Create a five-star B2C ecommerce experience

1. Review your audience personas to identify your customers’ online buying patterns.

This optimizes your ecommerce presence around your audience’s needs and preferences. If you haven’t built ecommerce audience personas, review basic demographic information and research how this demographic typically buys products online.

2. Audit your ecommerce website’s UX to optimize page functionality and visual elements.

For example, audit your site to ensure that colors and icons are evenly applied across all of your pages. A UX tool like Hotjar can indicate how people behave on your website, and what elements frustrate them. Pay special attention to CTAs, buttons, and menus. Moving the cart button from menu to menu, or changes in navigation across your store, will frustrate users and delay checkout.

3. Verify that your website pages load in three seconds or less using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom or Uptrends.

Page load time affects user experience, but also matters for SEO. You can optimize page load time by:  Evaluating your current host and their server speed. You may need to upgrade your hosting plan. Considering a content delivery network (CDN) if your audience is geographically diverse. Optimizing your images using smart compression and optimized file types like PNG and JPG. Improving technical factors, such as limiting HTTP requests and reducing the number of redirects on a page.

4. Create product pages or listings that are visual, simple, and address the audience’s reason for buying the product.

Product page best practices include: Clean images with a simple background for all products. A short paragraph, no longer than three sentences, outlining the product’s value. Bulleted lists for product specifications, and physical attributes. Clear options for all product variations, including size and color. Use case videos or social proof to show the product in action. A clear CTA to add the product to the shopping cart. You can also add optional conversion opportunities, like a section at the bottom that shows related and complementary products as alternatives to the listing in question.

5. Make it easy for customers to log in to your ecommerce store or create an account within three clicks or less.

Use Google Sign In or Facebook Login options to reduce friction and allow users to log in or create a new account with their existing information on these sites. Don’t require a log-in before users build their shopping cart. Allowing them to log in during the checkout process increases conversions and reduces friction.

6. Include multiple contact options on key pages of your store to make it easy for customers to contact your team throughout their shopping experience.

For example, you can create a chatbot or live customer service chat option on all of your ecommerce pages through Facebook Messenger or a custom tool like Zendesk Chat. Other contact opportunities include: Your phone and email support information in the page footer, as well as prominently on key pages like your checkout page. A FAQ for each product on product pages. A broad knowledge base or tutorial for common store questions or problems, like payments accepted.

7. Shorten your checkout process to three pages or fewer to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

You can consolidate order details, shipping options, and payment preferences on a single page, dividing the screen with shipping and payment details to the left of the order summary. Include a confirmation page that customers can print for future references, including items ordered, a confirmation number, and contact information.

8. Offer multiple choices of shipping and payment options that match audience preferences and buying patterns.

For example, most leading ecommerce sites offer up to three types of shipping methods: express, standard, and extended. Payment options should include all major credit cards. Consider adding digital payment options like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Pay to match user preferences and increase conversion rates.

9. Send an order confirmation email immediately after the order that includes order details, a delivery estimate, and contact information for any potential issues.

Use email automation to avoid any customer wait time from placing the order to receiving the email. Consider including a coupon to your store as a thank you for purchasing to encourage repeat orders.

10. Send follow-up emails as soon as tracking information is available, as well as each time there are shipping and delivery updates.