Ecommerce UX: 4 Easy Tips to Boost Your Store’s Conversion
Did you know that on average, 97 out of 100 potential customers leave your website without making a purchase? There are various reasons as to why this is happening, but more often than not, it’s due to a general poor customer experience (UX) using the website.
What does UX have to do with conversions?
If someone has had a negative or frustrating experience visiting and navigating your website, they are highly unlikely to buy anything, let alone browse through your products.
From poor product images to long sign up forms, there are countless ways that your website could be failing from a UX perspective that lead to reduced conversions and/or enquiries.
In 2016, 88% of online businesses suffered a lower than expected conversion rate. The reason is simple. For every $92 spent acquiring customers, only $1 spent to convert them. Some in the industry believe that this is due to the fact that UX is not getting the attention it deserves when it should be the main focus when building and marketing a website.
Effective UX tips to boost conversions
So how can you improve the ecommerce user experience and increase conversions for your online store? Some aspects of UX are more directly related to conversions than others.
Here are our top 4 picks to help you out:
1. Highlight your value proposition
Suppose you want to buy a gift for your friend. Unless you go straight to Amazon (which is what 44% of people do), you’re probably going to do a Google search and take your pick of the many websites that come up.
Let’s assume that all of them have similar products within a reasonable price range. Then how do you decide which website to buy from?
By looking at their value propositions, of course.
A value proposition consists of a few lines of text that explain why prospective customers should buy products from you (as opposed to your competitors) and how it will benefit them. It’s the first thing that visitors should see when they enter your website.
The stats show that you have only 5 to 30 seconds to get the attention of a new visitor. According to an article published in the Harvard Business Review, an attention-grabbing value proposition should do one of these four things:
● Mention that you sell something the customers must have.
● Offer the best quality to price ratio.
● State that your products are the best in their class.
● Establish that you sell high-end luxury items.
The online store of Australian liquor chain Dan Murphy’s, for example, has a very simple value proposition: Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee.
However, remember that a value proposition is different from a slogan or catchphrase. For example, “Global trade starts here” (Alibaba) is not a good example of a value proposition. It’s just a tagline.
A good value proposition often includes more than one point. Australian gift and gadget supplier Yellow Octopus provides us with another great example.
Notice that they have used the right-hand column to highlight 5 key reasons why the customers should be buying from them.
The value proposition should be placed in a prominent position on your landing page so that potential customers notice it straight away.
2. Mention risk reducers
Every page on your ecommerce website should mention two or three good risk reducers, words or icons that ensure a lower risk of purchase and earn the customer’s trust. Examples may include free shipping, hassle-free return, lowest price guarantee, secure payment, etc.
There are three ideal places to display this information:
- At the top of each page
- Right beside the Add to Cart button
- At the sidebar of the checkout page
Milk makeup mentions the risk reducers at the top of their website. Their free shipping and free return offer to provide users will peace of mind to go ahead and make a purchase.
Often it’s the case that risk reducers will overlap with value propositions. After all, risk reducers are also a reason why a prospective customer would buy from you.
Don’t forget to provide a link to your return policy as well as shipping details and charges on every product page. Econsultency reports that 68.4% customers want to know the delivery timescale and charges before buying a product. Also, if you are selling at a high volume, keep in mind that providing free shipping is a great conversion booster.
Notice how Ezibuy places three risk reducers beside their Add to bag button. They also mention the availability of home delivery and a link to their return policy just below this.
You may also consider mentioning risk reducers the checkout page.
It’s often advised to keep the checkout process as distraction-free as possible, but this is worth testing out for yourself. If you find that having a more cluttered check out page with information such as risk reducers increases cart abandonment, you can always remove them.
On average, ecommerce websites have a cart abandon rate of 69.23%. You may find that reminding potential customers about free delivery or your lowest price promise here can lower this rate.
The most important component of these risk reducers is payment security. 13% of the consumers abandon the cart because they don’t trust the ecommerce site with their credit card information.
The best way to assure your consumers about the legitimacy of your business is to use trust badges. According to a recent study by Baymard Institute, the three most easily recognisable trust badges are Norton, Google TS, and BBB.
There are two places where you should display these trust badges:
- At the footer of every page
- Near the credit card field of the payment page
Online grocery shop Peapod has a good example of a secured payment page. They not only includes a McAfee Secure badge to assure their customers, but also mentions that their payment information is encrypted.
