E-commerce Tools & Best Practices

8 Ways to Improve Your E-commerce Site Experience This Year

By: Guest Author | February 4, 2019

With the new year well underway, now is the time to re-evaluate your e-commerce site experience. In 2018, retailers saw that the customer experience is king, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. For retailers selling online, the e-commerce site experience is critical to converting and retaining customers.

Here’s how to improve your e-commerce site experience this year. 

1. Perform an E-commerce Site Experience Audit

The first step to optimizing your e-commerce site experience is to perform an audit of what you have. Site speed is one of the most important aspects of your e-commerce site experience, as most users stay on a site less than 59 seconds before clicking away. That gives you less than a minute to capture consumers’ attention and guide them to a product detail page. Don’t let a slow-loading site cut that time in half.

Also ensure navigation is intuitive. Are you allowing visitors to follow their desired path (i.e. the quickest way from point A to point B)? Or are you pulling them in different directions with superfluous clicks and other distractions? Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer–they don’t care about your perfectly-crafted kickers or beautifully-designed banners. They are usually looking for specific products, and they should be able to find them quickly. The ideal site experience allows the consumer to be in control of their own journey to checkout. Contact Virid for a personalized site audit and receive a free report to help optimize your e-commerce site. 

2. Design with Mobile in Mind

With nearly 200 million mobile shoppers in the U.S., it’s no secret that mobile has taken over, and retailers are encouraged to design their e-commerce sites from the smallest screen up. Improve your site experience by allowing for mobile payment options, testing site responsiveness, and making sure your site passes the “thumb zone test.” The less work a customer has to do to use your site, the more likely they are to enjoy their experience and make a purchase.

3. Optimize Images

63 percent of consumers said good images are more important than product descriptions. To ensure high quality images that represent your brand well, perform regular quality checks across multiple devices (and be sure to use the same screen each time for each device!) to test image load time and responsiveness.

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4. Fine-tune Site Search

Customers come to your site because they are ultimately looking for something: specific products, a customer service number, return policy, etc. Make the search bar easy to find, and help customers fill in the blanks with category and search filters. Autocomplete preselected popular keywords, and make sure you leave room for typos and different types of queries. Allowing customers to find what they need quickly and easily reduces clicks and improves customer satisfaction, ultimately driving conversions. Check out Virid’s comprehensive guide to search for more tips.

5. Incorporate Ratings and Reviews

Over 92 percent of customers read reviews before making a purchase. Giving customers access to user-generated reviews and product information builds trust and engagement with your brand and can make the e-commerce site experience that much more valuable to consumers. Consumers are already looking for reviews on your site, because they have come to be expected as part of the e-commerce experience.

6. Implement Q&A

Having a Q&A feature on your product pages allows your brand to interact directly with consumers while providing valuable product information that can help guide their purchases. User-generated content is a crucial part of the e-commerce brand experience; the social proof offered by UGC allows consumers to “try before they buy” and can also reduce returns. What’s more, according to the Harvard Business Review, 86 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if a company has a good FAQ page. Giving customers more information can help them make informed purchases and increase overall satisfaction. 

7. Create a Simple, Easy-to-find Return Policy

67 percent of shoppers will read a brand’s return policy before making a purchase online, and 92 percent of shoppers will buy something again if the returns process is easy. Improve your site experience by displaying your return policy in the top navigation or site map, where customers are already looking for it. And follow Shippo’s Return Policy template to create a policy that is easy for customers to understand. 

8. Turn on Live Chat

51 percent of consumers believe that a business needs to be available 24/7. Incorporating a live chat feature on your e-commerce site can help customers find answers quickly, and it can also improve confidence in your brand and ultimately increase conversions. Demonstrate to your customers that they are valued, and they are more likely to return.

About the Author:

Rachel is the Marketing Specialist at Virid. She loves all things creative and develops the content strategy for Virid’s website and social media. When she’s not writing whitepapers or creating email campaigns, she enjoys scrapbooking, baking, and playing with her dog, Coco.

About Virid:

Virid is a team of e-commerce experts providing a comprehensive solution for growing retailers. Their unique offering includes enterprise-grade hosted e-commerce platform, marketAgility, and 24/7 monitoring, website development, and ongoing technical and strategic support from a results-oriented team. Check them out here: https://www.virid.com/.

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