4 UX Tips for Online Retailers Adapting to Covid-19’s New Normal

Evan Navon
Written by Evan Navon
June 12, 2020

The first half of 2020 has been dominated by the world’s adaption to life with Covid-19. With many countries engaging national lockdowns, entire populations have turned to digital channels to work, socialize, and – most pertinently to this article – shop.

According to Emarketer’s latest forecast, ecommerce spending will increase by 18% in 2020. “Everything we’re seeing with ecommerce is unprecedented,” commented Emarketer Principal Analyst Andrew Lipsman. “Growth rates are expected to surpass anything we’ve seen since the Great Recession, and certain ecommerce behaviors like online grocery shopping and click-and-collect have permanently catapulted three or four years into the future in just three or four months.”

While the boost in sales is a plus for ecommerce as an industry, there is added pressure on digital stores to get it right during this busy, sensitive time. From hitting the appropriate note with messaging, to designing pages and flows that make it easy for stressed customers to find what they want: these are challenging circumstances for any digital team to make the best of.

With that in mind, we’ve been keeping a close eye on how user behavior has altered during the last few months, and have spotted 4 key trends on the stores of our ecommerce clients. Find these shopper patterns, along with our recommended responses to them, below.

Trend #1: Shoppers are highly engaged with coronavirus pages, and interested to know how retailers are responding

Recommendation: Prioritize communications or FAQ pages that clearly state how your organization is responding to Covid-19.

As is to be expected, shoppers are eager to understand how their orders might be affected by lockdown rules, and whether retailers are operating normally across different countries at this time. It’s therefore recommended to serve users this information clearly and early in their shopping experience.

In order to back up this observation, teams can use Decibel’s Engagement Score, and compare the performance of any one page to other pages, or a group of pages to another group to compare engagement performance. Moreover, on the pages themselves, Decibel’s ‘Reading Behavior’ heatmaps help pinpoint where shoppers display the most reading behavior, a mouse-based movement indicative of strong engagement.

Trend #2: Shoppers are most concerned with how coronavirus has impacted returns, payment, and shipping

Recommendation: Optimize content or CTAs related to the impact of Coronavirus on shipping, payment, and returns to make sure customers can easily locate this information.

When it comes to the coronavirus-related information shoppers care about most, we are seeing a large focus on anything about returns, payment, and shipping. We therefore recommend reassuring shoppers about those particular services first, before divulging any other key information.

Within Decibel, this observation can again be surfaced using behavioral heatmaps for reading behavior and engagement.

Trend #3: Interest in items like shoes and dresses has faded, while activity on home products and bag pages has increased

Recommendation: Make sure website offerings align with how shopper interests have shifted during the pandemic

Which items has your store seen increased demand for? For our ecommerce clients, there’s been a significant boost for home products. It’s imperative to check how shopping interests are changing, and how you can best adapt your store to serve those interests as efficiently as possible.

In Decibel, visualizing this kind of demand with heatmaps and behavioral analysis is quick and easy.

Trend #4: Shoppers frequently bounce on key information pages or perform looping behavior around such pages

Recommendation: Make sure there is a clear navigation both to and from key information pages to reduce drop off and looping behavior

While it’s crucial to give shoppers the coronavirus-related information they need, it shouldn’t come at the expense of also serving them the products they’re interested in. Finding this balance can be tricky, so it takes careful analysis to see what your audience responds well to.

This is where Decibel’s Journey Discovery comes in very handy. You can quickly see a visualization of common journeys and identify poor experiences, looping behavior, or pages with high drop off.

Anticipate shopper needs, and respond with empathy

In this new world of increased digital dependence, the quality of the online experience is more important than ever. For retailers, this means getting ahead of the game and anticipating and responding to shopper needs as and when they occur online.

Decibel surfaces poor online shopping experiences automatically, so ecommerce teams at retailers like Lego, Adidas, and Sony can quickly understand and fix them. Interested in seeing how it works? Get a quick demo here.

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