PrestaShop Store UX Tips

“We innovate by starting with the customer and working backwards. The focus is not the product, but the customer.”

Said Jeff Bezos when describing Amazon’s approach to user experience.

There’s a lot of wisdom in the statement. All too often, in the drive for higher conversion rates and revenue, merchants end up making changes geared towards short-term gains, without considering the audience they’re selling to. This approach might work in the short-run but can be a colossal mistake in the long-run. Further, in today’s eCommerce market, falling into the trap of focusing on products at the expense of the customers isn’t surprising anymore. I’d bet that most merchants have been guilty of doing so at some point.

The truth is, UX is fundamentally about creating an experience that meets the needs of your visitors. It completely aligns with conversion-focused eCommerce optimization and improves the quality of the customer journey while increasing your bottom line. If a website’s UX is not done properly, it’s a win-win situation for the competitors. The reason? Users will simply leave the page and resume shopping elsewhere. Who’d want to waste their time or struggle with a slow or complicated interface and UX? Would you? Obviously, it’s a big turn off!

Further, UX isn’t just about the speed or navigation but everything from SEO to customer service.

Now, before we highlight the tips for improving your store’s UX, remember that understanding your target audience’s behavior and expectations are key to optimizing UX. You will only be able to make accurate UX decisions when you have an understanding of your ideal customer’s expectations and how they interact with a site.

Let’s get started!

Enhancing the UX of Your Store

Focus on Personalization
Personalization in the eCommerce realm has become more critical than ever. Since customers have huge options to choose from, brands need to establish meaningful relationships with their customers. And this is what personalization does. It becomes a key to customer loyalty and satisfaction. A good eCommerce UX is based on personalized suggestions based on past customer behavior.

Personalized product recommendations can guide your users to choose the right products and allow them to discover new ones, thus, potentially, increasing their average order value and creating a better user experience. It’s equivalent to a customer representative at a store giving product suggestions. Something as simple and straightforward as “customers who bought this product also viewed” is an excellent example of easy UX personalization. Moreover, trending sections and personalized email newsletters can help you accomplish this goal without the need for huge investment in redesigning your PrestaShop store.

Simplify the Checkout Process
When a visitor reaches the checkout process, they have found what they were looking for. If they abandon their cart at this stage, that means there is something wrong with your checkout process. Generally, a long and complicated checkout process/form leads to cart abandonment, where customers lose patience and choose to leave.
Fewer steps, however, doesn’t mean cramming everything on the same screen. Instead, you may want to try one of the following approaches to simplify the checkout:

  • Make sure your store saves information of customers who logged in earlier. People hate being asked the same questions every time they make a purchase.
  • Remove distractions from the checkout page and feature only the required functionalities to complete the purchase.
  • Let customers login with an existing account (for instance Facebook integration) instead of asking them to create a new profile.
  • Integrate guest checkout because several people are reluctant to share their personal information with third parties.
  • Make it easy for people to switch between the cart and the shopping experience. If they have to go back and forth every single time, chances of cart abandonment are high.

Get Customer Feedback
This may sound a common practice but doing it with a different approach can reap great results. Getting customer’s feedback is essential to find out what areas need improvement. At times, customers even provide suggestions for improvement, saving retailers the time of guessing the answer. Let’s discuss some basic components that are key to a successful feedback process.

  • First is automation. Automate feedback request emails to be sent after a customer’s first purchase or after a frequent interval of time. This will guarantee consistency, save time and allow you to scale the process.
  • Second is offering an incentive to customers for providing feedback. Providing a discount code or a gift on the next purchase is a great way to encourage customers to take action. Once the feedback is collected, you can showcase it under specific products or different parts of your eCommerce site. Further, this will help you gain the trust of new visitors. Also, in case you get negative feedback, make sure to follow up with the customer to check whether the issue is fixed.

Let Potential Buyers Create Lists
Very often, people aren’t 100% sure about their purchase right from the start. Giving them a chance to save items in a list (wish list) and review them, later on, might increase the chances of an eventual conversion. Wish list implementation is a simple yet effective solution that narrows down the items that buyers will have to look at when they’re finally ready to purchase. If you already have it on your website, make sure that it is displayed clearly and can be prioritized.

Boost Speed
UX greatly depends on the speed of loading and processing. People don’t have patience and the majority of them won’t wait for more than two seconds for a page to load. The better the speed, the better will be the user experience. A number of steps can be taken to boost the speed of your PrestaShop site.

  • Image optimization: Use appropriate formats for images and ensure that they’re no bigger than they need to be. Minify HTML, Javascript and CSS to get rid of unnecessary spaces, commas, notes, and so on.
  • Reduce redirects – Redirects require multiple server responses increasing the amount of time consumed to load pages. Further, redirects are highly frustrating from a user experience standpoint.
  • Use a fast hosting provider – There’s not much you can do to improve the speed of your hosting if it’s slow. Ensure that you pick a fast provider, preferably one with rich experience in PrestaShop development or has PrestaShop certified developer.

Obviously, there are more than these 5 ways to enhance your PrestaShop store’s UX. You could keep tabs on trends, connect via social media or avoid pressuring users with data entry at the very start. However, plans aren’t always perfect, and strategies can disintegrate.

This is why these 5 realistic and simple ways take into account how crucial is UX for your store’s success so that eCommerce isn’t a challenge anymore!

Author’s Bio

Amit Singla - Software Engineer

With a vision to explore the how’s and why’s of the development world, Amit is the guy to call for Magento, PrestaShop and Core PHP.

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