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Ecommerce Usability Checklist

Table of Contents

Review & Actionable Advise to Improve Your Conversion Rates

In this review, we set out to explore how customers navigate, find & buy products and complete checkout process on your Ecommerce website. This checklist covers some specific and actionable tips for your Ecommerce store. This advice is based on more than fifteen years of Ecommerce website optimization, testing and marketing experience. Executing these ideas, you will see noticeable improvements in regards to your user experience and conversion rates.

Accessibility

Site-load time is reasonable

If your website takes longer than three seconds to load, you could be losing nearly half of your visitors. 2 seconds is the threshold for ecommerce website acceptability.

Adequate text-to-background contrast

Use Black Text on plain, high-contrast backgrounds. The content should be easy to read.

Font size/spacing is easy to read

  • Make font size at least 12-point. Font sizes should adequate and white space should use to break up long text areas.
  • Make content easy to read and clear.
  • Make font style consistent for various content types on every page.
  • Use a readable font like Arial, Verdana, Helvetica, Lucida Grande, Sans-Serif etc. They are considered to be most readable for the screen.

ALT tags

Images should have appropriate ALT tags.

Custom not-found/404 page

Make a custom “page not found” page that redirect site visitors to other pages which might contain the information they are looking for.

This page should include –

  • An apology for delivering a wrong page
  • A search box for your website
  • Telling the potential customer that they are on the right domain
  • Navigation options to the important site links such as top product categories

Images convey intended messages

Show images that convey appropriate message and look familiar.

Label clickable images

Make images and associated text closed together so that users can integrate and effectively use them together. Additionally, alt text should accompany every clickable image.

Identity

Place your company’s logo in a consistent place on every page. Having a logo on each page provides a frame of reference throughout a website so that users can easily confirm that they have not left the site.

Tagline

Make a 3-7 word slogan that is how you want your company to be known. It should clearly and prominently communicate the purpose and value of the website on the homepage.

First impression

Home‐page should digestible in 5 seconds. Make a 2-3 sentence description of what you do, on your home page.

Styles & colors are consistent

Each page should have the same design and color scheme. Color scheme should not detract from the main theme.

Clear path to company information

Having an “About Us” page is critical to gaining visitors’ trust. This page should include information – your story, philosophy, corporate video presentation, address, phone # and email address. Make this page accessible from header or footer links.

Clear path to contact information

Phone numbers, addresses and other pertinent contact information must be easy to find. Provide your contact phone number and email (chat) in the header and footer of the website as a text not an image! Make this page accessible from header or footer links.

Header

The header area of your website is the utility area. This is a functional space that guides visitors to the sections of your website that they want to go to. This includes the logo, navigation box, search box, and global links. You want to determine what the most important elements of your website and have links to those sections in your header. The header needs to be simple but very functional.

Logo should be clearly visible and link to the site home page.

Login/Signup

When a user arrives on the website, clearly show the user, where to Register or Login, specially when Login is the primary call to action.

Shopping trolley/basket

  • Customers should be able to spot the cart icon. The standard is to place the cart icon in the top right corner of an Ecommerce site but avoid placing cart icon in dark bars in the top navigation bar.
  • Display the number of items in the cart, even if it’s zero. This lets the user know they have to add items to their cart.

Large phone number

Add a large phone number to the right side of your header. Having a phone number on your web page will get more people to call. With e-commerce, people will not necessarily only buy online, but they may also want to call.

CTA phone number

The phone number should have a specific CTA (call to action). Do not use general terms next to your phone number. Have a unique call to action specific to your e-commerce store.

For example: “Speak with an expert about our products. Call 1-800-555-1212.”

Site search area

  • Make site search is easy to access, near the top of the page, above the navigational bar.
  • Do not combine it with other boxes, buttons, links and label it clearly.

Credibility seals

Add credibility seals like Better Business Bureau or McAfee. Having credibility seals in the header will create you as a credible source, and people will feel more comfortable doing business with you.

Live chat

Live chat is a great way to provide a good customer experience on your e-commerce store. Within the live chat area, use a picture of a customer service person or a clear icon. It helps people identifying where the live chat area is.

Mini-cart

Showing a mini-cart area with a button that says “View cart” to send people to the shopping cart page.

Navigation

Product findability is the key to any e-commerce business — after all, if customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Website navigation and internal site search can help you sort product findability problems. Once you make it easy for visitors to find their desired products on your eCommerce site, your conversion lift will be legendary.

Access to the Home page

Enable users to access the home page from any other page on the website.

