There is no quantifying how much the Internet has changed our lives and nowhere is this more apparent in the way we shop these days.
Whatever we need or want to buy, from electronic gadgets to clothing to medical accessories and equipment, we now have the option to simply access an ecommerce website that sells these things, place our orders, and wait for our purchases to be delivered to our doorstep in a few days or so.
While many other websites were put up for any number of reasons, an eCommerce website exists primarily to convert visitors into buyers, with an eye towards making them repeat customers. It is a standard procedure for eCommerce website design and development professionals to make sure their final product works that way.
Unfortunately, far too many eCommerce websites fail to provide customers with the best user experience.
Considering the amount of money people are pouring into shopping at eCommerce sites, the least the people who run them can do is to make life easier for them while exploring their pages.
Tips to improve eCommerce experience through web design
If anything, ecommerce websites should put a premium on customer experience. After all, customers these days are empowered like never before. One bad shopping experience is all it will take for them to rant on social media or customer review sites about it.
Fortunately, that power also applies to when they particularly enjoy their user experience while exploring your site. Nothing will stop them from raving about it online and to their friends and family.
If you’re running an eCommerce website, you would naturally go for the latter. To ensure that that is what’s going to happen, your eCommerce site must possess the following characteristics, all of which can be achieved through web design:
Have you ever experienced getting lost inside a website? It’s one of the most frustrating things an Internet user could ever go through.
Not being able to find the content one needs to see because of bad navigation is a one-way ticket to a bad user experience. It wouldn’t take them a minute to decide that your navigation stinks, and they will most certainly bounce off to another site so they won’t have to waste any more time.
Website navigation should always be convenient and intuitive for its users. It should take them a mere click or two to get where they want to be.
Well-organized navigational elements should be able to do this. So will drop-down menus. You can improve navigation further by putting up anchored navigation bars, doing some internal linking, and adding a search feature that actually works.
2. Fast-loading pages
One characteristic most Internet users have in common is a lack of patience when it comes to page load speed. By today’s standards, it shouldn’t take an eCommerce page more than two seconds to load. Anything slower than that, and it’s highly likely that a visitor won’t stand for it and leave immediately.
There’s a possibility that your web pages load slowly because of some elements in your web design.
If you can go for a simpler web design with a lot of whitespaces, then that will help speed things up.
Minimal use of heavy graphics will do the same thing, as will eliminating the use of sliders, carousels, and custom fonts.
Optimizing large images will also go a long way in increasing your page load speed.
3. A chatbot is in place
Chatbots have changed the way companies provide customer service online. Instead of waiting for a customer representative to go online to answer whatever queries you might have about specific products, you can already do it and get the answers you need right away.
Chatbots are also a perfect alternative for customers who don’t like the idea of conversing with actual people. With a chatbot, customers can be more comfortable when they’re raising certain matters about your product.
Chatbots, as they stand today, are far from perfect. However, there is no denying that they are becoming more advanced with each passing day.
Soon enough, the AI used in chatbots will become so advanced and intuitive that customers will wonder whether they’re talking to a human customer representative or a highly advanced chatbot.
4. A streamlined checkout process
Your eCommerce website may be carrying the best products, but that won’t matter a bit if your checkout process is far too long and complicated. Many customers will not hesitate to abandon their shopping carts if your checkout process makes them jump through a lot of hoops.
It’s a good thing many eCommerce websites have seen the wisdom of streamlining their entire checkout process. They know that a two-step checkout process, for example, will give customers a much better user experience than one that takes six or seven steps to complete. Some have also seen fit to avoid putting up pop-ups of more offers, which further delays the process and annoys customers even more.
The simpler the checkout process for your eCommerce website, the better the user experience will be.
There is one fact that people who run eCommerce websites should be completely aware of: According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center on U.S. adults, approximately 8 out of 10 Americans shop online, and that more than half of that figure used a mobile device to make purchases.
Clearly, an eCommerce website hoping to get their share of the mobile market must be mobile-friendly in all respects. With responsive web design, an eCommerce website will render well on smartphones and tablets, with clickable elements optimized for touch that will make shopping so much more convenient for mobile users. Your site will load more quickly, and your customers won’t have to resize anything manually just to view your content.
For many people, web design is primarily concerned with making a website look pretty. While partly true, that isn’t all that web design does. Web design is also crucial to providing excellent user experience, something your eCommerce website must provide plenty of to your customers.
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