User experience (often shortened to UX) means quite literally how the user of a website experiences using it. From the customer’s point of view, how is a product purchased in an online store? How does he or she feel afterwards? These are some of the building blocks of user experience. And the better the UX, the more likely the customer is to return.
An online store owner should always keep user experience in mind when building or developing the store. It is, of course, impossible to please every single customer, but there are patterns to how people view websites and what makes buying easier. For instance, some of the things most customers appreciate in an online store are ease of use, interesting content and high-quality customer services.
Step into the Customer’s Shoes
Seeing your own store from an outsider’s perspective may be difficult, but it is worth trying. You should pay attention to at least the following things:
- What does the customer see first when he or she comes to the site?
- What does the customer see first on different pages when looking for information?
- How many clicks does it take to find a certain product?
- Is using the search bar easy enough?
- Is paying for the products easy?
- Does the store load fast enough?
The experience of buying something online is better when there is less hassle. That’s why it’s important to also pay attention to technical things like loading speeds and secure connections.
And if looking at your own store from an outsider’s point of view feels cumbersome or ineffective, there is help available. Many professionals perform what they call audits. It is possible to hire a professional, maybe even one who is representative of your target audience, to take a look at your website and let you know how you could make the store better for the customer.
In UX, the Products Are Key
User experience is not focused on just one thing, but it is made up of several small processes. It is the big picture that counts the most. No matter how the store is set up, the products being sold and their availability are the most important things to the customer. For instance, product pictures and descriptions affect sales: if the customer doesn’t feel like he or she is given enough information about the product, he or she is unlikely to buy it.
For example, you should tell your customers:
- The measurements of the product
- The color of the product
- The materials and/or manufacturing process of the product
- (The origin country of the product)
- Whether the store has the product in stock
- When the customer should receive the product
As mentioned earlier, the content of the site is one of the things affecting user experience the most. All information related to the products are part of the site’s content.
Still, the product itself is more important than content. The product is more important than anything else, even when it comes to user experience. How long does it take for the customer to receive the product? Does is match the customer’s expectations? Is it high-quality compared to the price? Does it become the customer’s new favorite product – or even better, new favorite brand?
Remember to Serve Your Customers
If the customer feels like your store doesn’t offer adequate customer service like answers to questions or help with problems, user experience naturally goes down. That’s why it’s important to remember to, within the limits of your own resources, offer customers the kind of service that leaves them feeling happy about being in touch with you. And if problems do arise, remember that it is often worth it to offer refunds and small gifts to keep the customers happy in the long run.