The majority of consumers browse products and services online. Online shopping has significantly grown in popularity in the last couple of years because this method is far more convenient. Aside from that, online shopping is also more efficient.
You can easily find what you're looking for and make a purchase with a click of a button on your computer or mobile phone. As time went by, consumer priorities shifted and their preferences changed a lot.
Nowadays, consumers are the ones that have control over their browsing experience. If your store doesn't meet their expectations, then they'll leave and find what they want elsewhere. That's why user experience (UX) became one of the most important factors for e-commerce success.
Therefore, the quality of your products is no longer the sole factor that determines whether or not a consumer will convert into a customer.
You have to provide consumers with an exceptional experience if you want to encourage them to convert.
With that in mind, here's how to use some of the best UX practices to improve conversions of your online store.
Understand your audience
It's easy to assume what customers want and expect. However, simply assuming isn't going to get you anywhere. You can't guess what consumer needs, wants and preferences are.
It's too risky to do so because if you're wrong, your business will suffer for it. Instead, conduct thorough research to actually determine what your audience wants and expects from you.
This will help you improve the UX of your online store in the way that your consumers want. Catering to their needs is of vital importance when you want to provide the best experience possible. That said, here are a few things to consider when researching your audience
- Create customer personas.
- Determine their demographics.
- Identify their purchasing behavior.
- Consider what type of products, services and even content they're looking for.
- Determine which channels they frequent.
- Identify the trends they're currently following.
Work on your online store's design
Visuals are the first thing your audience sees when they land on your pages. It takes only a fraction of a second for them to form a first impression based on those visuals alone.
At this point, a lot of consumers decide whether they should stay to explore further or simply bounce off.
If your store's visuals and overall design aren't up to the task, you'll miss out on a lot of potential conversions just because people decided to leave as soon as they've arrived. That's why it's of vital importance to tweak your web design and give your online store an aesthetically pleasing makeover.
If you don't know how to do this, you can always find a company that specializes in web development in Los Angeles, for instance, provided that's the area you operate in or a web development company in Chicago . Working with someone local can help you create an amazing online store that's both visually enriched and highly functional.
If your store's visuals do happen to encourage consumers to stay and explore further, it's very important that the rest of the website is able to provide the same kind of experience.
After all, consumers expect consistency, especially if you're developing a brand for your online store. That being said, here are a few things you should focus on to boost conversions.
- Create a compelling landing and home page.
- Have well-designed CTAs.
- Use colors the right way.
- Prioritize content.
- Use stunning visuals, such as images and videos.
- Be consistent with your branding efforts.
Boost your store's functionality
How your online store looks is very important, but the longer consumers remain on your website, the more they'll notice its functionality and performance. Anything that may hinder their experience while on your pages will cause them to leave.
That's why it's important that your website performs well aside from looking great.
When it comes to boosting your store's functionality, there are a lot of things you can do to ensure a seamless experience. That said, here are a few things that will greatly affect user experience and your conversion rates.
1. Website speed
Website speed and overall page loading time are the most important factors that can greatly impact user experience.
Consumers who encounter slow websites won't hesitate to bounce off right away. Moreover, they will most likely never come back to your store. Improving website speed and page loading time should be your top priority. Here are a few things you can do.
- Resize and compress images.
- Use CDN (Content Delivery Network).
- Minify the code.
- Reduce HTTP requests.
- Change hosting provider.
Navigation is very important to consumers. If you want consumers to convert, you have to make it easy for them to do so.
The best way to achieve this is to ensure that they can find what they're looking for with ease. Seamless navigation is, therefore, the best approach to take.
Here are a few things you can do to improve navigation in your store.
- Include a well-designed search bar.
- Use breadcrumbs to help consumers navigate your site.
- Organize products into categories.
- Use on-page SEO to optimize your website.
Online consumers nowadays use mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to browse the web. They also use those devices for their online shopping. If your online store isn't mobile-friendly, you're going to lose a lot of traffic and, therefore, lose a lot of potential customers.
Optimizing your store for mobile is crucial not just because your audience wants it but also because search engines, such as Google, tend to reduce the visibility of websites that aren't mobile-friendly. You can easily solve this problem by implementing a responsive design for your online store.
However, mobile users also have high expectations and needs when it comes to UX. Simply having a mobile-friendly website doesn't guarantee their satisfaction. You'll have to optimize your store well enough so that mobile users can have a seamless experience as well.
Reducing friction so that your consumers can seamlessly browse through your website, find what they're looking for and went straight to the checkout process is essential for optimal conversions.
The longer your audience spends pondering and considering their options, the greater the likelihood that they'll change their mind for some reason.
You have to eliminate distractions by providing customers with more convenience.
Here are a few things you can do to offer additional convenience to your audience.
- Include a FAQ page or a knowledge base for self-service.
- Optimize your checkout page.
- Implement additional payment options.
- Include a live chat feature so that consumers can contact your support staff with ease.
- Use up-sell and cross-sell offers to encourage customers to make a purchase.
Work on customer retention
When it comes to conversion rates, many online stores keep focusing on acquiring new customers rather than retaining the ones they already have. This can be a wasted opportunity because existing customers tend to spend up to 67% more than new ones.
Furthermore, it can cost you around 6 to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than it would cost you to retain one. However, retaining customers has more value than simply a boost in sales.
Customers that are loyal will encourage other consumers to buy from you.
Happy customers leave positive reviews and promote your business via word-of-mouth. New leads will be more willing to convert if they see that you already have satisfied and engaged customers. In other words, they'll see your store as trustworthy and authentic.
When you nurture customer retention and loyalty, you automatically improve user experience because your customers genuinely feel like you're making an extra effort to meet their needs. That's why customer retention is vital for both conversions and UX.
That said, here are a few ways to leverage customer loyalty to boost conversions and improve user experience.
- Encourage customers to write reviews and testimonials.
- Implement a loyalty program for existing customers.
- Encourage referrals by offering incentives to customers.
- Provide your audience with valuable content.
- Ask your audience for feedback.
- Improve upon the feedback you've received.
- Use personalization for messaging and when creating custom offers.
Retaining customers is equally important as acquiring new ones, especially regarding your store's bottom line.
Still, working on customer retention is great for your reputation and online presence. It becomes easier to convert new leads when your business is held in high regard by other consumers than when people know almost nothing about your store.
User experience quickly became one of the most important factors for business success. Online stores that provide their customers with not only quality products or services but also with an exceptional experience are generally more successful than stores that solely focus on sales.
If you wish to have high conversion rates for your online store, it's time to ensure that the experience you provide to your audience is the best experience possible.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.