User experience (UX) for a website encompasses how a person feels or behaves when using it. It delves into practical elements, such as the checkout flow, as well as attitudinal ones. An excellent user experience will likely make someone return and recommend that friends follow their lead.
UX is even more important now, especially with more people shopping online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Adobe published e-commerce data about 80 of the top 100 U.S. retailers concerning how online trends changed because of the coronavirus. The statistics showed that e-commerce products meant to protect from the virus, such as masks and antibacterial sprays, went up by 817%, while sales of canned goods climbed by 69%.
Since so many people are ready and eager to shop online, paying attention to UX can help your website stand out during coronavirus and beyond.
Here are six enhancements to consider:
1. Be Mindful of the “Thumb Zone” for Mobile Users
Many UX design trends center on how to improve a site for people who access it with their smartphones. That’s no surprise, especially since a 2019 PayPal study revealed that 78% of consumers across all age groups had shopped on smartphones within the past six months.
You may have heard about research that urges considering UX improvements based on how users hold their phones. Many people cradle those devices between their thumbs and index fingers. Thus, the “thumb zone” is the part of a website or app that’s easiest for people to reach with their thumbs while maintaining that preferred grip.
Consider assessing your website and tweaking it as needed so people can navigate it smoothly on a mobile phone. Of course, you don’t want to make changes that sacrifice the UX for desktop users. Keep a balance and strive to make using your website as hassle-free as possible regardless of the device.
2. Put Items Into Categories That Suit the “New Normal”
Coronavirus means people all over the world must live differently, such as by working from home or staying a safe distance away from others during outdoor exercise. These changes are an adjustment for everyone, and now is an excellent time to edit your content accordingly.
For example, if you sell home and garden products and ordinarily had an item category called “Products to Prepare for a Backyard Party,” perhaps replace it with one called “Items to Help Maximize Your Green Thumb.” People can’t realistically plan to invite their neighbors to a get-together in the yard right now. However, individuals may discover that tending to their gardens is a rewarding activity they can do alone.
If you don’t sell things, show off your content in other relevant ways. You might feature blogs that suggest activities for people to do indoors or give them tips on how to keep kids occupied and happy while cooped up.
3. Add a User-Friendly Chatbot
A study published in 2019 found that 80% of people who used chatbots had positive experiences, while 14% said their outcomes were “very positive.” Those results should come as good news if you’re thinking about putting one on your site to help with customer queries. Simplicity is essential for user interface design when making a chatbot.
One easy option is to reduce typing by making the chatbot respond to yes or no questions. You can also make a response appear with a series of choices that a user can click to steer the conversation and express their needs. Both of those approaches cut the likelihood of a customer making spelling mistakes or other blunders that could confuse the bot and frustrate the person trying to communicate.
4. Show People the Product Quantity Remaining in the Description or Gallery List
People appreciate how online shopping lets them order whatever they need on the schedule that suits them. However, the coronavirus has caused stock shortages for items that were almost always available at other times. Supply chain issues may be out of your control. One thing you can do, though, is to show people a real-time view of the available product quantity or how high the demand is.
Etsy tells shoppers how many people have an item in their baskets when they click on the description. If someone wants a specific necklace and sees that 10 others want it too, knowing that could urge them to complete the checkout now rather than later.
It could also be handy to show stock quantities in a gallery view. Then, people could scroll through a list and quickly separate the on-hand items from the sold-out products. Another user interface design trick to consider is to enable sorting for merchandise in a gallery view by availability.
5. Personalize Experiences When Possible
People usually appreciate coming to websites and seeing content tailored to them. That’s why so many lists of UX design trends discuss elements of personalization. A 2017 study from Epsilon found 80% of respondents were more likely to do business with companies that offered personalized experiences.
Moreover, Epsilon’s research showed that 90% of those polled found personalization appealing. Those people were 10 times more likely to make more than 15 purchases a year compared to others who did not like personalized experiences as much.
Focusing on personalization is a viable option no matter what kind of site you have. For example, the user interface design might facilitate switching to a state, region, or country-specific page after detecting a person’s location. You could also serve content to people based on what they spent the most time engaged with during previous visits.
6. Include Reviews to Help New or Unsure Customers Feel More Confident
Research suggests that people depend on reviews in various ways while shopping online. Some do it to assess whether a brand understands them. If the feedback comes from individuals who seem similar to a potential shopper, overall confidence could rise and make the person more likely to make a purchase.
Reviews also help a person judge a product’s quality. Many review sites let people submit questions for others who have bought the item to answer. Someone might wonder, “Is this budget tent durable enough to last through multiple camping seasons?” Then, those who own that product could weigh in with their experiences.
Reviews often pose questions so consumers can say if they would repurchase a product or recommend it to friends. The answers verified purchasers give help others determine if a product is a smart buy or not.
You can also make it even easier for people to find relevant reviews by adding a feature where they can sort the feedback by star rating, date, or even a particular keyword. Then, users get the information necessary to make informed decisions.
Apply These Tips to Help Your Users
UX is all about doing anything you can to improve how people interact with and enjoy your site. Get started today by considering these actionable suggestions.