The competition for customers between online stores can be fierce. Even the slightest changes to your ecommerce store can make a big difference and put you ahead of the competition. But every proposed change you make to your online store must be followed with the question: is the user experience being improved? If not, it’s probably not a valuable change to make.
There is a lot of talk going around about user-friendly ecommerce sites. However, many store owners still don’t fully grasp the concept. They’re not able to fully capitalize on the user-friendly features for their websites.
Before you can make your online store user-friendly, you need to understand what it means. A user-friendly ecommerce website:
- Is easy to navigate.
- Understands its users and is able to provide them with content based on their interests.
- Makes it easy to find items.
- Is attractive.
- Is easily recognizable.
User-friendly websites put their customers first.
Essential user-friendly features for your website
1. Fast loading speeds
Speed is everything to today’s consumers. According to a survey by Kissmetrics.com, 40 percent of your audience is likely to abandon your website if its loading time exceeds three seconds. The survey further showed that a delay of one second in the loading of a page could result in a reduction in conversions by 7 percent.
Ensure that all of your landing pages load within three seconds. There are various tools and plugins you can use to monitor your website’s speed and determine what is slowing it down. You should also consider upgrading to a content delivery network (CDN) to improve your website’s speed. This also has the added advantage of greater security for your site.
2. Responsive design
Responsive design is no longer optional for ecommerce websites. Mobile searches on Google have increased over the years and now make up for more than half of the 100 billion monthly queries made on the search engine.
If you want to increase your sales and be more accessible to your customers, ensure that your online shop is mobile-friendly. Responsive design ensures that your online store adjusts automatically to fit the screen on which it is being viewed. Thinking of your mobile users has the added advantage of improving your ranking on search engines, thus increasing your store’s visibility.
3. Simple navigation
Keeping it simple goes a long way when running an ecommerce store. While you may want to show just how unique your store is through intricate web design, keeping your navigation simple pays off.
Your users need to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible. Include categories and simple menus. You should also include a search function that allows users to search for items they are interested in. Users are likely to get frustrated and give up if it’s difficult for them to find the items they’re searching for.
4. Flexible options for payments
Not everyone likes to use their credit card to make payments. Some people prefer to make payments through PayPal or Bitcoin. It’s important to provide your customers with flexible options for making payments on your website. Enterprise ecommerce software, such as Shopify Plus, offers multiple payment options so you can cast the biggest payment net to accommodate potential customers.
Many consumers visit online stores just to look around. They may not be able to afford an item at the moment but may be able to purchase it later. Providing them with a wish list feature makes it easy for them to return and easily purchase items that caught their eye on a previous visit.
There are a number of ways that you can make your ecommerce website user-friendly. Start by choosing a reputable ecommerce platform and then go from there.
This article was written by Katie Dean.