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Retailers must make sites more user-friendly

13 August 2015 - 15:56 by Paul Tissington

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People who regularly shop online will be all too aware of the deficiencies with certain sites when it comes to usability. And this level of digital savvy that exists amongst modern consumers is the cornerstone of the problem facing many retailers, according to an Equimedia study.

A quarter of the top shopping site home pages are not optimised for mobile users, a third suffer from having content that does not fit properly on the screen of the average portable device, and nine in ten are guilty of using interface elements that are too tightly packed, to properly engage with using a touchscreen display, the report found.

And mobile users are not the only people who have a right to be disappointed with some major retail outlets and their current online efforts.

Seventy eight per cent of the sites covered in the study were found to have sluggish page load speeds, which in many instances, can cause people to up sticks and try to enjoy safe shopping online elsewhere. Of this group, almost a third of the sites were found to be significantly behind the curve when it comes to loading times.

Modern consumers know what to expect from shopping sites, so when they find that a retailer’s pages are lacking, they are quick to judge and will, most likely, head to a rival site to get their fix.

Almost half of retailers get even the most basic things wrong, such as having page titles that are overly long and thus cannot easily be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.

Regular findings of this kind will surely lead to action being taken by the biggest firms. And those that do not make efforts to appease customers who know all about the digital landscape, will be left behind.