5 Ways To Improve Website Form UX

5 Ways To Improve Website Form UX

4 MIN READ

 One of the most important elements to any website is the forms the user is required to complete while visiting, which are often the only way to get the information you need to capture. As they are direct requests for information, if designed correctly, they should be clear to understand and easy to complete. 

Forms exist for many reasons and getting website form UX right is key to providing a good customer experience. In this article, we look at a simple account registration form, but there are many other examples; newsletter signups, marketing preferences, eCommerce checkouts to name a few.

1. Start with a plan 

Before building your website form, think about the fields you require. Consider their order and whether every field of your form is strictly necessary for the context the user sees it.

In our scenario, the user will be signing up for an account with an online fashion retailer. Think about what is required from the user for them to become a registered user?

In our example, we will request their name, email address, password. That’s it! We do not require a date of birth or telephone number. This may be useful in some instances, but to sell clothes online we do not require any further information just yet.

2. Keep forms easy to read and well labelled

Ensuring a user can understand the form they are using is vital, a frustrated user will happily leave the site if they can’t accomplish what they need to in a reasonable amount of time. 

Website forms should always have labels, always! They are visual indicators to the user, explaining what the input they are using is designed for. Labels are not the same as placeholders and should be treated differently. Consider if a user completes a form using autofill, the placeholder information is removed from view, the user is then unable to confirm the correct information is in the correct input.

Ensure your inputs are easily distinguishable from the background they are on and large enough to be tapped/clicked without difficulty.

3. Keep errors inline and to the point

If a user enters data incorrectly let them know immediately. Telling them they didn’t enter something in the correct way after they submit the form is likely to frustrate them. This seems like less of a big deal with a short form like our example, but grow that form to 10 inputs and the frustration for the user also grows with it.

Use concise wording in plain language the user can easily skim read and understand how to rectify their mistake. “Input empty” is not very descriptive, “E-mail is required” is a more detailed error message, which informs the user the input they need to correct. 

Consider using icons in addition to your errors to link the input to the error.

4. Use placeholders to enrich your form

Sometimes a user may misunderstand exactly what is needed, placeholders can help users understand what is required before typing. An example may be if you are asking for the user’s date of birth and you would like the information as dd/mm/yyyy you could offer that information before the starts typing. 

However tempting it is, placeholders should not be used as input labels.

5. Help mobile users with contextual inputs

Using the correct input type can help your mobile users massively. If we require an email address use the email input type. This means the keyboard displayed will provide easy access to the email-specific keyboard. Another example of this is a telephone, use the tel input type. This will display the phone number keyboard layout which is much easier to use when adding a telephone number to a form. 

These small improvements can really help speed up a users form submission time. They set the expectation and limit the choices a user has to make.

Summary

By applying everything from above you will have a clear and understandable form with good usability across devices, and a form that has understandable errors and pointers for the user to reduce chances of an error ever occurring. 

Remembering to plan well and build on that is vital for each form. Every website form is a barrier to something, whether that is the newsletter, the purchase of a product, understanding when an item is back in stock. We have to ensure the forms we request our users to complete provide value, if they don’t we should question if they are needed at all.

Further Reading

Sign Up To Our Monthly Newsletter

Have our latest blog posts, company and industry news delivered direct to your inbox.

Andy Lyon
28th November 2019

Why Having A Mobile-First Website Is Critical To Your eCommerce Success

Why Having A Mobile-First Website Is Critical To Your eCommerce Success

4 MIN READ
Long gone are the days of physical keypads, downloading ringtones and playing Snake on your phone. Now, our smartphones are built to do so much more, supporting pretty much every aspect of our lives. They’re intuitive and thanks to advances in Machine Learning, they’re learning more about us day-to-day. One thing we’re definitely doing more of on our phones is shopping. In fact, at the time of writing (Nov 2019) according to OuterBox, 79% of us have made a purchase using our smartphones in the past 6 months. Hands up if you’re one of them – I know I am! This growing trend is showing no sign of slowing down and is why you need to adopt a mobile-first approach to your eCommerce website design.

Mobile-first design is a Ronseal term – it does exactly what it says on the tin. Moving away from the more traditional/outdated desktop-first approach to website design, mobile-first means that the website is initially designed for mobile devices. From this, the design is scaled up to meet the requirements of other, larger devices and desktop.

Designers creating desktop-only sites need to adapt to growing consumer trends. 85% of people think a companies mobile website should be as good, or better, than the desktop site.

But, why use a mobile-first approach when it comes to eCommerce?

