Like every year since 2005, on the second Thursday of the month of November,we celebrate the World Web Usability Day. It is an event to promote the values of usability, usability engineering, user-centered design, universal usability and the responsibility of each user to request that the things we use every day work better.
Believe it or not, the ease of use of the objects and interfaces that surround us is very important for our quality of life. A simple way to think about this is to simply remember when a visual interface or an application on our mobile phone makes us feel frustrated, because it does not do what we expect.
We often experience this frustration when we try, for example, to make a purchase in an online store. A product that does not load, a catalog that is difficult to navigate or a payment process that "hangs' ' are just some of the web usability problems in e-commerce that we see most frequently at Orienteed.
That is why we think that web usability in e-commerce is a critical aspect that businesses should not miss. In this article we will delve into the concept of web usability of electronic commerce and its importance. We'll also share a quick guide with what we believe are best practices for designing and developing user-friendly eCommerce websites. Thinking about people at the center of the equation.
With these practices, you can improve the user experience, overcome common challenges, and increase sales conversions. Whether you're a seasoned e-commerce professional or just starting out, this article will give you the essential knowledge to improve the usability of your online store.
Go for it!
What is web usability?
Web usability refers to the ease with which users can interact with a website efficiently and satisfactorily. In other words, it's about designing websites so that they are easy to use and understand by anyone, regardless of their level of technological experience.
A website with good usability allows users to quickly find the information they are looking for, perform specific actions or tasks without difficulty, and navigate the site intuitively. Web usability involves considering aspects such as clarity of design, organization of content, ease of navigation, readability of text and accessibility, ensuring that the site is accessible to people with some type of disability or special abilities.
A web design with high usability improves the user experience, increases customer satisfaction and can lead to higher user retention and online conversions.
Why is web usability important in ecommerce?
As you can imagine, web usability plays a fundamental role in the success of e-commerce sites. Basically because of an open secret: the higher the usability (ease of use) of a site, the higher the sales will be. But let's look at the key areas that, for us, highlight the importance of usability:
Improving User Experience and Satisfaction
A friendly and intuitive e-commerce website improves overall user experience and satisfaction. People can easily navigate the website, find desired products, and complete their purchases without frustration, creating a positive impression.
A smooth and pleasant shopping experience fosters customer satisfaction, leading to repeat purchases and positive recommendations that are enhanced by word of mouth.
Increase in Conversions and Sales
The number one goal of any eCommerce business is to increase conversions and sales. Usability directly influences the conversion rate by reducing the barriers and frictions that hinder the purchasing process.
When visitors to your online store can easily find products, view detailed information, and complete transactions seamlessly, they are more likely to become paying customers.
In addition, an easy-to-use website generates trust and security, encouraging users to buy, converting into higher sales revenue.
Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate
Cart abandonment is a significant challenge for ecommerce businesses. Potential customers often abandon their carts due to complicated checkout processes, hidden costs, or concerns about the security and privacy of their personal data.
By focusing on the importance of usability in e-commerce, you can streamline the checkout process, simplify form fields, offer guest checkout options, and display trust signals such as secure payment icons and guarantees. These improvements can significantly reduce cart abandonment rates, leading to higher completion rates and increased revenue.
Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Usability and search engine optimization (SEO) go hand in hand. Search engines consider user experience in e-commerce as a critical ranking factor.
When users have a positive experience on your website, spending more time interacting with your content and browsing pages, search engines interpret this as a sign of high-quality, relevant content.
Additionally, a well-structured and easy-to-use website is more likely to attract external links and social media shares, further improving ecommerce visibility and its organic search rankings.
Raising Adaptability for Mobile Devices
Mobile commerce (m-commerce) has gained significant traction recently, with more users purchasing from various mobile devices. A friendly and responsive e-commerce website is essential to serve this growing segment of users.
By optimizing your commerce site for mobile devices, you can offer a seamless and enjoyable experience for mobile users, increasing engagement and conversions. Mobile-friendliness also positively impacts your rankings, as search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites in their search results.
Building Trust and Brand Loyalty
In the competitive e-commerce landscape, building trust and loyalty among customers is crucial to long-term success. A user-friendly and well-designed website instills confidence in users, conveying professionalism, credibility and reliability.
By consistently providing a positive user experience, you can build trust in the brand, encourage repeat purchases and cultivate loyal customers who become brand advocates.
Now that you know the importance of web usability in e-commerce, the time has come to share what we consider to be the best practices to follow so that your online store is as usable as possible for your customers.
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The 7 Best Practices to Guarantee Usability in your Ecommerce
1. Create an Intuitive Design and Simple Navigation:
A clear design and simple navigation are essential. Organize products into logical categories and make sure navigation buttons are easily identifiable. Use a clean dropdown menu and clear labels to make it easy for the user to search.
2. Optimize the experience for Mobile Devices:
Today, the majority of digital consumers access through mobile devices. Therefore, make sure that your online store is completely optimized for smartphones and tablets. Use a responsive design to adapt to different screen sizes and ensure that all features are equally accessible on mobile devices.
3. Make sure the loading speed is fast:
Website loading speed is crucial. Users abandon businesses that take too long to load. Optimize images, use compression techniques, and consider using a fast hosting service to ensure pages load quickly.
4. Create Simple and Concise Forms:
If users need to fill out forms (such as during checkout), keep them simple and concise. Keep the number of required fields to a minimum and provide clear error messages if errors are made. Offer autocomplete options whenever possible to make the process more efficient.
5. Write clear and easy-to-read content:
Avoid excess information and use clear, easy-to-understand language. Use headings and short paragraphs for easy reading. Highlight important product features and provide detailed, yet easy-to-read descriptions.
6. Conduct User Tests Regularly:
Run performance tests and user tests regularly to identify potential usability issues. See how users interact with your site, what areas cause confusion, and where they get stuck. Use this feedback to make continuous improvements to usability and user experience throughout the store.
7. Provide Effective Customer Support:
Make sure users can easily get help if they have problems. It offers live chat options, clear support emails, and a detailed FAQ section. Efficient and accessible customer service improves user confidence and overall satisfaction.
Usability Testing for Ecommerce
Usability testing is essential to validate the usability effectiveness of your website. Testing your ecommerce involves observing and collecting feedback from real users as they navigate your website, as well as evaluating technical aspects such as SEO, Web Score, and overall site performance.
Tools like Valido App offer automated testing capabilities that make it easy to analyze the usability and user experience of entire websites. Without technical knowledge or code implementation, you'll be able to identify problem areas, gain actionable insights, and optimize your eCommerce website to improve user experience and increase sales.
Now is your turn!
Creating a highly usable eCommerce website requires attention to detail, a deep understanding of user needs, and implementation of best practices.
By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can improve the usability of your eCommerce website and create a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience for your users.
Remember to continually monitor user behavior, analyze data from your site, and make iterative improvements to stay ahead in the competitive e-commerce landscape.
Do you need to improve the usability and user experience of your ecommerce business? Contact us today here to find out how we can help you.
Digital Marketing Manager at Orienteed.