Politics and Business

Minimizing Ecommerce Interaction Costs for a Better User Experience

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As much as shoppers wish online stores could simply read their minds and predict their needs, the technology isn’t quite there yet. Users must either navigate to their desired goal or ask the website for assistance using a search tool. Additionally, every single interaction a user has with a website comes at a price; after all, it requires effort, concentration, time and patience.

Minimizing ecommerce interaction costs for a better user experience is one way brands can lower both cart and website abandonment rates. It’s important to remember every single action standing between a user and their goal has a cost, including:

  • Scrolling
  • Reading
  • Clicking
  • Searching
  • Entering information
  • Waiting for pages to load
  • Interacting with pop-up windows
  • Retaining relevant information

How can you optimize your website for a lower overall interaction cost?

Consider these three areas to start.

Utilize Space Above the Fold

While the concept of “the fold” is less strict now than it was during the heyday of newspapers, it’s still important to prioritize the information presented to the customer. The name of the game is balancing the most necessary information (written copy and visuals) with the most effective call to action (CTA). Oftentimes, brands choose to include a headline, a sentence conveying their unique selling proposition (USP), a high-definition photograph or logo and their CTA above the fold. This way, the user can engage without having to scroll to figure out key information or how to take action.

Let’s say you just set up a website to sell cosmetics from home. Since your brand is relatively new on the market, you have yet to achieve the same instant name recognition the major players get. That’s perfectly natural—but you have only seconds to let new visitors know about your company and make it appealing once they enter your online store. The last thing you want is for them to have to scroll through multiple paragraphs, click through various product categories and circle back to the beginning to find the information they need. Prioritize key information and place an actionable button above the fold with a simple goal like “shop now” or “learn more.”

Establish a Usable Search System

We’re a search-engine savvy society. When in doubt, we prefer to input our desires and let the machine do the rest. As many as 30 percent of visitors to a given online store will use the site search box, so returning quality results has huge potential for boosting conversions and securing customer loyalty. Making your search box prominent and your internal search system effective will cut down on yet another interaction cost, so your consumers can continue down the purchasing funnel without unnecessary fatigue.

Streamline the Checkout Process

By the time you’ve launched your cosmetics company, you’ve put significant time and effort into creating or acquiring product inventory, creating product pages, filling your website with images and copy, branding your business and more. The thought of losing customers at the checkout—so close to the finish line—is frustrating, to say the least.

One way to mitigate the looming problem of shopping cart abandonment is to address why many people bail before completing a transaction. Start with the 28 percent of shoppers who abandoned their cart because they “didn’t want to register/create an account just to make a purchase.”

This makes sense from a shopper’s point of view. Imagine you’re just getting ready to slide out your debit card when a screen comes up requiring you to register first. Do you have the time and patience to enter your name, email address, billing address, shipping address, payment information and more? This is a huge interaction cost. A good rule of thumb is to get the least amount of information you can before a sale and ask for the rest later.

Anything sellers can do to minimize ecommerce interaction costs for a better user experience will go a long way toward reducing abandonment rates and improving brand perception.


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