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E-commerce Replatforming: UX Mistakes You Need to Avoid

by Kristin Bridgette Savage on September 26, 2018 –

Replatforming your e-commerce storefront may be some of the most rewarding and excruciating work out there. For those who don’t know, replatforming an e-commerce website means to essentially migrate it to a different platform. If you are unhappy with the way your site performs currently, this may be your only option.According to studies, 63% of marketing executives think that RoI is the only measure of success in e-commerce. This is somewhat true since the measure of a successful business is how much money it makes annually.

However, there are numerous obstacles and potential problems to consider, especially when the e-commerce user experience (UX) is concerned. Let’s take a look at several examples of UX mistakes which you should avoid at all costs when replatforming your e-commerce store.

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1. No Audience Research

Every website has a certain demographic which is predominant. You should use the fact that you are replatforming to do some research into your audience before settling for a user interface (UI) overhaul. If your audience is predominantly older you should focus on large, easy-to-spot UI elements. A young demographic reacts well to colorful images. Research your sales numbers, traffic and social media activity.

See if you can pinpoint the customer profile you work with most of the time to cater the new design to their needs. This is an essential part of e-commerce replatforming and shouldn’t be overlooked given the opportunity.

2. Retouched Product Media

No site is innocent of retouched photos, staged demonstration videos and stock multimedia. However, you need to make your product media as believable as possible. The site replatforming procedure which you are undergoing is the perfect excuse to review your products and their respective media files.

Don’t rely on photograph manufacturing through Photoshop and other related editing applications. It’s often a better solution to hire one or several photographers and have them take photos of your products instead. Show some respect towards your customers and present them with believable and grounded visual media about the items you have on sale.

3. Relying on DIY Methods

We are all guilty of cutting corners and lowering costs in business. After all, the revenue we have at the end of each month needs to go on-site maintenance, stock refresh, online advertisement and other expenses. You should never approach e-commerce replatforming yourself. The user experience of your customers and clients depends on adequate UI solutions present on your site.

There is a plethora of problems which can come up during your site migration and you won’t be able to stop the process once you start. As a matter of fact, it’s a better idea to hire a beginner web designer or a programmer and have them do it for you instead.

Look for affordable professionals who specialize in e-commerce maintenance, web design and coding through freelance platforms and see if you can strike a deal with them. This is a much better alternative to opting for DIY methods of UI and UX overhaul as a site administrator.

4. Mandatory Registration

There is absolutely no need for including mandatory registration in your e-commerce store. Customers should be able to make purchases based on their payment and delivery info – not based on whether or not they are registered. This doesn’t mean you should exclude the registration capability from your e-commerce site, however.

Instead, make it an extra step for people who want to be recurring customers and get exclusive offers and discounts. Forcing people to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing is a bad UX decision. Be open to as many customers as possible in order to ensure higher revenue numbers and a greater conversion rate.

5. Ignoring the Navigation Bar

The navigation bar of your e-commerce store is the most important element of UI present on the site. In essence, your navigation bar should include any and all categories of products which you sell at the moment. Don’t fall for minimalistic design and fail to offer a comprehensive view of your product lineup in the navigation bar.

Instead, separate your products into categories and sub-categories for added browsing comfort. This will make the customers’ site navigation much quicker and easier to manage due to a good nav bar design solution.

6. Reliance on Popups

Customers that visit your e-commerce store, especially through mobile platforms, hate to see popups riddle their internet browsers. Popups are a dated method of online advertisement which became a bigger nuisance than it was a benefit.

Many users install advertisement blocking add-ons for their browsers simply to avoid being bombarded by unwanted ads which serve no purpose. Establish a professional, clean and easy-to-understand user interface without relying on cheap “scare tactics”.

Advertisements should be placed on banners around the body of your landing and subsequent pages. This will ensure that the customers have a conscious choice of whether or not they want to click on an offer you have prepared.

7. Difficult to Make a Purchase

One of the worst offenders in the bad UX category is an overlong purchase process. It shouldn’t take more than several clicks for your customers to make the final purchase from your store.

Try to streamline your UI so that a customer can reach the order and shipping screen in only a few clicks from the landing page. This will ensure that people want to come to your site when they are short on time and want to get something quickly.

Alternatively, you risk alienating your customers since no one wants to go through several hoops of security checks, identity verification and mandatory registration (see above) just to order an item. You will effectively send a message that the customer should go someplace less convoluted to order the same (or similar) item with much less hassle.

8. Seemingly Absent Customer Support

Your customer support should be easy to find in the UI solution you decide on after replatforming. After all, the customers are bound to have questions, concerns and problems no matter how well you design your website.

Make sure that your customer support lines are highlighted no matter what page a customer might be on currently. You can use the footer of your navigation bar to place a readily-available support button for everyone’s convenience. Failing to do so can result in panic and subsequent erosion of your customers due to an inability to get in touch with you.

Give your visitors a voice and talk to them anytime they have issues that need to be resolved. Alternatively, you can set up a chatbot to do it for you if you run an independent e-commerce store and have no support agents available.

An ongoing development (Conclusion)

Your e-commerce replatforming process will take some time until it settles. However, your site’s development will never cease if you play your cards right.

Make sure to always have new products, categories and content in preparation for the future. Don’t settle for a routine and find ways to iterate on what you created. That way, your customers will always have something new to look forward to and be incentivized to stay loyal to your e-commerce website.

Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer.