Developing and launching your own website using an eCommerce platform like Shopify allows you to build repeat customers, generate value through brand recognition, and protect your revenue by owning the channel. While online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay might drive more sales, your own website enables you to invest in your brand, because you own 100% of the sales and platform.
However, the advantages of your own site can be disadvantages as well. You own the website, which means that every problem on the site reflects on your brand. Unlike Amazon, you don’t have millions to invest in creating a positive customer experience, but you need to invest in creating a positive user experience (UX) for your consumers.
Identifying and addressing consumer pain points makes it easier for customers to buy products. Good UX makes your site more trustworthy, improves your customer service, and build good relationships.
UX points will change depending on your store, but experience affects conversion, willingness to buy, and how much money is spent by the consumer. For example, Kissmetrics showed that 74% of website visitors who had a problem with speed were not willing to go back to the site.
If you can afford it, pay beta testers to review your site. If not, spend a little extra time analysing and performing an internal audit.
The following list includes a few things shoppers find annoying on most websites. Take a look and see if you have a problem with any on your own eCommerce site.
7 Things That Annoy Online Shoppers
1. No Mobile Optimisation
More than 54% of all Internet searches are conducted on mobile. Shoppers still spend more money on computers, but they often spend time researching products from their phones and tablets during lunch or during a commute.
Data shows that nearly 60% of shoppers research products on mobile before purchasing it. Your site must be optimised for mobile to catch this traffic. If your site is too large, buttons aren’t optimised for mobile, or it’s too slow to load on 3G or weak 4G connections, you will lose these visitors.
2. “Off-The-Wall” Product Layouts
Creative store layouts with oversized feature images or highlighted products can look nice, but they might be hurting your sales. Most consumers have a certain idea of what your website should look like and why, and if it doesn’t meet that, you will make fewer sales.
The largest consideration for most is that large featured products or creative layouts are distracting and they might actually make it more difficult for some users to find your products.
For example, ShopWool saw a 17% increase in conversion when they switched from a highlighted product layout to an organised grid layout. Review your pages and check for product visibility, ease of scanning, and distractions. If your store pages look more like art than an Amazon results page, your design could be hurting your sales.
3. Low Quality Product Pages
Multiple studies have shown that bigger images increase conversion rates. The easier, clearer, and more comprehensive the information, the happier the consumer will be.
Review your product pages to ensure that:
- You have unique product photos, ideally with product lifestyle or use images
- Images are high-quality and include text or other descriptors to make browsing easy
- Product descriptions are unique and informative. Write for the customer, not Google
- You have a FAQ section with questions asked by consumers
- Reviews are visible on the page where possible
- Video or product demonstrations are on the page where possible
Investing in high-quality product pages can be expensive, but it will pay off. A good product page will leave the average customer with all their questions answered, so that they know exactly what to expect from the product.
4. Search Functions That Don’t Work
A search function on your eCommerce website could be vital in helping your customers find what they want in a sea of products. The customers who know exactly what they’re looking for are also more likely to convert than someone who is just browsing, so it’s important to offer a search function that works well.
Test your search function to see how well it works. If you have problems, either invest in a better search solution or review your products to ensure that they are tagged properly to come up in search.
5. Long Signup and Login forms
Most web shops need some type of signup or login forms, but many sellers make the mistake of asking for too much data. While it can be nice to have all this information, the longer your forms, the more annoyed the customer will get.
In fact, when presented with too many forms or fields, some customers might just hit the back button or abandon their shopping cart altogether. Less than 50% of people finish filling out forms to complete a purchase, often because the forms are too time consuming.
- Check your analytics. Are users abandoning the shopping cart on form pages?
- How can you shorten forms? What information do you really need?
- Make sure all forms work correctly and offer a “Thank you” or follow up notification to confirm that it has been submitted.
Most web shops only need the user’s full name, their full address, and their payment information. While additional data can be nice to have, it’s not worth it to collect at the expensive of your conversion rate.
6. No Information in Checkout
The average eCommerce store has a shopping cart abandonment rate of 69.23%. Shopping cart abandonment can be reduced with UX, but that means understanding why it happens in the first place.
One of the most common reasons for abandonment is lack of information before the shopping cart. Users who follow through only to find that shipping is more than they want to pay, they can’t utilise their favourite payment method, or aren’t satisfied with secure checkout will probably abandon.
To counter cart abandonment, work to make your shopping cart and information pages transparent and easy to understand. Shoppers should be able to see shipping, payment methods, security, total cost including shipping, itemisation in the shopping cart, and other data at a glance before hitting ‘Purchase’ or ‘Checkout’.
You can also consider creating an auto-update and refresh function, so that your cart total updates when consumers delete or add products to the cart.
7. No Purchase Confirmation
While it won’t affect your conversions, purchase confirmations are important for customer satisfaction. If your customer clicks through and spends money, but doesn’t receive an email notification that you have received their purchase, they could worry that you didn’t receive the order.
Creating a simple, automated “Thank you for your purchase” email with a custom purchase order and a confirmation is a one-time investment that will make your customers happier. It can also prevent costly messages to customer service to confirm the order, and issues like double purchases if the customer doesn’t realise that their order went through. Plus, if the customer ordered the wrong products, this email is an easy way to allow them to fix the problem before you process the order – which will save you time and money.
Taking the time to review your website, or use it yourself, to look for problems, possible annoyances, and areas for improvement will improve your conversion and customer satisfaction. By improving your user experience you make shopping easier, reduce trust issues and ensure your customer is happier when they go to make a purchase, as well as after checkout. If you don’t have the technical skill or time to handle it yourself, hiring experts like the Swanky Apple team for your design and branding will give your site the boost it needs.
Crucial Vacuum and Skubana Founder Chad Rubin grew his e-commerce business to an 8-figure business in 7 years. He is a Top 250 Amazon Seller, and co-founded Skubana as an all-in-one ERP system and operations platform designed for high volume sellers to run and automate their business. It integrates with most e-commerce marketplaces, 3PLs, and warehouses, provides profitability and multi-channel inventory management, and compiles all your marketplaces on a single convenient dashboard. Learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up here.