One of the most important strategy to grow your revenue from your ecommerce website is to keep your online store fresh and vibrant. But that is not enough. This marketplace is a very competitive one and a rival site is never more than a click away. If you want to attract and retain customers, you need to make sure that your site is as usable as possible and functional. Your prices could be the lowest ones on market, but if customers can’t find them or get confused along the way, you’re never going to reach your full potential in terms of sales.
Here are 10 tips for improving usability of your online store. The smallest of changes can have the most dramatic effect on conversion rates. So if you want to make real money with satisfied customers, better analyse these tips carefully.
Search Function Is a Must
Every online store needs a high visibility search function, preferably located in a clearly marked spot above the fold, which must allow customers to easily filter and refine their results to find what they want.
Search boxes reduces the time customers spend searching for items, making their online shopping experience a happier one.
If your site offers a wide variety of products, you should strongly consider adding a search by category refinement, which not only quickens the search process, but reminds customers of the wide range of items you have for sale.
Let Your Customers To Shop without Registering
It’s really a good idea to allow ‘guests’ to add items to their carts and checkout without the registration process. Once customers have committed to their purchase, they should be given the option to ‘Sign Up’ to save time on their next visit. This method has been shown to increase sales, improve customer retention and lower cart abandonment. Remember, lengthy registration process is a real turnoff for many customers including me.
Simple and Fast Signup Steps
How much information do you need from a customer when they sign up on your site? You might want as much as information you can get, but in reality you don’t need that much personal information. All you really need is an email address and a password. I recommend to prefer email address rather than a username. Because usernames are easy to forget and email addresses are unique.
Use Breadcrumb Navigations
Breadcrumb navigation is a must for all big ecommerce websites. When making an order, customers need to know exactly where they stand in the purchase process and how many steps they’ve completed and how many are yet to come. Without breadcrumb navigation, customers can easily get bored, think the process is going to go on forever and abandon their purchase halfway. And also customers can easily skip back to a previous step if they think they’ve made a mistake.
Make Your Customers Feel Safe
Justifiably, a lot of people worry about giving out credit card numbers and personal details online. Shoppers need to feel completely confident when they buy from an online store. You need to reassure your visitors at every stage that your site is safe and that you are a reputable merchant who will protect their privacy and not share their information. Best way to do this is to get a trust certificate from somewhere like Hacker Safe or VeriSign. Using online payment methods like paypal and payza is another option.
Effective confirmation is an absolute must if you want to make your ecommerce website as usable as possible. Not only does it reassure shoppers, it also saves your time by reducing the number of queries you get from confused customers. A copy of this confirmation should be emailed to the customer for their records.
Always Show Related Items
Specifying related items and cross-selling can prove very helpful for customers and very profitable for merchants. If a shopper’s looking at a coat on a clothing site, for instance, they can be provided with suggestions for other items to complete the look. If they’re buying an electronic gadget, additional necessities like batteries and cables can be made easily available. Amazon’s method for suggesting related items has been shown to increase revenue and retention massively.
Importance Of Call-to-Action Buttons
Effective buttons for ‘add to cart’, ‘sign up’ and ‘proceed to checkout’ actions, can push your conversion rates through the roof and vastly improve your site’s usability. To make these buttons eye-catching and stand out, you need to think carefully about their size,design colour, font, wording and position. They need to be large (not huge), clear and in a colour that will stand out against your site’s background.
Keep the Shopping Cart Accessible On Every Page
Shopping cart should be visible to a customer on every page. It must appear above the fold, at the top or may be on the right, so that customers need not navigate away to view their cart contents and the total order cost. To increase usability further, customers should be able to edit their cart, adding and removing items, at any stage, on any page, without having to update or refresh. Another must is a ‘proceed to checkout’ button should be positioned on the cart, making the order process that little bit quicker.
Shopping Without Hidden Charges
Hidden costs angers customers more than anything else! So better make sure that you display prices, taxes, shipping charges as early as possible in the purchase process. If your customers are presented with lots of extra costs when they finally come to pay, they will probably cancel their purchase.