[Guest post by Kenneth Sytian]
Managing an eCommerce site can be a difficult task. Aside from managing the logistics of the website, businesses are faced with the problem of making their site appealing to the customers. Not only that, they are also tasked with managing transactions and even providing support for customer relationship; there’s simply less time that you can dedicate in creating strategies especially for small to medium scale businesses that can’t afford to hire a marketing team that can handle their problems.
But more than the ordering-payment-shipment mechanisms, the visual feel of the ecommerce site should be given attention. Aside from high quality products matched with reasonable prices, consumers are drawn by the experience that the ecommerce site would give them. A good ecommerce site can entice consumers to buy more products for they are enjoying how easy it is to shop there.
Whether it’s a fancy website laden with features that can tweak products and purchases, or a simple, minimalistic theme, user experience contributed great traction for eCommerce businesses.
Inspirations for UX-inclined eCommerce Websites
User experience cannot be fully defined in words, so here are some UX inspirations that you can check out for their brevity in content, and simplicity in style.
Gramography. This is indeed the “Home of Instagram Printing”. Whether you’re looking for a cool gift idea or you’re just channeling your inner hipster vibes, Gramography has you covered. Check out their website; aside from their minimalistic, clean website, they also seamlessly integrated your Instagram account, you can test out how the design will look like.
Verrty. How do you turn a beach towel to a chic, stylish accessory? Verrty sells only one product, a reinvented beach towel. Selling it is indeed a challenge; that’s why the user experience in their site works fantastic with their simple and straightforward website copy. Instead of just offering the products in various colors, they created personality profiles for each color, giving the product a different impression for each color.
Tips on How to Implement Great User Experience
In this line of thought, we would like to share a couple of tips on how you can improve user experience (or UX) for your ecommerce sites, and how this can help you generate more sales, and obtain, maintain, and regain a good share of consumers:
Your ecommerce site should load quickly.
All of us are irritated by slow-loading websites. Ecommerce sites are no exception. Your site should present your gallery of products for sale in a fast manner. Online shoppers usually just skim through your collection of available products and just stop to read in details those that they find interesting. So if it would take a long time just for one page to load, it is sure that your potential buyers would go away. For the best results, a whole page should load in four seconds at most. Any second more than that will already decrease use experience, which will eventually lead to low sales.
Use white space in your favor.
In written material, white space is kept at minimum. But for ecommerce sites, white space can be used as a way to improve user experience.
White space is any blank area of your site (no matter what color it is), and can provide for ways to highlight images of products and their details. If you cramp too much products on any given page, it would appeal as though you are forcing the consumers to buy all those. With the effective use of white space, consumers would feel that you want them to know more about the product.
There are two ad copies above. They are of the same product and the same visuals, but there’s a striking difference between the two. Minimal use of text with more emphasis on the model gives the true impression of relaxation. On the other photo, the typography has crowded the photo. The text is too loud, as if pushing you to buy their product. The emotions are too strong. The photo on the right properly illustrates relaxation, something that the product promises.
With proper white spacing, the following can occur:
- You can emphasize images of products and since there is enough space for the image, the consumers would be able to appreciate the looks of your products.
- Consumers would also be drawn to the messages that go along with the product.
- And ultimately, it would provide for a clean and comfortable look where users will not be bombarded with too much elements cramped up on a limited space, giving a light feel as they browse through your ecommerce site.
Chanel exudes glamour through its minimalistic design. There’s no need for exuberant design. The white space helps in focusing the user’s attention towards the photo and the choices below. This also embodies the simple sophistication that Chanel is always known for.
Where possible, automate.
Automation should be done wherever it can be done. Should be it for navigation, filling up of order forms, automation can help improve user experience significantly.
Imagine having to manually fill up your name, address, credit card information, and other field on the order form. It would be such a hassle!
The most common way automation is filling up the City and State in the shipping address by simply providing the zip code. This way, they can save time and check out will be a breeze.
Credit card information can also help so users won’t have to key them in each time, but make sure that you are secured. Ensure that you are able to encrypt information you obtain from your customers. Use a secure-socket layer (SSL) too! With this, shoppers can quickly accomplish forms without compromising security.
Less options, more sales.
For your ecommerce site, practice limiting the number of choices users can see at a time. It may be tempting to list all your products that fall under a selected category and then let the shoppers to select what they want because this would be easier to do, the results would not be in your favor.
What should be done is that you present one product at a time. Again, you don’t want to give a feel that you are forcing your shoppers to buy. You want them to enjoy their shopping experience. So let them look into your products one at a time, and let them choose which one they find best.
Nike did a great job in differentiating their product line. If you’re looking for men’s running shoes, you could have a brand name in mind. Nike makes it possible for you to choose through its functions, rather than bombarding you right away with technology that only sports geeks can comprehend. It’ll be easier for you to select a running shoe according to its use, rather than struggling to find the appropriate shoe for your desired activity.
Unbounce released a case study on selecting how many choices are suitable for users on different scenarios. Reading their article, this passage is real proof of what they have discovered:
When it comes to conversion rate optimization and landing pages, the casual cliché “less is more” really rings true. Less distractions, less links, less “leaks” and ultimately less choice equals higher conversion rates, more leads and more money in the bank.
Whether your looking for how many social buttons to display, how many webinar registration options, and what to ask in form fields, that article can help you decide on what or what not to include.
For a smooth online shopping experience for your ecommerce site users, always remember our four tips:
- Improve your site’s loading time,
- Utilize white space,
- Offer less choices at a time
All these tips are geared towards providing a user experience of your online shoppers that they would want to repeat time and time again. Let the consumers enjoy their online shopping experience and you will surely feel the results.
Keep in mind all the time that your ecommerce site is your mall. It should be appealing to attract new customers, maintain your current customers, and regain those that you may have lost. This is your store or mall. Make it something that shoppers would want to go to, and return to.