Nowadays, it’s easier than ever before to start your own business and even run it from the comfort of your own home. The spike in e-commerce caused by COVID-19 has also given rise to numerous entrepreneurial opportunities, with U.S. e-commerce growing 44% in 2020 alone. Amidst so much financial hardship, e-commerce businesses are thriving.
When it comes to e-commerce, the challenge lies not in finding customers but in keeping them around. By designing an easily navigable, accessible website that encourages customers to make purchases time and time again, businesses can more easily carve out a niche in the e-commerce industry.
But why should businesses bother investing time and energy into user experience (UX) design, and what is it anyway?
When a business first launches a website, its owners need to do everything possible to boost its search engine optimization and UX if they wish to land amidst the top ranking of search engines like Google and Yahoo. Not only will this increase a store’s odds of being noticed, but it will oftentimes help improve the user experience.
Think about it: How many times have you clicked on a website only for it to lag while loading? Perhaps an image on the page is taking too long to appear, or maybe the colors feel too harsh on your eyes. UX design addresses all this and more, from visual site design to backend coding. Careers in the field range from digital designers to UX engineers to artists and copywriters, all of whom work together to engage the user and showcase the value of your product.
If you’re interested in making use of UX practices to optimize a site’s conversion rate, it may be wise to perform diagnostics to determine the best course of action for the website.
Because the user experience consists of so many components, from visual input to loading speed to site hierarchy, UX design often requires a multi-pronged approach. Certain optimization tactics may be more useful than others, depending on your client’s unique situation.
For instance, if your goal is to optimize conversion rates in B2B e-commerce, you’ll want to first identify the problem, make use of analytics, and perhaps even conduct months of research before deciding which solutions to pursue. Here are a few additional ways to optimize conversion rates through the power of UX.
Your site should be easy to navigate, and confusing menu options should be absent. A concise, minimalist design is best for most websites today. Remember, you want the customer to focus on the product, not be overwhelmed by the sounds, images, and icons on the page.
Site speed should also be a top priority when considering how to optimize user navigation. A study conducted by Google revealed that “53% of mobile users abandon sites that take over three seconds to load.” That means you could be losing over half of your potential customer base before they even view your product. Improving your server speed and reliability can go a long way toward increasing conversion rates, especially if your site is clear and easy to navigate.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 4 American adults lives with a disability. Some of these disabilities involve visual, physical, or auditory impairments, as well as learning and cognitive differences. Websites should take special care to meet accessibility standards to avoid alienating the disability community; web design can no longer afford to cater to just the “traditional user.”
When designing an accessible website, it’s important to keep ADA compliance and regulations in mind, use the correct ALT and HTML tags, and pay special attention to things like typography and contrast. If users have a pleasant site experience, they’ll be more likely to follow through when checkout time comes around.
Mobile device website traffic now accounts for around half of web traffic worldwide. That’s no small number, and it’s only expected to grow as mobile access increases and users make the shift to more portable, convenient devices. Chances are your site looks very different on mobile versus desktop, so it’s important to take the time to ensure your mobile layout is navigable and easy to use.
Streamlining your site’s e-commerce experience is another key to optimizing conversion rates. That includes things like simplifying the checkout process, in addition to following brand guidelines, increasing accessibility, and using analytics to strategize.
Statistics show that over two-thirds of users who add items to their carts never check out. By offering a guest checkout option, only requesting necessary fields be filled in, and simplifying the overall checkout process, you can harness a large percentage of this business.
Credibility complements site layout and design. Having a simple yet sophisticated site can help boost the credibility of an e-commerce store. Including client testimonials may also quell customer doubts, as will any familiar symbols, like BBB or VeriSign.
UX adjustments may be small, but they can make all the difference in increasing purchases, email signups, and more. In fact, UX design can impact conversion rates more than you might think. You’re essentially capitalizing on potential customers who have already shown interest in a site and product, rather than advertising to target demographics and hoping something sticks. Growing a business and increasing revenue per user is the goal of any successful e-commerce business, one that can be easily achieved through top-notch UX design and development practices.
Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work. When he is not writing, he enjoys reading and trying new things.