E-commerce user experience (UX)—what it is and how to use it to boost your sales

User experience (UX) is a term that has become quite popular within the digital marketing niche this past year.
That’s easy. It’s because it directly affects both sales increases and how Google sends you more organic traffic.
Do you not know what UX is all about or how to apply it to your online shop?
Fear not, for in today’s post we are explaining what exactly UX is and how to use it to lead your clients directly to the buy button.
Hey! And we also have a surprise prepared at the end (don’t cheat, read the whole article first!)

What is the user experience of an online shop?

The first thing that you have to take into account is that this concept is not only used for websites, but also for products or software.
However, we are going to focus on the user experience (UX) in an e-commerce shop.
After having said that, let’s read the definition.

User experience is a concept related to the perception (positive or negative) that a user has after having interacted with a website.

Basically, what we are measuring is to what degree we are satisfying our clients when they visit our website.
Let’s take that a step further.

Why is it so important?

Basically, for 2 reasons:

  • More sales: a happy user is a happy client, and that means more sales.
  • More traffic: a very important word related to user experience is “interaction”, or how the person interacts with the website. We already mentioned this when we talked about bounce rates—the longer they stay and the more they interact, the better the quality Google rates your site.

But, you must be careful because when talking about website user experience it is easy to simplify the concept to just: “the more interaction, the better”.
Our goal is to improve the user experience with the website according to our objective. In the case of an online shop, the objective is obvious: we need to optimize the experience to increase sales.
This is why this sentenced by Steve Krug (UX expert), included in this post by Palbin is so correct.

“If someone thinks or doubts, the website usability is inefficient”.

We don’t want users to be wandering around the shop, even if that means a lot of interaction. What we seek is that the client buys as many products as possible as soon as possible.
The user experience must always be focused on achieving of our goal.

How to improve the user experience of your e-commerce in 6 steps

And finally, the theory part is completed and we jump into the more practical aspect. Let’s go.

1. Analyze your buyer

The first thing is to find out what the situation is and analyze your users’ behaviors with your shop.
In order to do so, here you have some metrics and tools to extract information.

  • Bound percentage and time spent: you just need to go to Google Analytics and click “Behavior”, “Site Content”, and “All Pages”. Here you can see these two metrics for each of your website’s pages.
  • Heat maps: this tool measures and displays which areas users click most on your website. They are very useful in order to optimize product cards or to find the drop-off points. If you are using WooCommerce, you can use the free plugin Sumo, and PrestaShop also offers several modules to do it.
  • Behavior recordings: you can watch a video of each visit and see everything they do from the very moment they enter until they leave. You can use Hotjar (there is a free plan), which also includes heat maps.

With this analysis you can find out which pages work better, which of them do not, and you’ll be able to start taking measures.

2. Usability in the user experience

This is one of the most important elements of the UX on a website.
The term ‘usability’ refers to whether a website is easy or not to use.
Within usability, there are different factors that we need to analyze in our shop:

  • Web architecture: the structure of categories and subcategories that we choose to organize our products, especially when we have many, is really important. If it is not coherent and it doesn’t guide users, it will be very difficult for them to find products.
  • Menus: another one of the most important factors. These are the first contact users have with all of your products. They need to be intuitive and as simple as possible. They are intertwined with the architecture.
  • Legibility: have you ever wondered if your text was easy to read? Besides checking factors such as the size, color, or font, it is important to check the copywriting.

In addition to analyzing what may go wrong, here you have two ideas that will improve both usability and user experience.

  • Breadcrumbs: they are like a route map that tells you where you are at and the path you followed to get there. For example: Clothes/Women/Pants/Summer. This breadcrumb helps you to avoid losing the reference of where you are.
  • Infinite scroll & Lazy Load: because of mobile phones, the infinite scroll has become more useful than moving around with clicks. If you add the Lazy Load plugin (pictures load when you scroll), the load speed will improve.

Remember Steve Krug’s sentence—our objective is making our clients buy without having to think or exert any type of effort.

3. Your secret UX weapon: the Doofinder search engine

You already know what a search engine is—we all use Google on a daily basis. What you may not know is just how much a search engine can improve the UX of your e-commerce.
Think about it for a second. We already mentioned web architecture, menus, breadcrumbs, etc. Those factors are good.
However, your objective is to give clients what they are looking for in the easiest possible way.
What if instead of making them navigate your site, we offered them the option of directly searching for exactly what they want?
Everything would be more efficient, direct, and faster (what we all want).
So let us explain just how Doofinder can help both you and your clients.

  • Auto-completion: in order to make finding products faster and easier, the engine shows different options to complete what users are typing as they type it.
  • Precision: you are not just looking for a product, but rather the precise model that you want (for example, the right size, model, color, or price).
  • Synonyms: maybe users don’t type the name correctly or they use a very generic term. For example, if they type ‘phone’, it would offer them options like smartphone, iPhone, or Android.

One way or another, users will easily be able to find what they want, but what if you could also optimize the search engine so that it “responds” in a way that will also increase your sales?
Have a look at the following example:

  • Optimized results: when users search for a generic brand (e.g. ‘Samsung’), why wouldn’t you show those products that have a bigger profit margin or those that are more difficult to sell?
  • Promotions: users often miss discounts they are interested in because they don’t make it to the pages where they are shown. With the search engine, you will be able to show them discounts related to the search they are carrying out.

More than just a search engine, Doofinder is a salesman that doesn’t just help clients, but that also helps you sell what you most want to sell.

4. Web Performance

The Web Performance Optimization (WPO) refers to minimizing the time that your website takes to load when clients click on it.
It is very important not only for the UX (nobody likes to wait), but also important for Google since it is one of the highly valued criteria used by their algorithm.
How can you improve your WPO?

Just by doing that, your e-commerce load speed will be faster.
You don’t know how long it takes for your website to load? Use this tool.

5. Easy Checkout

Simplifying the payment process must be one of your priorities because it could lead straight to a loss of sales.
And nobody likes having abandoned carts.
Here you have some ideas that you can use:

  • Ask for the minimum amount of data possible.
  • Offer the option to “buy as a guest”.
  • Minimize the number of steps.

Also, watching the recordings of users to find the moments when they abandon their carts will help you to eliminate all of those drop-off points.

6. User Experience (UX) on mobile phones

Mobile phones are gaining more and more prominence over computers when it comes to buying online and this trend will increase with time.
That is exactly why optimizing the user experience on mobile phones should be a top priority for you.
Always make sure that:

  • You eliminate pop-ups (it is more difficult to close them on your phone and Google will punish you).
  • Information is well organized.
  • You facilitate the navigation with infinite scroll (the less they have to touch the screen, the easier it is).

Small screen are the present and future of online shopping, so be ready.

Improve the user experience (UX) on your online shop NOW

As you’ve seen, this concept is not just about making navigation easier—it is a bit more complicated than that.
But the most important thing is that it affects your sales volume.
We here at Doofinder want to help you achieve a perfect user experience for your clients by offering a 30-day free trial of our search engine.
Think about it: “the sooner they get what they want, the sooner they buy it”. 😉