4 more ways to optimize UX during COVID-19

Learn how to tailor your ecommerce site to meet the needs of today’s digital shoppers.

Are you looking for ways to meet your customers’ new expectations for digital experiences? As researchers from the Baymard Institute report, COVID-19 has resulted in a rapid acceleration of online shopping and widespread changes to the retail industry — especially to customer behavior.[1]

Amazon Pay has commissioned a new report from the UX experts at Baymard that reveals that many of the issues today’s shoppers have with digital experiences can be easily addressed with just a few UX optimizations to your ecommerce site.

Here are four ways that you can ensure that your site meets customers’ changing preferences, yielding big results for your business both during the pandemic and after.

1. Provide clear descriptions of delivery options

Alternative delivery options — like buying online and picking up in store, for example — have been around for years, but many shoppers are still not totally clear on the possibilities that are open to them. As you introduce your customers to these alternative delivery options, make sure to provide clear labels and descriptions, so that your shoppers know what to expect. Here are the four most common alternative delivery and pickup methods:

  • Store Pickup allows users to purchase an item online and then pick it up in a specific store, usually on the same day.
  • Ship to Store allows users to purchase the item online and pick it up in a store, but usually with a delay of a few days, as it needs to be shipped internally first.
  • Store Availability indicates that a store has a product in stock at that exact moment, but usually doesn’t allow an online purchase.
  • Reserve allows users to put aside an item at a store online, and then pay for it when they pick it up in person.

2. Have direct links to the return policy and shipping information in the footer

Some shoppers are reticent to start a purchase before they’ve seen a site’s return policy. Make it really easy for those shoppers who are curious by placing a direct link to your return policy, along with shipping information, on your site. Baymard’s testing shows that the best place for these direct links is in the site-wide footer, as that’s consistently where shoppers go to look for them.

Keep in mind that on a mobile site, it might not be possible to put direct links in the footer — as there is significantly less space to display them. In that case, used a collapsed content approach: Nest your return policy and shipping information under broader categories, like “Help & FAQs > Online Ordering.”

3. Let shoppers track orders in multiple ways

Most shoppers will start tracking their order once they receive a shipping confirmation email — but others will turn directly to the ecommerce site to find their order tracking information. The best tactic is to try to please as many shoppers as possible by offering multiple ways to track orders.

Baymard recommends including links to order tracking in the areas of the site where, according to their extensive user testing, shoppers most often look: In the page header, the courtesy navigation menu, and the My Account drop-down menu. Baymard found that shoppers who couldn’t find order tracking in those places looked deeper — they tried to find it in the site-wide footer and by using the site’s search function. One way to help shoppers who have this preference is to support non-product search and include “returns,” “shipping,” and “order tracking” in your search terms.

4. Make order cancellation discoverable in multiple places

Regardless of whether or not your store offers cancellations, this feature should be addressed somewhere on your site, as it’s an important feature for shoppers today. Much like with order tracking, most shoppers expect that their confirmation email is going to contain information about cancelling an order —in fact, 57% of users in Baymard’s testing navigated to their inbox to review their order confirmation email when looking for a cancellation policy.[2]

Be sure to mention order cancellation in your email, as well as in the My Account and Track Order pages on your site. Baymard also found that 19% of shoppers looked for order cancellation on the site-wide footer — but usually only after having exhausted all the other options.[3]

Want more tips for how you can optimize your UX for COVID shoppers? Download the full report here.

[1] The Baymard Institute, UX Optimization in the Age of COVID, 2021.
[2] The Baymard Institute, UX Optimization in the Age of COVID, 2021.
[3] The Baymard Institute, UX Optimization in the Age of COVID, 2021.