Mobile-first = customer-first

Customers play a fundamental part in all retail businesses – where would you be without them? Everything you do has to be customer-focused. They need to be considered at every step of your strategy including when it comes to designing your website. A mobile-first approach helps when it comes to converting shoppers, more people are shopping on mobile than ever before, so you need to cater to this growing segment of your customer base.

Benefits SEO with Google’s mobile-first indexing

Google announced this summer that they will be indexing all new websites mobile-first, this means that Google’s bots will consider the mobile sites and rank them before the desktop version. Designing mobile-first stands you in the best stead for better ranking on Google.

Helps prioritise your content and message 

When designing for a smaller screen, you have to ask yourself, what is most important? You have to pick out and prioritise the content that will support your message and buyer journey in the simplest way considering not only the smaller area you have to deal with but also that mobile users tend to be more time-sensitive and want to make purchases and find information quickly. From here, building out your content for desktop is much easier, and you can begin to include more detailed content and further information. It’s a good lesson in whats waffle and what isn’t when starting with the stripped back version first.

Builds out into more aesthetically pleasing websites

Working mobile-first means dealing with less space. It gives you a solid foundation for scaling up to desktop, helping you focus on the most essential design and functionality elements.

Many desktop elements don’t translate well to mobile, such as flash, certain images, menu and navigation functions, which often get rearranged rather than redesigned for mobile, resulting in aesthetically poor and difficult to use websites.

By focusing on the key functional elements needed when designing mobile-first, it increases productivity by saving time on the design elements that often comes with desktop-first design – ie, more space to fill! This means designers who opt for this approach end up building more practical websites, honing in on the most important aspects, resulting in more aesthetically pleasing, clean designs that don’t overload the end-user.

Supports in-store, mobile browsing shoppers

In-store and mobile experiences are merging like never before as shoppers are using their smartphones to find information on products and pricing while browsing in physical stores. A study by Power Review has shown that 80% of consumers use their mobiles to search product reviews while shopping in-store. Not just this, but people are also sourcing information on pricing and comparing products on their phones instore while making purchase decisions. By catering to these shoppers needs, you’ll make their experience smoother – and a good experience will help lead to them making their purchase with you.

Final thoughts 

While mobile visits are on the rise for many eCommerce sites, conversion on the whole is not growing at the same speed. Poor experiences, checkout issues and navigation problems are among some of the common issues that are preventing users from completing purchases on mobile. Retailers not focusing on the importance of a mobile-first approach benefiting them are potentially missing out.

Increasingly, our ability to access the internet from wherever, whenever and on whatever device means that retailers need to adapt to this trend. Desktop is still important, but you need to make the changes now to appeal to the growing mobile customer base.

Is your website not yet mobile responsive? We’re currently researching the main challenges for retailers whose websites aren’t responsive.
If you can spare a couple of minutes, take part in our survey and be in with a chance of winning 1 of 10 £25 Amazon vouchers for your time!

Sign Up To Our Monthly Newsletter

Have our latest blog posts, company and industry news delivered direct to your inbox.

Charlotte McKee
27th November 2019

How To Use Customer Reviews As A Powerful Way To Boost Sales

How To Use Customer Reviews As A Powerful Way To Boost Sales

6 MIN READ

Customer reviews are extremely important for eCommerce websites. They’re a wonderful way to build your reputation, trustworthiness and inspire conversions, driving sales efficiently. Someone else talking about how great your product is is way more authentic than you talking about how great it is. People love this authenticity and actively seek it out, with a whopping 93% of people saying that online reviews impact their buying decisions. 

With this in mind, it’s clear to see why you should use customer reviews for eCommerce and start leveraging reviews on your website if you don’t already.

How to start generating customer reviews on your website

 

If you’re new to customer reviews or aren’t seeing an uptake in people submitting them, there are a few things you can do to help generate more. For starters, the more reviews, the better; customers have an innate trust when it comes to the amount of people buying your product and taking the time to leave a review. 

If you’re wanting to generate more reviews, why not consider the following approaches? 

Post-purchase emails

Include a feedback request email in your post-purchase email campaign (along with thank you, and product recommendation emails). This prompt makes it easy for customers to have their say by providing a link in the email to an easy to fill out form or review submission page. 

 

Easy to submit forms 

Amazon’s feedback forms are a great example of an incredibly accessible and simple review form. To drive responses, your forms need to be as easy as possible for a customer to submit, so it doesn’t seem like an intrusion on their day.

Incentivise your review requests

Consider offering entry into a prize draw or running a competition to drive customer reviews. It’s a brilliant way to boost engagement and also delight the lucky customer who does win. 

