Here’s How to Do It
Your business’ website can leave a lasting imprint on the mind of your customers. Like any prudent businessman, you would want it to be a positive one. Creating such an impression depends on a variety of factors, with functionality ranking very high among them.
Because of the influence a good website can have on customers, entrepreneurs have understood the importance of providing them with functional and flawless UX or user experience.
If you’re wondering how you can improve the UX of your website, you’ve come to the right place.
1. It’s in the Details
Shopping in a brick-and-mortar store enables customers to look at and physically examine a product, and read related information/instructions before buying it. It is important that e-commerce websites provide either the same level of experience to their customers or improvise further.
Your e-commerce website needs to provide as much information as it can about the product so that the customer feels like he is making an informed decision by doing business with you. Whether it is size, color, weight, dimensions, materials, and so on, the product description should be accurate and detailed.
Moreover, avoid using jargon in your description so that the layman understands exactly what he’s looking at. Descriptive words leave a better impact on the customers than technical terms do.
2. Do Not Insist on Creating an Account
Customers love an experience that is quick and easy to carry out. It is, therefore, important that you remove the obstacles from their path and give them a straightforward road ahead.
Asking your customers to create an account before placing an order will seem like a hindrance, which they don’t need.
Instead, offer them this option after they’ve placed their order. Enable them to save their account information so they need not enter the same information for consequent purchases, and to track their orders.
3. Image Size Does Matter
Enhance the user experience by providing larger images of the product thumbnails, so that the customer can have a good look at the product before buying it. Clicking on the thumbnails should also allow your customers to zoom into the image for closer review/verification. This is important if you want your customer to trust you and come back for more.
4. Quick Checkout
Having a long and complicated checkout process will only inhibit people from making purchases on your website. You need to make it as easy as possible for the customers to punch-in their credit card information and complete their transaction.
The ideal checkout procedure would entail having a single page to check their order and enter their billing and shipping information, followed by a confirmation page appearing upon the submission of the order.
However, if you must include other pages, make them quick to fill out. Combine related pages (such as those for shipping and payment information) by using a two-column layout.
5. Easy and Multiple Payment Solutions
In order to boost the number of orders you get, it is imperative that you provide as many payment options as you can. Use a payment service that lets your customers pay with all major credit cards and electronic checks. Add a PayPal option to increase the chances of customers buying from you.
6. Keep It Safe
Customers need to feel secure when they furnish confidential information to you. They will buy from you only if they find you trustworthy enough to know that their details will be stored safely. Displaying visual clues such as lock icons and security software credentials on your site will make them more comfortable in doing business with you.
7. Enable Them to Reach You
Customers prefer to be assured that they’re transacting with a reliable company, especially when they’re disclosing sensitive information to you. They need to feel certain that they will be able to get in touch with you, should they need help. If your contact information is absent from your website, or is hidden, they’ll have a hard time trusting you, and be less likely to buy from you.
Make sure to include your contact details on every page of your website. Make them clearly visible either in your header, top of your sidebar, or in your footer. Mention various means of communication such as a phone number, email address, and contact form to earn their trust.
Additionally, have a separate FAQ page dedicated to common questions customers might have, such as replacement procedures, return policies, and so on.
8. Mention Shipping Charges
Make sure you give your customers all the information they need to know when making a purchase. Having hidden costs will prove to be an unpleasant surprise, and nobody likes those. This includes the disclosure of shipping rates. Do not make the mistake of overcharging your customers on this, but keep the charges high enough to meet the cost of shipping the chosen item.
For heavy/large items, you can include a freight surcharge in the price for transparency.
9. Ensure Immaculate Navigation
Haphazard websites are a huge turnoff for online shoppers. Instead of creating confusion, work on unhindered navigation by using categories to organize your Web store. Consider the categories and navigational elements at length before putting together your product catalogue. Create a separate category to group small items together so that they’re not left unspecified. Make it easy for customers to browse through them and add items to their shopping cart, and to go through your website in general.
10. Mobile Optimization Is a Must
Most customers, especially those always on the move, use their smartphones for browsing the Internet, reading and replying to emails, making payments and even for shopping. It is, therefore, critical to design your website in a way that it is optimized for viewing on mobile phones and tablets without technical hassles.
Make sure that all relevant information is visible to the user, the menus are responding, images are optimized, and font size and buttons are large enough to be legible.
A website that lacks a responsive design is likely to be abandoned by customers.
Apart from the technical brawn and the design sheen, e-commerce websites must deliver functionality. It is important that website designers remember the ultimate reason for building the website to ensure an effective UX. It should be able to transcend boundaries, connect people, provide access to products and services, and educate the masses. The above tips should go a long way in helping a designer understand the elements that go into ensuring a satisfying user experience.