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Ecommerce Website Usability Testing

by Kath Dawson on March 7, 2011

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To increase traffic to your website is of course a major part of an online marketing strategy but don’t overlook the importance of what your visitors might be experiencing when they get there. Afterall, high volumes of traffic are useless to you if these visitors are not converting. There can be many factors to consider when looking at low or falling conversion rates.

Little glitches or errors will frustrate the user and more than likely turn them away; like a search function that doesn’t work properly or a slow loading page. Worse still, a shopping cart that fails to add the products or forms that have errors.

There is one particular tool that you may find very helpful for looking at how your visitors are interacting with your site and in particular handling your forms. Have a look at www.clicktale.com

Broken Links between pages or image links that go to the wrong place will not inspire confidence in the potential customer.

Poor Quality images of products will not show them to their best advantage or entice people to buy.

These are just some of the reasons visitors may exit your site and seek out your competititor. It is important to have your usability testing done by someone who is not already familiar with the site as they will pick up navigation issues for example. A new user will really tell you how intuative or easy it is to buy from your site.

Remember too that webusers can be fickle and unforgiving as they scan for the results they want. They also have increasingly high expectations making them harder to satisfy with sub standard websites. Don’t make them search too hard or make them fill endless forms or they will quickly lose interest. Website usability testing finds out how much time users might take to search for a particular product or item on your site; what are the difficulties faced by them while conducting the search; do they face any problems related to your website design and features, such as navigating from one web page to the other, opening up links, downloading images or content, and the like.

In a nutshell, website usability testing is an approach to calculate the ease-of-use quotient of your site. Here at SIM we have perfected a system of usability testing that has been invaluable to our clients. Give us your target audience demographic and we can arrange for comprehensive testing of your site with a full report.

Based on the website usability testing analysis, you can then apply the changes and correct glitches and errors in the knowledge that you will be improving your customer’s experience.

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About the Author

Kath is Creative Director at Strategy Digital, leading a team of very talented writers, designers, creatives and outreachers. She loves stretching her skill set and learning new things and is currently a student journalist and a budding photographer. Kath can always be found hanging out on Google+, so stop by and say hi.

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