Business owners open eShops to maximize their profits by accessing the millions of customers who do their shopping online. If you’ve recently opened an eShop, you already know the fantastic benefits for your business. However, those benefits aren’t always immediate.
Often, business owners will open an eShop expecting immediate results. The internet is a competitive place. For your business to stand out, you need to have an exciting site that attracts customers’ attention and keeps them coming back for more. Most of this is related to user experience or UX.
If your eShop on Shopify isn’t getting the right customer volume, it could be related to poor UX practices. The good news is you don’t need to be a marketing specialist to upgrade your UX copy and UX overall. In this article, we’ll outline five proven strategies on how to improve your UX in Shopify.
Shopify is an online eCommerce platform where you can manage an online business. They offer services for people who are starting online businesses, switching to online, or switching from another eCommerce provider. They are based out of Ottawa, Ontario.
Tobias Lutke and Scott Lake founded the company in 2006, and today it has more than 1.7 million businesses in 175 countries. 1.58 million websites run on Shopify, and roughly $61 billion in merchandise is sold on the site yearly. It allows companies to both create websites and eCommerce stores all in one place.
User experience includes everything that happens to your user from when they click a link to your website. Their first impressions of the homepage, how quickly other pages load, how easy it is to check out, and customer support options fall under this category.
Whether a website has a good or bad user experience is judged based on the relative ease to browse the site and accomplish the purpose of being there. Suppose you have a site where you can customize shoes. If the most challenging aspect of the site is shoe customization, then your UX is poor.
There are several other factors you can consider when customizing your site as well. You have to think about mobile adaptability, labeling important tabs and icons, site navigation, which steps are necessary and which aren’t, and much more.
All of this comes down to competition. An eShop isn’t like a physical store where geographic location works to your advantage. Customers can enter a better eShop with great UX in a microsecond after a couple of clicks. That’s why your site needs to be attention-grabbing and straightforward to use.
Now that we know a little about UX and Shopify, let’s go over the best ways to improve your customer experience.
The best place to start improving your UX practices is with your customer. They will tell you which parts of your site function well and where you need improvement. They also won’t be biased and can give clear comparisons between your site and the competition.
There are several websites and eShop reviewing websites where you can find customer experience information. Check for your site on Reddit, Twitter, and other social media first to see if people are commenting about their experience there. Then you can try sites like Yotpo and Trustpilot for more exact information.
If your site isn’t viral, then you can research other brands on these sites as well. See what people are saying about your competition and improve upon their mistakes. Use successful sites as a model to build yours.
You can also add a comments section and an email contact address to your site to inspire direct feedback from your customers. These opportunities can be in a “contact us” section of the site or available underneath each of your products and services.
Remember to read through your comments and reviews carefully. The ones that are the most helpful are often the most hurtful, so you need to stay humble and treat it as a learning experience. Also, use common logic to distinguish constructive criticism from internet trolls and haters.
The aesthetics of your website are essential, but they should never outweigh its functionality. It’s easy for business owners to mistake a nice-looking website for one that has a good user experience. While some images and advanced web design can’t hurt, they can lead to complications for the user that defeats their purpose.
There are many features that web designers or online marketers will recommend that aren’t necessary.
Take parallax scrolling as an example. This is when the front image or text of a website scrolls faster than the background image. While it might have a pretty effect, this combination of moving images is confusing to the eye and makes customers have to focus harder when searching for something.
You’ll find this same issue with automatic image sliders and video backgrounds. They won’t just make your content harder to view, but they’ll also slow down your site’s loading speed.
It’s better to focus on the most critical part of your site: what you’re selling. Put your product at the front and center of your user experience and worry about all the bells and whistles later on.
If you want to implement innovative aesthetic features on the site, hire a web designer with experience. Otherwise, you can end up with fancy features that only make your site more confusing.
If your business already has a website, then you know how important copywriting is. The written content on your page is what sells your product to the customer. If it’s a great copy, then you can guarantee more return on-site visitors. If it’s a lousy copy, they won’t even get past the first sentence.
The thing about the internet is that it’s full of different kinds of people. While catchy sales language and a few puns may appeal to one audience, others are turned off by them. That’s why you need to use copy that appeals to your audience.
Take IT, for example. People buying IT equipment and products probably won’t be as convinced by a big muscular guy in a tank-top as someone buying exercise equipment. Whether you’re writing the copy yourself or hiring a writer, you need content that can speak to your product and paint it in a uniquely attractive light.
This is why the copy for your site should always come before your design. No one ever bought something because the site looked nice. However, a compelling product description and bio have led to many sales in the past. Generate excellent copy for your site, then use website design to highlight that copy and make it easily consumable.
Today, people browse content on their phones just as often as on their computers, if not more. Having a site that looks bad on a mobile device will alienate this vast potential customer base. It’s not challenging to make your site easily accessible on mobile, and you can even consider getting an app.
The critical thing to remember here is that your desktop site and mobile site are not the same. Suppose you have great UX on your desktop that doesn’t necessarily translate to great mobile UX. People’s motives and feelings about shopping online can change depending on the device they are using.
The first thing you can consider is standard mobile features. Can people view images on your site from their smartphone by double tapping and pinching? Is the text easily copyable? Can they share the images or links on social media?
Also, think about checkout. You don’t need to autocorrect there, but maybe some suggestions for cities and states can help. If you want to include a “guest checkout” feature, ensure it’s very visible on the mobile site. A cart-saving feature will allow your customers to transition from mobile to desktop more easily.
The most crucial part of eCommerce design is your customer finding what they’re looking for. It’s challenging enough to get people onto your site. The last thing you want is for them to leave after a couple of minutes because they can’t find something.
Most of this boils down to keeping the tabs and pages clearly labeled. Divide your products into sections or categories that intuitively make sense. When searching, it should feel like second nature for the customer, not a complicated process they need to learn and relearn every time they visit.
Ensure that these labels are common words and nothing extravagant. If you think your customer base is primarily working-class, labeling a cover or blanket as a “duvet” might be unnecessary.
Overall, UX is a very solvable problem for most businesses. Implementing the five practices above will help prepare your site for the future. By keeping the design simple and product-focused, you set up a domain with one goal: customer satisfaction. A satisfied customer almost always leads to higher sales.