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The role of UX in e-commerce

Starting your e-commerce website is easier than it’s ever been. Almost anyone can build an online store and start selling products. But there’s a lot that goes into determining whether your online business will succeed.

One of the most important factors for an e-commerce site’s success is UX. UX, or user experience, encapsulates everything your shoppers experience while visiting your store. From the text on your homepage to the email validating a purchase, it’s all part of the experience. If you’re looking to close deals, you’ll probably want to give your customers a positive experience. Bad UX leads customers to leave your store without buying anything, while good UX can have a huge impact on your conversion rate.

Common E-commerce UX Challenges

Some of the main reasons people leave e-commerce websites without making a purchase have to do with UX. These are the most likely culprits in lowering your conversion rate.

Cart abandonment

Shoppers ditching their carts is one of the biggest issues e-commerce businesses face. In fact, a whopping 70% of all carts are abandoned. That amounts to a huge loss of revenue. There are a few reasons people abandon their carts without completing the transaction. Some carts are abandoned due to technical issues, such as slow loading and processing times. Others are left on account of unclear shipping information. And some are the result of a tedious, multi-page signup form. As they tie into so many factors, you can gain a lot of insight into your online store’s UX by tracking your cart abandonment rates.

Long loading times

No one has the time and nerves to wait around for product images to load or for transactions to be completed. And why should they? Complicatedness, slow pages, and images that take a lot of time to load can kill your customers’ experience, pushing them to other e-commerce sites. The slow loading speed pages indicate that customers have to wait to access the content. Fast loading speed is an e-commerce website’s best UX signal. It shows the commitment that as an entrepreneur, you care about the browsing experience of the visitors and you pay keen attention to how easily they can browse the site. Since loading speed is a ranking factor of search engine optimization, improvement towards conversion rate would yield a solid performance in SEO.

That being said, fixing your loading times can be tricky, but there are lots of things you can do to improve your site’s performance. Some of the simplest actions include compressing images and reducing unnecessary redirects, just to name a few. Fixing your page speed can be tricky, but there are lots of things you can do to improve your site’s performance. Some of the simplest actions include compressing images and reducing unnecessary redirects.

Signing up for an account

Where it is required for customers to create an account to complete their purchase makes things way more complicated than they need to be. It’s no surprise that signing up is one of the biggest reasons people quit their carts. This is partially because it takes time to fill out a sign-up form. But it’s also due to all the information required. People are hesitant to give over information, especially if they’re first-time customers. By requiring people to have an account on your website, you’re alienating casual shoppers. They may just opt to buy from your competitors, where the product they want is just a few clicks away.

Unclear information

To decide whether to purchase from your store, your customers will need quite a bit of information. Providing the relevant info helps people put their trust in your business. It shows you care and work hard to provide a stress-free shopping experience. Shoppers want to instantly find out if items are out of stock, how much shipping would cost, and what discounts are available. 

Without being able to communicate face to face, you’ll need the information of the product to be as explicit as it can be. But you don’t want to have a bunch of information presented at the top of every single page, that would hardly provide a good experience. Rather, you should figure out what is relevant and intact with everything else. For instance, product pages should emphasize options like sizes and colors, as well as stock availability, and your checkout page should be clear about shipping locations, durations, and rates.

Website errors

Errors highly impact customers’ shopping experience. Things like dead links or missing product pages really ruin the user experience and may cause shoppers to give up on purchasing from your store. But this can get even worse. Imagine an error occurring while processing a transaction. That wouldn’t just be a nuisance, but an actual cause for panic for the customer who’s trying to finish their purchase.

To prevent these things from happening, you should routinely test your website to make sure everything works as expected. It’s also a good idea to go over your site and ensure all your links are working, especially if you have a large site with lots of pages.

Mobile incompatibility

Being able to navigate, shop, and checkout on a mobile device is extremely important, as mobile sales are expected to account for over half of all e-commerce in 2021. 

Online stores that aren’t compatible with mobile devices already suffer major consequences. Not only will they lose customers, but it may also hurt their reputation. In 2021, there’s no justification for having an online store struggle to perform on mobile platforms.

Three Principles to improve your e-commerce UX

To sum things up, there are three principles you should keep an eye on, to make sure your online store’s UX is up to date.

Clear communication

Use illuminating language and make sure your shoppers get all the information they need to make an informed decision. Ensure people know exactly what they’re getting, when, how, and at what cost to avoid dissatisfactions.

Easy navigation

Imagine walking into a store and nothing is labeled. That’s what it’s like to navigate a poorly-built online
store. So make sure all of your pages are categorized, interlinked, and displayed properly.

Quick checkout

Complicated and long checkouts frustrate people, and frustrated shoppers often don’t finalize the transaction. Make sure your checkout process is simple and quick, with as few steps as possible.Of course, you’ll need billing and shipping information, but keep your forms minimal and focused on one or two pages.

If you want to know more about e-commerce development platforms or apps, read our blog posts for Shopify and Shopware. Our dedicated outsourcing team can be your collaborator in ecommerce.

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