Ecommerce User Experience Best Practices

Posted at 07/08/2020

With the global economy on a virtual standstill, largely thanks to an unprecedented health crisis—there may be no better time to set up shop online than now. Jumping on an eCommerce platform isn’t an instant ticket to commercial success, though. For it to flourish, you’ll have to know what makes the target demographic tick.

Gaining insight on what will provide them a logical, simple, and enjoyable online and mobile shopping experience is critical in gaining leads and conversions. For this, understanding user experience and how it ties in with SEO will be critical.

SEO and Online Visibility

Optimising your commercial website is key to getting it seen on the internet. While keywords, title tags, and meta descriptions can push you higher on Google rankings, basic SEO may no longer be enough. To get up the proverbial ladder, a robust user experience (or UX as it’s endearingly called) is a requirement to bolster your shop’s chances to be seen on the first page of search results. 

It has been years since Google announced user experience as a ranking factor and it is a part and parcel of any effective SEO campaign nowadays. With UX, your virtual retail outlet can drive and convert users by creating an atmosphere and experience that will pique their interest and meet their needs.

The Correlation to User Experience

Behaviour data and user experience are two categories that have gained traction in search engine algorithms over the years. Have your eCommerce site embrace a user-centric approach and you can gain needed leverage in search rankings.

Focusing on keywords and metadata alone won’t cut it these days and as traditional SEO becomes gradually relegated to the role of a bit player, the optimisation done on your online store has to adjust accordingly. As you rethink the way you do SEO for your business portal, you may want to observe common practices that have proven to greatly influence UX.

  • Create a clean and clear homepage since it’s the first thing users see when they navigate to your site. Making it look uncluttered and purposeful in its sales funnel often leaves an excellent impression on first-time site visitors. Put emphasis on a consistent colour scheme and minimalist layout, too.
  • Work on improving page speed. Online and mobile shopping is all about convenience and if it takes several seconds or, worse, minutes to load a product page, potential buyers could jump off and complete a purchase elsewhere.
  • Optimise the checkout process to keep shoppers moving forward with their buying intentions. Think outside a shopping cart platform and consider a one-click checkout button instead.
  • Make informative product pages. Fit in essential details like images, availability, price, product options, reviews, and breadcrumbs (for easier navigation) so consumers can make informed choices. Having content-rich and user-friendly product pages isn’t only beneficial to shoppers, but it’s also great for SEO.
  • Make sure your website has a mobile-friendly interface. At this stage, user experience on mobile shouldn’t be an afterthought, what with mobile users surpassing their desktop counterparts for years now. Your site catering to this growing market should be a no-brainer to any digital store.
  • Offer various payment methods because customers can be discouraged from completing the sales cycle when they don’t see their preferred method of payment. But with over 200 different options to accept payment online, do thorough market research to know which ones are utilised by your target audience. 

User Experience Transforms Sales Platforms

There is more to UX than giving online shoppers what they say they want. In reality, it seeks to understand their needs, abilities, goals, and limitations and incorporating those variables into a site’s design. By focusing your website redesign or development into creating a good user experience, your sales platform can attain the following:

Credibility

All these pertain to the content and function featured on your online shop and they have to be in-depth, secure, and honest to highlight the site’s legitimacy as a business. 

Letting a few negative reviews into the mix, accommodating secure payment methods, and protecting personal user data (e.g. using HTTPS) can all contribute to a good UX.

Usability

For the most part, this refers to your site’s ease of use. The more intuitive the website is in this department, the more people will stick around exploring its pages. With good user experience, site visitors can complete a purchase or find product information without wasting time and energy. 

To be sure that your audience can truly accomplish their goal on your website, conducting usability tests with real users is a must.

Accessibility

All users deserve to have equal access to Internet resources, regardless of current limitations. And when you value UX, your online shop’s design should take into account users who are affected by some form of physical or non-physical impairment. Yes, you’ll have to presume that not all your customers can use a mouse, keyboard, or touchscreen interfaces to interact with your pages.

For your shop to be truly accessible to people regardless of their circumstances, understanding and meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) during the development stage will be crucial. 

Desirability

How does your online store make users feel with each interaction? With good user experience, people will be leaning more on the positive when asked this question. Typically, this quality can be evoked through your website’s aesthetics, both in its emotional design and visual branding.

In this regard, you have to keep your site’s design from looking dated. Otherwise, users won’t feel excited about checking your catalogue—no matter how great your products are. With a clunky layout, site visitors may not even bother looking at what you sell!

Findability

In practice, this quality you gain off a good user experience is directly tied to your ongoing SEO strategy. It puts a spotlight on navigation and internal information architecture (IA), both of which should be designed to help customers find what they’re looking for on your website.

Once users land on a product page, there should be sufficient clues to help them determine where they are and where they need to go. This can be achieved by understanding what people need and expect from your shop.

User Experience Is an Important Ranking and Sales Factor

By taking user experience into account in the optimisation of your eCommerce website, you can positively impact how much time customers spend on your website, how many products they look at, and how often they’ll participate in your sales cycle. Ignore this ranking factor and turning customer interest into sales conversions and going up search engine rankings will both be an uphill climb.

And as bricks-and-mortar businesses come to a grinding halt due to the ongoing pandemic, refocusing your resources to a virtual platform and aiming for an unparalleled UX can give your brand a fighting chance at staying profitable. Once market restrictions ease up, expect such efforts to get your brand a step ahead of the competition.

If you want to learn how your online shop can incorporate user experience in its design, get in touch with us! TopRankings will audit your pages, see where the weakest links are, and remedy the problem with appropriate, user-centric SEO interventions.


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