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Ecommerce Usability Concerns to Focus on Now

Posted by Contributors on December 18, 2017

Usability is everything when it comes to ecommerce web design. A beautifully designed site with a confusing navigation, slow-loading images or video or dead links will chase customers away. In a season where every hour counts, ecommerce leaders should make sure that every aspect of their site is performing at it's best, following the industry's established best practices. It's never too late to take care of these common usability issues:

Inaccurate Listings

Product listings should be thorough and accurate. Lapses in accuracy destroys a merchant's credibility and drives customers to competitors.  With diligence and solid processes for content generation in place, this problem is easy to fix -- or at least it should be. Ecommerce platforms have many functions, not the least of which is to manage content — whether that content is product information, training guides, or a blog post. Your business should be able to make rapid changes."

Unclear Costs

It's imperative that customers know the total landed cost for their purchase as quickly in the process as possible. When a customer gets in the checkout process and sees a number next to "Total Cost:," they expect everything, including sales tax and shipping, to be included. Online shoppers value price transparency as a means to compare. Sites that hide the final price won't earn repeat business, if they get the first order at all.

Successful merchants pay close attention to cart abandon rates. 60% of abandoners cite unexpected prices as the reason. If they rise above industry norms, the way final costs are being revealed could be a significant factor.Improving usability - chart.jpg

Cumbersome Mobile Payment

More than half of traffic reaching ecommerce sites is from mobile or tablet. Mobile devices are not solely a research tool. As usability and mobile technology improves for the retail industry as a whole, a significant amount of revenue is derived from mobile as well.

Successful sellers pay particular attention to the ease of purchase. Is payment or shipping information easy to enter? Do payment partners like PayPal or ApplePay store account information. Is one-click checkout offered? The easier the payment process is for the user, the more likely they will transact on the first visit to your site, which is probably from their phone.

Gaps in Search Results

Site search is one of the less-appreciated but highly impactful factors in user experience and site conversion. Ecommerce teams should regularly monitor misspellings and null-search results to map to or build new landing pages that reflect customer behavior.

Algorithms for the order in which results appear should also be tested and reviewed on a regular basis. Intuitively, a brand may choose to suppress sale items from search results.  But perhaps listing sale items in search results improves conversion rates, units per transaction and lifetime value over the long term.

Having a professional ecommerce site design is important for brands needing to establish credibility and providing a good user experience for prospective customers. Monitoring the market and the latest case studies and best practices is critical to staying ahead of the competition while improving the relationship a brand has with their customer. 

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