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All businesses that rely on online shopping must understand the importance of having a well designed website, from both a usability and pure design point of view. When building an online marketing strategy it is not enough to consider only improving the visibility of your website through social media marketing or making your website number one in search engine rankings through search engine marketing strategies. There is nothing worse than succeeding in getting potential customers to your website and then losing them because of a poor usability design of the website. Many ecommerce businesses are daily losing sales as they neglect the importance of usability testing on their site. Using our experience in managing eCommerce websites along with a brief research on other potential problems that may arise, we have compiled a list of most important aspects that need to be considered. There are four main areas one needs to focus on: Shopping Cart Usability, Checkout Process, Website Navigation and Social Media Usability.

Improve the Usability of Your E-commerce Website!

All businesses that rely on online shopping must understand the importance of having a well designed website, from both a usability and pure design point of view. When building an online marketing strategy it is not enough to consider only improving the visibility of your website through social media marketing or making your website number one in search engine rankings through search engine marketing strategies. There is nothing worse than succeeding in getting potential customers to your website and then losing them because of a poor usability design of the website. Many ecommerce businesses are daily losing sales as they neglect the importance of usability testing on their site. Using our experience in managing eCommerce websites along with a brief research on other potential problems that may arise, we have compiled a list of most important aspects that need to be considered. There are four main areas one needs to focus on: Shopping Cart Usability, Checkout Process, Website Navigation and Social Media Usability.

Shopping Cart Usability

* Don’t ask your shoppers to register for an account before adding items to their cart. If they have to go through the registration process first, they might see the process as too long and complicated and leave the website. * Make the font for the “add to cart buttons” large! It will make it easier for shoppers to notice it. You may as well want to consider different wordings to improve shoppers’ experience. * An ecommerce site needs to give easy access to its shopping cart on all pages of the website. * Show related products (or an option like amazon.com has “Frequently Bought Together” or, “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought”) to the shopper when they add a product of their choice in the basket.

Shopping Cart Usability

* Recognise repeat customers with their e-mail addresses * Include a bar that tells the users at what step in their checkout process they are and how many they have left till the end. They need to know where they are and how long the process will take. * Tell shoppers where they are and where they are going. * Show all costs as early in the process as possible: the price of the item, amount saved, any applicable shipping or taxes. This will eliminate all possible misunderstandings and will increase trust of your brand. * Since shoppers are asked for their debit card information at checkout, security issues must be eliminated! Keep security badges and trust certificates in place so shoppers can see your site is secure. * All order details must be included on the checkout confirmation page. * Don’t overload your checkout page, it might drive people away. Try to break up the ordering process into smaller bits. * Give shoppers the option to confirm their order before buying. * Highlight required fields by putting a symbol “*” means that these field are not optional. This makes it easy for the shopper to skip the optional information. * Design a confirmation page that will include all details necessary to the shopper. * Send them a confirmation e-mail providing all information to the user

Shopping Cart Usability

* Use Headlines and Subheadings explaining shoppers exactly where they are and suggesting them what type of information they can find on each page. This will increase the usability of your site and make people less likely to bounce out your site. * Contact information and Call to action should always be displayed. While targeting online shoppers, never exclude the possibility of getting users that may wish to do business with you over the phone or via email. * The search function must always be easy to spot on all pages of the site. Shoppers may want to query the site for one particular product or information. It can be included near the top or middle of the page as well as on the sidebar. * To improve users’ search option, it can be refined offering a drop – down list with the main categories or most frequently searched keywords. * On the product pages, giving the option to refine product results based on their price, size, shape or colour also increases the website’s usability. * Content is also essential from a usability point of view. The product description included on each page must be able to answer all questions a shopper may have. * Avoid using jargon language, words that are not widely known by your targeted audience. It will confuse users and drive them away from the site.

Website Navigation

* Use Headlines and Subheadings explaining shoppers exactly where they are and suggesting them what type of information they can find on each page. This will increase the usability of your site and make people less likely to bounce out your site. * Contact information and Call to action should always be displayed. While targeting online shoppers, never exclude the possibility of getting users that may wish to do business with you over the phone or via email. * The search function must always be easy to spot on all pages of the site. Shoppers may want to query the site for one particular product or information. It can be included near the top or middle of the page as well as on the sidebar. * To improve users’ search option, it can be refined offering a drop – down list with the main categories or most frequently searched keywords. * On the product pages, giving the option to refine product results based on their price, size, shape or colour also increases the website’s usability. * Content is also essential from a usability point of view. The product description included on each page must be able to answer all questions a shopper may have. * Avoid using jargon language, words that are not widely known by your targeted audience. It will confuse users and drive them away from the site.

The checkout process and the usability of an ecommerce website a long with how easy it is for users to handle their shopping cart are very important when it comes to increasing conversations. For all online business users who want to increase the selling potential of their website, the factors mentioned above must be kept in mind at all times.

SysComm is a social media marketing, online reputation management and search engine marketing company. Click here to contact us.

About Emma G.

Working in the marketing industry since 2002. This blog is one of my hobbies.

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