In one way or another, COVID-19 has had an impact on all businesses. For some, this has taken the form of stagnant or declining sales, while for others this has meant unexpectedly positive outcomes. Such unexpected outcomes include increased website traffic and online sales, with some businesses reporting incredible 300%+ increases in online revenue since lockdown.
Understandably, most businesses operating in the online space want to get a piece of the action. Enter: UX design. Thoughtful, strategic UX design can help you get on top of the current economic conditions and maximise the surge in online shopping. Read on to learn about our top five UX design tips for boosting online sales now.
More time online, more money online?
With the majority of people confined to their homes and glued to their computers and mobile phones, it’s no surprise that we’re spending more time online. But does this mean that all online businesses will thrive during this period of isolation? Not quite. There are a few things you’ll have to consider before you can cash in the big COVID-19 bucks.
While investing more into SEO, Google Ads, and social campaigns will help boost your online sales (more about that another time), there are ways to increase revenue from your existing website traffic alone.
Boosting revenue through great user experience (UX)
Great UX is fairly subjective and ultimately comes down to how well you understand your customers and what they want. The more you understand what your customer expects from your website in terms of products, features, functionality, and content, the better you can satisfy their needs and generate the outcomes you want.
To put it simply: The faster and easier you can make the purchasing journey for your customers, the higher your chances of a sale.
The ultimate e-commerce UX guidelines
The UX and Conversion Optimisation (CRO) team at Yoghurt Digital recently achieved an incredible milestone, lodging their 10,000th hour of UX research. As a part of their journey, they’ve used their learnings to develop the ULTIMATE user experience guidelines for e-commerce websites in 2020.
With more than 850+ assessment criteria, these guidelines have been created to evaluate the effectiveness of your website and help pinpoint what improvements need to be made to boost your website’s user experience and conversion rate.
The guidelines assess your website against the 11 core areas that all e-commerce websites share, including:
- Information Architecture (IA) & Navigation
- Sitewide Elements
- Category Landing Pages (where applicable)
- Product Listing Pages
- Product Detail Pages
- Site Search
- My Account
- Store Finder (where applicable)
5 FREE UX guidelines to help boost your online sales
Below you’ll find five FREE UX guidelines to help you assess your own website and identity changes that you can make to boost online sales. You’ll also find a few live examples of user experience gone wrong.
1. Loading products on Product Listing Pages (PLP)
One of the most common issues we’ve come across in our research is the question of how many products to display on a PLP.
On desktop, we observed that 100 products per page works best, whilst on mobile 30 products per page works best. In general, we recommend implementing a ‘Load More’ or a ‘Pagination’ function – not an endless scrolling option. The feedback from users is that endless scrolling presents a frustrating user experience.
2. Sorting products after using site search
After using site search to find a product, users typically want to further filter and sort the results based on their particular preferences. However, this often returns irrelevant results because the sort function doesn’t relate to the search results.
Not sure what we mean by this? To see an example of site search gone wrong, follow these steps:
- Visit The Iconic
- Enter ‘black socks’ into the site search bar
- Sort the results by “Price ‘Low to High’”
The resulting page will look like this, and include everything from tights for kids to women’s underwear. In other words, the page will include results that are completely irrelevant to the search and filters. Can you see how this would be frustrating for users?
3. Allow users to purchase out-of-stock products with extended delivery times
As popular products sell out faster than others, we often encounter websites with products appearing as out-of-stock. Most of the websites we analysed remove the ‘add to cart’ button entirely from their out-of-stock products, which stops the user purchasing journey.
In other cases, websites remove out-of-stock products from their Product Listing Pages completely, which can lead users to believe that either the website is incomplete or that the website search function isn’t working.
For items that will come back in stock within a reasonable timeframe, it’s better to allow the user to purchase the product, but make it clear when they will receive the product.
How do you handle out-of-stock products on your website?
4. Clear instructions for no relevant search results
Website search is another highly underrated feature on e-commerce websites. It’s not uncommon to see anywhere between a 100%-200% difference in conversion rates between users who engage with site search and those who don’t.
With that being said, many websites overlook the importance of getting the site search functionality right and end up missing out on potential sales.
When a user conducts a search and there are no product or category matches, rather than leaving the user hanging by presenting no relevant search results, instead provide guidance and support to the user by:
- Suggesting similar search terms
- Listing related products or categories
- Providing a method for contacting support
A great example of search results gone wrong can be found on Priceline’s website. Let’s say you’re looking for the popular immune booster supplement ArmaForce (yup, keeping it relevant #coronavirus) and follow the below steps:
- Click through to Priceline’s website
- Find the search bar and type in ‘ArmaForce’
Notice how the results are displayed – are they relevant, or not really? Personally, I’m still trying to figure out how body wash, nail polish, or matte foundation can help boost my immune system…
5. Additional, category-specific filter options
Filters are an integral part of the purchasing journey for users, yet we often encounter websites that use the same set of filters across all category pages.
Users that are looking for specific products want to be able to use additional filters within the specific context of the category page they are on (i.e. specific product size, colour, brand, etc.). This is especially important on websites that offer products across multiple category types.
Myer’s website is the perfect example of filters gone wrong. Let’s say you’re looking for a 55 inch LED TV and follow the below steps:
- Navigate to the TV section on the Myer website
- On the results page, try and filter the results by TV size and TV type
- Realise that the site doesn’t allow filtering by both LED and size – it’s limited to one or the other
- Yell out, “This is a poor user experience!”
The lesson here is simple: If you’re going to use filters on category pages (which you should), make sure that you customise these to suit the particular categories and allow users to select more than one filter at once.
Yoghurt Digital’s ULTIMATE UX audit for your website
These are just a few of the UX guidelines we’ve included in our Ultimate UX guidelines for 2020. We’re in the process of assessing some of Australia’s TOP e-commerce websites, and will be sharing the results in the coming weeks.
Yoghurt Digital’s Ultimate UX Guidelines help accelerate the process of finding ways to enhance your website’s user experience, resulting in higher engagement, improved conversion rates, and – yes – more online sales and revenue.
Want our team to assess your website against our Ultimate UX Guidelines? No problem. Over the course of 10 business days, we’ll analyse your website and provide you with a prioritised list of actionables and optimisations for your website to help enhance user experience and drive revenue growth.
For $4,995 excluding GST you’ll receive a detailed 50+ page report that covers each of the 11 core sections of your website, and provides you with the insights and findings you need to start generating more revenue online.
If you’re interested in having your website assessed by our team and finding out how to boost revenue through better UX, get in touch today!