Main navigation

Main navigation is easily identifiable. The best place for the primary navigation menus is the top or left panel.

Navigational labels

Make useful, clear and concise navigational labels. People should able to scan navigation labels and instantly understand what those labels represent within the store context.

Links identification

Make links consistent and easy to identify.

Site search

  • Showing a possible intent to purchase by entering product names or codes.
  • Make site search width of the text input field to 27-characters wide so that users can see the whole name of the product they are entering.
  • Visitors should go to product pages and instead category pages
  • Only to suggesting the search query, but also suggesting the most relevant products.

Auto-complete site search

Make a site search auto-complete which suggests possible terms when visitors start typing the first letters of a keyword. Minimize the risk of misspellings and therefore inaccurate results.

Breadcrumb navigation

Make a location-based breadcrumb trail; begin with a link to the website’s home page and end with the current page. 

It helps visitors go to a broader category (higher-level page) from the page they are on. Also it helps them understand and navigate your website’s hierarchy and reduce bounce rate.

Home page

This may be the most important web page you have. This page will introduce your brand and outline the user experience for the rest of your website. This should be one of the main areas of your e-commerce site that you continue to improve.

Clear direction

Give visitors direction with words and visuals to direct them on what to do next. Show people exactly where you want them to go to help them get to the products that they’re looking for.

Carousal (large sliding images or graphic content)

Instead auto-rotating slides or user click on navigation arrow, make carousal tabular style with descriptive, meaningful labels that incentivize users to click. It increases click-through-rates and guide users what they want.

Segmented categories

Set up different product categories on your homepage to drive visitors to the right sections of your website. You may have many different product categories on your e-commerce store, so have areas to click on your home page to get people to those categories. This is so they don’t have to think about where they need to navigate.

Highlight best selling items

Inform users which items are your best selling. It helps users saving the time find the products that most other people have purchased.

Offer boxes

Make Offer Boxes like Free delivery, Reduced price, Sale, Saving etc. Boxes should include product image and short description. Product image and title should link to respective product page.

Educational information

Write how-to articles, make videos, demonstrations and links to FAQs. This will help educate visitors about your products.

Exit pop-ups

Add a “Wait, don’t go!” exit pop-up to help keep people on the site.

Category page (Product listing page)

This is one of the major templates for an e-commerce website. It can be linked from navigation and the homepage, and also receive dedicated, paid advertising traffic. People arriving at these sections will want to click or scroll. If they are not able to find the items they are looking for, they will exit the page.

Clear headline

Make a clear headline telling people what section of the site they have arrived at.

Faceted search and navigation

Incorporate faceted search and navigation technology on left column to filter items. When people arrive at your product category pages, they might want to filter through different inventory to figure out the right product for them.

For instance, if you have a clothing company, many people don’t wear the same size clothes. So they’ll narrow down their search results based on gender, size, color, and price. Faceted searches will let you do that.

Reset filters

Allow people to reset all filters revert page to original content.

Quick checkout

Have the ability to add items directly from the category page. Maybe there’s a quick browse overlay when they click a product specifically, this allows the ability to checkout a lot quicker.

Review stars

Add star icons for each product. It will tell people that others have reviewed those products. This will influence people to learn about those items.

Clear price

Display pricing clearly and easy to scan.

Display retail and sale pricing

Show the original retail price and have it crossed out with the online sale price next to it. People consciously do not want to pay full price for items. This psychologically helps influence purchases.

Products sorting

Allow visitors sorting products by name, price, reviews etc.

Products compare

Allow visitors to compare products as selected.

Infinite scrolling

Infinite scrolling is a great way to determine the list of items that load on page.  It controls the bounce rate and improves user time-spend on a page. If your site has Pagination, replace it with Infinite scrolling.

Product detail page

This is the page that explains everything about the individual product item. Not only is this page important for conversions, but it is also great for search engine rankings. These very specific item detail pages are one of the best sections of your website to optimize to improve conversion rates.

Product title

Display a clear product name as headline. Product title can either sit directly above the image or at the top of the page to the right of the image.

Product summary

Summarize a product in brief immediate after the product title.

Full product description

Detailed product description gives users clear idea about the product and help in buying decision. Unique product description also helps improving search engine rankings.

Product specification

For computer, technology items, add product features and specifications in full details.

Product reviews

Add reviews to your product detail pages because people want to know what other people thought of your particular products. Showing those reviews will help increase conversion.

