UX or user experience acts as an essential factor in the brand value of any eCommerce portal. UX design takes the product or service from being merely a tangible entity and extends it to a whole new domain. UX allows your customers to experience your product or service even before they get their hands on them or have taken advantage of them.
UX is indeed an initiation point for online store visitors. It is the bait that attracts visitors to spend more time on your portal and develops in them, the urge to explore what you have to offer. Often ignored by more ‘visible’ parameters such as user interface and web development, UX requires in-depth research into the product as well as into the psyche of the audience. It is a mandatory prerequisite to a great UI or user interface.
“People ignore designs that ignore people” – Frank Chimero.
The quote above highlights the importance of good designs and interactive interfaces that ultimately lead to a good experience for the user. UX is meant to captivate the attention of the users without being too loud or ‘out there’. The beauty of a well-thought UX plan lies in its subtlety and smoothness.
Check out the following tips to know how to improve your online store’s UX
UX is not limited to design, though. It also encompasses web development and demands a lubricated backend. Even if the design of your online store is absolutely beautiful, if the functions of the store are not executed smoothly, the UX quality of the store drops drastically.
This introduction highlights the overall need of a good UX base. There is no textbook way to improve your online store’s UX in one go. A process of trial and error accompanied by the excellent decision-making by professionals is critical. It is all about providing an effortless and streamlined experience from point A to point Z to your users…and the paths to achieve that are many.
Compiling Process Flow And Call To Actions Beforehand
Although a preliminary plan is required before starting any project, when it comes to online stores, the process flow of the user’s activity needs to be decided from day one. What this means is that it is paramount to compile a list of all the possible moves that a user would do on your website and the order in which he/she would do it. Call To Actions or CTAs include buttons, triggers on mouse events, payments, etc. Designers and web developers must decide the way the user would interact with these CTAs. Why this is so important is that you don’t want your user to get stuck at some point in the entire process. A disgruntled user does not only mean that you lose a potential customer, word travels fast; it is just bad marketing.
To add to this, follow standard SDLCs (software development life cycles) to increase the efficiency of your designers and developers drastically. For larger projects that are dynamic and adapt to the changing trends of your audience as well as the market, go for cycles which allow multiple iterations and user feedback (such as agile). Every iteration is an independent process in itself and provides room for betterment based on user responses.
Another big turn-off for visitors browsing through your online store is bad experience across devices. A responsive website is one which adjusts its design and dimensions according to the device through which it is accessed. Misplaced banners, wrong font sizes, wrong image sizes, etc. on mobile phones and tablets all reduce the quality of UX. One way to tackle this problem is to design your websites using well-structured Cascading Style Sheets or CSS. CSS forms an integral part of web design and gives a visually appealing backbone to the bare HTML code. CSS requires a moderate level of coding knowledge, though, and Another work-around is to use already existing CMS’s (Content Management Systems) like WordPress and Wix to design your online store. These CMS’s offer themes and templates which are built for cross-platform usage. Integration with different designs is easy with these systems. Check out this article from The Online Hub for selecting the perfect theme for your platform.
A stable design across devices and platforms is not enough though. The device which you use also determines the quality of user experience. People using low-end devices are more likely to face issues while browsing due to obsolete processors and low RAM configurations. This may seem like a problem from the user’s end (and a part of it is); however, you can optimize your online store to lower its performance demands for low-end devices. A way to boost UX on mobile phones is to use a technique called AMP or accelerated mobile pages. AMP drastically reduces the loading time of websites on phones and tablets, thereby increasing the quality of user experience.
Content Creation and Content Marketing
As aforementioned, UX includes the way the user looks at your product even before he/she gets to use it. How the product is conveyed to potential customers is very important. Content of good quality is a critical parameter for great UX on your online store. Content creation includes writing new textual matter for your website. It also contains appropriate product photographs and easy-to-understand infographics. While making content, a few things should be kept in mind in order to achieve good UX standards:
- Avoid plagiarism at all costs. Not only does this leave a bad impression in front of your website’s visitors, you also run the risk of getting blacklisted by search engine algorithms.
- Please keep it simple but pretty. Avoid using rich vocabulary but make it such that the reader enjoys the content.
- Content should be grammatically sound.
- While clicking product photographs, make sure the color composition does not create conflicts with the color scheme of your online store.
- Compress images and videos to avoid an increase in loading times of pages. Use the most current standards of media extensions. Here are few other ways to improve loading speed.
- Keep it short yet effective. Make sure the content does not sound boring to readers. Use fewer words without holding anything back.
Avoid Long and Tedious Data Entry Requirements
Users hate spending time online, filling long forms with irrelevant information. Make sure that your forms are small and easy to fill. Grabbing just a name and an email is enough for a start. If you believe that more information would help you understand your customers better, keep the form fields optional. However, mandatory fields in long and tedious forms are a big no-no. Instead of asking for everything in a single form, you can slow down the process. You can request the user to fill another form after a few days. This technique is called the ‘Drip’ technique and is very useful in capturing data from online shoppers.
Social Media Increases Credibility
Linking your online store to your social media channels allows visitors to see more of your products and the way you conduct your business. Online shoppers rely heavily on reviews which they can get through your social media pages. If you have a good reach via social media, use it to help you increase the trust of your store’s visitors.
Use Sophisticated Tools For Designing UI/UX
A myriad of excellent software is available for designing websites. As mentioned in the previous point, prior planning is paramount in ensuring that your UX reaches the desired levels. We suggest Figma for wireframing. However, many other software such as Sketch, Balsamiq, and UXPin are also great for UX designing. Animate and design your website before putting it into play.
Novelty is the key. Keep yourself aware of the new tools that flood the market every day. Existing software also gets frequent updates that smoothen the UX designing process even smoother. Accept new technologies with open arms.
Competitors and You
Your direct competitors are an excellent way to understand the current market trends and shoppers’ behaviour. Carefully study what your competitors are doing and how they engage with their audiences to put across their product. Educate yourself with how they use to design and CTAs to captivate users and turn them into clients.
Constant Audits and Reviews
Market trends are forever changing. In-depth research of your product, coupled with how it is affected by changes in contemporary trends make for a successful formula. Build time frames in which you review the way users experience your online store and your products. Use tools such as Google Analytics to see data that will help you understand how visitors use your website. Data such as bounce rates, impressions, time spent on a specific page, etc. help companies know where they lag. Constant updates to your UI/UX is critical for surviving in the online world.
Use Reliable Payment Gateways
Payment gateways are monetary passages for you and your clients to conduct transactions. You can receive money via them and send money to your clients (in the case of refunds, cashback, etc.). Companies that offer these services usually give a convenient plug-n-play add-on that you can use to implement their gateway on your online store. Avail these services from reliable and authentic companies such as Instamojo, RazorPay, Paypal, Stripe, Synebo, etc.
User experience is a window to how you look at your potential customers and clients. A great UX shows that you care. It is all about making a one-stop destination for shoppers. Your online store should be able to provide an overall solution to the consumer’s requirements. With UX, there is also room for improvement, and the process is perpetual. You can always do one better for your respected customers.