3. Present your products in the right way
Many online stores seem to neglect product presentation. You heard it here first, a simple image with a product description is not enough!
When customers visit a physical store, they obviously get up close and personal with a product, getting a much better sense of its quality. According to a Forrester/UPS study, 55.1% of people claim that this is a big factor in why they prefer physical stores over online shops.
You can overcome this barrier by providing more information and images. Here are some more details on how to make that work:
(a) Product image
This one goes without saying; always use high-quality product images on your ecommerce site.
Remember, a high-quality image isn’s just an image that has a high resolution. Your images should present your products in a beautiful, enticing way.
It’s essential to provide more than one image for your products, and some websites have even started to feature dynamic 360-degree images. At the very least, you should include a number of images taken from all angles.
For some products, it may be a good idea to add some images zooming in on particular parts. This is especially true for products with fine details that a customer might wish to examine.
Another nifty feature that you can add to your product image is hover-zoom. As you might have guessed, this provides users with an enlarged view of the product when they hover the mouse over a certain part of the image.
A great way to attract customers is to use contextual images. For example, if you sell shirts, you can include an image of a person wearing a shirt in a casual setting. That can help the customers get a sense of how the product may look on them.
(b) Product video
Product videos can increase conversions for almost all types of ecommerce websites. According to Animato, 96% of consumers find videos helpful for making purchasing decisions, and 73% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after they watch a video explaining its features.
Keep the following things in mind when making a product video:
- Make sure your videos are professional with proper lighting and good angles.
- The voice of the narrator, provided there is one, matters. Test if a male voice or a female voice is more suitable for your product type.
- The videos should show the products from every angle.
- Demonstrate the basic features of your products in the videos. If applicable, also consider including product-related how-to tutorials.
(c) Product copy
Along with properly representing the product visually, you also need a great copy to go with it. In a physical shop, a potential customer can talk with a sales representative to learn more about a product. In the online setting, it’s your content that takes on this responsibility.
A lot of websites use bullet points to display the key facts about their products, which is a great way to give a brief overview that the user can quickly glance at and get a sense of the product. But it’s also important to give the customers a more detailed description.
The best strategy is to prepare two versions of the copy for each product.
The shorter version should give brief answers to these three questions:
- Whom is the product for?
- What does the product do?
- Why is it a great choice?
You should place this info beside the product image. A short line of text can also have bullet points mentioning the main features and benefits. According to a study by Conversion XL, bulleted text works very well for tech products.
The longer version should address the following:
- Include as much relevant information as possible about the product. After reading the long version, a customer shouldn’t have any major questions unanswered.
- As well from the basic product features, it should emphasise why the product is helpful. A personal tone will be more effective here than an advertising one. Explain why you would recommend the product by focusing on its benefits.
- If applicable, include a comparison table. Suppose you have three similar products, at the end of the product description, you can show a comparison of their main features.
4. Have a persistent shopping cart
According to eMarketer, 56% of the potential customers use the shopping cart to save items for later purchase. You can save your customer’s cart choices by using persistent cookies. Unlike short time cookies, the persistent cookies will remain on the users’ device even after they leave your website. So, upon return, they can easily pick up where they left off.
Customers often leave your website to check your competitors, compare products, and look for the best possible deal. They may get frustrated if they find their shopping cart is empty upon return, having to go through the process all over again.
People often use multiple devices to research and purchase products. Persistent cookies can make the process seamless by retaining cart information across devices.
To make the persistent cart more effective, consider the following:
- Oftentimes people set their browsers to delete cookies upon exit. Let your visitors know that you’re using persistent cookies to store their shopping carts. Alternatively, you can store the cart information on your server. But for a small to the mid-sized ecommerce site, that might not be a practical option.
- Set the expiration date of your persistent cookies to at least seven days. Many sites will store user carts for as long as a month! Storing information for a longer period increases the chance of a sale.
- Send automated reminder emails to the users containing links to their carts if they don’t come back within a week. In many cases, customers get distracted and simply forget about buying a particular product and where they found it. A lot of them are likely to come back and make the purchases after they get the reminder email.
These were our four UX tips that can help you increase the conversion rate of your ecommerce site. Which of these tips have you found the most useful? Do you have any special UX tip that has worked very well for you?
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