September 02, 2020

Ecommerce Usability – Is Your Site Making It Easy For Customers To Buy?

By Sona Mathews

Usability is very important for any eCommerce website or application. It does not matter what you want to sell online. Without a usable platform, results will not be as great as they can be. With every single website that sells something, you want to make sales.This is impossible without usability.

Ecommerce Usability – Is Your Site Making It Easy For Customers To Buy: eAskme

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Understanding Usability

To put it as simple as possible, usability can be defined as making the site easier to use and more intuitive.

This is practically defined through 5 main components:

  • Learnability – This means how easy it is for the user to perform a basic task after visiting the site for the first time.
  • Memorability – How easy it is for the user to memorize the design and use it again during a future visit.
  • Efficiency – After learning the design, this refers to how quickly visitors are capable of performing tasks.
  • Errors – Self-explanatory since there should be as few as possible.
  • Satisfaction – Refers to how pleasant the site is when used.

We can also assess usability based on utility. Simply put, is the design of the ecommerce site exactly what it needs to be?

Can the user easily figure out what is a link and what is regular text?

Does the navigation menu use simple language that easily describes functions?

Such questions determine the utility of a website and can show if the design is usable or not.

Is Usability Important For An Ecommerce Website?

If you take a look at the factors that are important for users, the most important one oftentimes mentioned is how easy it is to locate what was initially desired.

Simply put, the user wants to find something fast. Usability is what makes this happen.

While usability might not seem like a very important thing when the eCommerce website only sells a few products, whenever there are more sold, like when using multi vendor software, usability becomes a difference-maker.

Many online businesses these days consider aesthetics as much more important since they think that this is what attracts buyers.

In reality, you can have the best possible design and end up with very bad conversion rates when usability is not appropriate.

Basically, we can say that usability is the most important thing for an eCommerce website. This can clearly be seen in the error Marks & Spencer did.

In an attempt to get better online coverage, the huge brand spent over 150 million UGP on the website redesign.

The process took 2 years. Unfortunately, the result was a conversion rate that dropped by 8 percent.

This was mainly because of the fact that usability instantly dropped.

Improve Your Website’s Usability

This should be done sooner rather than later. It can be done in many different ways. Usually, this involves a lot of testing and tracking.

You have to test the existing design in order to figure out what changes would be beneficial.

At the same time, you can test the designs that are used by the competitors since this can help you to quickly figure out some great improvements that can be done and the advantages you have.

Obviously, you should always also focus on the negatives.

To make it easier for you, here are some ways to improve eCommerce usability:

Simplify Navigation And Keep It Functional

This is the very first thing you need to focus on and it is based on a very simple principle.

Is it more likely for a visitor to buy something from you after one click or 50 clicks?

Conversions are hurt by complexity. Whenever excess clicks are necessary or there are categories that do not make sense, potential customers are annoyed.

To put it as simple as possible, you need to have main categories that are really fast to see and use.

Then, you need to have a Search system that is as effective as possible.

The last thing to remember is that familiarity is very important. People are already used to how an ecommerce website looks like and how it should be used.

When you make design changes that alter that, conversion rates go down.

Utilize A Checkout Process That Is Linear

We are often hit by websites with a low usability during the checkout process. For instance, you put all the items you want inside the cart.

Then, you are redirected to a suggestion and then to your cart. Then, you are directed to a register page.

Such a process is very bad and can easily annoy shoppers.

The checkout process for any ecommerce website has to be very simple. There should be no redirects present. Transparency and simplicity are vital for a good checkout process.

Make Error Messages Clear

Errors can happen during the checkout process. This is normal and oftentimes it is impossible to avoid them. However, how you present the errors count.

It is very frustrating to be denied a purchase simply because of an error and you do not even know what the error is.

When you clearly highlight what the error was, the shopper is more inclined to try again. Make sure that you relay what has to be done with the use of direct, clear language.

Use highlighted text, red text, or even utilize blinking text in order to increase the visibility of the error text.

Decrease Page Load Time

Numerous statistics were published about this topic so you cannot neglect it.

Around 25% of site visitors abandon pages when load time is higher than 4 seconds.

However, it is quite common to give the site around 10 seconds for a full load.

Keep in mind that if page load time is increased by 1 second, there will be a 7% decline in the conversion rate. This is a really significant number that simply cannot be denied.

Basically, modern shoppers are not patient so you have to do all that you can to decrease page load time.

This can be done in many different ways and you have to use what works best based on your platform.

However, taking these steps to decrease page load time is simply mandatory.

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