Media Lounge’s 8 Tips to Improve Site Usability and Conversion Rate
Knowing your audience and making your site work for them is pivotal to achieving your eCommerce conversion goals. But all too often we see websites making some fairly fundamental errors, often valuing the design of a website over its functionality.
With that in mind, Media Lounge wanted to share some UX best practices to help improve the usability of your online platforms.
1) Have a strong and visible value proposition
Your value proposition is a simple statement that articulates why a customer should choose to buy from you, as opposed to your competitors. Its aim is to provide a solution to their problem, to summarise what your company offers quickly and succinctly, whilst you have their full attention. Yours must be visible, clear and convincing if you want to keep users on your site.
Unbounce provide a great example of a strong value proposition:
2) Auto-suggestions on search
People love a shortcut. In fact, people tend to love anything that reduces their cognitive demand.
Auto-suggestion functionality can definitely facilitate this. It helps users in a multitude of ways. Search suggestions and autocomplete make it easier to express an informational need, and in turn, aid their journey to find useful and relevant results.
It’s also a really helpful tool for the small screen on mobiles, where typing can sometimes be tricky. And bearing in mind how much web traffic is mobile these days, you need to get that right.
3) Implement sticky Navigation / CTA’s
Sticky navigation allows users to constantly access the site’s core functions regardless of where they are on the page. It makes for a fast, effective and intuitive journey through a website.
From our experience of building eCommerce sites, having sticky CTA’s (call to actions) on the product pages is particularly important and if done right can have a considerable influence on consumer behaviour. Having a “Buy Now” or “Add to Cart” button in permanent view makes the buying process so much easier, and arguably more tempting for the user.
4) Embrace progressive disclosure
The aim of progressive disclosure is to simplify user interactions by initially focusing their attention on the most important details. And then revealing additional information as and when needed.
We do this to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed by too much information (think of a really long checkout page and the dread it can fill you with!) Research by NNG Group suggests that when you prioritise content in this way it allows users to spend more time digesting the most important information, and so they form a better understanding of your product or service.
It also promotes a cleaner, less cluttered interface, which is a big UX thumbs up. So win-win really.
Lego provide a great example of a site with effective progressive disclosure:
5) Use Address Auto-Complete
Ensuring your checkout is user friendly is such an important part of a purchase journey. Address Auto-Complete allows you to address glitches head-on and ensure that your customers can complete the checkout process with speed and ease.
Fetchify offer intuitive address validation which is such an integral part of UX for so many reasons:
It ensures accuracy: People make mistakes. But Fetchify has created a clever way for you to achieve accurate address results, so you know when you send your products they are going to the right place!
It speeds up checkout: Reducing how long it takes for a customer to buy a product is always a good plan of action. People are generally pretty time-poor, you keep them waiting, they are likely to abandon their basket. With address verification, some of this difficulty goes away instantly.
It reassures users: Customer trust is such a crucial part of a conversion journey. Without it, people won’t buy from you. A fully functional website and a checkout offering address lookup offers reassurance to consumers when making online purchases.
If a smoother checkout process is something you’re looking to achieve, Fetchify offers a 14-day free trial so you can see how it can help conversion without the commitment.
6) Include trust badges
Shopping cart abandonment is a serious issue for many eCommerce sites. And often one of the fundamental reasons for this is a lack of trust. To overcome this, more and more companies are adding trust badges not just to site checkouts, but to every page of their website. This trend is gaining traction as these badges help to legitimise your eCommerce site and make users feel more secure when purchasing.
A small addition, but one that can make a huge difference to conversion rate.
7) Provide social proof
Customers feel at ease if they know their friends/influencers/celebrities etc have purchased a product or service from your website. It stems from normative social influence which essentially is the inherent need to conform and be like or demonstrate similar behaviours to others. Rightly or wrongly, people tend to place a long of importance on what other people do/buy/sell.
Displaying social proof on your website will improve your checkout conversion rate. Reviews, likes, number of products that have been brought, these are all subtle ways to tell your customer that people like you.
8) Test test, test!
We cannot stress the importance of testing your eCommerce website enough!
User testing allows you to gain honest and unbiased insight into the needs of your consumers whilst on the site, and learn exactly what they expect/require from their purchase journey. Armed with this valuable knowledge, you can then look to produce conversion based solutions to any pain points your consumers identify.
Split testing is another fantastic way to improve your site, enabling data-driven decisions which will successfully ensure positive site impact. Without doing so, you run the risk of pushing a change live which has a negative impact on conversion; the complete opposite of what you’re aiming to achieve.
Whatever option you decide on, just make sure you adopt a testing mentality as part of your business culture.
Many of these tips are common sense. But all too often can be overlooked or forgotten. We hope that by implementing some/all of our ideas you will see a positive effect on your conversion rates and also a much happier user!
If you’d like to find out a little bit more about how we can help to improve your site conversion rate using UX and CRO theory, user testing and industry best practises, then please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear from you!
We are a pioneer in SaaS address lookup and data validation solutions. We process millions of transactions each day for thousands of clients ranging from small e-commerce startups to large household brands such as Heinz and RBS. Our flagship products Address Auto-Complete and Postcode Lookup reduce friction on checkouts, leading to increases in conversion rate of up to 20%, and helps reduce failed deliveries by as much as 75%. Since launching in 2008, we have differentiated by our ease of integration and exceptional support.