3 Instant Ways to Increase your E-Commerce Usability

By Megan McKelvy posted Oct 21, 2013 06:05 PM


Recently association professionals gathered at Personify for an e-business workshop.  I like learning at such events.  They force you to sit down and really think about best practices and strategy for a certain topic.  Can you imagine telling your boss that you won’t be taking meetings, phone calls or emails for four hours because you need to think about e-business, analytics, mobile or any other subject matter?    Me either.  However, workshops, conferences and other events encourage such focus and learning.

We spent a fair amount of time talking about e-commerce usability.  If you’ve ever left a website because you couldn’t find what you were looking for or because the check-out process was too hard, you understand why this topic is important. 

In 2012 the Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) performed a massive e-commerce research study and developed 874 guidelines for effective e-commerce usability.  The workshop was only four hours, so we had to narrow it down.  I’m narrowing it down even more for you.  Here are some tips you can use right now.

  • Bad content kill sales. The NNG study found that 55% of the 143 user failures were caused by bad content. The main problem wasn’t finding the product it was finding out about the product.
    • What you can do: Make sure each product you sell online has the information users need to decide on the product and trust your site with their money.

  • Usability testing is crucial. And by user testing I mean testing by, well users. Real users. Your members who come to your site. Don’t panic. Effective user testing does not have to be extensive or expensive. The NNG study showed that you only need five users for testing. In most cases 85% of usability problems will be uncovered after the first study.
    • What you can do: Find five members near you who will participate in usability testing. And don’t forget, after you fix the problems, test again.

  • The best policy is clear policies. Users want clear, easy-to-understand policies and support when questions arise.
    • What you can do: Clearly outline your return, exchange and cancellation policies on your e-business sites. The best customer service is providing the information users want, when they want it.

Do you have more web usability questions?  Personify Interactive can help.  Drop us a line or come visit the Interactive Man at the HUG conference.


#Solution Partner #InformationArchitecture #GraphicDesign
1 comment



Oct 23, 2013 08:29 AM

I LOVE the video! Awesome job! Can't wait to show it at the Super Forum.