When it comes to ecommerce, customers have certain expectations. They want to be able to find what they’re looking for easily, they want the buying process to be smooth and straightforward, and they want to feel confident that they’re making a good purchase. Although we could list off 100 things every ecommerce needs, we’re going to focus on the top 10 expectations, frustrations and tips for your ecom.
As the world becomes increasingly mobile, it’s more important than ever to make sure your ecommerce site is optimised for mobile devices. Mobile retail sales were reported as £50.36 billion in 2019. It’s forecasted that by 2024 mobile sales will hit the £105 billion mark.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when optimising your ecommerce site for mobile. Most importantly, make sure your site is responsive so it can adjust to different screen sizes and devices. Ensure you can cater for all types of internet browsers, and all types of phone and tablet devices.
There are also times you may have to remove elements of your site on mobile to prioritise more important pieces of content, especially if it means getting what you need above the fold. Let’s take John Lewis as an example, they’ve condensed their mobile site to accommodate for having product images and links in the fold.
Fast loading page speeds are as important than any other point you’ll see in this article. A fast loading site not only does wonders for user experience, but it also plays a big part in your ecommerce SEO performance. A slow site can not only cause Google to index your pages slower but can also impact the experience which Google takes into account when ranking your site.
As a standard, your ecommerce pages should be loading in under 2 seconds. This is an acceptable time, however, if you can consistently get under 1 second then you’ll reap the benefits versus your competitors. You can use Google Site Speed test to check your speed.
Here are some helpful tips from Shopify to improve your ecommerce site speed:
- Ensure you have fast and reliable hosting
- Unblock browser from prserblocking scripts
- Use pop-ups sparingly
- Compress and optimise large images
- Minify code
No matter where the user lands, the navigation can help keep potential customers on the site if the landing page doesn’t meet expectation. A useful navigation can also help users landing on the homepage. Take a look at Robert Dyas for the ideal navigation. It’s vital that all aspects of the navigation are met for the user to be able to navigate easily across the site. Here are some must haves for the navigation.
- Clear and optimised. Your navigation should be clear and easy to use on all devices, especially mobile. Try to ensure all the options on the menu are visible within the screen to avoid anything being missed.
- Well structured. The navigation should be structured well to make it easy to go through all the options. Ensure categories are alphabetically ordered in dropdowns.
- Easy-to-find search bar. Make sure on all devices have an easy to use seach bar that’s visible. A search bar can be an integral part of your user’s navigation.
- Useful internal links. Outside of the navigation bar, you should focus your internal links to help navigate customers around the site. Use creative graphics or images to help make these an easier experience for users.
Product listing pages are your shop windows. It’s essential you give your customers the ultimate catalogue of your products, and to do that they expect a clear and easy-to-use product listing page. Product listing pages should be able to filter, sort and display basic product information.
An ideal example of an ideal product listing page would be Nike. They have ensured that their sorting is clear and easy to use on both desktop and mobile. Giving their users the option of sorting by price, featured and the newest products.
The second element Nike nail is filtering – one of the most important elements of a product listing page if you have a high amount of products. This is vital to improving conversion rates, product click through rates and ultimately driving revenue. Nike ensure they cover all types of filterable features for their products, from gender, price, colour, size and much more. This allows the customer to choose precisely what they’re looking for in a smooth experience.
When creating product descriptions you have to assume every users wants to know everything possible about your product. With that in mind you’ll create purposeful content for your product that adds value to your potential customers. Help drive trust by including as much information (not quantity of content but quality and value) as possible. This is especially the case if your product is a high-value one.
Product descriptions of course play a part of your SEO strategy. Quality content can help not only drive organic visibility but also massively drive conversions. Here is a checklist you can follow when creating your product descriptions, helped formed together using Firebox’s products descriptions.
- Product features and specifications
- Multiple high-quality images from different angles
- Product benefits, why should the customer buy?
- How and where is it made?
- Unique features and propositions
Using recommended features across your site can really benefit your user’s experience. However, only if done right. Recommendations can be suggested around the site on the product page in the way of similar products, as an option for customers who can’t quite find the right product. Recommendations can also be used on the basket page in the way of ‘you may also like’ product recommendations which can increase average order value.
Whether you’re installing a plugin or building a recommendation feature from scratch, ensure you thoroughly test it’s use to ensure the recommendations are relevant. This is exactly what customers want to see from your website. If we take a look at Clare’s paint products, you can see they offer similar colours.
Although it does sound obvious, authentic reviews builds trust. That’s seen in the data from powereviews.com who discovered that shoppers who visit a product page with 10+ reviews are 52.2% more likely to buy than those who visit without any reviews.
It’s also important that you embed legitimate, authenticated reviews from a well-known review platform. Here are some of the best review platforms you should consider using if you’re looking to show off your amazing products.
Lastly, always ensure you incentive and inform customers of detailed reviews, that could include a small guide when sending out your review reminders, this goes a long way to future customers doing their research.
Being transparent with your customers should be a given, but getting caught up in trying to drive conversion rates it can sometimes be forgotten. It’s vital that customers are in the know of what they’re spending.
Starting with the basket, make it abundantly clear what the total cost of products are, how much delivery is going to cost (or at least an estimate) alongside clear cards accepted messaging. Below, we take a look at backmarket’s basket page which shows all of the above.
Surprising customers with unexpected delivery costs, VAT on top of their purchase and other types of additional costs will lead to a high dropout rate of your checkout. If you stick to being transparent and trustworthy, it will go a long way with your conversion rates and revenue. Top this up with secure payment messages and embedded reviews and the customer will benefit from the checkout they’re expecting.
A guest checkout, something all customers want to see from your ecommerce. Although this isn’t applicable to every niche, if you’re able to, always offer it to your users. A study from Forbes proved that 43% of consumers prefer guest checkout, and 72% of these will use guest checkout even if they have an existing account.
Although just because you’re offering a guest checkout, that doesn’t mean you’re losing out on email subscribers or account creations. Don’t be scared to create email sequences to push for an account signup and also offer an account signup call-to-action at the end of the checkout.
Bonus tip: offer your users different types of checkout without a long account signup such as a sign up link through Google or Apple, just like Warby Parker utilise in their checkout.
Last but not least, you’ve secured the deal and gained a new customer. It doesn’t stop there.
The customer experience doesn’t end until they receive their product, so ensure you clearly state all the information they need to feel confident you’re still the right shop for them. Something that M&S do very well is cover all queries that the new customer may have in an informative confirmation page. Clearly state the following:
- Products orders and order total
- Delivery address and cost
- Expected delivery date
- Payment details
- Offer an account sign up
- What happens next details
- Offer a customer service email contact
So there we have it, 10 vital things every customer wants to see on your ecommerce site. Fixing your user experience and eliminating conversion blockers here are key, but a good conversion rate optimisation project always includes benefits to other channels such as content, SEO and paid ads. Perfect these 10 points and you’ll be on the right track to growing your ecommerce business.