Live chat (or a prominent contact number)

Customers may have questions about a product or some other part of the purchase process, so offering live chat or a prominent contact number can be an effective way of saving a few sales. Add the product phone number near the “Add to Cart” button is also a great way to make purchases.

Stock status

Tell visitors the product is in stock. Answer all of the questions people have before they arrive at your site.
If it’s a limited product of which you don’t have a lot of inventory, tell them that there are only a few items left. If they’re really interested, they will likely buy that product because it has limited inventory.

Change order quantity

Users should update or change quantity.

Clear price

Display clear pricing of product.

Show retail and sale pricing

Show the original retail price and have it crossed out with the online sale price next to it. People consciously do not want to pay full price for items. This psychologically helps influence purchases.

Social proof

Users like to buy things that other people have bought. Display how many users have purchased that item. It shows demand of product and build trust on new customers.

Related items

Display related items on product page increase engagement and reduce bounce rate. For example, “Customers like you also purchased these items.”

Ability to enlarge images

Make it easier for visitors to learn what a product looks like.

Zoom in products

It’s essential to let customers see products in detail, so let them zoom in to specific areas.

Multiple images

Users like to see products from a range of angles.

360 degree view of products

If supported, this is a great way to show products from various angles.

Product videos

Having product videos or demonstrations is a great way to give your customers more details about the items you’re selling.

“Add to Cart” button

Make it nice and clear “Add to Cart” button that stand out from other elements on the page.

Offer “Add to Cart” confirmation

When user clicks the “add to cart” button, display a message that confirms the item has been added to the shopping cart. Reinsure users and influences them to continue shopping or begin the checkout process.

Wishlist

It allows shoppers to bookmark items for future purchase, and gives the retailer an opportunity to learn more about the customer, and remind them when they return to the site, or perhaps with a well targeted email.

Social sharing buttons

Let shoppers promote your product for you. They may not buy it, but if it goes on social media, then your products will reach a wider audience. Make it easy for users to do this with sharing buttons.

Color options

Display the available color options of products and, if possible, show images of how they look.

Size options

Display the available size options of products.

Size guide

These are the types of questions people will have before purchasing from your store. Providing a comprehensive size guide and information can help to minimize returns rates.

Make a size guide as a link directly above the size options. When displaying size guide content, keep the consumer in the product detail page.

Delivery information

The ability to get items delivered within a particular time scale and at a cost that the users considers reasonable is a big part of a buyers’ purchase decision.

Returns policy

Display clear terms about how long they have to return your products, how a customer can return a product and details of the refund policy.

Recently viewed products

When browsing through sites with large product mixes this can be helpful.

Highlight special offers

If you’re offering a discount on orders over a certain amount that day, or providing free shipping, shout about it. It’s a sales driver.

Recommended products

While customers are thinking of buying one product, there may be complimentary items they are also likely to want. Offering relevant recommendations on product pages can increase average order values.

Show testimonials

Repurpose one of your best reviews for a specific product and display it large and above the fold. This helps support your social proof.

Reinforcing icons

Create a set of icons or text bullet list reinforcing people of your credibility and ensuring them that they can shop with confidence. Some items you can include in this are the money back guarantee, warranty options, details of how long you’ve been in business, the benefits of purchasing from your store.

Shopping cart

When it comes to e-commerce sites and shopping cart flows, usability testing is more than good practice. It’s a precious tool that helps uncover missed opportunities and dollars left on the table. When the site is honest and clear with visitors about how checkout works and what happens next—usually takes the cake for best conversion rate.

Product image

Display product image enough large for clear visibility.

Product name

Show product name clearly.

Change order quantity

Users can update product quantity from cart page.

Delete product

Users can delete products from cart page.

Select delivery option

Enable visitors to choose delivery option from multiple choices. If you offer free delivery, make it default.

VAT & Taxes

Differentiate VAT & Taxes (if applicable) and display them in total payment summary.

Cart from any page

Make a Cart visible with items from any page. Ideally it displays from top right corner in header section.

Item total

Display item’s total only.

Payment summary

Display Total payment. This will help people know the final amount before starting checkout process. Summarize every associated cost for the payment which may include item total, shipping, taxes, promotional codes etc.

Promotional Code

Enable visitors to add promotional code and make it functional to calculate applicable pricing in total payment summary.

Main navigation

Remove the main navigation and any other links that distract visitors from checkout process. The main intent of the shopping cart page is to get people to review the items before they checkout. Having less links on the page will get more people to the checkout process.

Check-out button

  • Add checkout buttons to the top of the page that will get people to the next step.
  • The final check-out button should be very clear and differentiate from other buttons.
  • Use call-to-action text like “Submit Order” or “Proceed to Secure Checkout”.

