Whether they’re shopping in person or online, customers expect to browse a company’s inventory and find the things they want quickly, with very little hassle.
Therefore, businesses satisfy the needs of their customers much better by managing their website just like a brick-and-mortar store. In cyberspace, that means implementing high usability within a website to provide an effortless shopping experience for customers.
And here are a few ways it can be done.
Ideally, a new customer should be able to navigate the website of a business within seconds; getting from page A to page B with little trouble. A standard navigation feature for any site is the Site Map where visitors can find categorized links to each individual page. One of the easiest ways to improve usability is to do a site redesign. Metrofax recently revamped their site for simplicity and ease of navigation.
A site’s usability can also be buffered with directions to help customers complete actions such as checking out or zooming in on a picture of a product. Lastly, each page should allow users to return to the home page with an easy-to-locate link.
Easy to Checkout
Part of the appeal of shopping online is the absence of in-store hassles like long checkout lines. A site that’s greatly usable will feature a speedy checkout or subscription process. If a customer becomes flustered while trying to purchase something, it is highly likely they will cancel their order and leave the site.
This is especially important for e-commerce businesses. Companies that sell their services exclusively online need to make it easy for eager customers to get started right away and for potential customers to learn quickly.
One of the greatest inhibitors of usability is user confusion. It typically arises from a visitor encountering a site with major layout issues–different colors, changing graphics, shifting fonts, etc. When it comes to layout, a design that emphasizes uniformity increases usability by limiting user confusion. The same characteristics of the home page should be evident throughout the entire site. A consistent layout will also help customers familiarize themselves with the branding image of a business.
Clean, Judicious Content
When it comes to website usability, less is more. Website content that is clear, concise and absent of clutter is much easier for visitors to digest, preventing them from getting lost while helping them locate desired information.
This rule pertains not only to text, but also to unnecessary graphics and images that can take up space and divert a user’s attention. Clear content is equally important to the business as it effectively relays messages, about the company and its products/services, to customers.
The website of any business is a tool for interacting with its customers.
But if they have trouble figuring out how to interact with the site, they are liable to leave and, even worse, go to the site of a competing business. Thus, businesses should always keep their online customers in mind by implementing website usability. How easy is it to use your company’s website?