 

Showcase your customer reviews 

Now you’ve got a steady stream of reviews coming in for your products, what do you do with them? Use them to your advantage and display them in prime locations on your website that will naturally encourage conversions. 

 

Online 

Don’t file reviews away in some dusty corner of your website, instead, feature them on your product pages. The more accessible they are for potential buyers, the better. A lot of people are page scanners, only seeking out the standout points of information – display star ratings with complementary visuals next to product descriptions.  

 

In-store 

A recent study by Power Review reveals that 80% of shoppers search product reviews for health and beauty items while in-store, with 48% reading between 1 and 5 reviews while in-store before buying. 

Cater to these customers by making reviews easy to access on your website, but also take them offline and display next to products in-store. Utilise your shelving and displays to showcase them, and try pairing with in-store special offers too. 

 

Marketing campaigns 

Work customer reviews into your marketing efforts by including them in targeted campaigns. Personalise where you can using past purchases, interests or locations. Think about paid ads and social media campaigns and how you can incorporate your reviews here too.

Use reviews to gain better insights for customers 

A fantastic use of customer reviews is to generate further product information through them. It’s a golden opportunity to provide shoppers in the decision-making process as much information as possible to drive the conversion. 

 

Sizing information 

H&M does this really well. Their ‘fit guide’ is a part of their review process, asking customers on the overall fit and quality of the product, collating this information in an overall score on the product page, helping customers make better decisions on products.

These aspects give more well-rounded review information and also helps reduce the number of customer returns due to poor fit. 

User-generated content 

As a part of the review process, it’s a great idea to enable customers to upload pictures of the product. 

Pet supply retailer Zooplus are great at this and most products come with a set of pictures submitted by customers of their furry friends posing with their new products. It’s a really nice touch and allows customers to see what the product might look like in their home too. 

Consider establishing a hashtag for sourcing user-generated content you can use for promoting items (just make sure you always ask for permission before using someone’s picture from their social media!)

Dealing with negative reviews 

How you deal with negative customer reviews and poor feedback (especially when public-facing) can make or break you. As many as 87% of sites don’t bother responding to negative user reviews, so there is a huge service gap with this, where you can stand out amongst the competition should you come up against this. Turning a negative into a positive is an immensely attractive quality that future customers will take into consideration when in the decision process. It could well end up having more leverage on their final buying decision than the negative review itself! 

Don’t shy away from negative reviews, embrace them. You can definitely use them to your advantage. 

 

Don’t take it personally


As a business owner, you’re naturally going to be defensive of your company, service, and product. Same goes for anyone working for you in customer service roles, hopefully, they’re brand advocates and will want to spread the word of how fantastic your company is – so when a negative review pops up, it can be a hard pill to swallow (whether the comments are founded or not.) Take a step back and remain objective and professional in your response. 

 

Learn from it 

Reviews provide the opportunity to update content or fix problems with the item where necessary. This could be anything from the representations of the product on site not matching up to expectations in real life, sizing issues or fabric quality and durability.

 Functionality issues are often cited in poor reviews, such as items claiming to be waterproof or leakproof but aren’t. If you’re receiving a high volume of reviews like this, use the feedback to fix the problem at product level. 

Respond to these reviewers where appropriate, and let them know that action is being taken to make improvements based on their comments. People will appreciate the gesture and feel actively involved in your brand – turning a negative into something much more positive! 

 

Monitor and engage with reviews 

From time to time you may need to deal with angry or unreasonable reviews. They’re never going to be pleasant to read, but it’s important to monitor your reviews so when you do receive one like this, you can deal with it and respond accordingly. Some ways you can engage with a negative review in a positive way are: 

  • Thoroughly answer any questions customers may position in the review.

  • Offer a resolution, they might not be using the item correctly or have misunderstood aftercare procedures that are resulting in problems. 

  • Offer to replace the item, or suggest an alternative where appropriate.

  • Give a gift of goodwill – however, be careful with this as to not damage your bottom line! Where appropriate, this is a nice touch to resolving certain issues for customers.

Engaging with positive reviews 

While responding to bad reviews is important, you should still also acknowledge positive reviews – a quick thank you can go a long way. According to Invesp, consumers are willing to spend 31% more with a business that has great reviews. 

Engaging with positive reviews humanises your brand and people really appreciate small touches like this. Be careful not to over-do it though, don’t respond to every single review as that looks disingenuous!

Final thoughts 

Find a way that works for you in generating and engaging with reviews inline with your brand. Regardless of whether you’re dealing with a positive or negative review, you can leverage them to create brand awareness and drive sales.