Continue shopping

Give visitors the option to continue shopping from the checkout page.

Secure icon

Add a security icon that tells people the process is secure and increases the credibility of your shopping cart page. It indicates secure process and build trust you with site purchases.

Multiple payment methods

Display icons for the credits and other payment methods that you offer. This will ensure users know the ways they are able to pay.

PayPal button

When you offer PayPal express, you can have customers skip your checkout process and use the version from PayPal. Make a PayPal button clear and show near Check-out button.

Shipping cost

Users like how much shipping is going to be for their items on this page before proceeding for checkout process. Display shipping cost clearly from other cost.

Shipping methods / options

If you have various shipping options such as – Standard, Express, Priority etc. offers to choose from.

Shipping icon

Display icons from the shipping company. This way, the customer knows who to expect delivering the package.

Different currencies

Offer ways to buy in the currency of their countries. If you are a global company and you sell all over the world, ensure that buyers can purchase in their own currency.

Live chat (or a prominent contact number)

Buyers have questions about a product or some other part of the purchase process, so offering live chat or a prominent contact number can be an effective way to reduce the shopping cart abandonment rate.

shop with confidence

Make a box that tells people exactly about your company in just a couple of bullets is a great way to increase conversion. A classic “shop with confidence” box will have the following details:

  • Money-back guarantee
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • A secure online payment process
  • A no-hassle return policy
  • How fast their item(s) will ship

Checkout

For the Ecommerce owners, shopping cart abandonment and conversion rate drops on a checkout page seem to be a bitter fact of e-commerce life. But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you can increase conversion rates on your checkout page by helping to give your shopper everything they need to make an informed, confident decision. Check this review and use it to optimize your checkout page for higher conversion rates.

Order summary

Display contents of their baskets and the total cost of the order so it reminds people they don’t have to leave the checkout for this information.

Website security (SSL badges)

Trust badges increase buyer confidence, just like seeing the green lock from SSL certificates does. Customers are more likely to trust your checkout process and purchase from your site.

Main navigation

Remove the main navigation and any other links that may distract visitors from checkout process. The main intent of the shopping cart page is to get people to review the items before they checkout. Having less links on the page will get more people to the checkout process.

Progress bar

If you are using multi-page checkout, display the steps that users will experience over the next stages. A progress bar at the very top will answer those questions and manage people’s expectations of how long the checkout process will take.

Guest checkout

Guest checkout is the number-one thing people ask for as they arrive at an e-commerce checkout process. Having guest checkout will dramatically increase your conversion.

Multiple ways of payment

Ensure users can payments via their convenient payment methods such as Credits, PayPal, Google Checkout.

Email opt-in

Store owners need to think about attracting new customers, retaining them, engaging them – then ultimately doing all the other activity needed to drive long term value (i.e. optimizing for conversions or life-time value).

Over 40% of all online revenue comes from returning customers. Email so the biggest drivers for returning customers. Having a strategy for getting users onto your email list is paramount for the growth of your business.

Have a global opt-in form

Add opt-in form in the sidebar or footer in every page of your website. This will help get people on your e-mail list to receive special offers and news.

Show a pop-up overlay

Add a pop-up overlay for new visitors will get people onto your e-mail list. You can do e-mail opt-ins for special offers or promo codes for first-time, unique visitors.

Examples

  • Be the first to know
  • Get the hottest deals before they sell out
  • Stay in touch & in style
  • Don’t miss out our new products or savings or exclusive offers

Give away something for free

Give away something for free will influence users to purchase from you later down the road.

Examples

  • Receive a free gift with your first purchase
  • Get $10 voucher
  • Get 10% OFF on your entire order

How To Build A Free Email List (Fast) For Ecommerce Stores?

Company pages

About oage

Add company information such as history, philosophy, corporate presentation video, people, contact details etc.

Shipping information

On this page, answer the questions like How fast does it ship? When does it ship? What are the shipping options? Show delivery prices, timescales and tracking options.

Returns policy

Display clear terms about how long they have to return your products, how a customer can return a product and details of the refund policy.

Privacy policy

Add a privacy page and write all the information / data you collect from the user, the purpose of collecting these data and how you will use in future.

Contact page

All contact options including email, telephone, and mail address.

Store locator

If you operate physical stores, add all locations with address and phone number on this page. Add a Google Map and directions  on this page.

General FAQ

If supported, add frequently asked questions which help your visitors to know your products, offers, terms and policies.

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