Best usability audit practices for an online store

Undoubtedly, the emergence and spread of online stores was a great opportunity for the development of business activities by all commercial entrepreneurs. However, apart from great opportunities, the constant development of the e-commerce market in Poland also brings obstacles and requirements. Creating online stores requires knowledge, experience, and a good business plan. Very often, already having a website, we ask ourselves the question "how should an online store work attract new customers?" First of all, it must be optimized frequently enough. However, the starting point is to eliminate all errors that hinder the operation of the website and discourage the users of the store. A usability audit, or UX audit, is used to analyze any emerging difficulties.

The most important principles of an effective UX audit:

1. CTA button

The CTA (call to action) button placed on the website significantly influences the behavior of users while online. Typically, when the website owner clicks it, the visitor performs a valuable action (and ultimately joins the remarketing database). If, when setting up a website, we ask ourselves the question "what should an online store look like?", Then, first of all, we should include such a button in our imaginations. Although theoretically, it seems that placing the CTA button is trivial and does not require attention, there are several important rules from the point of view of its usefulness. First of all, it must be visible and stand out against the background. Not only the color is important, but also the shape. Currently, minimalism has become fashionable, so adding shadows, intricate shapes, or strong, neon colors are not recommended. Over the last dozen or so years, mainly short entries, sometimes limited to one word, have been used. Today, a website visitor needs to understand the benefit of clicking such a button, so add a phrase that encourages him. 

2. Clear navigation

Good navigation is the foundation of a successful website, whether it's a store, blog, or news portal. One of the requirements set by users is the clarity of the website. Because how to sell in an online store if the customer will not be able to find the article he is interested in? Even if he finds it after a long time, due to this situation, he may not return to that store for further purchases. 

3. Search engine

This point can be linked with the previous point because the search engine is one of the parts of a properly constructed navigation. It facilitates the use of online stores because we are not always sure in which section of the menu to look for one specific item. Thanks to the search engine, we can be guided directly to the destination. 

4. Product display

The biggest mistake of a website builder is to distract the customer unnecessarily with ads, discounts, or current promotions. If the user is looking for a specific article, it should be displayed on the subpage. Unnecessary ads, buttons, and information distract users, which may result in, for example, resignation from shopping. Although displaying promotions may be a factor in increasing the sales of an online store, they should be brought to the fore only on the home page and in online campaigns. 

5. Registration benefits

Before making a purchase, the customer does not see any benefits of registering on the site, and too intrusively encouraging him to do so may lead to the complete resignation of the user. There are many different ways out of this situation, today we will focus on the two most common. The first is an incentive to register right after the purchase, for example with the slogan "do you want to track your order and receive a voucher for your next purchases?" Register." The second way is to present the specific benefit of registering before purchasing. It can be, for example, a discount voucher or free delivery - anything that would convince customers to make such and not another decision. 

6. Pictures of products

Photos of the products available on the website are necessary to create it. The client needs to be able to use graphics freely - zooming in / out, different perspectives, 360-degree rotation, etc. First of all, these should be high-quality photos. As owners, we have three main options:

use the manufacturer's photos (if available);

order a professional session for your products;

take photos yourself.

Most often, products are presented against a white background, however, it happens more and more often (e.g. in gastronomy) that producers focus on artistry and arousing the interest of potential customers with something unconventional. For example, on Amazon. pl website, in addition to photos of clothes, videos are introduced, the so-called live tiles on which the model presents clothes while gently turning. Thanks to this, customers can see how a given thing is arranged on the body. 

7. Quality and a sense of security

Another very important thing in terms of UX is ensuring high-quality customer service and security. Avoid overly inquisitive questions that could alienate the user. Short and well-formulated questions that directly concern the problem work best. It's a great idea to include a chat with a consultant on your site. Often, a customer not fully convinced as to the rightness of the choice would be willing to ask a competent person - enabling him to do so will be tantamount to acquiring a permanent visitor.  

Another very important "component" of UX is ensuring the safety of buyers. Online payment is of the greatest concern. Let's take care of the comfort by placing on the website the most important information about the company, such as NIP and the address of the registered office. To increase the sense of security of our customers, it is worth adding, for example, in the "contacts" tab, the names of people with whom to contact regarding support. Another way to build trust is to put in the opinions of trusted customers.

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