Sign Up To Our Monthly Newsletter

Have our latest blog posts, company and industry news delivered direct to your inbox.

Charlotte McKee
20th November 2019

10 Reasons People Are Leaving Your Website…And How To Get Them To Stay

10 Reasons People Are Leaving Your Website…And How To Get Them To Stay

5 MIN READ

It’s one thing getting people to visit your website, it’s another getting them to stick around and buy something. You need a website that is aesthetically pleasing, super-fast and offers a wonderful user experience. 

 

Unfortunately, there are many retailers out there who aren’t getting it right. You’re probably reading this because you’re noticing large numbers of drop-offs and abandonment on your site. But, fear not, we’re going to take a deeper look into where you’re probably going wrong, and how to fix it. It’s time to consider what could be making your potential customers hit the back button! 

1. Poor design

First impressions count. Research has found that it only takes 0.05 seconds for a visitor to make a snap judgement about your site, determining if they’re going to stay on-site or leave. A well designed and good looking website will create a greater sense of trustworthiness for users compared to one that is poorly designed. People attach credibility to the overall feel and look of a website, so don’t let poor design get in the way of your sales. 

 

2. Excessive pop-ups and adverts

A newsletter pop up is good, pop-ups for discounts and sign up offers are even better – yes, I would like 10% off my first order, thanks. But anything more than this on eCommerce websites will begin driving potential customers away. Don’t use forms that cover the whole page and always show how to click off the pop-up – there’s nothing more annoying and jarring for customers than not being able to find their way back to the original page thanks to a stubborn pop-up.

 

3. Speed problems 

According to Kissmetrics, 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load. That may not sound like a long time but it’s enough to make potential customers jump ship. If your website is slow, you’re going to be missing out on valuable sales. Make sure you test your site speed and carry out the necessary steps to fix any potential issues.

Page loading times can be affected by things like: 

 

  • Image size and image format 
  • Using flash content 
  • Not compressing files 
  • Allowing too many adverts 
  • Using a poor quality hosting provider 

4. Not mobile responsive 

In today’s mobile-centric world, retailers who don’t yet have mobile responsive websites are really missing a trick. In fact, 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a business that has a poor mobile website. If you’re operating without a mobile responsive website, it won’t be providing a good user experience, resulting in higher numbers of people leaving. You need to make mobile experiences just as efficient as on desktop to keep users on-site and converting, regardless of device.

5. Lack of company information 

People buy from people and it’s a really nice addition to have company information on your website, like an ‘About Us’ page or ‘Meet The Team’ style pages. It can be overlooked however or not seen as too important but adding this extra layer of personality to your website can do wonders for your conversion rates by generating trust and a company history that people can resonate with.

6. Poor navigation

 

If a user lands on your website and doesn’t know how to navigate it to find what they want easily, they’ll end up leaving. Make it straightforward and accessible to explore your website – test it as if you are a customer, make the journey they would and assess how you get on finding different products. 

You may also consider things like; how well does the search functionality work? How many options are they presented with? Too many and the information overload will lead to higher bounce rates, too little and you are risking the same outcome. Get the balance right and people will stick around after being able to find what they’re there for! 

7. The product doesn’t live up to expectations 

 

If you’ve been running a campaign to direct customers to your website and once there, the product doesn’t match up, this will definitely lead to drop-offs. If the item description and images don’t quite match up people will simply go elsewhere. Counter this with consistent and genuine communication of what you’re selling throughout all contact points and on the product pages.

8. Autoplaying media 

 

The most annoying one by far! When you click onto a website the last thing you need is to get bombarded with invasive video media, or sound. Remember, it’s a website not a MySpace profile circa 2002 – no one wants to hear a song (or video) on autoplay. If you think this media has a place on your website, make sure it’s optional to interact with it and positioned in fitting with the design – not obtrusive over the entire page.

9. Outdated content 

 

I may be biased here, but outdated content on any site is a no-no if you want to come across well. It’s something I notice quite often and every time, it makes me think twice about making a purchase. If you’ve got a blog, make sure you keep the content up to date. An inactive blog doesn’t give off a good image for the business and you can keep it up to date with really fun, relevant content; seasonal buying guides, new product launches, company news etc. 

This also goes for product pages; keep them updated and the content relevant and fresh. Invest in free browser extension Grammarly to make sure you’re void of typos and grammatical errors; the more professional the written content on your website is, people will stay. Poor copy, lack of up-to-date content and missing information will inevitably result in people leaving your website.

