Creating an online store: usability
Creating an online store is currently one of the most popular ways to conduct business over the Internet. Offering various products to users of the global network, you can make sales no worse than in the” offline”, and often even better.
The usability of an online store plays a huge role in ensuring the necessary efficiency of online sales. If the usability level is too low, then even with a large online store traffic, the profit from sales will remain small.
Usability is, we can say, a set of qualities of an online store, which provides potential customers with the ability to easily and quickly find the desired product on the store’s pages, get the necessary information about the product, without difficulty find how to order, pay and get the product they are interested in. Creating an online store without taking into account the requirements of usability will doom it to failure.
For example, in accordance with the requirements of usability the create online shop should include installation of a convenient system of searching products. Such a system should allow users to set certain search parameters and filter and sort search results. It is also important to take care of convenient presentation of results.
From the point of view of usability (and not only), the catalog of an online store is its main element. Whether the online store’s visitors will become its customers depends on how convenient the product catalog is and how accessible its product positions are. For example, it matters how many categories and categories the catalog contains, and whether the user can manage the number of products that are displayed on a single page.
The current location of the user on the site, the visited links, the button for adding products to the cart — these elements of the online store affect its usability. In order for the online store to be convenient, these elements must be clearly visible to users. In addition, information about payment and delivery, terms of return of goods, as well as contact details of the online store-all this must also be in front of visitors.
Otherwise, users will not be able to reach the purchase stage, or they will spend a lot of time figuring out where they are now and how they can buy the product. A lot of complaints are caused by the lack of data on accepted payment methods in the field of view: the user would like to pay for the product, but can’t find how to do it.
A rather gross error in the usability of an online store would be requiring users to register before making a purchase. Insisting on registration, through which unregistered visitors to an online store can not see a significant part of important information, can lead to a risk: many visitors are afraid to provide information about themselves, if they are not yet sure of making a purchase.
So, the best way to get an effective online store is to create it in accordance with the requirements of usability. However, even if the online store is already ready, you still need to conduct usability testing to identify the main errors. Usability testing is best done with the participation of experts in this field.
In professional usability testers, there are many configurations of user hardware: you can detect, for example, how the site is displayed on different monitors, in different browsers, and whether errors occur when clicking on a link. It also checks the user’s path from various site pages to the final goal-filling out the shopping cart and sending the completed Order for processing.