An impressive number of new e-Commerce websites appear every day. Sometimes their owners are faced with the situation when there’s a lot visitors at website, but only few make purchases. So what’s the problem? The reason of such user behaviour is in bad usability. In this article we will review the most common mistakes occurring in e-shops.
1. Loading time
It is an important ranking factor. Users (and the search systems) like fast websites — they won’t be waiting for the page to load for too long. They would just leave and go for another store to make a purchase. According to Kiss Metrics’ investigation, 40% of visitors leave the page, if its loading time exceeds 3 seconds, which influences behavioral factors. You can check the page loading speed with this service.
Breadcrumbs is a text navigation, indicating user’s current location on website. If your e-Commerce website doesn’t include it, the user may feel discomfort. Customer would find himself lost in the links labyrinth and leave the page, not being able to figure out in which section of the website is he now.
3. Website’s mobile version
Despite active evolution of mobile devices, the resolution of their screens is still less than resolution of PC screens’ resolution. That’s why adapting the websites for display on mobile devices would be a wise decision. This would be essential if there’s a lot of comparison elements or technical information on your website. You can check out how does your website look like on mobile devices with such services:
4. Similar goods
Allmost all products have complements, alternatives, related products or new goods. You can present them to users with recommendation block. Giving the user possibility to take a look at such goods, you would make the website more convenient and help customer to make a purchase, as it would be easier to choose the products.
5. Product description
Detailed product description is an important element of usability. The description of the product on page is like a sales assistant in a real store. The more information customer would be able to get on the website, the better it is. Provide user with the information he needs on one single page: product name, images, short description, price, product availability, the means and cost of shipping, payment options etc.
6. Dead links
You should regularly check if there are any dead links on your website. Such links irritate customers so that they leave the resource. Moreover, you’ll get reputation of site owner with casual attitude to your website.
7. Font readability
Right combination of colors, font size and its colour guarantees that the customer won’t be faced with a problem of reading the detailed information about the product and that they would find needed information as soon as possible. Make the reception of text as easy and comfortable, as it is possible.
8. Social media
There’s no doubt that the e-shop selling chipping is unlikely to attract many fans in social media. Nevertheless this variant should still be considered, first of all for SEO reasons. It may be quite difficult to place social media icons on the website — this block should not attract too much attention, but still remain visible for customers. Having placed social media buttons on your website you’ll get social activity and a possibility to gain vaster audience.
9. Product images
Probably every usability expert evaluates the importance of images. In fact, people rely on what they see while making the purchase. That’s why you should ensure the high quality of images. The customer should feel that he sees the product for real. If you have a possibility to create 3D, video or include more photos, just do it. Don’t forget to include the Alt and Title elements while uploading the images. That would attract search traffic being a right image optimization.
The biggest mistake of e-Commerce websites is in complicated navigation. Website navigation should allow user to explore the site easily. This would encourage users to spend more time on website and visit it again, making them regular customers. You should guarantee that user finds the information he needs (contacts, products, shipping), compare the products and perform payment easily. That’s important for SEO.
Feedback are very important for any e-Commerce website, giving customer better understanding of the product. Feedback answers many questions about the product — they were written by the consumers of the product, who have tried how it works. Moreover, feedback is free and unique content which is very important for the website.
12. Visible contact information
Visible contact information is very useful for e-Commerce websites. Customers might have questions about the products, shipping or some other matters. Include your email, phone number or postal address. Would be great, if your website had an online sales assistant, the window of online communication with manager. In such a way, your website would gain more trust, as the users would be sure they get an instant reply for their queries.
13. Promotions and discounts
An e-Commerce website would always make deals. But would be great if they are more profitable, right? Promotions, special offers and discounts will attract users and encourage them to purchase the product. But you shouldn’t hide such offers from the customer! Better to show them on the homepage.
14. Important information in the first screen
Vast majority of users do not scroll the page down paying attention just to the content on the first screen of the website. You should not put all the information there, just the most important data.
15. Search field
The website should have search options to enable user to find the information he needs. That’s why you should make the search field visible. It should output the result in any case (it should show related goods even if nothing is found).
16. Use email instead of username
People usually have less email accounts than usual usernames, so its easier to remember them. Moreover, email address is unique so its a perfect substitution for usernames.
17. Visible cart
“Add to cart” button is a call to action, that’s why it should be visible among other blocks and elements. It should be developed in such a way to draw attention of potential customer. The right colour, font and the contents of the button encourage the user to make a purchase, that’s why ensure its visibility among other elements of website.
18. Customer’s trust
The principle of customer’s trust is fundamental for e-Commerce websites. Even if customers have found the product they need for attractive price they could just leave without purchasing it. They’re afraid of fraud. That’s why the customer’s trust is essential. And that’s how you can do it: include your full contact information; tell about your e-shop in details; describe all stages of shipping process; outline the return and privacy policies. This information would automatically answer the questions of your website’s visitors.
19. Clean pages
No one likes shopping in the dirty stores. This statement is true for online stores as well. Don’t overload the category pages with unnecessary elements. Include only essential blocks. Consider integrity of every page and avoid significant differences between the pages.
20. Clear process of making an order
Every customer wants to see in the cart the amount and total cost of the products he wants to buy. It’s very irritating to discover the shipping cost right in a post office. That’s why the estimated shipping cost must be included into cart. You can create the same rate of product shipping for all territories or offer free shipping. You also should include the possibility to edit the cart (change the amount of products or remove them form cart). It all will surely make your e-Commerce website more profitable.
Usability is a matter of great importance for e-Commerce websites nowadays. You should consider the needs of your customers and make your website simple. It would increase the conversion rate, but also help to maintain the trust. And if the customer trusts you, he will surely come back in future, increasing the profit from e-store.