Presentation is everything on an ecommerce site. If consumers feel overwhelmed with products, over-the-top marketing-speak, or difficult-to-navigate buttons, they can easily head to Amazon or another competitor and find what they need. Because globalization complicates ecommerce, all businesses need to focus on providing the best possible ecommerce experience.
Businesses need to think seriously about the customer journey and optimize every aspect of an ecommerce site to support the purchasing process. Consumers use one site over another because of the cost and brand experience. There are times that brand experience will trump cost, which is why putting your best foot forward is so important. Here are the essential digital assets you need to consider this year.
1. Regulation-Friendly Accessibility
Companies today need to think about accessibility from a sales perspective as well as from a legal perspective. Many large companies are facing lawsuits because their ecommerce websites do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The digital space is no longer the Wild West. Every company needs to consider ever-changing regulatory requirements.
Working on accessibility can be difficult, because there are no clear standards in place. Here are a few accessibility concerns you should start looking at if you haven’t already:
- Accommodating hearing – or visually impaired shoppers – Make sure your shoppers can adjust their experience of the website to meet their needs. You need to make reasonable accommodations only, such as providing text or audiovisual alternatives for content.
- Addressing image-loading errors – Many problems can prevent images from loading. Include alternate text when an image fails to load to keep consumers informed, instead of leaving consumers in the dark. Use distinct alternate text for every image.
- Eliminating low-contrast color schemes – High contrast is a key factor in good website design. Contrast between text and background imaging helps all visitors, including visually impaired individuals, see the content easily.
- Eliminating technical problems – Many shoppers abandon their carts if they run into the first sign of trouble. Run quality assurance reports and perform optimization updates on a weekly basis.
2. Engaging Product Descriptions
When you create a product page, you need to provide consumers with everything they need to make purchasing decisions. That does not mean inundating consumers with lengthy headlines or paragraphs of descriptive material. Include only 100% relevant material in a product description. Always include:
- The product title and short description – Use a simple title and provide a 5-10 word non-sentence description right below the title, especially if the title itself does not indicate the nature of the product.
- Images – Invest in high-quality images for your product page, and never list a product without an image. Consider including 360-degree virtual product views, videos, and zoom functionality.
- Price, customizations, availability, and description – Clearly indicate the price, stock availability, and customization buttons for easy shopping. The longer description should list all relevant product descriptors and should not be a cut and paste manufacturer’s description.
- Call to Action (CTA) – Your shopping cart and add-to-cart buttons should always feature high-contrast colors and stand out on the page.
- Other considerations – Visible product ratings and reviews, security signs such as a SSL certificate, live chat support, special offers, social media sharing buttons, and live views/sales data all can improve the product experience. Use a product view to cross-sell similar or related items.
3. Eye-Catching Multi-Product Page Layouts
We’ve all been to ecommerce sites that either crowd too many products onto one page or spread them out so far that you need to click or scroll every few seconds to see a new item. Half of all shoppers abandon an ecommerce website during the browsing/product-viewing process without making a purchase. Consider your browsing page layout assets to improve conversions:
- Quick view – Offer a “quick view” to pop out a product image and its information for readers using devices with small screens.
- Customization – Allow the consumer to control the product view, including the number of products per page and the size of the fonts/images.
- CTA – Always include add-to-cart buttons on a multi-product page to encourage repeat buyers to make a quick purchasing decision.
- Keep it simple – You are already including several engagement-oriented content assets on a multi-product page. Keep other images and content to a minimum, so a viewer can focus entirely on the products and any deal offers.
4. Easy-to-Use Search Functionality
A shopper knows your brand carries product A, but he isn’t quite sure which category it’s under. A shopper was here last week and wants to quickly access a product for purchase. The search functionality, typically located in the upper right-hand corner of a page, allows shoppers to quickly access the appropriate product page. Offer a search bar, and then optimize it regularly to include relevant keywords and new products. The only time you may not need search functionality is if you offer a limited product line that a user can easily access without a search.
Do not include search functionality that takes a shopper straight to web results. The goal of an internal search is to improve conversions, not lead a shopper to another website.
5. Consistency Over Time
People get used to doing certain things online in a certain way. Navigation is at the top and product pages across the website offer roughly the same experience. Innovation is great, but you may not want to break the mold with an ecommerce site. Change one or two areas across the entire site at a time, and give consumers a change to adjust to them.
Things that should remain consistent in look, feel, and accessibility across your site include:
- Product descriptions
- Image style (i.e., stick with a product only or a product/background only structure)
- Shopping cart access/CTA button styles
- Promotional content
- Fonts, language, and content placement
Some of these ecommerce factors seem simple enough, but numerous online shops fail to develop, maintain, and optimize their websites for consistent growth-driven results over time. Focusing on the key elements of an ecommerce site will improve the user-experience on the site, and it will improve search engine visibility and content share-ability.
Reach out to Two Legit for more information about optimizing your ecommerce site for usability and better conversions.