The share of ecommerce in Indian retail market has grown substantially since the onset of the pandemic last year. With a significant drop in physical retail, today even independent boutique owners need an ecommerce store to sell their products.
Irrespective of the size of a brand, success of an e-commerce strategy depends on how many customers visiting the story actually convert; what we call as a ‘Conversion Rate’ in our parlance. One of the biggest drivers of improving conversion rate is the experience a brand offers through its website or mobile app.
User experience, in simplified terms, is defined by how easy or complex it is for customers to find what they are looking for on a brand’s website and eventually closing a purchase.
Several considerations become critical in the overall user journey including the aesthetic look of a website, menu layout, number of clicks to go to the product details page or to the payment page. A simple concept of consumer psychology is that whenever our heart (emotional response) likes something, our mind (rational response) tries to stop it by creating friction in the purchase decision. The purpose of a great customer experience is to aid decision making in favor of buying by addressing this friction.
Brands ought to understand WHY it should be done, keeping their consumers in mind. It’s time to deep dive into the foundational emotions that can potentially impact the overall user experience of an ecommerce website- brands should definitely consider this as they build one. A consumer should feel the following emotions as they browse through an e-store:
• Trust is the first emotion that a consumer should feel when they are browsing a website. They should be assured of the veracity of the website and its products quality. High-involvement products need to look real. Here, the proof of the pudding is in seeing. A person standing next to a 3 ft table in a real image makes it easy for consumers to imagine how big the table is. A detailed product page describing product material, usage, precautions, and genuine consumer reviews in detail inspire trust. Additionally, transparent updates on the status of an order, jargon free terms and conditions following the completion of a purchase customer after the purchase has been made– add on to inspiring trust.
• Using a care-centric approach endears customers and improves loyalty to a website. It’s always flattering if someone remembers your name, your past purchase or default choices and this is applicable for the online world we well. A simple OTP-based login should ideally lead to a customized web experience for consumers. They should be able to see shoes available in their exact size, foundation that matches their skin tone or their favorite (frequently bought) protein bars without having to make any effort looking for it. Knowing that a brand cares for its customers can make a huge difference in conversion rates.
• Encouragement: As a consumer’s rational and emotional minds battle with each other, a website should make it simpler for them to decide or reduce uncertainties in their decision making. Can they be given samples to try or offered a deal to try a product for the first time? Sometimes even the most eager shopper might be indecisive about the purchase decision, and they need a nudge to get the “I need to buy this now!” moment. Marketing Automation solutions add relevant UX nudges (like exit intent popups, abandonment emailers) to ensure even the most indecisive customer gets the right incentive to purchase. Scarcity is also a great way to encourage consumers. A deal that will get over in two hours or a best seller that goes out of stock quickly can all develop a sense of scarcity that encourage users to buy.
• Shopping shouldn’t be stressful. Building an intuitive website makes a great deal of difference to the user experience. In simple terms – it means that a consumer will know exactly how to navigate the website and get all the knowledge they are seeking. All these aspects can make shopping experience either a breeze or a walk in a confusing maze. Consumers are typically distracted when browsing online and hence everything must be simplified so that its easy to buy the products. If brands aren’t making it easy, consumers will explore offline purchases.
• Often consumers like to purchase from a brand only if they believe that the brand is an authority in their business. If an e-commerce website makes them feel like they are making a wise choice, they would be more likely to buy from that brand. Does a brand understand a customer’s specific problem? Are there any online reviews about customer problems having being addressed by a brand? Can a brand educate customers about a problem and how to choose the right product? A lot of brands can intertwine their storytelling and solutions approach in their e-commerce and come across as an authority in solving consumer problems.
Eventually, there’s enough information available on the internet about tips and tricks that can help brands enhance the overall user experience. What’s critical is to understand the customer context first so that brands can do what makes sense keeping in mind their customer and their business.
Dev Batra is co-founder and chief evangelist, Lyxel&Flamingo Collective, while Avnish Anand is co-founder and online head, Caratlane.