Have you ever wondered about the key factors that push the consumer to buy items from one website or the other? And similarly as a merchant, what can you do to set yourself apart from the competition to make sure your website is where your consumers are headed?
When we consider the digital services industry, the user experience has changed enormously over the last decade, with an ever-increasing number of screens, offers, payment methods, offers and merchants operating in the market.
In about less than 10 years we saw the number of online merchants increase from 50,000 to a staggering 200,000. When competing in such a packed environment with similar mobile app design and services being offered from the competition there should be no doubt about the importance of the role that user experience plays for a more engaging online retail experience and an ever-increasing consumer relationship.
However, there are a very few online merchants that really focus on improving the user experience and many still have e-commerce sites that are too focused on the action of buying rather than paying attention to the emotional aspects connected to the whole process.
So, let’s take a look at some tips when thinking about user experience which when wisely used can build brand image and hence bring in more conversions for your business:
Use emotion to draw interest
It doesn’t matter if you’re running a full-fledged business in any industry, or simply operating an informative blog, for instance, on content and digital marketing, playing on emotion means playing on the consumer’s deepest decision-making impulses.
The decision to buy rests largely on factors related to your user’s personal history and interests rather than any other rational criteria.
Having an emotional appeal allows you to more subtly direct a customer to a website, and most importantly helps create a user experience that is more memorable, pleasant and engaging, therefore more profitable for you.
Most online merchants have the means to put in place emotional factors, but this process requires a new approach towards e-commerce, one that shows off the product with big, rich and immersive visuals. In fact, more than 50% of your users will first look at the images of the available products before they make a purchase and when there is an absence of physical products the images are the next best thing for emotional appeal.
When improving user experience make the main photos on product pages larger so that they cover at least 40% of the page. Offer real zoom that present double the size of the main product visuals and displaying those product features that set sets the products apart from the rest. Lastly, make images larger in 2 or 3 columns on category pages.
Go big with interactive for more engagement
This also requires creating interactions with the interface that make the user feel happy, surprised or astonished. We have now started to see more background videos on screens, seamless and subtle transition effects that make the user experience seem like it has a living interface that obeys the movements of the cursor or of a finger, making your website react like a living thing.
This phenomenon explains why video is a growing factor when it comes to conversion. According to recent studies 77% of customers think that a company which shares video content seems to be more engaged with its customers. Even if video is more costly to implement as compared to still visuals its impact can be more significant.
When subtly paced on a website, videos add a living, emotional touch that is far greater than any other medium of information. Top websites are already using video with satisfactory results and are continuing to product more.
In order to effectively integrate videos, you should place them below the fold. Users don’t like to see videos show up right away and start playing automatically. It is better to integrate videos directly into the page without a visible player. Most importantly make short videos of about 30 seconds which are high in quality and are educational with respect to the products that you offer.
Get users to engage with your interface
Engaging the user more also means giving them more control and power and personalization is the best example for this. Highly personalized interfaces offer an almost magical experience in which the user creates their own dream product. If this is done well, it allows the user to see their product created in real-time. This unique experience can only be found in the digital world and nowhere else.
For this reason, it is also a very good way to attract customers and to capture web traffic and any experience can be made magical with interactivity. User experience can be improved so that forms on your website are no longer fields to be filled, but rather a visual, interactive journey that gives the user the feeling that they are actually playing instead of entering personal data.
This is still very rare but it is important to recognize the ability interactive interfaces have to hold users’ attention. In order to effectively personalize your interface, have the product change color at the same time as the selector. Do this in a way so that personalization looks realistic and can be seen in real-time and finally, don’t hesitate to use interface objects that imitate the real world to make your site standout.
Keep it simple
Remember your visitors have limited attention span and their ability stay at one place is low so it is advised to keep all interactions simple, quick and intuitive. The secret of a successful interface is to always consider how to reduce the maximum number clicks or touches required to fulfill a certain action.
Always come up with new ways in which you can combine several actions into one. To make sure that your online store is simple enough to interact with you can space out all items apart by 30 to 40 pixels. Shorten your titles and text as much as possible, only display large info if the user asks for it. Limit the space color at one to three.