Consumers have a lot of options for shopping online. So, when they come across a site that doesn’t meet their needs, they’re not likely to stick around. Instead, they’re going to find one that does.
Poor quality e-commerce sites can have problems with functionality, design, usability, or a combination of these factors. That’s why, if you operate one, it’s critical that you engage user experience (UX), user interface (UI) and quality assurance experts to help ensure that your site meets quality standards on all the critical components below.
Given the proliferation of cybercrime, security for your e-commerce site is essential. You should test or have your site tested to ensure it’s resistant to various types of intrusions, including malware, data security, and denial of service attacks. Preventing these threats includes vulnerability and penetration testing, which should be performed regularly.
Security should also extend to payment processing, which must be seamless. Customers who don’t have faith that you’re handling their money and data with the utmost care won’t be returning to your store and may even abandon their cart mid-purchase. Therefore, make payment gateway testing a high priority to ensure all options are working as they should.
Any electronic asset must approach UX and UI as primary considerations. The usability of a site can make or break a customer’s interaction with your brand. All the functions on a site should work properly, including the following:
- Searching, sorting, and filtering should be seamless
- Product classifications should be intuitive
- Image zooming should be flawless
The number of transactions completed with mobile devices continues to grow. So, if your e-commerce site isn’t accessible this way, you could be losing out on a lot of business. An adaptive website is better than one that doesn’t conform to mobile dimensions, but an app specifically designed for mobile is your best option. Remember that mobile includes many devices, including tablets, and both Android and iOS operating systems.
Your e-commerce store must be able to function across various browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. To ensure they do, test within these environments, or ensure this check is performed by any outside testing services that you hire.
Your homepage is often a jumping-off point for customers to find what they’re looking for. That means you need to make it easy for them to do just that! To do so, ensure the following elements are in place:
- The search bar is in an obvious location and functions well.
- Images are clear and enticing, so visitors will want to click through.
- Product categories are obvious and searchable.
As you adjust these areas, collect data on visitor activity to determine which variations work best.
Product pages are another area that you can adjust and gauge the response. For example, you can change the images or their sizes, create longer or shorter descriptions or break them out into handy reference areas with tabs (for example, what it is or how to use), include a compare feature that helps visitors make decisions between similar products, and include and improve the ease of posting ratings and reviews.
The shopping cart is one of the final areas on your e-commerce site where you have the opportunity to impress customers. Visitors should be able to easily see what they’re purchasing, add or delete items, or increase or decrease their quantity. The checkout button should be prominent so they can seamlessly move to that step when ready.
The checkout function is another area where you should help customers have a smooth experience. Make sure fields are easy to understand and intuitively placed. Make things like the promo code field simple to find. Give users the chance to sign in to their account or check out as a guest. Test to ensure all these components operate as they should.
Your interaction with customers doesn’t end after they hit the Submit Order button. Make sure, first, that you have post-order communications with customers and, second, that they work well. These elements could include an Order Received notification, an emailed receipt, and a section of their account where they can check the shipping status and easily manage returns.
e-commerce is highly competitive, so you need to make sure your site is at least as good as others your customers are likely to visit. Because every detail adds up to a frictionless customer experience, the small stuff counts. Even things like image size, button placement, and search functionality shouldn’t be overlooked.
Before you launch an e-commerce site, and even once it’s off the ground, regularly test the items mentioned here to ensure you have the best possible chance to attract customers and keep them coming back.