James has been featured in a eCommerce magazine in Russia for the article: 5 tips for eCommerce web design in Russia.
To prepare for this article, we did a fair bit of Google-research; we were intrigued to learn how different the eCommerce challenges were for a country as vast as Russia (Did you know 80% of Russia’s online purchases are paid for in cash?). With those challenges taking up the minds of eCommerce managers, we oriented the article to provide UX best practices that are easy to identify and implement.
For the cyrillic-illiterate, the original English writeup is available below.
5 tips for eCommerce web design in Russia
Designing eCommerce websites is challenging. A successful product is one that has been designed with its users in mind. However, how do you design one website that is going to be used by hundreds, thousands, maybe even millions of your customers? Is it possible to design a website that all your users will find easy to use?
In this article, we talk about 5 tips on how you can design eCommerce websites that are easy to use. These tips are universal and are based upon best design practices in the user experience industry.
1. Show users the product they are buying
– Buying a product online requires a high degree of trust and good faith. Online customers can’t touch and feel the product they’re buying, and yet they are being asked to part with their money.
– To tackle that, show users as much of the product as possible. Show them multiple pictures of the product from different angles. Share user manuals and instructions. Provide as much information about the product as you can. Create an experience where users feel as if they know everything about the product and what they will be buying.
2. Avoid chunks of text
– Research has shown that users don’t read online; they scan. Avoid long paragraphs of text. Break content into sections. Use bullets to itemise key points.
– This allows users to scan the page and quickly isolate the content they are looking for. Once they find the content they are looking for, users are motivated to read it.
3. Clear call to action
– After convincing a customer that he needs a product, the worst thing to do is to make it difficult to buy.
– Have a clear call to action (e.g. Buy now). Use a button (not a link). This should be the primary action on the product page. All other actions should not receive as much attention.
4. Short checkout forms
– Filling out a long checkout form (before you can buy something online) is like a long queue at the checkout counter: nobody likes it and it’s a waste of time.
– Emotionally, users are left wondering why they are the ones who have to jump through hoops when they are the customer. They’re paying good money for the product; shouldn’t they be served instead?
– Only ask for the minimum amount of information you need to complete the checkout. For additional information (e.g. signup for newsletter etc), ask it after. Users are more likely to provide this information once they’ve been satisfied with your service.
5. Contact us
– Some organisations deliberately make their contact information difficult to find in order to reduce their call centre costs.
– In this day and age, users are going to find you one way or the other. So why hide? Also, making yourself difficult to reach irritates users, breeds a sense of distrust and contempt within them.
– The fact is, users are contacting you for a good reason. Think of it as an opportunity to deepen your relationship with your customer and to build trust in your business and product. Make it easy for customers to contact you.