Before launching a website, it is very important to test its usability. Usability testing involves evaluating the functionality and features of your site by trying it out with users. Some of the things you need to look out for when testing include navigation functionality, responsiveness and cross browser compatibility.
The following are some of the benefits of website usability testing.
1. Lower costs
Identifying usability problems at the onset will enable you to avoid redesign costs which you would have incurred later. Since there will be less customer service calls and emails, you will also be able to lower your support costs and concentrate on your business.
2. Enhanced retention rate
Many people who visit sites leave immediately after landing on the homepage. Usability testing will help you figure out why your site is unable to retain new visitors. The following are some of the reasons why people click away from a site almost immediately after landing on a page.
- The homepage loads too slowly and they get impatient
- They realize the site doesn’t have the information they wanted
- The site can only be accessed using a plug-in like Flash, which the visitors dislikes or does not have.
- They hear a distracting music being played when the site loads
Some of the strategies that can be used to improve retention include:
- Good design
- Removing pop-up ads
- Offering visitors regular updates on the homepage
- Offering a freebie on the homepage
3. Reduced shopping cart abandonment
Reducing Shopping cart abandonment is very important for ecommerce websites
Research has shown that many consumers abandon their carts while in the process of online shopping. Website usability testing is important for identifying the reasons behind frequent shopping cart abandonment. Once this problem is resolved, your purchase rate will improve.
4. Enhanced brand image
Your website is a very important element of your marketing strategy and overall brand image. If visitors have a pleasant user experience on your site, they will also have a favorable impression of your brand. Otherwise they will just click away to a competitor’s site.
Some of the problems which will leave visitors with a poor impression of your brand include:
- Site errors
- Broken links
- Clumsy layout
- Poor grammar
5. Increased profits and sales
If usability testing reduces your shopping cart abandonment rate, enhances visitor retention and gives you a competitive advantage, then your sales are also likely to improve. When it comes to enhancing sales, you need to think from the perspective of the consumer.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you targeting the right audience?
- If you were a consumer, would you buy a product from your own site?
- Can product information be found easily on your site?
- Is more information required than what is currently available?
- When a consumer makes a decision to buy, can they easily follow your instructions?