. It is an excellent example of virtual assistance.
Easy Checkout Process
A major reason for people to abandon their carts is because of complex checkout processes. Be mindful that you create an easy and straightforward checkout process. This is the last step of a customer’s buying journey. Do not complicate things here or else you increase the chances of losing customers.
Funneling customers to this stage is a complex process on its own. Their checkout process must be minimal. Do not add any surveys or feedback during the checkout process.
Re-Engage & Incentivize
If you think that once a customer completes their purchase, you can’t influence their UX anymore, then you are certainly mistaken. There is much more you can do once they complete a purchase or even if they abandon their purchase in the middle.
In case they have abandoned their cart, you can send them a follow-up mail, asking them to continue their purchase, give offers or better alternatives, etc. In case they have completed their purchase, you can send them an email once within a month or 15 days, to send them offers, discounts, new product recommendations, etc. With loyalty coupons and discounts, you incentivize them for further purchase.
It is imperative to create an excellent user experience as an online business. Luckily, there are so many ways you can do that. Take guidance from the tips given above and implement them. For sure you will see improved customer interactions and engagement. If you do the UX enhancement right, within no time it will start reflecting in your sales and customer base.
We hope this guide helped you better grasp how you can enhance UX on your online store.