It’s no surprise that online sales have been soaring over recent years. In fact, in 2018, eCommerce sales increased a staggering 18%. This massive surge in eCommerce means there are even more competitors fighting for a customer’s attention. If you are still trying to target your customers with an old website, your competitors will leave you in the dust.
Companies that succeed at eCommerce in the next decade will have to adopt what we’re calling a Digital Commerce 2.0 mindset. This approach is built around three main components: content, convenience, and commerce.
In this post, we’re taking a look at the second element – convenience. You need to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with you. Think about it. Customers are used to the simplicity of opening an app like Amazon and using one-click ordering to have their package at the door that day or the next. Is your digital commerce experience as simple and fast?
Upgrading to a website that is focused on convenience and the user experience (UX) can drastically improve your online sales. When you’re ready to accelerate your digital business, here are six essentials to include in your eCommerce UX.
1. Mobile Responsiveness
There is no doubt that the invention of the smartphone changed the retail landscape. It is estimated that in the US alone, more than 53% of all eCommerce sales will be made via mobile. All of this leads up to one conclusion—your site must be fully functional on a mobile device.
This means that your website should function, whether it is being viewed on a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your website is viewed the same across devices. Instead, rather, the site is altered slightly to have the best functionality given the specific type of device that is being used to access it. This helps reduce the amount of effort required by a user to get what they want out of your site.
It’s important to consider one-hand operation when discussing mobile responsiveness. The one-hand operation helps ensure the site is as easy to use as possible. With the way mobile devices are designed, this means making sure the call-to-action button and navigation can be used when using the device one-handed. The easier you make the UX, the longer they are likely to stay on your site.
2. Search Functionality
As a consumer, there is nothing more frustrating than looking for something specific, and finding a company does not have a search function or if they do have one it doesn’t work well. Search is so important. Why? Several studies have found shoppers that who use the search function are more likely to make a purchase.
Search must be one of the key elements to include in your UX. You want to make sure you have the minimum search functionality on your site, and may even opt to have more sophisticated search options such as autocomplete, suggestions, and a strong error tolerance to further enhance the user experience. Error tolerance is important for industrial and manufacturing companies selling parts. Part numbers and names can be very similar. Customers should be able to quickly find a part that’s compatible with the product they’re using.
You should also consider more than just a traditional search voice. With the rapid growth of smart speakers and devices, the use of voice search is expanding. Nearly 60% of online shoppers in the US have used voice assistants to shop. Does your current site support voice search?
3. Speed is King
As internet speeds get faster across the globe, consumers not only expect but demand that sites load quickly. When page load time is optimized, the UX is significantly improved. On the other hand, if your site has any lag, consumers become frustrated with their experience, with 79% of these consumers saying they are less likely to buy from the site in the future. In other words, if your site loads quickly, it can lead to an increase in conversions (read: revenue).
4. Product Information
When consumers are using your site, they expect to be able to find the information they are looking for on your product. This means product information must be easily located on your site and presented in such a way that it is easy to read. The location of product information should be uniform across the site, regardless of product, product category, etc. Take Amzon.com as an example. The product description is always located below the ‘Buy Now’ and ‘Add to Cart’ buttons. Having things where they expect to find them helps improve the UX.
Customers also expect different types of content. Some customers may prefer to watch a video while others might want to download the full product documentation. Your eCommerce system should support a variety of content types and make them all available in search.
5. Easy Navigation
Expanding upon the idea that the user expects to find things in a certain place with each product, you must also consider the element of navigation in regards to UX. The navigation used on a site must be logical to the average user and easy to sift through. Focusing on navigation helps ensure the user can find what they are looking for without getting frustrated or wasting time.
6. Uniform Experience
Creating a uniform experience is another important element of the UX that must be considered. It is important that the user have a uniform experience across the board. This means that no matter what platform or device is used to access the site, what country the site is accessed from, etc. the user will get the same experience. Having a uniform experience is beneficial for several reasons, one of which is the user will not have to figure out new navigation each way they access your site, while another is that it contributes to your company’s overall brand image and experience.
Another advantage of a uniform experience is improved SEO. In transforming the digital commerce experience for Dana, PhaseZero CxCommerce™ consolidated several country and product-specific websites into one global platform DanaAftermarket.com. The new uniform experience and single domain lead to a 450% increase in organic search traffic. Download the full case study to learn more about Dana’s success with PhaseZero CxCommerce™.
UX Impacts Your Bottom Line
Ultimately, you want your site to be as easy to use as possible for the user. This is important, given that the UX has a direct impact on your bottom line. Failure to consider these crucial elements of UX can lead to poor conversion rates and an overall experience that may lead to a loss of a potential customer. Some of the elements that go into creating a great UX may be easy to incorporate, while others are a tad more complicated. Each element must be carefully considered and fit into the overall strategic plan of how you want the prospective customer to interact with your brand online.
To see how PhaseZero CxCommerce™ can improve your user experience and accelerate your digital commerce, schedule a demo today.