Improving your users’ experience of your e-commerce website is one of the most profitable moves you can make to improve your bottom line. This is because recent studies confirm that almost 70% of all e-commerce shoppers will abandon their carts before checkout, which translates into lost revenue of thousands of dollars annually.
While you cannot simply change some visitors’ minds, there is a lot you can do to lessen your shopping cart abandonment rate due to the poor user experience.
Bad user experiences on your website could be responsible for up to 33% of your lost sales. The top complaint discovered in user testing is long and complicated checkout systems. Customers just get fed up a click away. An industry expert case study determined that the best flow for checkout is as low as eight fields in forms, while today most American sites have 15+ form fields.
Let’s review the ten best ways to improve your site’s user experience to reduce site abandonment and increase your sales:
- Fast Page Load Speed – Users report that slow-loading sites are the most frustrating part of shopping online. Nowadays with the rise of mobile shopping, the need for fast-loading stores is more critical than ever. Studies report that shopping cart abandonment rates increase up to 87 %, with only a 2-second delay! Start by knowing your speed score by using Google’s free PageSpeed Insights, then correct all issues and follow the Optimization Suggestions Google offers until you get a green score of 85+.
- Hyperlink Color Difference and Length – Hyperlinks to other pages, products or information, need to stand out prominently so your visitor can easily see how to access these other pages. When working on your website design, don’t forget to style your text links with underlines, bolding, and or different colored text. Don’t get so fancy with your design as to confuse your customers. Studies show that regular web users still look for the old standard blue underlined text for hyperlinks. Also, make the length of your hyperlinks longer, so they are more easily identifiable by your users. An example would be to make a full sentence the hyperlink instead of just a word or two. Tests have shown that changing link colors can dramatically increase conversion, additional page visits, and time on site.
- Use Bullets Liberally – Text formatting with bulleted lists work beautifully on both computer and mobile screens. They allow your users to quickly grasp all the information they need such as your product benefits, key features, options, sizes, and dimensions. Digesting information in this format helps shoppers to make quicker buying decisions. You do not have to stick with the standard disc, get creative with your icons that work with your design and your brand – squares, triangles, and plus signs to name a few.
- Use Headings Wisely – Your headings should act like the headlines on a newspaper – to capture the reader’s attention and entice them to read more. Thus you should include keywords that relate to your shopper’s intention to target your message and speak to your audience’s desire. Plus search engines will give headings higher value than other content for rank ability. Well-designed titles will help guide your shoppers through your e-commerce store making it easier for them to browse. Design your headings to stand out in both size and color.
- Consistency is Key – Keeping all your elements, text, headings, spacing, and color palette consistent across your site will be reassuring and pleasant to your visitors. Keeping your design coherent sends the message to your visitor that they are on the same website, which builds trust and buying confidence. Inconsistencies in design often make buyers nervous, which may prompt them to click away in confusion.
- 404 Pages Lose Money – 404 are dead links that lead nowhere. When a user clicks on a link and is expecting to find the information they are disappointed when encounter your 404 page. Their first thought is that you are careless and have wasted their time. This problem is cited as one of the most frustrating events for online shoppers because it gets them off track and will often result in high rates of shopping cart abandonment. You can check all your 404 errors in your Google Search Console reports. Additionally, you should have a 404 page created that gives shoppers a way to get back on track by either including a search box, links to most of your popular pages or your contact information.
- Mobile Friendly and Responsiveness is Mandatory – Today’s e-commerce sites must be mobile-friendly to succeed. In addition to loading quickly and looking attractive, you must be sure that they are easy to navigate on all screen sizes, operating systems, and devices. Starting in 2017, Google began penalizing non-mobile-friendly sites by reducing their page rankings – making mobile responsiveness critical. Use this free tool to test your website in a variety of device sizes simultaneously.
- Screen Clutter Kills Sales – Use white space in your site layout for good design and greater user attention. Just as the best logo designs (check out my review of 99designs) use negative space so does website design. When your screen is cluttered with too much text, images, and advertisements your user will become unfocused and confused. Top sites such as Crazy Egg, have studied the use of white space and determined that it increases user intention by 20%. Also, using white space in your website design will make your store appear more modern and fresh.
- Call to Action Beautifully – The art of increasing your e-commerce conversion rates is based on visual cues and calls to action are amongst the most important. Be sure that your call to action is marked clearly with action words such as; buy, purchase, get or subscribe. When designing your website buttons think about the psychology of color. Select the right color for your brand message – trust, health, beauty, or excitement – each requires different shades. Many researchers have discovered that changing the colors of buttons has increased clicks by 11%, and more. Test different combinations of color and action messages to determine your highest click rate.
- Images Speak Volumes – Internet users are getting smarter and more visually sophisticated every day. When they visit your site and see a dull generic stock photo, which they’ve seen across the Internet, they are more likely to click away. The use of too much stock photography will lessen your customer’s trust and weaken your brand. Case studies have proven that replacing stock photos with unique, real-life photos, increased conversions dramatically.
Ultimately, e-commerce success is due to many factors with user experience being amongst the most important. Take the time to review your site with fresh eyes to see where you can improve your site users’ experience and increase your sales.