So many eCommerce stores have popped up since the concept of online shopping incepted. People widely prefer the very idea of mobile shopping and spending the time saved more productively. There are numerous online stores that are successful in delivering a smooth experience while some are still trying to pace up. And unfortunately, there are some that make the visitor pull their hairs. Such frustrating experiences end up costing businesses sales.
So firstly ask yourself – Does your website comprises everything that it takes to quickly impress your visitors, keep them engaged and convince them to click on those CTA (Call-to-action) buttons labelled as “Add to your shopping bag” and “Pay Now” on your website? Or it is the “Back” button is the one most commonly used by the visitors. This post is elaborated with all the significant factors that are requisite for designing an incredible online shopping experience that could result into transactions and re-visits rather than a fist pounding experience that puts your brand in bad light only.
First of all, perform the sniff test
Is your eCommerce website functional enough to come out clear in the sniff test? If you are among those who are aware with the blink test- the commonly accepted test of initial three seconds in which the capability to impress new visitors of any website can be estimated, you can think sniff test as a similar sort of test. This test not only helps to measure the quality of the content but also determines the trustworthiness of your website. And, it is quite a prominent aspect for all the eCommerce websites as the people are sharing their most confidential information like credit card/debit card numbers, passwords, ATM pin, CVV codes and many other personal details, which they obviously won’t like to be leaked out. Hence, ensuring your visitors that all their details are safe with you is of supreme importance so to offer them a stress-free shopping experience.
So question yourself (would be better if you can ask someone who doesn’t belongs to your company) some simple questions like:
1) Will the initial 3 seconds on the site help visitor realising the products you sell?
2) Does your website appear trustworthy enough that visitor will proceed sharing personal details without any second thoughts?
3) If a visitor(s) lands on your site knowing what they exactly want, can they be able to locate the same within a time span of 30 seconds?
4) If a visitor(s) lands on your site to explore, will they be offered suggestions?
5) Are you providing unique and engaging content that can interest potential customers to stay on your website?
If you (or the person whom you are asking) haven’t answered a single question with Yes, you have got a serious website problem that’s pushing away your potential customers, lowering the conversions and preventing customers from visiting again. Now that you have identified the weakness – take this opportunity to improve your website into the one that shoppers love to visit.
Here’re some smart tips that you can adopt to fix all the existing issues of your website.
- Products You Sell Should Be Recognisable Within Initial Few Seconds
Let’s move back to the initial paragraph where we had the discussion about the blink test. When a visitor makes a search for some particular product, they have hundreds and thousands of options available for them – but they chose to visit your website. So the initial three seconds that you grant them to weigh up your website should be abundantly clear that they haven’t made any wrong choice. However, the first look should be compelling enough to help shoppers pass the blink test.
They will notice the colours and typography match – it should be attractive and easy-to-read. Too small font-size and improper contrast will make your website unpleasant to the visitors. Give your website a clean background with crisp coloured typography that goes perfectly with the background. Be sure to keep the content short, sweet and to-the-point.
Till the time your website is easy-to-navigate and understand, visitors will appreciate the comical aspect and creativity. To achieve this, consider a style selection that makes an ideal match with the products you are selling or include the product in the design for the headers, footers etc. Also, make sure that the creative touch you are giving to your website is not distracting the potential customers from the central theme of your business. In fact, all factors should contribute in driving the visitors’ focus to the main perspective of the business.
- Shoppers Should Feel Comfortable in Sharing Confidential Details
So your site successful through the initial blink test, but when customers land on your website, would they be able to trust you for handing over their personal and confidential information? Think of a vintage looking storefront with dull appearance where an overbearing clerk asks you to simply pay cash without any confirmation or receipt in hands.
Sounds, shady? It will, of course. Similar is the feeling that potential customers get when they find a website with the inconsistent design having forms that take too long in asking too much of personal information, which is not even requisite or relevant. This makes them shift to another website. Here’re some tips that will make your website appear trustworthy to the shoppers and comforting them to execute that particular purchase.
Firstly, make use of short and simple forms. A recent study of GetElastic says that a single-page checkout outgrown a two-page checkout by 21.8%. It is true that multi-page checkout process has its own benefits especially when someone abandons the shopping cart, you, at least, get their email address and nurture them via communication over email. But if you trying to resolve the transactions, it’s best to use the single-page checkout as it helps to establish the trust. Another study that was released by Amadesa and TRUSTe states that 73% of people stopped a purchase just because the site has asked for a healthy bit of personal information. Yes! You heard it absolutely right…. 73% of people quit making an online purchase because they didn’t find it worth sharing too much of personal information with the sites. Sometimes, the details asked to have simply no relevancy with either purchase. This ends up irritating a customer. Hence, it is highly preferable to ask details that are absolutely requisite and let the people run smooth on their way.
