Online consumers are spoilt for choice, with thousands of relevant search results right at their fingertips. To keep them engaged and away from the competition, online merchants not only need to deliver the very best product, but the very best buying experience as well.
It’s known that the average rate a customer will leave the checkout before buying is over 68%. Extra clicks, poor product discovery, and frustrating or confusing steps at checkout can be all it takes to make a customer leave your store and buy elsewhere. This is where optimizing your user experience onsite becomes crucial.
Ecommerce UX is the notion of how a user interacts and perceives a website. There are a number of ways you can identify whether a customer's experience with your store is a positive or a negative one. The best way to understand whether you have a positive or negative UX is by looking at your customers behaviour onsite - assess metrics such as bounce rate, average onsite duration time & conversion rate. When diving into your online store’s web analytics, it’s vital to consider their entire journey - from the moment a customer lands on your online store to the moment they leave the checkout.
With more and more consumers buying online, it’s never been more important for online merchants to improve and deliver the very best customer experience onsite. eCommerce stores that aspire to do so will pay dividends with improved conversion rates and increased revenue.
Here are our top 5 tips on how to optimise your eCommerce user experience.
Tip 1. Consider The Fold
Always remember first impressions matter when it comes to online shopping. Above the fold relates to the part of your website that a customer will see without scrolling down. It’s vital that customers are immediately presented with a value proposition on why they should stay on your store. This could be presenting your products in an appealing way or catching the eye of consumers with a catchy headline. Remember some customers may never scroll down - so think really carefully about what to present them with first.
For Doisy & Dam we integrated real time search to assist shoppers with finding the best products - maximising conversions and UX.
Tip 2. The Basket
It’s really easy to think that offering more within a purchase user journey is the best option - for example asking customers if they want to upgrade or add extra products before checking out. Data actually says for every extra click in a user journey the more likely a customer is to drop off before purchase. One great way to reduce the clicks to checkout is to offer what we call real-time carts - this is where the cart will display on page without directing the customer to a different page - this means if they wish to continue shopping they can carry on right from where they left off. This also means they can checkout instantly, which increases the chances of securing their purchase.
For DrinkXite.com we integrated an upselling basket that promotes customers to learn more about other products, make savings when they spend more and even give a sense of urgency. We feel this is a really positive user experience for merchants as it immerses them in more related products and offers ways to save.
Tip 3. People Buy What They See
We need to remember that often customers will not search every inch of your website to find the perfect product they are looking for, we have a saying at Charle - people buy what they see. You really want to try and display the most relevant products to the most relevant customers. There are a number of ways to achieve this. One way includes using amazing product recommendation tools to use data-base recommendations. If you have a small product range then just make sure you position the product as early on so that customers can see it in its glory. If you have a very large product range with multiple categories, we recommend what we call a super category or ‘collection’ page. This offers a carousel of multiple products for each category - that way customers can view a few products of every collection - keeping them engaged for longer.
Tip 4. Customer Reviews & UGC
User experience goes far beyond the look and feel, keeping customers engaged onsite can be achieved by integrating some amazing features such as user-generated-content and products reviews. We found that our merchant’s achieved conversion rates 4-5x times greater when reviews & UGC were displayed onsite, as it encouraged customers to engage with them while building trust at the same time. Customers expect to receive all the information they need to make a confident purchasing decision upfront. You’ll want to make sure that finding this information for them is as easy as possible.
Including customer and product attribute filters to your product pages allows customers to filter through reviews most relevant to them. For example, if you’re a skincare brand and you want to help customers find reviews based on their skin type, you can allow them to filter by things such as “normal”, “dry”, “oily”, or “sensitive”. This encourages customers to purchase your product as it proves to be best suited for their individual needs.
Tip 5. Diverse Content & Page Layout
Our final and probably most important part is adopting a diverse page layout strategy to maximise sales and engagement. By splitting up the layout of the page to deliver a diverse range of content keeps customers engaged for longer - there’s a reason the effectiveness of Facebook and Instagram scrolling feed works so well. Try and balance promotions, products but also content that isn’t always sales focused as it will keep the attention of buyers for longer. Not only does an increased onsite time maximise the chance of a customer buying / remembering you but it also is a positive ranking factor for search engines meaning your likely to rank higher and attract more customers too!
About the author
Nic Dunn is the founder of Charle Agency, a Shopify ecommerce agency who partners with ambitious brands to launch & grow scalable ecommerce websites. Formed of designers and developers, they help brands profit from the power of strategic website design and powerful development using the most cutting-edge Shopify technology.