A customer that can’t find the product they want is a sale that never materializes.
It’s that simple.
That’s why it’s so important to work on your business’ web usability.
This concept has to do with making your online shop easier and more convenient to navigate in order to enhance user experience.
In today’s post, we’ll share with you:
- What exactly web usability is.
- 6 mechanisms to increase sales.
Ready? Let’s go.
👉 What is the usability of an ecommerce
Let’s start off by giving you a basic definition:
The term usability refers to how easy it is for a visitor to browse a website (or, in our case, an ecommerce shop) and interact with it.
When talking about user experience (the feeling a customer gets after interacting with your website), you should know that usability is one of the key factors behind “retaining” your visitors.
If they browse through your web at ease, they’ll stick around longer and are more likely to end up buying.
👉 6 ways to improve your ecommerce’s usability
Improving your online shop’s usability is all about putting yourself in your customers’ shoes.
The more you understand their needs, what they’re looking for, and how they look for it, the more probability you’ll have of helping them enjoy the experience and feel comfortable in your ecommerce, which will, in turn, make them hold you in much higher regard. ;)
And, of course, make them more willing to buy.
Let’s take a look at how you can improve your website’s usability in order to drive more potential sales.
✅ 1. Improve your site’s WPO (Web Performance Optimization)
Think about it – when you get a new visitor, you only have a few seconds to catch their attention. If the page takes a long time to load, they’ll most likely leave, so you’ll miss the chance of a prospective sale.
WPO is also a key positioning factor for Google.
So how can you speed up your site’s loading time? Here are a couple of ideas:
- Choose good hosting.
- Optimize your images.
- Revise the plugins you have installed since having too many may increase your page’s loading time.
If you have no idea how long your site takes to load, you can check it here.
✅ 2. Turn your ecommerce into a safe and comfortable place
One of the most challenging goals for any online business is to build trust among buyers, which is why you must make your users feel safe and at ease while they’re browsing through your ecommerce.
There are various ways to do this:
- Improve your site’s security: To do this, you’ll need to install an SSL security certificate so that your URL says “https://” (instead of “http://” without the “s”). This is a way of assuring your visitors that the connection is safe (watch out – Google penalizes pages that don’t have this certificate).
- Strengthen your users’ trust: By integrating social proof (reviews from other clients), you contribute to strengthening the new buyer’s confidence in your business and products.
- Ease the process for exchanges and refunds: Design a good return policy. Apart from being clear, it must be visible at all times to avoid distrust among your customers.
- Put a contact number on the home page: This gives your customer a sense of “warmth” compared to the characteristic “coldness” of online shopping. It also reminds them that there are people behind the screen.
- Deal with your customers at all times: For example, if you activate a chatbot, your customers will be taken care of 24/7/365 and won’t feel forsaken in your ecommerce.
Implement all these features and make it easy on potential customers.
✅ 3. Structure your web properly to make navigation easier
The way your site is structured plays a huge role in usability since not only is it relevant to buyers, but also to Google:
- To your buyers: A well-structured shop facilitates navigation. The customer always knows where they are and where to find what they’re after… and how to buy it, of course. ;)
- To Google: A properly hierarchized site is easier to browse through, which contributes to better positioning.
In order to facilitate navigation, it is advisable to incorporate breadcrumbs. Do you know what they are?
Breadcrumbs indicate the route a user takes from your ecommerce homepage to the page they are visualizing at the moment.
For example: Home > Footwear > Men > Trainers > Nike
By visualizing the route, the customer knows exactly where they are at all times and can go back to the previous step without much difficulty.
Apart from that, pay attention to:
- The navigation menu: It must be clear and always be visible so the user can easily access all parts of your website.
- Categories and subcategories: The structure is determined by the number of products you offer and the SEO (through keywords). Take a look at how your competition does it and try to make your site’s hierarchy as intuitive as possible.
Correct navigation is a challenge for every ecommerce since managing many products and categories makes it difficult for the client to get what they’re looking for quickly.
That’s why it’s crucial that you pay attention to the next point. ;)
✅ 4. Use a professional search engine (and help the client find what they want)
This is easy to do if you install a professional search engine like Doofinder.
Think about this:
Doofinder is the shop assistant you’d have in an online shop. It’s the one who “listens” to the customer to help get them what they need. The user types what they need and the search engine brings it over.
➡️ Differences between a professional search engine and other types of search engines
Imagine this situation: A customer walks into your shop asking for a “mobile” and the assistant replies that they don’t sell those when there are actually plenty of cell phones in the storage room.
Well, that’s what happens with many regular search engines.
That’s why Doofinder has:
- Synonym recognition: It’s what we just told you. If the client types “fragrance”, the search engine understands they’re referring to “perfume”, even if they are labeled differently.
- Spelling mistake detection: Sticking with perfume, a customer types “Jan Pol Gautier”. What would happen with a regular search engine? It would just fail to find anything. On the contrary, Doofinder will show all the products by Jean Paul Gaultier.
- Customized findings: You can sort the first results from the search engine in case you’re interested in prioritizing more profitable products or others that have been in stock longer.
- Banners: What happens if a person that’s looking for a perfume by Jean Paul Gaultier comes across an offer for a moisturizer from the same brand and a similar scent? What happens is that both your average checkout price and conversion rate increase.
And the best is yet to come.
✅ 5. Let yourself be seen on any size screen
Having a responsive ecommerce (that is, optimized for mobile and tablets) is simply a must.
Make sure your website is userfriendly on every device because more and more purchases are being made on cell phones – almost 40% on Black Friday and 42% on Cyber Monday.
There’s no way you want to miss that piece of the pie, right?
We recommend doing a periodical check to make sure your shop can be visualized correctly on a phone and that all stages of the purchase process work perfectly.
✅ 6. Simplify the checkout process
The least pleasant part of any purchase is when it comes time to pay.
An ecommerce’s checkout is the process whereby a purchase is finalized, that is, the last page to which your customer is directed in order to confirm the order, make the payment, and close the sale.
Take good care to make sure this moment comes across as being as pleasant and simple as possible. If it gets too complicated, your customer is bound to abandon their shopping cart.
What can you do to make it simpler? Here are a few ideas:
- Allow purchases without logging in: Many customers chicken out if they have to create a username and fill out a form asking for a lot of details.
- Don’t hide extra charges: State any additional expenses (shipping costs, taxes, etc.) from the very beginning because unpleasant surprises at checkout are one of the main reasons people abandon their cart.
- Create a one-page checkout: In other words, integrate the whole purchase process into one single page so that the customer doesn’t have to go through different pages and wait for them to load. The fewer clicks for the user, the better.
- Use a minimalist design: On checkout pages, less is more. Your customer shouldn’t get distracted during the process, so a visually simple and easy-to-scan appearance is better.
- Clarify all doubts: If a customer feels unsure at the time of paying, forget about that sale. If you don’t want that to happen, provide links to FAQs, shipping methods, your return policy, and any other queries the customer might have at this point.
By making the purchase process easier, you’ll avoid abandoned shopping carts, which means more sales for you.
- Some ideas to get abandoned carts back.
- How to write the perfect email to get back a client who has abandoned their purchase.
👉 Optimize usability to increase sales in your online shop
As web guru Steve Krug says, the goal is for the customer to buy without having to think and to require the least possible effort.
You’ll definitely have happier customers if you make things easy for them. 😉