3 Usability Issues That Keep Visitor Groups From Buying
E-commerce web usability is a game of probability, not possibility. If you try to allocate the same weight to elements that attract product-oriented purchasers as you do comparison shoppers and casual browsers, your site will fail all of them.
You need to review which groups of users you have the most of, then allocate your site's real estate to serve their needs. Web analytics is your friend here. Once you spot the patterns and know what kind of primary and secondary visitor groups you have, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to work prioritizing changes to your website.
1. Comparisons are too hard to do: If a significant chunk of your visitors view a lot of your pages without going directly to the cart, your site may be getting viewed by comparison shoppers. Not converting that segment of traffic on the first go-round is OK. If you do a good enough job of getting them the information they need, you're at least in contention by the time the user is primed for the sale.
One thing that trips up analysis about mobile conversions is actually related to this phenomenon: people often compare products on mobile phones, but when they're ready to make a purchase, they use their laptops or tablets for easier typing.
If you're driving a significant number of comparison shoppers to your site, your resources should be devoted to keeping user reviews in tip-top shape. Consider having not just reviews but information about the reviews and the top reviewers, along with summarized keywords for positive and negative reviews.
Try your hand at making comparisons as painless as possible, and don't empty out carts between visits. Remember, this is a segment with a delayed payoff.
2. Searching for products is troublesome: If a sizeable set of your visitors are running through the product pages and the shopping cart page quickly, you may be dealing with product-oriented visitors. There are a few ways to fail this group of visitors:
Tim Ash is the author of the bestselling book Landing Page Optimization, and CEO of SiteTuners. A computer scientist and cognitive scientist by education (his PhD studies were in Neural Networks and Artificial Intelligence), Tim has developed an expertise in user-centered design, persuasion and understanding online behavior, and landing page testing. In the mid-1990s he became one of the early pioneers in the discipline of website conversion rate optimization. Over the past 15 years, Tim has helped a number of major US and international brands to develop successful web-based initiatives. Companies like Google, Expedia, Kodak, eHarmony, Facebook, American Express, Canon, Nestle, Symantec, Intuit, AutoDesk and many others have benefitted from Tim's deep understanding and innovative perspective.
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