It’s just today’s reality - more and more consumers are buying online. In 2016 over 50% of shoppers made their purchases online. That’s a 47% growth since 2014.
It should also be noted that 44% of smartphone users made online purchases through their mobile phones. As smartphones get “smarter” and online retailers savvier, a number of consumer dollars spent online will surely only increase. From shopping apps to better-than-ever return policies, the simple convenience factor of online shopping only continues to grow and lure even the luddites of the world online.
And, just like traditional brick and mortar stores, customer satisfaction hinges on a positive retail experience. Below are some helpful tactics to build UX that are user-centric for optimal conversion rates, straight from our own design team.
Create Easy Navigation
Easy to navigate menus, quick to load pages, and detailed product information are all things that users expect from their online shopping experience. Matching the navigation to your target audience is an important part of ensuring that your users can quickly find and purchase what they are looking for. If a customer can’t locate what they are looking for, or the site takes too long to load, chances are they will leave your page in search for another option.
It is also important to group and categorize products in a way that your customers would expect to search for them. Depending on your product offering, this might be by style, fabric, length, activity type etc. For example, clothing might be grouped by pants, tops, jackets. But also be grouped by seasons such as; fall, winter, summer wear etc.
Leverage Killer Content & Photography
Content is king - but only when done effectively. Don’t overwhelm your site visitor with excessive amounts of unnecessary copy, imagery, and advertisements; this can be both annoying and distracting to potential customers, again causing them to want to leave the site rather than make a purchase.
Great product photography can really help sell the quality of a product. Be sure to showcase your products through multiple photos, angles, and zoom capabilities. And be sure to show/describe the details relevant to the item. Remember, the customer can’t physically touch the product, and there isn’t an associate to assist with questions; providing the info up front for them helps ensure a seamless shopping experience.
Always keep your website up to date with relevant information and product offerings. Staying fresh and relevant is important for both your online shopper’s satisfaction and strong placement on search engine result pages. Think about creating seasonal lists, or editors pick collections that are updated on a schedule. If customers come to expect frequently changing curated content they are more likely to return to see what’s new.
Consider showing if a product is in stock. If so how many of them are left? If there are less than 5 items remaining, let it be known, scarcity is an influential factor in encouraging a consumer to buy now rather than later (or never).
Remove Barriers to Payment
When it comes to the checkout process, keep it secure, quick, and easy by limiting any distractions; such as advertisements and bold calls to action that can lead shoppers away from the virtual cash register, and could cause shoppers to abandon their cart.
Offer free shipping! Define a spending threshold and reward those customers who exceed it by offering free shipping. This encourages shoppers to spend and buy more often from your site, by not having to pay those pesky shipping fees - your consumer feels like they are getting a better bang for their buck.
Stay In Touch
Again, it’s always good to keep your shoppers informed. At the end of the checkout process, send a confirmation of purchase email that includes when the item has shipped and estimated arrival time. Shoppers like to know when their items will arrive, so order status or tracking codes will surely keep them updated and happy.
Consumers have more options than ever before, and all at their fingertips. There is a lot of online competition out there so it’s essential to stay on trend and on top of your consumers wants needs, and shopping preferences. When it comes to e-commerce, having a professional well-designed customer experience can mean a world of difference to you and your business.