• 4 Tips for Improving Your Ecommerce UX

    Improving the sales of your ecommerce site does not rely only on your marketing, product, value and incentives. As we mentioned in previous posts, there’s an increasing amount of data showing that improvements to your site’s user experience (UX), especially during the checkout process, can significantly cut checkout abandonment rates and improve sales.

    In a recent post that expands upon the findings of their Ecommerce Checkout Usability research study of the 100 top-grossing ecommerce sites, Smashing Magazine lists some of the most glaring and surprisingly persistent checkout practices that can adversely affect UX.

    A quick look at the study’s findings reveals a number of useful tips for improving your ecommerce conversion rates:

    1. Minimize the chances customers have to abandon checkouts. Every step of your checkout process is a potential exit point for your customers. While the study shows no real impact on usability scores for checkouts of up to six steps, the highest UX score is for a two-step checkout and there’s a significant decline in scores for checkouts of more than six steps.

    2. Encourage opt-ins and don’t force opt-outs. The survey results can do the talking here:

    • 81% of the top 100 ecommerce sites force customers to opt-out of newsletters/email subscriptions, usually through pre-checked options during the checkout process.
    • 32% of those that force opt-outs do not offer a way to do so in the checkout process. It means customers must use their privacy settings to prevent the newsletters or choose to unsubscribe after they start receiving the messages.
    • More than half of the study’s consumer test subjects identified such subscriptions as “spam”.
    • 40% of test subjects said they “didn`t want any newsletters”.

    3. Have a Guest Checkout option. 24% of sites require account registration and that can be a bad idea for many reasons:

    • Privacy is a growing concern and any attempt to extract more information than customers think is appropriate can increase their fears, uncertainties and doubts (FUDs) about making the purchase.
    • The extra step gives people one more opportunity to leave
    • Customers do not perceive the value of setting up an account, especially for smaller purchases

    4. Don’t ask for the same information twice. Don’t ask for the same information twice. If it seems senseless to write the same bullet point twice, imagine how customers feel when they have to enter the same information twice during the same checkout. Almost as bad as that is having to enter useless information, like my city and state if I`ve already given my zip code.

    FigPii Heatmaps
    • 50% of the top 100 ecommerce sites ask for the same information twice. Unbelievable. In other words, as Smashing puts it, 50% of the ecommerce sites are adding needless friction to their checkout process.

    Conclusions? If your efforts aren’t focused on improving your ecommerce site’s UX, you’ll have to find other, probably more expensive ways to counteract a poor UX and increase sales.


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