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Creating a great user experience on your online store

Online stores are growing in popularity and, more importantly, becoming integral revenues streams for small and large businesses alike. This is because the reach of the internet has made it easier than ever for businesses to reach new customers.

We're consistently seeing small business entrepreneurs launch incredibly creative online businesses in our community and we're also helping our more established brick and mortar clients move their product base online. It's an exciting time to go digital, but like any new business model you've got to figure out what your customers want.

The most successful online stores are those who put user experience first. Providing a seamless experience for visitors results in higher sales volumes, and that should be your foremost business goal.

WHAT MAKES FOR A SEAMLESS USER EXPERIENCE ON YOUR ONLINE STORE? 

An ecommerce website should be built to ensure that visitors are successful in making a purchase, that means the easier the site is to use the better.

There are a few variables that you should to consider in designing the site to ensure a great user experience like how you can show value, proof, options, availability and of course how you show trust. Now each of these factors need to be addressed in different may some will be influenced by the functionalities of an ecommere site and others will be influenced by the design and the placement of content.

WHAT CAN I DO TO PROVIDE A BETTER USER EXPERIENCE?

Start by changing your thinking to less is more and the simpler the better. An ecommerce sites design should be simple, navigation should require the least amount of clicks as possible and the functionality of the site should be intelligent.

Use Images Strategically

Images speak louder than words, words should actually be secondary on an ecommerce site. A large, zoomed in product image will often tell the consumer more than the product description. That said, your add to cart button should be just as dynamic as the images, think contrasting colours.

Make Your Search Intelligent

Your visitors are on a hunt and they will use your search and your navigation to find what they want. We recommend that you be thorough in your category tags, this way your visitors can filter the categories to find what they are looking for. This will also allow you to easily add-in the "You May Like These Similar Products" function.

Give the User What They Want

Here's a quick run down of how to give users what they want:

  • Ensure that there is any easy, fast and secure checkout in place.
  • Put a live chat into place, if you're large enough to support this functionality, otherwise ensure that a customer service tab is highly visible.
  • Put automation into place to encourage site revisits, this is best accomplished using email marketing or digital advertising.
  • Enable product reviews, let these shine
  • Ensure conversion opportunities are all over your website (CTAs)
  • Curate packages or recommendations of popular products

ONLINE STORE INSPIRATION

To start to understand what makes for an excellent ecommerce user experience, we always suggest learning from the best. Virgin America won a Webby's for best user experience and when you click around their website, you can easily understand why. Click here to explore. 

Interested in growing your business through increased online sales? Book a consult with one of our ecommerce experts.

Alex Blackadder

AUTHOR: Alex Blackadder

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