How user experience metrics drastically improve your e-commerce site

Published Nov 9 2022 Last updated Nov 11 2022 5 minute read
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  • Guest Contributor - Yauhen Zaremba
    Written by Guest Contributor - Yauhen Zaremba

    Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc, an all-in-one management tool for almost all types of documents. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years. For the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

E-commerce is a competitive digital business model. Over the past decade or so, global e-commerce sales have been moving in one direction: up.

As the number of online retailers grows, the level of competition increases, making it more important than ever for companies to discover ways to set themselves apart.

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E-commerce user experience optimization is the process of making online purchasing fun and easy for customers. If the online store's layout is well thought out, customers will be able to locate what they need quickly, whether it's new shoes or proposal and invoice software

The happier your customers are, the more money they will spend, and the more loyal they become.

The challenge for online stores is to provide customers with a satisfying shopping experience that will encourage repeat purchases.

However, UX goes beyond a colorful interface. It's all about the impressions your store leaves on customers. In addition to generating positive word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business, a well-designed user experience can save both time and money in the long term.

Why is e-commerce UX important?

Conversion rate, purchase frequency, average purchase value, and customer retention period are the "big four" performance parameters that are directly affected by your e-commerce UX.

From a business perspective, the quality of the customer experience in online stores is crucial. Customizing campaigns for results aimed at enhancing the user experience is a foolproof way to set yourself apart from the competition. 

What are the benefits of tracking your UX metrics?

There are several advantages to monitoring the UX performance of your site.

  • It offers reliable information/insight (objective proof) tha replaces subjective judgments when deciding how to enhance your e-commerce platform.
  • It helps you zero in on areas where your site is lacking and where you can make changes for the better.
  • Gaining insight into your consumers' habits paves the way for fresh chances to wow them and satisfy their needs.

What are the elements of good UX for e-commerce?

Easy navigation

Someone looking to purchase on your site should be able to do so quickly and easily. Your site's category structure and product listings can assist your visitors in accomplishing this goal. Customers can filter their selections using the category names, which serve as umbrella terms for multiple products.

Straightforward transactions

Your purchase process should mirror how easy it was to locate the goods. One or two clicks should be all that's required for the final payment screen.

However, not all online stores can accommodate such a feature. You can reduce the number of steps required from the user's perspective by just requesting mandatory fields. That might include collecting the name, billing and shipping addresses, and purchase details of the customer.

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In as few as four pages, a buyer should be able to finish their purchase. Users are less likely to stick around if sites take too long to load, so that's another plus.

Clear language

The way you communicate on your website often influences the success of sales. If you want your customers to be able to locate and purchase your wares, you should write in a straightforward and understandable manner. If you make your site simple and easy to use, you guarantee an improved user experience for all site visitors.

How to evaluate the user experience for your e-commerce website

The first step in enhancing the customer experience of your online shop is analyzing the current state of affairs. Here are some crucial steps to take in order to get an idea of the current user satisfaction.

Do some fact-finding and obtain quantitative data

The first step in analyzing your user experience is to educate yourself about UX by gathering relevant materials. However, you shouldn't focus only on UX while obtaining information; you also need to look at your industry.

The best way to determine which e-commerce site has the best user experience is to complete a specific action, such as a product search, on both your site and a competitor's site. Identify what the competition does differently, and decide if it is something you want to adopt or not.

Conduct website testing

A/B testing is one of the easiest and most commonly used ways to find out what works and what doesn't for a website. It is a terrific way to find out if your digital store is doing well or if it could use a refresh.

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Conduct usability testing

User testing allows you to acquire that much-needed outside perspective. It not only tells you what the customer thinks, but it also tells you things about your customer that website testing can't, like why they came to your site, how they feel about the layout of your store, and what stopped them from completing the intended action. 

Use analytics

Analytics provide a snapshot of how customers act in your store, making them a valuable asset for building outstanding user experiences. Although analytics won't tell you why people do what they do, it will give you a leg up in the search for answers by revealing patterns in user behavior.

Tips for improving your e-commerce UX

You can improve your site's user experience by adhering to a few simple guidelines. All of these are standard practice for creating a satisfying online experience for visitors.

Simplify the checkout process

High rates of cart abandonment on mobile and desktop are typically attributable to cumbersome and time-consuming checkout processes.

There are a few easy fixes that can be made to checkout forms that would greatly improve their usability.

  • Reduce the number of mandatory inputs by requesting only the data you need.
  • Make use of floating labels; these labels will be shown in the upper right-hand corner of the respective form fields. Users can utilize these to ensure they inputted data correctly.
  • Apply immediate verification to reassure users that they have entered the right information. A little green checkmark should appear next to the form entry.
  • Enable the autofill feature. The time it takes to fill out forms is reduced when customers can use the information already saved in their browsers or on their mobile devices throughout the checkout process.

Optimize the layout for your product pages

It's nice when, for instance, a product page's description matches the image, the call to action is adjacent to all the relevant information (pricing, shipping details, item alternatives, etc.), and the reviews can be quickly sorted and read.

Here are some ideas to help you optimize your product page layout:

  • Documents should be in a scannable format. In most cases, it's preferable to use bullet points and short paragraphs. The most important details should also be highlighted.
  • Incorporate product pricing, delivery details, and ordering alternatives into the space surrounding the primary call to action. 
  • Dedicate a specific area to testimonials, as many buyers research products via user reviews before making a purchase decision. Add a separate area (with filtering options) underneath the main content.

Request for feedback from customers

If you're looking to improve your site’s user experience, surveys or feedback forms are your best bet. Short, easy-to-understand forms are the most effective approach for collecting information from visitors to your site.

When designing forms, keep these guidelines in mind.

  • Minimize the number of questions on your form to increase completion and decrease abandonment.
  • Customers are more inclined to fill out forms if they are offered a reward. Think about giving away something for free or offering a voucher for a discount on digital tools and services like Salesforce API integration.
  • Forms should be displayed when a transaction is completed (or sent through email). The ideal time to solicit customer feedback is after a transaction has been completed. 

Boost your site’s loading speed

Users will abandon a sluggish site. A slow-loading website is one of the most annoying things that can happen to anyone using the web.

One of the quickest and easiest methods of increasing customer satisfaction, conversion rate, and purchase value is to speed up your site.

Use Google's free PageSpeed Insights tool to evaluate your site’s speed performance. You will get actionable advice on how to increase your site's performance and fix the issues that have been slowing it down.

Here is a summary of the basic steps that you should always follow:

  • Images should be optimized by using the right file formats and without taking up more space than necessary.
  • Javascript, HTML, and CSS should all be minified. The term "minification" refers to a procedure that "minimizes" developer code by removing whitespace, commas, and other non-essential characters. 
  • You should try to minimize the number of times a page has to be redirected, because doing so causes the server to respond several times, slowing down the loading time.
  • Choose a hosting service that can handle your site's traffic easily and quickly. Ideally, your host will have expertise working with online stores. Moving to a dedicated server or virtual private server (VPS) is another option to explore.

Beat the competition with UX optimization

There is no denying the impact of providing an excellent experience for your users. 

E-commerce relies heavily on user experience design to guarantee that visitors can quickly locate what they're looking for, make a purchase, and leave the site. Customers will buy more frequently if they find it uncomplicated to do business with you. Because of this, it's crucial that your business provides an excellent user experience.

Using the tips discussed above to measure your UX performance and up your game will help you drive sales and retain loyal customers.

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