Words of Wisdom - Site Experience Checklist


A great user experience can create a loyal following with shoppers but a bad experience could damage your business and reputation.

For small eCommerce merchants, your customer’s site experience doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate; sometimes simple sites offer the best experience. It’s more important that your site be clear and streamlined. Craigslist is a great example. It has a no-frills look, but it’s so easy to use that it has become synonymous with online classifieds.

To make your web store experience user-friendly, you can start with our Customer Site Experience Checklist below. In subsequent posts, we’ll surface a few eCommerce tools that can take your user experience to the next level--gift cards, wish lists and your web store’s search function.

The Customer Site Experience Checklist

Give your customers the best user experience possible by creating a solid interface and then regularly maintaining and revamping it to ensure that things are running smoothly.

  • First things first. Look at your web store through your customer's eyes. Be your own shopper and complete a mock transaction to ensure that everything in your web store is working properly.
  • Check your navigation. Make sure that all your links work. Add more categories and filters to create a more robust layered navigation. Use breadcrumbs so that shoppers can easily identify where they are on your web store.
  • Make sure your branding, colors and logo are consistent across your web store, including blog, email marketing and customer communications.
  • Cross-sell and upsell on your product pages and at checkout. Regularly update these complementary products. Make sure they're relevant to your customers.
  • Make sure all your prices and product descriptions are clearly written and include all necessary information, like sizes and colors. Many merchants don’t realize that shoppers spend most of their time on product pages as opposed to the homepage, so those sections need to be clear and intuitive.
  • If you’re running a promotion, keep any terms associated with the promo easy to understand and clearly visible.
  • Do a search for your web store on the major search engines. Is it coming up in searches for your top keywords? If not, do an SEO maintenance run. Optimize your keywords, title tags, meta-descriptions and page titles.
  • Keep your product images, including any other photos you might be showcasing, up-to-date. Use good, clear, focused photos. Give shoppers several angles, through alternate views, zoom, different sizes and colors, and even videos.
  • Incorporate customer feedback you’ve received through phone calls, emails, surveys, Facebook,Twitter or blog posts.
  • Streamline your checkout process. The fewer steps the better. Enable one-page checkout and turn on PayPal Express Checkout. Make sure customers can easily find your checkout button.
  • Make registration simple and optional. Many shoppers don’t like to register. In fact, it’s one of the biggest causes of abandoned shopping carts. With Magento, you can let customers checkout without registering. Give them the option to register at the end of checkout so that they can follow their account and save their information for future use.
  • Search for products using your web store's internal search field. Input various keywords to make sure the appropriate products appear. Add any keywords that may be missing, including common synonyms and misspellings.
  • If a product is out of stock, clearly state it but don’t remove it. Capture contact information to secure future orders when product is available. No one likes empty promises so if you plan on capturing a customer’s contact information, be committed to informing the customer when product is in stock.

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