Optimizing Your Ecommerce Website User Experience

The user experience (UX) is essentially everything a user encounters when they visits your website. The overall UX encompasses everything from how easy it is to navigate between landing pages to how quickly new pages load. And it’s not something for ecommerce companies to take lightly, either. As one contributor writes for Inc., “It is the factor that has the single biggest impact on customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and ongoing revenues.”

A positive UX correlates to higher conversion rates, more favorable revenue flow and stronger customer loyalty. A negative UX may be enough to prompt users to leave your website, either during the browsing stages or even after they’ve filled their cart and headed toward checkout.

Here’s what online sellers can do to optimize their ecommerce website UX.

Examine Your Website

Conducting an audit of your website is the only way to determine what’s working and what needs a tweak. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes here. Is the website responsive? Do all the links work, and do they send users to the intended landing pages? Are fonts easy to read? Are calls to action easy to find? Is the payment gateway simple, secure and speedy?

Every detail factors into overall UX. The 2017 E-Commerce Benchmark KPI Study from Wolfgang Digital found the average site speed was six seconds, though the recommended maximum is just two seconds. Furthermore, bringing down site speed correlated directly with boosting revenue. On average, a reduction in load time of 1.6 seconds would grow yearly revenue by 10 percent.

Your platform greatly influences UX and factors like site speed, design and functionality. Conduct a regular enterprise ecommerce platform comparison to find the best solution for your needs, taking into account factors like uptime, ability to accommodate traffic spikes and front-end customizability. This will help establish a strong foundation for your online store.

Analyze Your Funnel

Online shoppers move through a funnel, from general to increasingly specific. For instance, they may first visit your home page. Then they use your navigation bar to find the category of products they’re seeking. Next, they’ll single out a few products for comparison, moving between product listings. If they decide to proceed with the purchase, they’ll head to checkout where they’ll move through a series of steps ending in a purchase confirmation.

But not every visitor will complete this journey. Some will simply abandon their carts because they were merely browsing. Others will become distracted by something external. Some will encounter UX frustrations, causing them to exit your site and head elsewhere. This last scenario is why using analytics to determine drop-off points in your funnel is so important. Only then can you see where people most frequently leave, which is a key predecessor to figuring out why they’re doing so. Then you can work to improve the UX at targeted points throughout the funnel to increase the likelihood fewer people will abandon your site.

Ask for Feedback

Oftentimes, the most useful insights into UX come in the form of feedback from actual site users. Here are a few examples of valuable feedback sources:

  • Transcripts of live chats: Customers may divulge their questions, comments, sticking points and frustrations to a customer service representative via live chat.
  • Customer service emails: Emails are a great written record of the customer experience.
  • Product reviews and testimonials: Customer reviews often go beyond discussing the product to evaluating the overall shopping experience.
  • On-site surveys: Ask shoppers to take an optional survey while they’re still on your site.
  • Email surveys: Some customers are willing to take brief surveys via email, especially people who have purchased something from you in the past.

Optimizing your ecommerce website user experience is a matter of collecting feedback and analyzing visitor behavior, then smoothing out the rough edges you find.

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