How to Fix an Unproductive E-commerce Website

by Volodymyr Varyvoda
UI/UX Expert

February 28, 2018

Once your hard work pays off and you turn your idea into a viable business opportunity, you move onto the next big step – running your business successfully. Unfortunately, not all companies can enjoy constant growth and development. If you want to prevent your business performance, conversion rates, and profits from diminishing, you need to identify possible fallacies and begin fixing them.

One way to reveal areas in need of improvement is to perform a User Experience Design (UX) audit. It is used to gain useful insights about how your customers interact with your website and to develop a strategy centred around their needs. You can conduct a UX audit not only when you are facing problems, but also as a preventative measure before they occur.

Where to begin?

Your best course of action is to reach out to your customer support, marketing and sales, and technical staff teams to determine in what area things have gone wrong. Employees will be able to share in-house difficulties, customer and system complications, as well as information about a product, market condition, and competitors. You can also ask your customers for feedback to develop new goals and stakeholders for a top-down view of your business’ performance.

Sometimes a problem may come from support or sales teams’ incompetence. Not being able to stick to protocol, ignoring customers complains, or a case of disrespectful communication can all result in negative feedback, damaged reputation, and diminished sales.

Data Analysis

Human error, however, is not the only culprit of unsuccessful businesses. Companies with an exceptional development strategy and a high-tech product can also experience problems with their online operation. A fall in web conversion rates is often blamed on a weak website design and it is usually the first thing to be redeveloped to bring back performance.

Usually, a UX professional would begin with evaluating comprehensive data from Google Analytics and detecting possible issues before moving onto actual website redesign. Blindly fulfilling customers’ wishes without proper analysis may result in a waste of time and investment as well as a further deterioration in your situation.

Unproductive E-commerce Google analytics user behaviour flow Usability behaviour flow shopping data analysis

Correctly configured Google Analytics tracks the number of visitors to your website, where these people are coming from, and other valuable information that explains why these individuals are not making a purchase or a targeted action. Data analysis helps you to acknowledge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, better understand your visitors, and optimise your website for conversions and sales. Performing it daily or weekly helps to discover probable flaws before they are able to hinder your business.

Unproductive E-commerce Google analytics e-commerce analysis Usability behaviour flow shopping data analysis

Next, using the Hotjar UX service for example, a UX designer identifies possible causes of why visitors are not converting into customers. It is done by looking at heat maps, watching recordings of visitors’ actions on your website, and identifying at which step of the conversion funnel most visitors are leaving your site.

Unproductive E-commerce Hotjar heat map Usability behaviour flow shopping data analysis

Unproductive E-commerce Hotjar funnel Usability behaviour flow shopping data analysis

Usability

Usability testing is another component of a UX audit. The results help to determine how easy it is to access and use a website. The more convenient it is for visitors to navigate and use your website, the more likely they are to become customers. But first, you need to gather and evaluate your consumers’ use cases and stories to successfully perform usability testing.

There are a few ways to do it. You can perform an ordinary hallway test and use bystanders for an immediate user reaction. Or use an online platform to generate feedback and usability data from thousands of users in very little time. A high-tech UX laboratory test, on the other hand, can assess your target audience’s needs and preferences by observing their behaviour using advanced metrics.

Testing online and in a lab is more expensive than hallway tests, but it can pay off very quickly. In most cases, UX designers carry out the tests themselves, analyse the results, and come up with a clear resolution plan.

Costly, time-consuming but worth it

It may sound expensive and time-consuming, but a UX audit save you from incurring losses from undiscovered fallacies. Solving issues on time optimises your business, increases your market competitiveness, and prevents a reduction in performance. Remember, even a minor problem with enough time can become a disaster for your business.

Coming up next…

The next article will demonstrate how you can turn your business research and analysis into an effective, profitable, and well-performing strategy. Check back at the end of March to read the next article in the UI/UX “How to…” series.