Two equal forces must unite in harmony to achieve an optimal online shopping user experience. First: how a site feels and the other: how the information is laid out. User experience and user interface guide both factors.
Good user experience for an online shopper presents all the necessary information logically and with both visuals and copy in place. Everything they need—and in the best cases, some things they didn’t know they needed—are all there to guide them to complete their purchase.
No brand can afford to have abandoned carts and drop-offs in the sequence because of outdated design. Customer retention is crucial for any ecommerce business, and if your retail site has a lackluster user experience, including a poor mobile responsive design, your sales will suffer. In fact, 88% of users will likely not return to a website with a bad user experience, and mobile users are five times more likely to abandon a task on a website if it’s not optimized for mobile.
Getting users through your ecommerce marketing funnel is one thing, optimizing your site for user experience should be at the top of your list. Let’s discuss the ins and outs of user experience, the design process, and our essential user experience strategies.
What is User Experience (UX) Design
User experience design is the entire process of creating a usable and functional experience for visitors on a website, mobile application, and other digital platforms. UX designers focus on elevating products on a website and incorporating strong branding, usability, and functionality. Put simply, UX designers help make a pleasant and fun experience for users to create meaningful online experiences.
User experience design is crucial in many ecommerce industries, especially for the luxury ecommerce and cosmetics ecommerce categories. When people shop for clothes, apparel, and beauty products, a superior UX experience will do wonders to help sell your products. Poor user experiences will leave a bad association with your brand, making it harder for users to check out. Building entertaining, engaging, and accessible ecommerce experiences will lead to happier customers and better conversions.
What is End-User Experience
End-user experience is synonymous with UX as it aggregates all the different elements of a website design, including navigation, ease of use, payment options, and more. All ecommerce sites are burdened with frequent advances in the digital world. The internet continues to improve, and as time progresses, ecommerce brands must frequently invest in updating their website to meet the latest trends.
Some experts say end-user design defines a brand. Therefore, no brand can ignore it nor let it go stagnant. Like most everything else on the internet, it is going to evolve and brands have to keep up. Brands must be diligent in their performance testing to ensure an optimal end-user experience for their customers.
Top Three Signs Your Customers Are Having A Bad User Experience:
If you offer a subpar user experience, there are some clear signs to let you know.
1. Steady Web Traffic, But Poor Conversions
If your web traffic is steady or growing, but consumers aren’t pulling the trigger, it might not be because of economic woes or that your product isn’t for them. They have come to your site because they are interested in what you have to sell. But some parts of the design, navigation, or flow are not presenting them with the information, at the right time, in the right place to tip the scale.
Perhaps it’s a marketing offer. Or perhaps the ability to zoom in and see an important detail or the relevant information is buried in clutter. It goes without saying that conversions are a top ecommerce KPI, and some updates to create an excellent user experience can definitely improve it.
2. High Bounce Rates
A certain range of bounce rate is expected. Consumers look at a lot of websites, they know what they want right when they get there. But if there is a high bounce rate on similar types of pages or in specific steps of the sequence, there is clearly a user experience problem.
If information isn’t easily accessed when it’s needed to make a decision—for example, why can’t I find your size guide that’s relevant to the product I’m shopping at that moment?—consumers aren’t sticking around to explore more. Make sure to carefully monitor your marketing analytics and investigate high bounce rates.
3. Your Site Isn’t Responsive
If your site is not using responsive design, it’s likely not fully optimized for navigation by mobile users. Mobile ecommerce sales are expected to hit $314 billion in 2021, accounting for an estimated 54% of total ecommerce sales. The mobile slice of the shopping channel pie is only growing. If your website isn’t responsive, potential customers will go to a competitor who offers a more effortless mobile browsing experience now.
Top Three Essential User Experience Strategies
Implement our essential user experience strategies below to ensure your customers are happy.
1. Simple and Easy Design
This sounds like a no-brainer, but a lot of websites really get this wrong. Good design respects the rules of positive and negative space. The ratio of text to images has easy-to-read font sizes, is void of technology glitches from browser to browser, and features intuitive navigation. It is an expert science to predicting consumer behavior and creating a user experience that feels intuitive and easy.
2. Your Customer Enjoys Hanging Around
Consumers enjoy lingering around websites that offer them an enjoyable experience, including content that feels personal, strong brand imagery, graphics with a point of view, beautifully photographed products, detailed descriptions, and simply focused design. In a good user experience, the customer leaves feeling happy and fulfilled in both the visual and technological ease of the experience, rather than frustrated and annoyed.
3. Customers Are Buying, and Coming Back Again
Lightning speed load times, clear product value proposition, a clear brand vibe, and easy checkout all help ensure success. Timely shipping with a no-fuss return and exchange policy, they’ll remember how quick and easy that was next time they need to make another purchase—and tell their friends.
As an online retailer you know the value of a shopper that not only makes a purchase, but becomes a returning customer. You also know your user’s experience cannot be ignored or pushed down on the priority list. There are 100’s, if not 1000’s, of things your brand is focusing on right now, prioritizing your user’s experience needs to be one of them. Can you afford to not make it a priority?