Practical Ecommerce magazine recently listed five ways to enhance your site for a smoother, more optimized tablet experience. They tackled many issues to optimize page load times, such as using “lightweight, beautiful images,” replacing graphics with CSS where appropriate, and optimizing the site for faster loading times. They also suggest using techniques to improve viewing and interacting with the site, such as using responsive design templates and making sure navigation is finger-friendly. (Another great article, The Pursuit of Tappiness, is here.)
Those are all great steps to take to improve the speed and navigability of your site. Additionally, we believe there are other details that should also be addressed when making modifications to your site.
Conduct Regular Usability Testing
We recommend conducting regular usability testing to continually review and understand how users interact with your site and where their pain points exist. Your customers may not know exactly the best way to design it but you’ll start to see trends in what they like and don’t like. As customers become more accustomed to online shopping and experience new and innovative features on other sites, both through laptops and mobile devices, they will come to expect these same or better features on yours. Additionally, search data can provide valuable user insights. Data from search reports can help illuminate product trends and indicate whether users can find what they’re looking for on your site. Usability testing makes sure you have your finger on the pulse of consumer behavior.
Direct to Product Pages Quickly
Take users to the product detail page as quickly as possible. Optimizing your mobile site’s search reduces the number of clicks needed to find a product and will make it easier for shoppers to quickly find and purchase an item. Remember that most users aren’t using their tablet in conjunction with a keyboard or mouse, so it must be easy to find products with fewer taps. Having a site search that returns the best results increases their chances of finding what they want.
Improve Navigation for Easier Browsing
Guide shoppers that are browsing to what they want… quickly. Many shoppers who use tablets to browse may enter a site without knowing exactly what they want. Being able to sort and refine large groups of products through the navigation can help whittle down your products to a manageable selection.
Save Information for Faster Transactions
Allow users to save important personal information on your site so they don’t need to type in a lot of basic content every time they make a purchase. Giving the user the ability to save mailing addresses and payment information, but also the ability to store items in a wish or shopping list can help speed the checkout process. Amazon does an excellent job at this with its “1-Click” ordering option. Additionally, showing “recently browsed” products can quickly show customers something they might be interested in seeing again.
Use High-Quality Content and Photos
Include better product content and many, high-quality images, to clearly display and describe the product. A common complaint among online shoppers is not having enough information to make an informed decision. By showing the product from a variety of angles and giving users the ability to zoom in and out, and clearly conveying product information, shoppers will have less reason to abandon their shopping session.
The eCommerce experience is continually changing, and customers will continue to push for faster sites with better usability. Taking a deeper look at these site search and display details, and conducting routine usability testing to assess and fix pain points are good habits that will keep your business on the cutting edge.