Establishing the trust factor not merely relies on the form fields; you should consider the visual quotient of your website components as well. Use good-quality, but low-resolution pictures that make loading time faster and user experience pleasurable than ever. Product images of the too small size that don’t allow you to even extract the necessary details make customers lose confidence in you and yearn them to go for an in-store purchase. So offer high-quality images of the product from multiple angles. You can use the product videos for a simulating the tactile experience.
The attention to the details can bring all the difference for the mobile generation who fence about getting exactly what they wanted from their online purchase. Not to forget, keep your master plan ready for the times of traffic spikes so that your website can handle fluctuating load every time. There cannot be any other experience spoiler than a 404 error message especially when it apparently falls in between shopper’s transaction. Make sure you have tested the integrity of your website during off-hours by mock peak loads and monitoring responsiveness of the site. And, if you are having any plan for site modification or keeping it down for some time, let people know about it by putting a small message about the same, indicating them the time you will be returning.
III. Searching the Products Should Not Be a Task for Customers
The question is: how would you design a smooth search experience?
Keep your site’s navigation simple with uncluttered inventory. Intensify it with tabs, categories and advanced search bar so that visitors can make a quick search without having to go through a whole bunch of pages.
Feeling apprehensive for setting the tabs and product categories? You can make use of the analytics tool that will help you determine the most commonly visited pages on your site. You can also keep a check on commonly purchased things and the patterns check for. And, keep both the things together. Don’t hesitate to experiment with text, colours, button sizes and implementation along with some A/B testing prior setting up the striking combination.
- Offer Suggestions That Can Turn Shoppers into Buyers
Not every visitor coming to your site will be ready to shop; some may just browse as an initial search while others may be interested in window shopping only. Make sure you are not missing out on this lot of interested audience – help them to keep them engaged.
The easiest way to deal this situation is to start with a guess-work from searching to promote the top-selling products on the homepage, or by running cross-promotional tactics. With the promotion of latest trends that interests your visitors; you can direct the less-focussed browsers – who aren’t sure of what they want- to a pleasurable shopping experience. And take it to a level higher; simply create the product categories that can change people’s moods, tapping their impulsive buying behaviour.
For better recommendations, you can use the eCommerce remarketing tactics to provide shoppers with the relevant suggestions by tracking their previous searches or purchases. Remember how a shop owner greets his customers with name, similarly, your website possesses an ability to track the repeatedly visiting shoppers. It’s pretty significant for your business’s bottom line. So make sure that your website welcomes visitors by name (those who are logged in or signed in) and provide them personalised suggestions based on their previous purchases or searches.
Another tactic you can employ for increasing conversions is adding the social sharing options not only for the product pages but also for the checkout pages. Believe it or not, the best tactic to close a sale is compelling a potential customer through references from his/her close friend.
- Relevant and Unique Content Is a Sure-Shot Winner
KissMetrics recent study says that the average bounce rate of visitor to a new site is 40% implying that 40% of the people quite your site immediately after entry. So how to keep them engaged? Will you bribe them? Or offer free goodies? Or, are you thinking of any other shameless marketing techniques? Why don’t you try with a fair chance by complementing your website with remarkable content?
With crisp content, spicing up your website is much easier than using any shameless or too-sophisticated marketing tactics. Utilising the unique content copy is a lot better than using canned descriptions that manufacturers provide. For getting more of SEO, don’t rely on manufacturer’s description! Using original content will help you stand apart from the competitors, enhancing your brand reputation and make your website the one where people can actually enjoy shopping on.
Be descriptive and creative in your words that a shopper, as well as search engine, will love!
- Be Sure To Test Elements of Your Website
Passing sniff test can set your site for life! Do you think this way? Then, you’re wrong. There are many other nuances that can continuously hinder your website’s performance.
You might be thinking about the components that you need to check. Here’re five super easy tests that can validate the performance of your site:
1) Test the size, colours and placement of CTA buttons.
2) Test the arrangement of product categories in the navigation.
3) Test whether the top-selling product of your site is appearing on the homepage.
4) Test adding a separate sign up for the cases of special offers.
5) Test if coupons are making any impact to your conversion rates.
Apart from all the techniques shared above, there are plenty of other little changes that you can experiment with for an improved shopping experience online.
Remember- Happier will be your shoppers; more likely they will return and more conversions will fall in!
Kristy Bernales is Sr. Web Designer at Web Design Xperts, Melbourne. She advocates about the significance of every critical element of a web design that can bring difference in desired results. Follow her @KristyBernalesto get insights into designing fundamentals.