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5 Best Practices To Improve Your E-Commerce Store's User Experience

April 24, 2023

5 Best Practices To Improve Your E-Commerce Store's User Experience

Be honest – when you visit a poorly made or slow website, do you stick around to make a purchase, or are you more likely to cringe before clicking that tiny little “X” in the corner? If the latter sounds more like you, you’re not alone – in 2022, it was found that 53% of online shoppers expect websites to load in 3 seconds or less, and 38% of people will even stop engaging with a website if it’s unattractive. With those strong preferences in mind, it’s more imperative than ever to ensure that your e-commerce UX is up to the challenge of meeting your customers’ needs and expectations.

What is E-Commerce UX and How Can It Impact Your Brand?

E-commerce UX is the practice of optimizing your website to create a consistent, efficient, and enjoyable online experience for your customers. Typically, this practice relies heavily on data that you should use to anticipate your customers’ needs. Though UX does of course take note of the website design (who wants to look at an unattractive website?), E-Commerce UX specifically considers the processes and usability features that contribute to an A+ online shopping experience. A few of these UX considerations include:

  • Website load time - does the website load quickly?
  • The navigation - are the header & footer menus organized?
  • Accessibility standards - does the website meet them?
  • Ease of use - does each click lead to the page or destination you’d expect? Are there extra steps that could be eliminated from the website journey?
  • Versatility - is the mobile view’s UX up to par with the website’s?
  • Copy - is the website and product copy clear and easy to understand?

When done properly, strong UX for E-Commerce websites can streamline the path to purchase and increase customer satisfaction, both of which will lead to an uptick in conversions, sales, and revenue. However, it’s important to remember that E-Commerce UX practices aren’t just for optimizing and managing websites. A great UX strategy should include the entirety of your customer touchpoints such as paid ads, social media, guest blog posts, email funnels, and other digital opportunities that your brand has to connect with customers.  

Steal Our E-Commerce User Experience Best Practices for Your Brand’s Digital Strategy

All customers are not alike, which is why UX can be a tricky component of your digital strategy. After all, though the ultimate goal is to encourage sales, each customer will approach your brand and the path to purchase differently, and meeting each customer’s needs often means viewing your e-commerce UX strategy from multiple angles. To get you started off on the right track with optimizing UX, we’ve included 5 of our best practices for e-commerce user experience below that we recommend for all online businesses.

1. Provide an intuitive navigation strategy

One of the most beneficial facets of a thorough e-commerce UX strategy is organized and intuitive navigation. Think about department stores: to make sure customers find what they’re looking for and don’t get lost in a maze of aisles, each section of these large stores is clearly marked for men's and women’s clothing, babies, outerwear, formal attire, and shoes. Your website should take a similar approach to maximize the time a customer will spend on your site. Though not every page needs to be linked in your header navigation, each navigation should be strategically organized to feature clearly-labeled pages that your customers will most likely visit. For example, True Classic keeps its primary header navigation simple but has easy-to-read drop-down menus that provide more options whenever a user hovers over a category like Tops, Bottoms, or Accessories. Most website users spend an average of 6.44 seconds focused on the main navigation menu, which means that a well-designed navigation will help customers find what they’re looking for faster and elevate their overall experience.

2. Invest in high-quality products + brand images

Shopping online versus shopping in a brick-and-mortar store certainly has its pros and cons. Though we can now literally shop from home in our pajamas (c’mon, we can’t be the only ones who do this) and check out competitors’ products without walking from store to store, shopping online also means we aren’t able to test out or try on the products in real time that we’re planning to buy. Therefore, e-commerce brands are responsible for including professional, high-quality photographs of products from various angles to supplement customers’ online shopping experience. Detailed descriptions are also necessary to ensure that your customers have all the information needed to make an informed decision. Leaving out vital information is frustrating for the customer and can create more tickets for return requests, costing your business more time and money to process.

3. Create a streamlined checkout process

Giving online users the option to checkout as a guest is a powerful e-commerce UX move that can save your brand tremendous sales. Not only do some users simply not want to create an account or sign up for a subscription, but many feel that it disrupts or slows the experience entirely and causes unnecessary friction when they’d rather just buy their item and move on with their day. In a 2022 study by Baymard, it was found that 24% of users abandoned their carts because the checkout process prompted them to create an account before purchasing – that’s 24% of sales that a brand could have made if they’d provided a “checkout as guest” option to users. Freedom of choice will always be something that your customers appreciate, and it will benefit your brand’s bottom line and establish trust in the long run.

4. Optimize site speed + mobile view

Ready for a jolting statistic? Slow-loading websites have cost retailers upwards of $2.6 billion in sales from customers who lose interest or patience after more than 5 seconds of waiting. Though this figure may be shocking, it marks the importance of optimizing your online store’s site speed and ensuring that each page and its corresponding images, videos, and other vital content load quickly. However, your site speed isn’t the only factor that matters when saving sales and retaining customers. With 63% of traffic coming from mobile devices, making sure that your brand’s customer experience on mobile is equally enjoyable as a desktop or tablet view is huge for maintaining customer satisfaction. Not only do 85% of consumers believe that a website’s mobile version should be the same or better quality as desktop, but 52% of them will lose faith in a brand entirely if the mobile experience is poor.

5. Offer high-touch customer support

There’s nothing worse than getting excited to purchase a product online only to find that the brand’s customer support is either slow to respond or entirely unhelpful in answering your final questions. Customer service is truly the backbone of any successful e-commerce business, and investing in a strong customer service experience will foster loyalty and even encourage more repeat purchases in your business. Plus, training your customer service agents thoroughly on your products and services will help to reduce churn, returns, exchanges, and increase opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.

Increase Your Sales & Revenue by Implementing Our E-Commerce UX Best Practices Within Your Online Store

When it comes to making more sales and revenue online, implementing our top e-commerce UX best practices is the best place to start. At TalentPop, we know exactly what your brand needs to grow and succeed, which is why we specialize in helping e-commerce brands improve customer service with trained, qualified agents. From upselling and cross-selling your customers to answering questions about products that encourage more purchases, your dedicated TalentPop agents will be there to support your brand every step of the way. If you’re ready to strengthen e-commerce UX in your business today, we’re here to help. Schedule a call with our team today, and we’ll show you how to get started.

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