As technology continues to rise, so do the possibilities of making your products accessible online through an e-commerce website. Companies have the freedom to customize their own website to gain more visibility. As customers now rely on technology to search for their needs easily.
However, customers could also experience frustrating encounters when viewing e-commerce websites. Most common causes for disappointment are confusing website design, lack of information, and a tedious checkout process. This leads us to a discussion on what is an ‘interaction cost’.
What is an interaction cost?
The general definition of interaction cost comprises a person’s cognitive and physical capabilities to achieve a particular purpose. In terms of e-commerce websites, it’s how easily the customers can find the information or product they are looking for.
While it is impossible to have zero interaction cost, it is also possible to improve your website to lessen the difficulty of navigating through it. Here are some tips to help you create an optimized e-commerce website.
8 Tips to Reduce Interaction Cost
1. Lessen customers’ cognitive efforts
An example of interaction cost is when customers use their cognitive capabilities to explore your website. However, you don’t want customers to think very hard to get what they want.
Lessen their efforts by providing your website with clear and effective information architecture. Customers could benefit from a website’s information architecture. When they can easily spot relevant information and decide upon their next action to take.
2. Avoid over-designing your website
If there is cognitive effort, there is also what we call visual effort. There might be the urge to make your e-commerce site as attractive as possible. For instance, too many bright colors or excessive images can put a visual strain on your customers.
You want to aim for simplicity as much as possible. Light color combinations are recommended, and photos should be appropriate with what the page is trying to present. Balance each element of your e-commerce website to bring a pleasant yet impactful effect on your customers.
3. Be cautious of physical interaction
Do customers need to scroll endlessly to navigate to the information they are looking for?
We get tired from typing on our keyboard and clicking on the mouse for periods. So imagine when you have to ask your customers to exert these physical efforts to get from one information to another.
Optimize your e-commerce site by organizing products and services so that core information is laid out on one page. Make links accessible and related to the page so that clicking can be minimized. It is also helpful to make questions simpler on forms to reduce typing.
4. Double-check the scannability of your site
As part of the visual element which contributes significantly towards customer experience, you want to ensure that the customers catch every content in your website.
When viewing a website, a person’s tendency is to scan and click. It’s always moving fast to get from one page to another so there is little time to read. Try coming up with a strategic website layout such as making use of a scannability pattern like the layer cake. This is where headings and subheadings immediately capture the user’s focus.
By pinpointing the scannability of your website, you should be able to strategically design every page according to its proper visibility and effectiveness.
5. Make the homepage as welcoming as possible
The homepage is an invitation to the customer to explore more. It also gives them a fair idea of what you have to offer. Therefore, the homepage makes customers decide whether they want to stay or move to another e-commerce site.
You want a homepage that is simple yet understandable. It should lay before the customer information about your company and the purpose of the website. It may also contain essential links to navigate core interaction on the site easily.
Besides essential links and information, you may also consider showcasing visual presentations of your best-selling products or services. This would not only add to the overall appeal of the website, but is also helpful for customers to comprehend what your company is all about.
6. Make use of videos
While photos add aesthetic and support information you place on your e-commerce website, videos could easily discuss to customers the purpose of your website and what your company is about.
Videos could also serve to promote your products and show viewers how to make the best use of them, in a way it becomes like a virtual salesperson. A clip focusing on a product allows users to feel as if they are already interacting with the item, therefore guiding their decisions.
When considering adding media to your website, double-check whether the content is relevant to what you want customers to view. Customers will most likely expect that videos will be short and straight to the point and not waste their time loading and watching the video.
7. Make your forms short and simple
Part of e-commerce websites is filling out forms such as when customers are ready to make a purchase. You don’t want customers to feel like they are signing contracts or stress themselves because they can’t understand questions being asked in the form.
Make sure to include appropriate questions only, such as basic personal information, delivery address, or contact details. You may also want to place an indicator to show how far customers have progressed in answering the questionnaire, so they’ll know how near they are to completing the form.
Complications in filling out forms may also be why even the best e-commerce customer service receives complaints. So, make sure your online forms are simple to rid the customers of unnecessary steps.
8. Provide field hints to guide customers
Time is of the essence when it comes to interaction cost. Customers do not like to waste their time stuck answering a form just because the format for typing their address is incorrect, for example.
If this happens, the customer decides to exit the website and move to another one with more detailed requirements. Avoid this by providing field hints such as an inline text placeholder, an annotation, or even graphics to illustrate what customers should do.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: How can I make my e-commerce website more user-friendly?
To enhance user experience, focus on simplifying the website’s information architecture. Ensure customers can easily find what they’re looking for without extensive cognitive effort.
Q: What’s the significance of a minimalist design for my online store?
A minimalist design reduces visual strain on customers’ eyes. Strive for a balanced use of colors and images, creating a visually appealing yet comfortable browsing experience.
Q: How can I streamline navigation for my customers?
Organize your products and core information efficiently on a single page to minimize excessive scrolling. Simplify links and make key actions easily accessible to reduce physical effort.
Q: How can I capture users’ attention quickly on my website?
Optimize your website’s scannability by using clear headings and subheadings. This helps users quickly grasp the content’s essence and navigate effectively.
Q: How do videos contribute to a better user experience?
Videos can serve as virtual guides, explaining your website’s purpose and showcasing products effectively. Short, relevant videos can provide a dynamic interaction and guide customers towards informed decisions.
Interaction cost is all about the effort your customers put in seeking information or making a purchase when visiting your e-commerce site. What you want to achieve is a pleasant user experience for your customers free from confusing links, multiple pages, or even irrelevant use of media.
By doing so, customers will not hesitate to visit your e-commerce site again for future purchases and they might even recommend it to others which markets the business through the customers.
The best e-commerce customer service offshoring company can guide you on what customers think about your online store by understanding the customers’ expectations. Still, it’s always better if fewer concerns are being brought up on how the website is challenging to comprehend and more positive feedback is received.
Your e-commerce website must be strategically designed to allow a good user experience. To know if your strategies are effective and customer expectations are met, you can get the help of e-commerce customer support.
Here at One CoreDev IT (CORE), we provide the best employer of record and e-commerce customer services solutions that seek to understand and solve customer concerns—such as having trouble with your website. Our team applies the best practices in e-commerce customer service to ensure these kinds of trouble are given attention, securing a strengthened trust from the customers.
We offer nothing but the best for our clients—providing top-quality services and an excellent partnership. Secure quality customer service for e-commerce business with us now!