Search Engine Optimization has come a long way from merely bombarding your pages with content using a keyword over and over again. For your site to rank, you need to provide a great user experience to your visitors. Your efforts to do so will be rewarded with high rankings.
However, according to NNGroup, there are over 800 things that you should do to provide the best user experience, costing your billions of dollars. But that’s a little too much, isn’t it?
We have provided 25 of the best practices for e-commerce sites that you should employ to provide a wonderful user experience for your shoppers. Turn your ecommerce site into one with rich user experience.
Ecommerce UX Tips
MAKE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION COUNT: HOME PAGE UX TIPS
Image credit: Sell Clothes Online page from Shopify
The Hero Area, also known as the hero image or featured area, is a large banner place that is prominently placed on a site’s home page. It is the first visual that your site’s visitor will come into contact with. You will have to strategize it well because your hero area can make or break your relationship with a potential customer.
For you hero area, here are the things that you should do:
1. Make your hero area simple. Your hero area should not be an eye sore. It should be simple, and uncluttered. Remove unnecessary content.
2. Visualize, don’t textualize. Use as few words as possible for your hero area. Use images instead.
3. Entice your visitors to buy. Also use visual cues such as arrows and colors, and direct your visitors to a single call to action – to buy!
4. Provide an option for your visitors to go to product pages that are right for them. “Shopping for men or women?”
Here are the things that you should NOT do for your hero area:
5. Do not bombard your hero area with embellishments. This will distract your visitors and will get their minds off of buying.
6. Do not forget to update your content. Last month’s promos should not be on your hero page for they are not applicable anymore. It is annoying to find promos that you will not be able to use. It may bring your shoppers’ hopes up but the instance that they learn that they cannot use it may be the same instance that they decide to leave your page.
As Robert Mening has mentioned in his ultimate guide on increasing web traffic, your website content is “the foundation of the system”. It doesn’t only affect user experience, but it also helps in bumping up traffic and rankings as well.
7. Do not clutter your hero area. Don’t put it too much promotions and messages on your hero area. However, some ecommerce sites can use the hero area for conversion, as seen above. Shopify uses the hero area to entice visitors to try their product free for 14 days.
8. Do not utilize an auto-advancing carousel or sliders. To maximize your hero area without cluttering too much on the space, you might consider utilizing an automatically advancing carousel instead. DON’T! They are conversion killers. Sliders are often ignored.
9. Do not highlight a product that is not representative of your mix.
NAVIGATION: HELP THEM REACH YOUR PRODUCTS
Your navigation strategy is essential for your users to get to what they’re looking for. Proper navigation equates to organization and your shoppers would adore an organized ecommerce site in as much as they would adore an organized rack on the supermarket.
Here are the things that you should do for your navigation:
10. Your top menu should be limited to seven choices only.
11. Have a secondary navigation. Place this on the top right area and include items such as your “Contact Us” page.
12. Use a multi-column menu. A multi-column menu is more organized and should include categories and subcategories for better filtering. Nixon does have a multi-column menu that separates products according to gender, so it’ll be easier for the users to select and navigate through the website.
13. Your primary navigation should have quality images of your products.
14. Contrasting colors can work to make your menu more prominent.
15. Product that falls into multiple categories should be visible in all such categories.
Here are the things that you should NOT do for your navigation:
16. Do not use a single lengthy column for your menu.
17. Don’t provide links that direct shoppers to an empty page.
18. Don’t over-classify. If a product would be the only one under a very specific category. It might be better to place it one category higher.
19. Don’t provide vague options such as “more” or “others”. Provide a label for your categories. Others or more are incomprehensible and shoppers would not give much effort figuring out what you have in that category.
CREATE AN ACCOUNT PAGE
Getting your customers’ information is a good idea so that you can contact them for promos, as well as include them for your marketing campaigns. However, shoppers should only create an account at will and should be able to checkout without being required to make an account.
In order to entice your users to create and account, do the following:
20. Emphasize the benefits of having an account. Benefits such as exclusive discounts and promotions are enough to entice a decent number of shoppers to create an account.
21. Make it easy to make an account. Full name and email should be enough to make an account. Let the user set a password through a link to be sent to their email. Let them freely customize their profile afterward.
MAKE OR BREAK: CHECKOUT PAGE
With all your efforts, your shoppers would hopefully reach your checkout page. With the right product, the right price, and the right push, there’s no reason your customers wouldn’t reach your checkout page.
But now that your customer is ready to pay, your effort to provide a rich user experience should still be present. Your checkout process should be smooth and secured.
To help achieve that, do the following:
22. Don’t ask for too much information. Your checkout page should not necessitate your customers to make an account. Don’t ask for unnecessary details. Look at the checkout page from Nixon. It’s simple, minimalistic, and just the right length.
23. Change the main navigation. For the checkout page, make sure that you intend to seal the deal. Change the main navigation from one that presents all your product categories to one that presents only your contact page.
24. Provide shortcuts to filling up forms. Make filling up forms easier. Allow your users to use the billing address as the shipping address with a single button. Use dropdown where possible.
25. Show progress. Divide your checkout process into small chunks. For example, first would be for personal information, next for payment information, and the last for summary and confirmation. Show that your users are just a couple of steps away by showing progress. Again, this checkout form from Nixon shows how a user progresses from Shipping, Payment, and Order Review. Fast, quick and easy.
UP YOUR UX, UP YOUR SALES
With a rich user experience, your ecommerce site can gain a lot more sales. If your site can offer a safe, and smooth online shopping experience, what is not to like? Your shoppers would come back over and over again and would totally love shopping with you.
So follow our tips above, and make your ecommerce site a wonderful online shop to go to, and offer the richest user experience for them. All the best for your online shop!
Author bio: Erin Feldman owns her own online store located in California, USA. You can find Erin doing a Baddha Konasana somewhere in La Jolla Cove. Problems with student loans made her interested in selling online and Googled where to sell clothes online. Her own yoga boutique is now five years old, and she’s debt-free.