James Marshall Head of Product 10 Steps To Improve Your Online Sales. Step 4: UX Hi, James here from Indiespring to talk about how you can improve your online sales. In this instance we’ll be discussing User Experience (UX). This is part of our “10 ways to improve your online sales” series. If you have an eCommerce site, or want to create one, check out our three previous blogs: Strategy; Platform: and Design, before continuing here. If you’re new to the concept, UX is just another name for a concept that has existed since humans first learnt to sharpen a stick, it’s simply the process of improving the user experience in order to better achieve a goal. In the digital world, UX or UED (User Experience Design) is more specific but the principal is the same. The user (person on your website) has a problem they wish to solve (buy a product or use a service) and your website can potentially solve that problem for them. It’s all about making it as easy as possible to ensure as many users do it as possible. As this is such a broad topic, I’m going to focus on a few general concepts that can help you get more conversions on your site, whatever they may be. How many clicks? As an industry we did become a little obsessed with this in the past. Some would say you need to be converting after 3 clicks but the truth is that it depends very much on your site. If you want people to sign up to a mailing list as your primary goal you obviously need fewer clicks than if you produce bespoke furniture for a high price but the principal is correct; make it as easy as possible to get users to your checkout as possible. The first thing to do is go through the process yourself. Go into your site and do exactly what your customers would do to in order to register as a conversion. Count the number of steps and clicks you need to go through, and then ask yourself this question “did I really need to do all that and do I really need all of that information?” If the answer was yes, then your site is either very well optimised, or you’re putting too much value on things you don’t need. If the answer was no, For instance, do you really need a Phone and Mobile for example? Or a First and Last Name? Believe it or not, some shops still have fax number as an option in the checkout. Try to optimise your customers’ journey to make it easier for them to do what you need, or they may end up cutting corners… Image found here. Why is that compulsory? Check over any form or field where you have a point of contact with the customer and check what information you are asking for when. It’s very common for companies, especially those with high value products, to want to collect as much information as possible from a potential customer. Although this would normally be sound advice at a trade show or a networking event, it’s very easy to put them off by asking for too much information for simple requests. For example, I have seen callback request forms where the site is asking for an email address, short description, company name, products they are interested in talking about and job position; basically their entire CRM for a form that should really be just Name, Phone number (possibly company). If you are absolutely determined to have these additional fields, make as few compulsory as possible and make it very clear which ones are and aren’t required, That way it gives your customer the power to provide as much information as they want to give without giving up the must have info you require. Auto fill as much as you can Forms that pre populate with saved user information are an absolute godsend for websites. The ability to simply start typing your name and your entire address and contact details pop up is so incredibly powerful I simply cannot stress enough how important it is to get this right. “But isn’t this done automatically?” I hear you ask. Sort of. Web browsers are looking to fill in fields that have been assigned specific classifications, so a name field will drop in the name, an email field will add in a saved email address and so on. Where the problem lies though is how many of these fields are either poorly configured or not set up at all, meaning web browsers don’t know where to put the information they have saved or simply add it to a field they believe is correct but has been named something completely different on the front end. And let’s face it, there are few things more annoying than having to go through an auto completed web form and correct it; especially seeing as though at that point you have pretty much converted and you’re just given an additional, needless obstacle. That’s all folks! As I mentioned before, this is a huge subject and there are a whole world of improvements and tweaks you can make to further improve the UX of your site. If you do have any questions please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help. In the meantime, double check your website and get the above changes made by your developers as they are relatively easy changes and should very quickly pay for themselves. Tune in next week to continue learning how to improve your online sales!