Creating Positive ECommerce User Experiences

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

shoppingUser experience is one of the driving forces of modern web design trends and practices – creating a pleasant experience for the visitor means they’re much more likely to stick around, keep browsing and ultimately feel happy utilising you and your business. It shows you’re professional and understand their needs and point of view. This is all great news for search engines too – they want to promote websites that make searchers happy, and it makes it much easier to market your site with social media and paid advertising.

Ecommerce websites especially need to provide a good user experience. They’re asking for a customer to input sensitive information – a credit card or PayPal information – to a website they may not have visited before, for a product that will then be shipped to them sight unseen. That requires a lot of trust, and the best way to build this trust is to make using your ecommerce website is a pleasant and smooth experience for them.

  • Organise your products. One of the most off-putting things about an online store is having page after page to sift through, without enough information to figure out which product is best for you. Create logical product categories and sub categories so that people can drill down to the specifications they want. Do consumer research to find out which categories are most important to people. If you can, put colour or size variations on a single product page to cut down on clutter and make it easier to navigate.
  • Provide images and comprehensive information on the item page. You don’t want clutter on your catalogue pages, but you need to provide full information about the product. If you leave any questions in the consumer’s mind, they might find it enough reason to look elsewhere. Keep it streamlined, use bullet points to lay out specifications without creating a huge block of text. Highlight the benefits of each product.
  • Have an intuitive search function. People often know exactly what they want, down to the model or product name. Having a well thought out search function lets them instantly get connected with their goal, which creates momentum for completing the purchase. A search function with different options and parameters is also useful for ensuring people who don’t quite know what they want, but have an idea.
  • Make checkout quick and easy. Handing over credit card or PayPal information by far requires the most trust during the process. The easier it is to check out, the more likely customers will go through with it. You should also ensure your site is secure – and looks it!

For ecommerce websites, creating a positive user experience is essential for building the trust to essentially make a blind purchase. It results in higher conversions, repeat business and referral business, so the stakes are high.

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Katie is a lover of words and art, born and raised in Christchurch. With a BA in English and Japanese, she’s happiest tapping away at her keyboard writing copy or articles, or else working on the latest illustration. To balance the creative side, Katie is also very motivated and a bit of a perfectionist, which helps with her SEO duties. Although her hobbies could probably be described as art, art and more art, she also enjoys long walks, good friends and travel.

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