10. Hidden costs and delivery info 

 

Transparency is key when it comes to delivery and shipping costs. A dedicated page for your delivery prices and general delivery information will help users make an informed decision about buying from you. Not having this information available will lead to customers dropping off and buying elsewhere. Linking to the above, keep this information up to date and always make relevant changes to shipping details for seasonal periods!

With such a lot of competition out there in retail and eCommerce, it’s so important to offer your customers a fantastic experience while on your website; keeping them on-site and converting. It’s no mean feat, so if you’re looking for help with this, get in touch and find out how the Venditan team can help improve your eCommerce website. 

 

Sign Up To Our Monthly Newsletter

Have our latest blog posts, company and industry news delivered direct to your inbox.

Charlotte McKee
18th November 2019

State of the Art eCommerce: Venditan & Baymard

State of the Art eCommerce: Venditan & Baymard

3 MIN READ

Stop making the wrong choices when it comes to growing your eCommerce business. 

 

It’s a highly competitive market out there for retailers and standing out is essential if you want to succeed. With the unparalleled research that Baymard conducts into eCommerce design and UX, you can gain a unique perspective and insight into the world’s leading eCommerce sites, learning from their best practices. Their client list speaks for itself. Names like eBay, Amazon, Google, Nike, Macy’s, and Lego adorn their partnership of over 3,000 eCommerce companies that use their research – including 71% of all Fortune 500 eCommerce companies. 

 

About Baymard Institute 

Baymard conducts large-scale research, amounting to over 42,000 hours, into eCommerce UX design using a variety of methodologies. Using both quantitative and qualitative testing, Baymard benchmarks over 640 different parameters across the top 60 grossing US and European eCommerce websites.  Their research is invaluable to eCommerce companies, identifying issues with usability that could be hindering their performance and providing the knowledge of how to fix these problems in a professional, thorough and accessible way. 

Using Baymard’s research helps remove speculation and subjectivity when it comes to the initial design process and optimisation. Armed with this knowledge, we’re able to make the right decisions that boost conversions and sales by keeping the end-user in mind throughout the process. 

 

eCommerce Design 

Website design fundamentally answers problems that may be occurring on the current website. The most effective design work is based on facts; it informs everything from general usability to how users interact with certain elements and behaviours. For eCommerce companies, the primary driver is to generate sales, and therefore, make the buying process convenient and easy to complete for the customer.

When planning out what you want your new eCommerce website to look and feel like, you’re probably filled to the brim with wonderful ideas you think your customers will love. However, at this point you need to ask yourself; how grounded in fact is your opinion? And how do you know that this design will drive conversions and increase your sales? Without the right research, you don’t. 

Finding the sweet spot between creative, great looking aesthetics and objective frameworks based on facts is important in creating the best experience on eCommerce websites for your users. This is where our partnership of using Baymard research comes in when leveraging UX best practices for eCommerce websites – leading to tangible results for our clients. 

How it’s helping our clients 

 Baymard’s research benefits the fantastic companies we work with day to day, giving them an advantage in an already competitive industry. Working with retailer Schöffel, Baymard’s research inspired a number of the decisions we made when approaching improving their website. From redesigning their header, updating call to action colours to contrast their main brand colours, and increasing font size, to adding secondary images and size availability on hovering.

These design changes along with our own inhouse ideation on development saw a vast improvement in their conversion rates.  Within the three months after these changes were implemented, we saw an increase to 22.4% eCommerce conversion rate, not to mention an increase of 13.2% for their average order value.  

While A/B testing has its place, doing this sort of testing in-house usually means dealing with smaller data sets. The larger data sets Baymard are able to test give a broader insight into the industry and large retailers in it, in an impartial way that is accessible for businesses of all sizes to use. For us, it’s also given us a better understanding of UX and eCommerce that filters through all the departments in Venditan from sales and marketing, to account management and development. This knowledge shows through when dealing with clients at all touchpoints in their journey with us. 

 

Final thoughts 

Baymard’s effective and unrivalled research is one of the most valuable additions to the eCommerce industry and all eCommerce companies can definitely benefit from it. 

Combining their insights with our best practices, carried out by some of the brightest and most innovative minds in eCommerce development – we’re empowering ambitious retailers to grow their businesses in the most secure and effective way possible. 

 

Find out more about the great work Baymard are doing here

Learn more about improving your website form UX from one of our experts here.

Want to start a project with us? Find out more here

 

Sign Up To Our Monthly Newsletter

Have our latest blog posts, company and industry news delivered direct to your inbox.

Charlotte McKee
14th November 2019