Whether you are an existing ecommerce business, or a retail company forced to move to ecommerce due to the current outbreak, it is important to constantly evaluate the usability of your ecommerce store. A well-known rule in web design is the three-second rule, which CMS Wire notes is the amount of time you have to get a visitor’s attention on board.
But you do not need to hire some expensive consultant to tell you how your website could be improved. In fact, using multiple volunteers is more effective and cheaper. You can ask friends and family, or preferably your workers. They do not have to be tech experts, as neither will most people who visit your ecommerce store.
Once you have your volunteers, you want them to go over your website and write down things which possibly need to be improved. But if you just leave your volunteers to go to work, most will just say “it’s fine” as they are not sure what to search for. Consequently, you must provide volunteers a checklist.
But what should be on that checklist? A few things to consider that apps and websites often forget include:
- Make it easy for users to undo mistakes. Users will accidentally put the wrong product into their cart, or put the right product into their cart and then change their mind. Bad websites will force the user to start all over again and prevent refreshing or undoing. Instead of doing that, users will respond by going elsewhere.
- Keep things simple. You want your users drawn to your website’s key pitch without getting distracted by other things. A bad example of this is Creative Cabinets & Faux Finishes. While its website is generally minimalist, it has a constant list of positive reviews which pop up on one corner of its website that is distracting for a user who wants to look into cabinets. Keep distractions to a minimum.
- Get your best offers out there immediately. Ecommerce is not a “Save the best for last” sort of business. Your biggest and best discounts should be displayed prominently on the screen. Under the present circumstances, you should also have a banner describing how your business is handling the coronavirus outbreak or a large link which goes to such a page.
- Provide help. If a customer is lost or has a question, is it clear where they can go? Do not have links to a help page just on the main page. If a customer is looking at a product and has a question about it, there should be information or a link that can help answer common questions.
Usability Geek has a few more tips on what websites should be doing to pivot towards ease of use to satisfy the three-second rule. These include making the cart button easy to access and making sure the font is always suitable. A quick consultation with friends and coworkers can go a long way towards creating a usable website that can stay competitive as ecommerce rises.