28 Feb 2012

Tips to improve the usability of your e-commerce website

  1. 1

    Build your credibility

    • Visible contact information : It helps to build some credit and provide an easy way to contact you if the customer has questions.
    • Security badges : Buying online is still unsafe for many users. Do your best to reassure them and communicate about your own security systems
    • Help & Advices section / Customer service / Support : Many people never had an online shopping experience. Gain their trust by providing an efficient online support.
    • Wild range of payment method. How many users have already an account to an online payment service as paypal, or amazon payments ? Reach those users who already trust these platforms.
    • Store policy
  2. 2

    Product page

    • At least three high quality pictures
    • Provide a maximum information. The product detail page is the most visited one.
    • Include Social media
    • Helping the user to visualize the variety of colors, size
    • Show recommended and related, alternative products :  It increases the user experience (provided them alternative choices) and relatively the sells. 
  3. 3


    • User need to gain access to all the store before registering : Registering is a long process who will discourage most of your guest. Do not impose registration, this will improve the retention. You always need to keep in mind that sales are more important that email address.
    • Keep light sign-up form. You do not need a lot of information. You can get specific information once the user committed to purchase.
    • Make it easy to remember and use email addresses instead of usernames.
  4. 4

    Calls to action 

    You need to stimulate the users by promotions, deals, gifts... to boost the sales

  5. 5


    • Visible search field
    • Using breadcrumbs to ease navigation : Customers need to know where they are. Specially if you have a shop with many categories and sub categories.
    • Drop down main menu with category links
    • Separate content links :  about us, brand, blog, ... 
  6. 6

    Shopping carts

    • Visible cart and content : The user can checkout at anytime, and visualize the content of his cart.
  7. 7

    Ordering process

    • Breaking up the order process :  This process is often long and complicated to ensure the users provide the right information. To help them to focus and  feel secure, you can break this process in small pieces and remind them at which steps are they.
    • Avoid hidden fees : Finding out fees at the last step of the checkout process is one of the worst online shopping experience.
    • Confirmation page : The user needs to provide accurate information. This step helps to review the information and complete the purchase.

About the author

Consultant, Web strategist, and Drupal enthusiast, I use open source software to build application that connects people and spread ideas. I believe that internet can lead to powerful changes for progressive organizations, and for our future.

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