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Again, taking e-commerce as our example model, the category page forms the first step on the path to conversion.
Here we have broken down these steps as follows:
Individual product pages represent the point at which most users will decide whether or not to purchase an item they are considering.
User queries at this level of a website will be highly specific and informed. Failure to answer these queries may drive the user to a competitor, a behavior we will all recognize.
Options offered to the user at this point should become limited and restricted either to purchase or to the retrieval of information that may lead to the purchase.
Let’s look at an example of a badly rendered product page.
The dominant element on this page is a paragraph of text. While as a user I can see the price, the images shown would not excite or inspire too many users. Where is the delivery information? Why is the page so oddly laid out?
As you look at this page, again consider the themes of trust and credibility that we have returned to throughout this module.
At product page and checkout stages, barriers to conversion are all too easily created.
Common barriers to conversion can include:
So what should a product page look like? Here’s an example product page that gets most of those elements right.
The price is clearly displayed. Shipping information is also displayed adjacent to the price; in this case, it’s free. A review summary in terms of number of stars is shown beside the product name. The ‘add to cart’ button is highly prominent on the page. Summary information is displayed with an option to reveal more if the user requires it. And the product imagery is of a high quality and there are multiple views available.
All of these help to form a better view of the page by the user.
Shopping cart, or basket design, is as important as the design of any other webpage. This is not something that should be left to default settings of an e-commerce platform or package.
The cart, or basket, is one of the last wait points for a user on their path to purchase, and as such, it should offer nothing but reassurance and confidence in the purchase.
Components in an effective cart page can include:
On these pages, while there are any number of options the user might take, the action to proceed to checkout should be the unambiguous, primary action for the user.
The design of a checkout process can influence a conversion or purchase right up until the user has completed their order. Checkout steps correspond to the main stages in a website conversion funnel, which detail where purchases have been abandoned. Conversion funnels, built up through analytics on a series of webpages, offer valuable insights into where users have abandoned their purchase. Usability testing can supply the ‘why’.
Elements which contribute to cart abandonment can include:
Rick Monro is UX Director at Fathom. He has extensive experience in user research, interaction design, user-centered design, and design strategy with private and public sector organisations throughout the UK and Ireland.
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ABOUT THIS DIGITAL MARKETING MODULE
The UX Design module will cover in depth the differences between interactive and presentational communication, illustrating how the priority of the marketer shifts from getting attention in a presentational environment, to giving attention in an interactive environment. You will understand how a user-focused approach to design impacts content planning, information architecture, customer-journey planning, prototyping, testing and validation, progressive-disclosure and other powerful approaches to the display and interactivity of content.
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