Blueleaf UX Director, Chris Jones shares his top UX takeaways.
The first thing to consider before making any UX improvement is where the greatest ROI is likely to be. If your ecommerce site is responsive, it may well be that any changes you make will be implemented across all devices, but you should really look into your analytics regardless before prioritising improvements. For example, if your mobile traffic is growing and conversion is comparatively low, you may want to focus on mobile improvements as the ‘low hanging fruit’.
Here are five quick wins that you should strongly consider. Although they’re quite simple in many ways, you’d be amazed how many ecommerce sites don’t have these features in their UX.
1. Expanded mobile navigation
It’s been a few years now since the ‘burger’ nav was first designed for mobile and smaller tablet layouts. User tests show that when the three-lined icon is labelled as ‘Menu’ it generally performs well, with users understanding that’s where they go to navigate around categories on the site. But why not make it even easier on mobile homepages, where people want to get into your site as quickly as possible?
The Adidas mobile homepage pulls out their categories as very clear and easily clickable buttons, giving users the fastest possible way of getting deeper into the site and finding the products they want. It’s a real “don’t make me think” approach that solves the “if I can’t see it, I don’t know it’s there” issue in human/computer interaction.
2. Recently viewed
This is a simple feature that is often forgotten on ecommerce sites, in favour of something a bit more exciting sounding such as “What’s Hot” or “On Trend”. But when you consider that approximately 96%* of users on your site aren’t ready to buy, it makes Recently Viewed a must, giving users a prominent reminder and shortcut back to products that they viewed on previous visits. We all window shop and jump around different sites comparing products and prices, so make it as easy as possible for your users when they come back.
Recently Viewed should be as frictionless as possible and not require any form of registration like many Wishlists do – a cookie should just remember products that users have viewed and display them on the homepage and anywhere else it makes sense such as category, list and product pages.
3. Predictive search
Predictive search is nothing new in ecommerce, but many sites have it turned off on mobile, where arguably it’s needed most. The majority of our retail clients have a high percentage of search usage on mobile, as it’s an easy way for customers to get straight to what they’re looking for. The best predictive search will show products and if there’s room, categories and most popular searches too
4. Guest checkout
In pretty much every user test I’ve ever conducted, users are delighted to see Guest Checkout as an option, rather than having to register. Although in reality it means that users still have to enter all of the same information (bar choosing a password), users’ perception is that it’s much faster and easier. This is a key point of abandonment on ecommerce sites, so you really must offer Guest Checkout.
5. Show discounts in the basket/checkout
Here’s another one that strikes me as being so obvious, I’m amazed that not all ecommerce sites do it as standard. Retailers rely on sales and work very hard to promote them on their homepage, list pages and product pages with flashy graphics and prominent was/now prices, yet when the basket or checkout is viewed, these savings aren’t shown. Many sites only show the now price and don’t remind users at the critical point what the full price was and how much they’re saving with a Total Savings row in the basket and checkout. You must spell it out for users and shout about how much money they’re saving.