Whilst being the owner of an ecommerce store means that you have to balance many different jobs all at once, the most important thing that you can do is ensure that the website is easy for customers to use.
The big players in this space, such as eBay and Amazon, got to where they are today by making their websites easy to navigate and the ordering process as simple as possible.
Although it may be near enough impossible to ever reach the heights of these types of companies, there are ways in which any ecommerce owner can make their website easier for people to use.
An ecommerce store should be there to show off the products and service for sale and there should be nothing getting in the way of it doing that.
However in order to be able to make an ecommerce store user friendly, it is important to first understand exactly what this means as far as websites are involved.
What Is a User Friendly Ecommerce Store?
A website that is deemed to be user friendly is one that is easy to navigate around and use all of the functions on it.
They should not be overly sophisticated or have certain elements that can be distracting and take attention away from the main purpose of an ecommerce store, and that is to sell the products or services that are on there.
The layout of the website should be in a way that it is intuitive and users do not have to hunt around in order to find what it is that they are after.
Try not to confuse visitors to your website with unnecessary functions and features.
The same is also true of unnecessary photos and visuals – do not detract away from the products and services that you have for sale on there.
The aim of any good ecommerce store is to provide a seamless experience for everyone that visits it.
One way of determining just how user friendly your ecommerce site is, is by conducting some user testing and reviews. By doing this, you are able to determine exactly which bits work best and which bits do not work so well.
Some of the things that any owner of an ecommerce store can do in order to make their website that bit easier for their customers to use include the following things:
- Include search functionality – a lot of the time, most of the stuff on your ecommerce store is not relevant to customers and because people nowadays do not possess the patience to search around themselves for what they are looking for, having some sort of search functionality makes their life that bit easier. Not allowing customers to be able to search for the exact product(s) or service(s) that they require is a sure fire way of encouraging them to not use your website again or even at all. Being able to search the full catalogue of an ecommerce website really does help to bring up the sales conversion rate.
- Make navigation easy – for easy and intuitive navigation around your ecommerce store, it must, as a minimum, be set out with categories and sub categories that list all of the different sections of the website. This is especially true where the website is home to a large catalogue of different products and / or services. Having a breadcrumb navigation system in place allows customers to keep track of how they reached the page that they have ended up on, rather than having to memorize it for next time.
- Ensure it runs fast – no one likes using a website that is frustratingly slow and the same is true for your ecommerce store. In the worst case scenario, this happening can send your customers to go and spend their money with a competitor instead. The average time that it takes for a website or an individual page on a website to load up is just two seconds. This means that if your own ecommerce store is nowhere near that time, you are going to have problems. However, there are websites out there that can fully optimize your ecommerce store to run fast, no matter what web browser or device it is being viewed on.
- Get the colors right – it is important that the colours used throughout your ecommerce store are the right one to really showcase the products and / or service that you have on there. It is also important to ensure that all text is readable so it should always be a contrasting color to the background that it is on. For instance, use dark text on a light background and do the opposite for text on a dark background. Different colors possess different psychological traits and so it is important to be fully aware of these before committing to a specific color scheme. For instance, you do not want to make the ‘Buy Now’ button a color that is psychologically off putting to customers.
- Keep contact information up to date – when it comes to shopping for products and service online, trust is something that is highly important for a customer. In order to not only win this trust but to keep it, it is important to ensure that the contact details on your ecommerce store always remain up to date, so that if they need to, customers are able to easily get in contact with you. To be able to answer customer questions and queries almost instantaneously and garner even more trust from them, then integrate a live chat feature into your website. Using these tools offer many benefits to both new and prospective customers, as well as to you as the owner of an ecommerce store. The trust and confidence that this produces makes customers much more likely to convert their visits into sales.
As the owner of an ecommerce store you do not have to implement every one of these suggestions but by doing some of them you will be making your website easier to use, thus making customers more likely to buy.