Getting to grips with the latest tech buzzwords isn’t always easy. And you’re certainly not alone if your daily social media scroll sometimes leaves you feeling dazed and confused. One moment we’re bombarded with news of the AI revolution, and the next, we’re dished out new information on the mind-boggling abilities of superpowered chatbots. That’s not to forget the massive potential of the metaverse and all the weird yet wonderful ways extended reality (XR) is blurring the lines between the physical and digital worlds.
Can the average person possibly keep abreast of all these changes as technology becomes more and more pervasive in our daily lives? Probably not. But there’s one hot topic in the digital business world that needn’t cause any confusion: the ever-growing significance of a good User Experience (UX).
The basic lowdown on User Experience
Simply put, UX is about how the consumer interacts with a specific product, service, or brand. And it goes hand-in-hand with ease of use, efficiency, and enjoyability. Good UX should facilitate customer satisfaction and increase brand loyalty, improve customer retention, and in turn, help boost sales. A phrase first coined by Don Norman in the early 1990s for his group at Apple Computer, the term ‘User Experience’ has certainly come a long way in recent years. The stats speak for themselves. Interestingly, the Nielsen Norman Group has predicted that the profession will grow from 1 million UX professionals recorded in 2017 to a whopping 100 million by 2050.
Stealing the spotlight: UX for e-commerce
Good UX design is of paramount importance for e-commerce websites – a site that allows businesses to sell their products or services online. Well put by Amazon, an e-commerce website is your digital storefront on the internet. Of course, ‘digital’ is the disruptive word here. Because your digital store needs to be even more dazzling online than it would be in a mall or high street. Online competition is fierce, and if you don’t appeal to your potential customer the moment they click on your site, you’ve probably lost them in a heartbeat. And as they wander off, they’ll be tapping away in search of a simpler, more impressive solution.
So how do you ensure your potential customer sticks around to find out more about your goods and services? And how do you encourage them to ultimately make a purchase? Let’s dive deeper into the importance of a good User Experience for e-commerce websites and the key elements that will make your website stand out from the crowd.
1. Skyrocket sales
It’s common knowledge that today’s internet users have a very short attention span(last recorded at a mere 8 seconds). Fail to impress them with an outdated or complicated website that’s difficult to ‘digest’ and you can wave goodbye to that potential customer. Visitors need to immediately enjoy the experience of exploring what your business has to offer online. Easy navigation should be a top priority, allowing them to move around effortlessly on your website to find what they need. In a gist, if the User Experience on your e-commerce website is a good one, visitors are far more likely to complete a desired action, leading to the all-important increase in conversion rates.
Handy hint: Time is of the essence
Make sure your website has a clear and intuitive layout, with easily identifiable navigation menus and buttons. Optimising website speed is also crucial so that users don’t abandon the site during long load times.
2. Improve user engagement
In today’s highly saturated digital world, how do you spark an emotional connection with your target audience? And how do you build even stronger relationships to fuel brand loyalty? You need to speak in the consumer’s language. And you must make them feel understood. A well-designed e-commerce site with a great UX should be personalised and provide clear feedback to the user along their journey. As such, you’ll reduce potential frustration, keep the user engaged for longer (including more page views and longer visit times), and ensure your brand remains top of mind.
Handy hint: Treat your CTAs like royalty
Don’t underestimate the power of a call to action every step of the way. If users like what they see, encourage them to take the next step via a concrete path. Be loud and clear. Bold typography can also be helpful to ensure the key messages on your site are readable and accessible.
3. Reap the benefits of better SEO
Search engines are designed to provide users with the best possible results. And good search engine optimisation (SEO) is far more than just using the best keywords and compelling title tags. Improved page speed and faster loading times associated with a good UX help websites rank higher in search engine results. Suffice to say a well-designed website that ranks higher in search results should ultimately lead to increased organic traffic and reduced customer acquisition costs. And it will also encourage users to keep visiting and share more of your content on social media. This will help boost brand visibility, improve your brand reputation, and increase your competitive advantage.
Handy hint: Prioritize responsive web design
A well-designed user experience also means one that’s adapted to different screen sizes and devices. According to recent Statista data, mobile now accounts for approximately half of all web traffic worldwide. Given that search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in search results, an improved mobile-friendly design is imperative for good UX and SEO.
4. Reduce bounce rates
The more complicated a website is, the more likely you are to lose the visitors that land on your site before you’ve had the chance to convert them into customers. We’ve already highlighted that impactful UX design is all about making your website enjoyable for users to navigate. This inevitably also implies a simple and streamlined checkout process. If this process is difficult or involves too many unnecessary steps, it can often lead to shopping cart abandonment before users have made a purchase. Be sure to keep on conducting usability testing to see what works and what doesn’t to retain your competitive advantage in the market.
Handy hint: Think big, but keep things simple
Your product descriptions must be clear and detailed so that there is no guesswork involved. You can also improve your chances of boosting your revenue via online sales by simplifying checkout forms, enabling users to easily save and edit their shopping cart.
The UX factor in a nutshell
An e-commerce website can make or break your business. Outdated and complex sites with a poor User Experience can confuse and frustrate your customers, who will search elsewhere to satisfy their needs without a second thought. But when designed the right way, your company website can become your most powerful tool. Make a crucial first impression while enhancing user satisfaction with an enjoyable and seamless experience and you’ll be well on your way to attracting new customers, building a better brand perception, fostering loyalty, and boosting conversion rates.
Ready to up your UX game? Get in touch with the Base Element team of digital experts today and we’ll help you transform your e-commerce website into an online powerhouse.