Optimizing User Experience on Your Retail Website to Boost Sales and SEO
Over the years, the algorithm that determines how a website ranks in Google’s SERPs has changed drastically.
As search engines become more advanced and continue to focus on delivering results that are more relevant to the end user, creating a retail site that performs well in the SERPs and pleases customers seems to get harder all the time
In 2021 this can encompass technical SEO, link building, content marketing, CRO, on-site UX and lots more. One element in particular that has often been overlooked in the past is on-site user experience (UX).
UX is increasingly important to Google, and it has always been important to customers. But far too many retail website owners either ignore it or get it wrong. Here’s a look some of the most common UX mistakes that e-commerce websites make and how to avoid them.
Product listings that don’t open in a new tab
When researching, reading news articles or shopping online, people often engage in something called “page parking”. By definition, this is simply the process of opening multiple tabs in quick succession as a way to save items and revisit them at a later time.
When shopping on e-commerce websites, people use page parking to compare various different products before making a decision on which one to buy. As you can imagine, having product listings that simply won’t open in a new tab can be a real annoyance for anyone that uses this comparison technique.
Low quality product images
You’ll be surprised at just how much of an impact low-quality images can have on website conversion rates. Research suggests that 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image on a website plays an important role for them when following through with a purchase. Not only will a low-quality image portray a bad impression of your brand but it can potentially stop the user from seeing what the product looks like, depending on how pixelated the image is.
Out of stock items still in listings
Ever had love-at-first-sight with a product, only to click through to it and discover that it’s out of stock? It’s highly frustrating and can feel like wasted time; most people that fall victim to this will simply click away from your site and never return again.
This can be damaging for both your brand image and also for your website’s bounce rate. It pays to constantly maintain your product listings, ensuring that no out of stock products have got mixed in with the rest.
No product search functionality
Did you know that users who search for a product on a website are 200% more likely to convert? With this in mind, failing to implement search functionality on your e-commerce website is a huge missed opportunity.
Without this feature, it will also be a lot more difficult for users to find a specific product on your website, instead having to use their intuition to navigate through the various categories on your site.
No guest checkout
Failing to offer a guest checkout option can have a massive impact on an e-commerce website’s bounce rate and conversion rate. Luckily, it’s also one of the easiest mistakes to correct.
After spending time searching for a product, adding it to their basket and preparing to pay for it, users usually want the checkout process to be as quick and easy as possible.
Forcing people to spend even more time on your website, signing up for an account that they won’t even use, in order to buy a product is only shooting yourself in the foot.
Price below the fold
As pricing is one of the most influential aspects of a customer’s purchasing decision, it’s important to make your pricing clear and obvious across your website.
Again, this is an easy mistake to correct, but you’d be surprised at how many websites fail to display their pricing information above the fold on product pages.
An effective way to do this is by highlighting your pricing on any product pages, and making sure that it is displayed above the fold on all devices, from desktop to mobile.
If a user has to scroll through a webpage in order to discover how much a product costs, it’s not going to bode well for your brand’s image, and it will likely deter the user from purchasing from your site.