There are areas of your ecommerce website, that may negatively affect user experience and they require urgent fixes. As a regular online shopper  myself, I see user experience as a major purchase factor, one you should consider if you want to grow or start an ecommerce business.

Perhaps like many store owners you've been in a fix not knowing what to fix to fight customer flight and fast track growth.

In truth several factors contribute to total user experience on your ecommerce website. Optimizing (all) customer touch points better positions your ecommerce website to offer top notch user experience which is key to repeat purchase and customer retention.

In this article we will look at 4 areas of your retail website that may be hurting sales and how to fix or optimize them accordingly.


1. Page Load Speed

20 seconds after you click on a search result the page is still loading… meanwhile there are dozens of other similar ecommerce sites on the SERP.

In fact, you'd be long gone if you're among the 47% of customers who expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less. Shoppers are sometimes in a hurry to place orders, undue delay is a big NO. This is worse when shoppers miss a snap deal or flash sale due to slow loading speed.

79% of shoppers won't be returning to your site after a poor first impression, 44% will tell on you, plus Google doesn't like slow. Don't lose revenue and ranking because of speed.

Here are


Some Basic Non-Techy Ways to Improve Page Load Speed

First figure out your site's current speed viz:

  • Visit Alexa.Com
  • Scroll down to “Browse top sites”
  • Type in your site's url, click “Find”
  • Scroll down to see result


Google Analytics, Pingdom etc, can also give you page insights including page load speed.

3 seconds is what Google recommends and what 40% of visitors to stores wait before they press the back button. If yours is upper single or double digits, doing these can help:

  1. Choose good website hosting company
  2. Compress images by cropping
  3. Host video on external sites like YouTube, Vimeo and embed links on-site
  4. Reduce number of plugins you use
  5. Monitor speed regularly
  6. Call in the pros


2. Non Mobile Sites

In 2015 more Google searches were performed on mobile, meaning Google will now prioritize mobile. Google’s mobile-first index also means that mobile versions of sites are first served in search. That along with page load speed are critical ranking factors.

For instance, reports indicate that 85% of Google searches for braid takes place on mobile.

Shoppers may be in traffic and want to check out products quickly. Naturally they’ll reach for their mobile. If site is too slow for instance they could ignore you when buying on desktop judging by their first impression.

Click here to find out if your retail website is mobile ready. Another quick way is to compare rendering on different devices.


How to Improve on Mobile Responsiveness

Most new WordPress themes come mobile ready. If you're not sure of yours do these:

  1. Find out if your site is mobile-ready, if not
  2. Get mobile-ready themes
  3. Browse your store on different devices
  4. Ask friends to do #3 above
  5. You can also hire programmers to help


3. Product Photography

Nearly all online shoppers are influenced by great product photography. In fact, it is so big that Amazon has a 40,000 square foot building dedicated to product photography and videos for their fashion focused units.

Ecommerce product photography is one of the most important aspects of your ecommerce website. This is especially true because online shopping is a highly visual experience, and you can't predict where shoppers are hopping in from, they've probably seen better product photos elsewhere.

You may have good page load time and a mobile ready site, but with poor product photos you'll be painting a bad image to customers.

Poor product photos may make your products appear cheap or substandard, both of which are bad for business.


Here are Simple Ways to Improve Product Photography

Most great photographs are self shot. In addition:

  1. Get a good smartphone or camera
  2. Experiment with different angles and lighting
  3. Add minimal effects
  4. Crop to correct size
  5. Ask for feedback from trusted people
  6. Keep shooting


4. Poor UI

Perception is everything. A tacky UI (user interface) will give you off as cheap and unserious. It can also give the impression that your site is unsafe to make payment on.

There may also be concerns about online safety on poorly designed sites. Will a data breach more easily occur, will third parties be spying on your card details, etc?

A beautiful and intuitive UI makes browsing and  shopping fun, plus it builds trust and carries with it some air of believability.


Here are Simple Ways to Improve UI

  1. Check out retail sites with cool UI
  2. Observe what they got right
  3. Communicate clearly to self or web designer
  4. Run A/B tests to see which your customers prefer
  5. Gather customer feedback on experience with your UI
  6. Tweak till you're right


5. Poor Navigation

A fast loading, mobile-ready, easy-to-navigate retail site with great product photography is an indication that you're ready to do business. No one wants to get lost on an unknown Island, and certainly not on your ecommerce site.

Some sites are difficult to navigate, browsing products and finding tabs are a hassle. Some tabs are hidden or wrongly color coded. You could spend time looking for the add to cart or checkout buttons.

These all detract from the shopping experience and send shoppers hopping off to the next shop.


Here are Simple Ways to Improve Navigation

  1. Shop on retail sites you admire
  2. Make a note of key menu and tab locations
  3. Compare themes
  4. Run A/B tests
  5. Specifically request for customer feedback about navigation


6. Too Many Forms

The average Shopify Store completes checkout in about 5 steps. For some sites this figure is less or even more. Considering shoppers can be busy and in a hurry, retail sites should have as few steps as possible between landing and checkout.

This is critical for many shoppers. According to a report by Baymard Institute, 28% of shoppers abandon cart due to long checkout. It simply takes time, is repetitive in some cases and slows shoppers.

During retail rush hours or discount sales, it may be hard to get a good deal, as they'll be gone by the time shoppers finish filling many forms.


Here are Simple Ways to Improve Forms

  1. Take count of form fields and number of forms on-site
  2. Compare with sites you admire
  3. Run A/B tests
  4. Specifically request for customer feedback about forms
  5. Enable safe autofill functions for forms
  6. Eliminate unnecessary form fields



Fixing these 6 areas of your ecommerce website will better position you for business success. Start now to fix them.

Published by Elena Tahora