The eCommerce industry has seen steady growth in the last couple of years. After the onset of COVID-19, the demand for online businesses also increased as more consumers shifted from in-store to online purchases. Data projects that this demand will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.
While that is a good thing in that it presents lots of opportunities for online business owners, it also means that online stores need to work harder to win customers. More online businesses will come up, which means online business owners cannot afford to mess up the user experience. Do that, and your customers leave you for your competitor.
One of the best ways to attract and retain customers is by prioritizing them. You need to design your website and run your business with the customers as your primary focus. In this article, we will explore eight ways you can do that by boosting the security and usability of your online store:
1. Simplify Navigation
Modern consumers have razor-thin patience. Potential buyers will land on your website with the intention to purchase, but if they can’t find what they are looking for quickly, they will bounce from your store and get the product elsewhere.
You must prevent that, and one of the best ways of doing so is by simplifying your website’s navigation. Create a simple but effective menu that helps users find the product or service they need within a few clicks.
In addition to that, you also need to include extra details like shipping, money-back guarantee policies, contact details, and other essential information somewhere on your website. You can add these details on the footer menu, for example. All in all, make sure your site’s navigation is simple enough for the users to find whatever information they need.
You can also include a search function somewhere on your website. This is very helpful to the visitors who know what they want and don’t want to waste time browsing through product categories.
You should also consider this: 72 percent of retail commerce sales are done through mobile devices. Therefore, optimize your navigation, knowing most of your visitors are probably using mobile devices and not desktops or laptops.
Related: 4 Actionable Cyber Security Tips
2. Create An Optimized Homepage
The homepage is supposed to be the nerve center of your website’s operations. Users can land on the homepage in various ways. For example, they could come from your social media pages or through SEO. Visitors can also visit the homepage after viewing a product page.
Whatever the case is, you have to optimize the homepage with your users in mind. First, utilize the homepage to make your website look legit and trustworthy. That means branding your homepage appropriately to win the customer’s trust.
Second, make sure the homepage provides links to other key pages on your website. You can use the main menu at the top for the critical pages like product pages and contact information. Meanwhile, the footer menu can be used for all other additional links.
You can then use the center bit of the homepage to showcase your products, services, customer reviews, etc.
Such a homepage will ensure your website visitors never get lost while on your site. That’s key since you want to keep users on the website long enough until they convert into paying customers.
3. Utilize Visual Elements
Visual elements can help you drive the point home while making your website look more attractive and engaging. That is why most online businesses and especially Software as a Service (SaaS) companies utilize visuals extensively on their homepages and landing pages.
You can use visuals to demonstrate how a product works, for example. It could be a video, animation, or even a screenshot of your product in action. Just be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment with different visual elements.
That said, try and be consistent in your branding style when using visual elements. That will help the website visitors trust and remember your brand more easily.
4. Present Your Products Properly
Proper product presentation allows you to show off your product in the best way possible. It demonstrates the fine features of your products which helps convert visitors into customers.
Therefore, work with your developers to present your products as accurately as possible. A Shopify development company can help you utilize high-res images without compromising things like site speed for your Shopify store. They may also incorporate a 360-degree product view option that online shoppers love.
5. Provide User Reviews
Most customers check out user reviews before purchasing a product or buying from a certain brand. A study by Trustpilot showed nine out of ten consumers read reviews before making a purchase.
Therefore, instead of letting your visitors look for the reviews elsewhere, bring those reviews to your site. Encourage your previous buyers to leave behind some ratings. You can also work with a developer to pull reviews from Yelp, Google reviews, G2, and other platforms into your site.
Lots of positive reviews can help convince potential customers that your products are worth it. That means higher conversion rates for your online store.
6. Optimize The Checkout Process
Optimizing the checkout process is not just critical for boosting your website’s usability. It can also affect your conversion rate.
If the checkout process is long and complex, potential buyers will likely abandon their carts before completing the purchase. If, on the other hand, you have a streamlined checkout process, more people will complete their orders.
You can optimize your checkout in various ways. First, introduce multiple checkout options that include a guest checkout. Guest checkouts help buyers complete their purchases without having to create an account. It simplifies the process, and that can help you make more sales.
You should also make your forms shorter and add multiple payment options. Reducing the number of links on the checkout page can also reduce distractions and boost conversions. For example, you can remove the footer and most of the links in the main menu from your checkout page.
7. Optimize Page Load Times
Optimized site speed is critical in a website’s usability. Users tend to bounce from websites that take too long to load. That’s also the reason why Googe and other search engines recognize page load times as a ranking factor.
Therefore, optimize your site speed to boost your website’s rankings and improve the user experience. Use website caching, content delivery network (CDN), reputable website hosts, and other similar techniques to boost your site speed.
8. Reassure Customers Of Their Data Security
Display security badges on your website to reassure customers that their data is safe. Use credit card badges from MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. You can also use the PayPal badge and any other payment system you’re using.
Be sure to tell customers that their credit card details are encrypted and safe.
That’s how to optimize your online store for security and usability. Implement these techniques, and you will see better time on page and conversion rate.