5 UX issues of an ecommerce store addressed
For the un-initiated starting an ecommerce website might seem simple and straight forward without much of a focus on UX, I mean what does it take? A few products, some content and a payment gateway, right? Well it isn’t as simple as it sounds, although the crux of an ecommerce website is basically products, content and online ordering; most of the seasoned ecommerce companies would concur that it is a painful process that involves a lot of unlearning and learning. Especially about getting the UX right which involves a lot of patience because of constant trial and error UX experiments. Hence we have tried addressing some of the major and common UX errors, companies commit and the different ways to resolve them;
- Lengthy Checkout Process
As per a study conducted by Statista around online consumer behavior and trends, as much as 40% prospective ecommerce customers leave their carts owing to a very lengthy checkout process or it was just too complicated taking up a lot of effort. People have adopted online shopping wholeheartedly because of the convenience and the ease of completing a purchase. Keeping that in mind, it would only hurt your sales if you make the purchase process too complicated or with too many actions on the prospect.
It is advised to keep it simple and the process to be as transparent as possible, according to stats it is best to have a single page for checkout with everything related to the sale like collecting payment info, shipping info etc as multiple columns in the same page. And then probably show a page for the user to confirm everything. Over the years companies like Amazon have honed their UX and checkout process offering single click checkouts, as it gets more outspread, having a long checkout process would only backfire and result in customer frustration.
- Mandatory Registration
Obviously, as a business you would want to collect as much information as possible about your customers and would prefer them to register with you to further sell to them. But now if you flip to the other side of the coin, as a customer you wouldn’t want to go through several hoops to buy something and spend time on things that may not be directly relevant. A customer would have already gone through a number of steps and fatigued before they decide to go ahead with a purchase on your webstore, now you force them to create/register an account. Well numbers point out that prospects would just abandon the checkout process and look for someone else with an easier process, very likely your competitor. Imagine the amount of revenue and the market share you leave on the table.
The fix to this UX situation is very simple, just make registration optional. List down why they should register and the clear benefits, but at the same time offer a guest checkout option for people that might be in a hurry or you haven’t earned their trust yet. You can obviously go back to them later to give them that soft nudge to have them register. In this way, prospects wouldn’t feel like being forced to register but becomes their choice rather.
- Search Function that is either not enough or is too complicated
Both these situations need to be handled differently and would depend on the capabilities of the ecommerce platform that you use. The goal is to find a middle ground where a user can find the information/product they need very easily, but at the same time the functionality isn’t confusing or complicated. More than often people would have already decided what they want to buy by the time they get to your website, so the trick is to get them to the end product as quickly as possible. Hence it is paramount that the search returns enough number of items but at the same time the results are super relevant to the search. Nowadays search has become more advanced and more relevant than ever, with the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Recommendation engines have grown into a complex ecosystem that constantly evolves and learns as the system grows., helping in consumer segmenting, user profiling etc.
- Insufficient Product Information
A major drawback of buying online is that you do-not get to physically experience the product or test it out. Having said that, with the advent of VR and AR that gap is fast closing with a user being able to virtually experience a product. Even though that is the case, it is very important that you provide enough information about the product on your website with images, videos, 360-degree videos etc to give them a very holistic view of what you are selling.
Product information should be very descriptive, there should be at-least a few images of the product and from various angles to help the user visualize the product. If your product is available in different patterns, colors or material, images for those should be provided as well with options to zoom. Also, it is recommended to use plain layman language for product descriptions than using industry jargon.
- Retaining Critical Product information
Full disclosure is paramount to ecommerce or e-retail, you wouldn’t get too far tricking your customer. The entire ecommerce industry is based on trust and ensure that every shopper becomes the brand ambassador of the brand. It is absolutely necessary to ensure that you disclose all information at the right stage of the checkout process to eliminate user frustration and agony. Especially information about taxes or shipping should be displayed upfront instead of it being saved for the final step of the checkout process and appear in fine prints.
So building a good converting ecommerce site is not just about the technology but also about having the right processes in place with an enriching UX. It obviously helps in working with a partner who has built ecommerce website before and can advise you about the standard procedures that would help in conversion. Talk to Bizmindz to learn how we can help you build out a successful website.