In a brick-and-mortar store, employees and attendants can ensure that customers have a great experience simply by being proactive and polite, talking to them to understand their needs, and adapting to their communication style. However, ecommerce store owners don’t have such luxuries: their store itself has to do most of the heavy-lifting when it comes to making customers happy.
And you can’t afford to just take this aspect for granted either: 32% of customers report that they would leave a brand they loved after having just one bad experience with them. What’s worse is that if they do have a bad experience, 13% of customers will tell at least 15 people about it! Definitely not the kind of publicity any business can afford.
Thus, the user experience of your online store probably matters much more than you think, and you must ensure that it is high-quality if your business is to grow. Improving your store’s user experience can help your business increase sales and create a loyal customer base.
In this article, we will discuss some ways to do so. But first, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘user experience’.
What comprises user experience in ecommerce?
User experience (UX) is an essential part of any ecommerce business. It is a combination of factors such as website design, usability, navigation, customer service, product selection and delivery that contribute to the overall experience a customer has when interacting with a business’s website or mobile app.
A store with a great user experience should enable visitors to quickly find what they are looking for without feeling overwhelmed or confused. It should also provide useful information that helps customers make informed decisions about their purchase. Additionally, it should provide a seamless checkout process with clear payment options and secure payment processing. Finally, it should also clarify how it handles after-sale services such as product warranties and returns, so that customers can make purchases with confidence.
An unpleasant, annoying or cumbersome user experience can lead to lost sales and frustrated customers. In contrast, a good user experience can result in repeat business and loyal customers who swear by your store.
5 ways to improve your ecommerce store’s user experience
1. Ensure that recommendations are personalized
Personalized product recommendations are now a vital part of creating an acceptable ecommerce user experience. Such recommendations are based on data regarding customer behavior (e.g. past searches, purchase history, etc.); businesses can take such data and feed it to store components that use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to predict the optimal recommendations that would be best suited for each individual customer.
In general, personalization can be used in a variety of ways:
– To display ‘Related Products’ on a product page
– To enable personalized discounts and promotions
– To create bespoke emails with recommended items.
Not only does such personalization help increase customer engagement and loyalty, but it also increases sales by making customers aware of products they may not have known about or considered otherwise.
2. Provide a great search experience
A powerful site search engine is one of the pillars on which the success of an ecommerce business rests. There are several characteristics that a great search engine should possess, some of which are:
– Searches should be quick
– Search results should be highly relevant and personalized
– Products that might be sold out should not be displayed as search results
– The search engine should be typo-tolerant, and should offer auto-suggestions.
There are several other ways in which search engines can enhance the UX. For instance, if a search query produces no results, then instead of simply declaring that there are no results and leading the visitor to a dead end, a good search engine should display some similar products or some near-matches that the visitor might be interested in.
In addition, a good search engine can also be equipped to handle queries that are not product-related, such as ‘refunds’, ‘support’ or ‘sale’: such queries should redirect the visitor to the appropriate page.
3. Collect feedback
By proactively seeking feedback from visitors and regular customers, businesses can make them feel valued, like their opinion matters; as a result, doing so can soften the blow for them if they’ve had a bad experience on your store, and can further enhance a positive experience.
In addition, feedback lets businesses gain valuable insights into what their customers think and feel about their products and services. This information can then be used to make improvements to the customer experience, such as streamlining the checkout process or making product recommendations more accurate; such improvements can eventually lead to increased sales and revenue.
ReviewBit is a Shopify App plugin that allows you to collect customer reviews the hassle-free way. They utilize whatsapp to collect textual and visual reviews from customers, including photos and videos, and also provide instant customer support. Reviewbit can also be integrated with various other Shopify apps to curate user generated content (UGC) and add social proof to your product page.
4. Make your website uncluttered and quick to load
Having a website that loads quickly is a non-negotiable requirement: it’s a rather well-known fact in the ecommerce world that a load time of more than 3 seconds is going to lose you a large chunk of visitors. If your store has a mobile app, then it needs to run quickly and smoothly as well.
There are many ways to speed up your website, some of which are:
-Invest in an open source eCommerce NET platform. It is a headless solution that will increasingly speed up your site.
-Ensuring that any images files used aren’t too large in size.
– Minimizing the number of HTTP requests your site needs to make.
– Using the best possible hosting solution.
In addition to load speed, the design and layout of your online store will also play a huge role in ensuring that customers can easily find what they are looking for, which should lead to more conversions. A straightforward, uncluttered interface prevents customers from being overwhelmed by too much unnecessary information.
5. Implement a quick and seamless checkout process
A hassle-free checkout process ensures that customers can easily add items to their cart, enter their payment information (without being worried about security), review their order details and complete the transaction.
Some things to keep in mind if you want to ensure a positive checkout experience are:
– Make sure there aren’t too many fields that need to be filled in
– Making people sign up before they can check out will greatly reduce your conversion rate: don’t do it
– Provide multiple payment methods so that customers can pick the one they’re comfortable with.
By reducing friction during checkout, you also reduce the risk of cart abandonment due to long or complicated checkout processes. Moreover, you improve the chances of a customer buying from you again.
UX: a vital element of your ecommerce store’s success
Thus, it should be clear that given the hyper-competitive landscape of the ecommerce world, no business can afford to give their customers a poor impression of their brand: instead, businesses must work proactively to provide a smooth, memorable and delightful experience to everyone who shops on their site. Also, while working on overall business growth, it can become very difficult at times to bring fresh perspective and get clarity of thoughts for further business strategy. When you feel overwhelmed like that with any of your business and growth areas, must consider having business consulting with experts in your industry. That will also help you free up your time a bit while bringing great experience to grow your business further.
If you’re looking for a search engine that gives your ecommerce store an edge, look no further than Zevi. Zevi uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to understand users’ search intent and produce highly relevant results. Try our Shopify App, or reach out to us today for a free demo!