The Internet has become an intrinsic piece of daily life for most Americans. People from every walk of life jump from site to site, interfacing with pages of every ilk. Though design tastes vary from user to user, one element of site construction is universally important, especially on e-commerce websites. Usability should be the focus of every website’s design, putting the user experience before artistic expression.
By placing an emphasis on fluid navigation and ease-of-use, you’ll keep potential customers engaged and interested in your content. If done correctly, most users won’t even notice the care and time spent in providing gracious browsing tools. People will, however, quickly identify sloppy and ineffective designs. Failing to provide an easy mode of browsing will frustrate users, and lead to higher website abandonment rates.
By using the following tips as you work through the design of your site, you can give your readers the ability to quickly and efficiently move through your site’s content and find what they need. These techniques will effectively reduce website abandonment and create a path to increased conversions.
If your website features a high volume of different product pages, then you’re going to need to give consumers an efficient navigation tool. Many e-commerce websites achieve this by including a search bar. Despite its unassuming appearance, a website’s search function is an immensely important tool that can have huge implications on the website abandonment rate. Make sure your search bar is…
- …functional. The search bar’s foremost objective is to deliver the user to a specific page. Thoroughly test your search bar to ensure that potential customers will be able to quickly and easily find what they’re looking for without altering their search terms too much. Give the user the ability to apply specific filters to quickly narrow down search results. Additionally, you can add metatags to specific pages and allow the user to include and exclude tags in search results as needed.
- …consistent. The search bar helps people find what they’re looking for, so make sure the bar itself is easy to find. Place your search bar somewhere highly visible and make its location consistent across all pages. While it’s very tempting to integrate the search bar into the site’s layout, be wary of making it too discrete. If a user can’t immediately locate the search bar, you’re raising the risk of website abandonment.
- …straightforward. While the concept of a search bar is simple in nature, there are plenty of examples online in which the process is unnecessarily complicated. With immediately recognizable site tools, it’s usually best to stick to the established order. Provide a fillable text box with a single, attached “Search” or “Go” button. If you’d like to put example text in the box, make it dim and be sure it clears as soon as the form is engaged.
A Narrow Scope
If a user isn’t quite sure what they’re looking for, then you’ll want to offer an effective method of browsing. Start the process by presenting a few, precise categories that encompass the majority of your site’s content. Try to keep your options as simple as possible and be wary of using applets that expand on mouse-hover, as these are difficult to navigate on touchscreen devices. If done properly, categorical browsing will integrate seamlessly with your search function to help readers find exactly what they want.
Call for Help
Should the search bar and categorical browsing prove ineffective, offering an intelligent automated chat system will give you one last chance to interface with a user before they leave. Detecting imminent website abandonment, our automated chat solution can intervene and assist visitors before they decide to look elsewhere. In addition to guiding consumers to desired content, automated chat agents will save transcripts of conversations, letting you know exactly where your site design is failing and giving you the opportunity to learn from critical customers.
Through search fields, navigational categories, and automated chat support, your visitor has landed on the page they’ve been looking for–now what? To help a user find more information or products relevant to their wants, provide them with an unobtrusive set of related items. Not only does this give a reader an easy pathway to more potentially useful information, it’s also a great, low-maintenance way to cross- and up-sell products. Personalizing the displayed products based on unique user browsing patterns and purchasing history will help you retain interest. Including related products within email remarketing campaigns is also an effective way to create consistency between website and email communication.
The design of your site is tied directly to e-commerce performance. Outside of design changes, however, there are a number of effective strategies to reduce website abandonment and grow revenue. To learn more about UpSellit, our dynamic email remarketing design, and the other services we offer to combat website abandonment, click here and schedule a consultation.
Written by Bryan Gudmundson