6 Critical Customer Experience Fixes For Retail Sites 2

6 Critical Customer Experience Fixes For Retail Sites

In an online world where things can change at the click of a button, and hard-earned customers are frustratingly fleeting, it pays to stay on top of your customer experience game. Especially if you are competing in the retail sector.

You’ve fought hard to get customers to your website, so you have to fight just as hard to keep them. E-commerce and retail sites often end up making the same mistakes or fail to recognise a few important fixes that will no doubt save the day.

Things are happening fast these days, real fast. Did you know, 53 percent of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than three seconds to load. It’s these snap decisions that lead to online retail businesses flourishing or failing miserably.

But don’t fret, as long as you’re on top of your CX game, you should be able to capitalise on those valuable visits. And we’ve got some handy customer experience fixes that will help solve your bounce rate and shopping cart abandonment woes. So without further delay, let’s get onto our first fix…

Fix 1 – Cut out any unnecessary shopping stages

Buy, buy, buy. You want to be able to take an interested customer to a happy shopper in moments. Draw them in with the right products, and then encourage them to convert. And you know what slows this whole process down? Unnecessary shopping stages.

Think of your customer as if they are driving from A to B. They want to take the most direct route, without any diversions. Fill in this extra form? No thanks. Enter this competition. Not now. Try to reduce the number of pages your customers have to go through in order to make a purchase and your conversion rates will rapidly rise.

Fix 2 – Make sure shoppers can find their way around easily

Sometimes checking out the competition can help you to look at your own flaws. Try going through the purchase journey and searching for the same products on a few competitor websites. How easy was it to find what you wanted? Now try your site and consider honestly whether it’s genuinely easy to navigate.

Take Rightmove vs Zoopla for example. There’s probably a reason why Rightmove always come out on top. Because the layout is cleaner and the site is very straightforward. Their design is more image led, showing off the properties and the way they’ve laid out each listing is just easier to absorb. What could you do better to help shoppers find their way around more easily?

Fix 3 – Offer customer shortcuts

You may have designed a very specific path for your customers to take. You know what steps they’re going to go through to find a product and click ‘buy’. But what if there was a better way? You might be able to get prospective buyers to convert more quickly by giving them options such as ‘customers also bought’ and ‘we thought you might like’. If a customer loses interest in a product because it’s out of stock, give them the option to buy a similar product instead.

Fix 4 – Offer easier payment options

Mobile users have little patience for lengthy payment forms and frustrating checkout procedures. They’ll give up and go elsewhere in an instant if you don’t give them quick, easy payment options.

In a study conducted by Google, we found that 65.9% of users stopped partway through purchase on mobile devices. Of those asked in the study as to why they abandoned the purchase, the most common responses ranged from the form being difficult to read, difficult to understand or was way too long.

Try to find ways to cut down the number of things the user has to do to make a purchase. If they get through the checkout quicker, they’ll be more satisfied and more likely to return to your retail site over others. Forcing people to register for your site is also a tactic that’s likely to irritate users.

 Today’s online shoppers expect options for fast shipping and quick purchasing, seamless transitions between stores and the web, accurate and timely information, and rich experiences that continue in the physical world.

– Nielson

Fix 5 – Clarity & transparency at every stage of the customer journey

Know about Jakob’s Law of The Internet User Experience? It basically states that users spend most of their time on other websites. People shop around for not only the best products but the best user experience. And if you present them with misleading or inaccurate information, they’ll simply go elsewhere.

Make all information the customer needs available to them, including the estimated delivery day and any extra shipping charges. So go through the entire checkout process and fine tune all the information. Is it 100% correct? Have you missed any key bits of information out?

Users are less forgiving about inaccurate information. When study participants were presented with misinformation or when they encountered unpleasant surprises, they immediately grew skeptical and began to question the authority and credibility of the site.

– Study by Nielsen

Fix 6 – Personalise the user journey

The final fix that will make a big impact on your e-commerce success is by adding some personalisation.  A study by Infosys recently showed that 78% of consumers and visitors are more likely to come back if a business offers personalised offers and messaging.

It’s worth putting time into finding ways to make your customers feel more valued, and ensure their shopping experience is tailored to their specific needs. For example, adding ‘you might also like’ shows that you’re getting to know their desires and taste. 24 percent of shoppers want product recommendations based on past purchases.

Reach out to your customers with well-timed offers which will appeal to them. Can you serve up content that’s specific to different audience groups based on the data you’ve gathered?

The gold standard of personalisation comes when you bring together all your intelligence about your customers’ browser behaviour and purchase history to tailor the whole user journey to speak directly to your individual customers.

Andrew Machin
Andrew Machin

With over 25 years’ experience in UX and digital strategy, Andrew has helped many national and global brands such as John Lewis, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, and Interflora create exceptional digital product experiences.

Through the success of such projects Andrew has received high-profile accolades that span innovation, strategy, and design, such as the Dadi Grand Prix Award and the Digital Impact Award for Innovation.

This experience has led to Andrew judging digital design awards, been featured in .net magazine, lecturing at Leeds university, and speaking at seminars and conferences across the UK.

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