Guide to Online Shopping Website Usability and Functionability

Year after year, we see improvements in web browsing, internet speed, online shopping cart systems, payment methods, shipping processes, and as well as website design that even when the world experiences economic downtown, online transactions and businesses have stayed strong. In fact, a lot of physical stores have closed down and just continued doing business transactions online-bringing the business in all parts of the world for as long as it has an internet connection.

There’s no rocket science in actually making an online website a success, but there are ways for you to create an online shopping website that can guide you to it.

Website Usability and Functionality is Important

Online shoppers like browsing through the pages of your website before finally purchasing a product or two. With this, you must ensure that your website loads quickly to make online shoppers enjoy browsing.

Improve Website Navigation

One of the ways to improve a website’s usability and functionality is giving attention to website navigation. Call to action images, buttons, and links should be visible enough on the first page of the website because they capture website leads.

The website navigation menu should also be visible and functional. The best way to organize a navigation menu is to categorize or sort the different areas of the website. Popular examples are Home, About Us, Products and Services, FAQ, and Contact Us Page. Under the Products and Services tab may contain sub categories.

The importance of improving website navigation is that it allows users to browse through the pages of the website in a very organized manner which increases usability and positivity of user experience. In other words, it will be pleasing for web users, builds rapport, and increases website credibility. One of the ways to improve website navigation is by way of letting users know where they are in the page all the time and how they can go back to the previous pages or jump to other pages easily. Providing website breadcrumbs allow users to know where they are exactly in the site while browsing for website pages. An example of a breadcrumb looks like this:

You are here: Products > Men’s Section > Top > Casual > Striped T-shirt

Each section of the breadcrumb should be linked accordingly so that users can effectively browse and jump to other pages without too much of a hassle.

Providing Search Tool

The search tool is usually seen in the top right section of every online shopping website. More than 50% of online shoppers prefer using the search tool because it is quicker to provide them with results more than browsing through the main website navigation menu. Therefore, it is convenient and important for users. This increases the usability of the page. However, some search buttons are not functioning the way they should or do not have the ability to do custom search within the website. Before launching the site and the following website maintenance activities, developers should always check if the search tool is providing accurate results. Provide a well-designed 404 page should your online customers search for something that your website does not provide. This is to ensure that you ensure your online customers that they’re still in your site and lead them back to the home page.

Optimizing the Contact Details and Contact Us Page

Some online shopping websites have their contact details such as email, toll free number, and fax number ready and visible in the top right part of the pages of the website. Providing users with your contact information increases trust and credibility. Online shoppers sometimes check if your website is legit by calling or sending an email that you provided. The “Contact Us” page should also contain details as to how to reach you, and a contact form is helpful as well.


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