Find out how to improve e-commerce through savvy user interface design, with this Heroic Search guestpost
User interface designers are the heart and soul of successful e-commerce. A user-centric interface can make the difference between a successful e-commerce website and one that fails both business and customer goals.
Whether you follow someone else’s blueprints, using pre-built themes, or you prototype interfaces from scratch, there are critical UI design errors that could be costing you sales. Here’s a list of online store UI design mistakes and how to correct them.
1. No Email Subscription Form
When you think of user interface design, email may be the last thing on your mind. If so, you need to reconsider your strategy immediately. Segmented, targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. Additionally, email is 40 times more efficient at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. How can you expect your emails to impact sales if there’s not an easy way for visitors to subscribe to your mailing list from the user interface?
Most e-commerce site builders have built-in subscription forms that you can drag and drop into your UI. Just make sure the pre-built subscription forms align with UX best practices on form design.
2. Missing or Inadequate Search Box
If it’s easy to arrive at essential pages through your site’s navigation, you may think that building a search bar is a waste of time. Think again; site visitors who use a search tool on an e-commerce website are more likely to become customers.
Though not everyone who lands on your site will use the search bar, those who do are more likely to convert. Like subscription forms, search bars are a standard feature for online store builders. But, in the end, you want an optimized search feature with all the bells and whistles.
A search box that delivers optimal user experiences will also deliver optimal results. These site search elements will increase conversions:
- Search bar color offset from rest of site. By making your search bar bolder or a different color than the surrounding elements, you draw attention to it, making site visitors more likely to use it.
- Results filter options. Broad search results will need a filter so that shoppers can narrow down their choices and find the right products.
- Ability to handle long tail searches. If you give your search bar capacity to understand colors, sizes, and other features, it is more likely to lead shoppers to exactly what they want.
- Autocomplete feature. Giving your customers easier, faster access to what they’re looking for with autocomplete search features will boost conversions by up to 600%.
- Intelligent breadcrumbs. Without starting over with their quest for the right product, breadcrumbs allow shoppers to find what they need by backtracking just a little bit.
Include the features above in your e-commerce search bar to boost revenue.
3. Cluttered Menu
After reaching your site via a referral link, 50% of shoppers will use your navigation menu to orient themselves. Your job is to make sure that they get what they want.
Here’s what to include:
● Contact information including a physical address and phone number
● A link to your products
● About us page with company information
● About page with product information
● A company logo that links to your homepage
If you have a lot of products for sale, keep your menu simple. You can accomplish this with a drop-down menu that divides your inventory into departments and categories.
If you don’t already know, learn the difference between a supermenu, megamenu, and hybrid menu, then choose the most appropriate option for your products.
Check out these handy hints for prototyping menu navigation with Justinmind.
4. Confusing Shopping Cart Flow
Shopping cart flow is going to make or break your sales success. The number three reason that shoppers abandon their cart is because of a complicated checkout process. Consumers appreciate a simple, secure checkout experience. If you haven’t created this for them, you could be losing a huge portion of sales.
Here’s what it takes to create a UI with an optimized shopping cart experience:
● Social media login technology for the shopper that doesn’t want to take extra steps to register.
● A trust badge from your checkout security provider on the order details page.
● An option to review order details and make edits to products ordered, contact, and billing information.
● Final order checkout button with automated verification email.
Keep your shopping cart flow simple and safe to optimize conversions.
5. Lacking Access to Critical Pages
Your product pages, information about your company, and your shopping cart – standard with most pre-built e-commerce templates – have likely taken up most of your attention, to this point. But, did you remember to include other critical pages and easy access to them? Here are the pages your online store needs that you may have forgotten.
2. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
3. Press/ Media Info
4. Shipping and Returns Policy
5. Product How-Tos
6. Buyer’s Guides
If you still lack any of the above pages or they’re not easy to find with your navigation setup, get back into your dashboard and make sure your site is ready to generate conversions. Add the pages you still need and include links to them from your site footer, product pages, and shopping cart (whichever is relevant).
Play around with a few navigation possibilities in your interactive prototype using Justinmind’s navigation elements.
Ashley Kimler is a full-time communications specialist and content marketing dynamo at Heroic Search Tulsa. She’s been marketing for all sized businesses for over 10 years. Follow @ashleykimler on Twitter to see what she and her team get into next.