6 UX Tips for Converting Visitors into Customers
Charlie Marchant | December 12, 2016
Charlie Marchant | December 12, 2016
Your website’s user experience could be losing you customers. Shoppers could be browsing your website and leaving without making a purchase. Good products alone aren’t enough to get users to become buyers.
From the moment a potential customer enters your website, their user experience begins. A good on-site experience will lead them to click that final ‘Confirm’ at the checkout. A bad experience will result in them clicking the dreaded ‘X’ and leaving your website.
How do you create a positive user experience that results in sales, return customers and recommendations to other potential customers? Here, we give you a rundown of some of the key elements to creating a smooth and enjoyable user experience that gives your site every chance of turning viewers into customers.
1. Get your website’s loading time down
The user experience begins from the moment someone attempts to enter your website. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most beautiful or creative website in the history of ecommerce; if your site is slow to load, the customer will get bored and bounce.
According to Radware, in 1999 when we were used to the painfully slow speed of dial-up. Customers would calmly wait for eight seconds for a page to load. Now, 57% of customers said that they would abandon a page after three seconds if it hadn’t loaded.
If your website is too slow, it increases your bounce rate, which decreases your conversions into sales. A one second difference in speed can reduce sales on an ecommerce website by up to 7%. An eCommerce company that earns $100,000 a day could be losing up to $2.5 million in sales every year thanks to that second.
If your bounce rate is high because of a slow load time, then optimizing images, removing excess plugins, caching and minimizing HTTP requests are just some of the changes you can make for an immediate speed boost. Dedicated web hosting will also make your site servers run considerably faster, reducing loading time. The more extraneous factors there are to your site, the longer it will take to load.
2. Optimize your website’s copy — and keep it catchy
Good website copy is the staple of any successful ecommerce website. Punchy and compelling headlines and calls-to-action should make your website users an offer they can’t refuse and turn them into paying customers. Online web hosting seller HostGator have mastered succinct, user-friendly copy with short and sweet headlines that use action words and tell users exactly what they’re going to get.
Hostgator’s homepage with compelling headline examples.
Ecommerce product pages need detailed product descriptions that communicate why this product is better than all of your competitors’ products and why this person should buy from you. The product pages on Electric Tobacconist, an online e-cigarette retailer, are the perfect example an engaging product description accompanied by a bullet point list of the product’s specifications.
Electric Tobacconist’s Vapouriz Voltair product page.
Your website’s text is an SEO tool too. Well-optimized website copy that is rich in your target keywords will improve your website’s search engine rankings. Carefully consider which keywords to use on which webpages and weave them through your copy in a natural way.
3. Harness the power of an on-site blog
According to a HubSpot survey, businesses that blog acquire 60% more customers than businesses that don’t. Just like your website copy, a blog gives your brand a voice and gives you the opportunity to create more keyword-rich content to support your website’s rankings.
Your website’s blog should become a source of information about styles, trends and product use, depending on what it is you’re selling. It gives you the chance to show that you’re an expert in your field, it sharpens your business angle, and it builds trust amongst consumers in your brand and your products.
Blogs can also be a good nurturing tool. If a website user isn’t yet ready to buy, then a website blog can direct them to sign up to a newsletter so that you can reach out to them at later date. You can include special offers, discounts and run giveaways on your blog to increase the likelihood of sign-ups, return website users and eventual conversions.
4. Show off what’s on offer — and do it well
People love to see what they’re buying, so images, especially for an eCommerce company, should never be an afterthought. Make sure they are relevant, though. While an image of a product improves the user experience, stock images that are used just to fill space actually damage the usability of the website.
A marketing strategy that’s useful for eCommerce companies is ‘clustering’ on product pages. This is where products are put together on the same page into an outfit or a display. Users can click on individual items to find out more. The combined visuals and interaction element are more engaging than a wall of separate items. Clustering like this often leads to more satisfied customers and more items in that shopping basket. Win, win!
5. Optimize images to generate extra traffic
Optimized images from your website can appear on Google image search. Many online shoppers prefer to search by images and if your images are optimized for the right search terms and are ranking well, you could generate traffic to your website from your images.
Avoid generic image file names and instead give the image a descriptive name search engines will recognise. The image description is where you can slip in keywords to make images SEO-friendly. Remember not to keyword stuff. Keep the image metas concise and to the point. Say exactly what the image is.
Image captions, while they don’t make much difference to SEO, make a big difference to user experience. Use captions on relevant images on your website to improve user experience. Make sure your captions are relevant and interesting and your bounce rate will fall.
6. Prevent cart abandonment at checkout
If a user has got all the way to the checkout page and then abandoned their cart, analyse your checkout process to pinpoint where their negative user experience occurs.
Improve conversions by making the checkout process simple, quick and user-friendly. Keep details required at checkout down to the essentials, avoid asking for extra details and if possible eliminate the need for the user to create an account.
User experience is more than just how a website makes your customer feel, it’s how effective it is at converting clicks into sales. If you feel like you’re losing out on sales because your user experience isn’t a positive one, try making the tweaks we suggested and see how fast you notice a positive difference.
Written on December 12, 2016 by:
Charlie is the head of digital PR and content marketing at Exposure Ninja. She has years of experience providing eCommerce digital PR to companies, helping them convert the clicks they’ve been leaking into successful sales and turbo-charging user experience.Follow