You’ve got a great product, your marketing is perfect, and you’ve got more traffic on your site than you can handle. So why aren’t you selling more? 

There’s a good chance that it has something to do with your website. \

There are plenty of reasons for site users to not complete a purchase. These can range from simply deciding not to buy a product to needing to think on the purchase to not being able to complete it. 

There isn’t much you can do about a user who doesn’t want to purchase a product. But what about the users that run into issues? That’s where User Experience comes in. 

To start, take a look around your site as if you’re a customer. Look through your product offerings, put some things in your cart, and try to check out on the site (you don’t have to pay—unless you have a feeling there’s an issue with that part of the process too). How’d that go? Now really shop. Look at multiple products, put things in your cart—taking things out of your cart, get all the way to the checkout and leave the site. Come back later and try reviewing the products, going back to the product pages and reading through the descriptions and specifications again. Now, how did that go?

If you didn’t get annoyed with at least one point in the process, go back and do it all again. 

The point of all of this is to try and be a shopper on your own site. 

So, what bothered you? What was a mild annoyance? Was there something you wanted to do that you couldn’t? Was there a pop up that got in your way? If you were bothered by something, you can be sure that your customers are too. 

So, how do we fix it? 

Depending on what you found, the solutions are usually one of the following: fix a bug, remove a barrier, or redesign a process. 

Fixing a bug is pretty straight forward. Either you or your developer can fix something that is broken or working incorrectly. Sometimes this is even as easy and applying an update to your content management system or a plugin on your site. 

Removing a barrier is also fairly straight forward, though sometimes the barriers server a purpose that you will need to find an alternative for. In some cases, requiring an email or form to be filled out before a user can continue with a purchase or other process—while serving a legitimate marketing or advertising purpose—can push potential customers or users away. While removing this barrier will help to improve conversions, you will need to find another way to collect that data or even alter your strategy for marketing or advertising. 

Last, but not least, we have redesigning a process. Sometimes there is just a usability nightmare as part of the desired process and no amount of removing barriers or updating things will solve the issue. Sometimes, you just have to take a step back and rebuild the entire process from start to finish. 

Once you’ve gone through and made changes, you’ll need to give those changes some time to see how customers react to them and determine if the changes have a positive impact. After a month, or so, you can revisit those changes and re-review the process. User experience is an iterative process—every change helps you learn a little bit more about your customers think and act and how to best present your business to them.