eCommerce is tough. Not only do you need to know the current design and optimization techniques. You also need to be concerned with user experience and how visitors are actually using your site.

You’ve probably read a ton of eCommerce best practice articles like this and this. The content is usually super helpful but sometimes redundant and very long.

So let’s switch it up and quickly cover 4 eCommerce topics that are rarely talked about, but have huge impacts on both your conversion rate and overall UX.

Tip #1 – The Length of Your Carousel Transitions Matter

According to the Baymard Institute’s Homepage & Category Usability Report, your carousel (i.e. slider) should have a transition time between 5 and 7 seconds depending on the amount of text you’re presenting. If you have a heavy text slide (which you probably shouldn’t) the transition time could be increased by a few more seconds.

This makes intuitive sense. When you see a slider on a site and feel the need to read it, that takes a handful of seconds. If the slider is set to change every 3 seconds, most humans won’t be able to read it which will cause frustration and anger before they’ve even gotten to the checkout!

Keep in mind, sliders should generally be avoided if possible. But if you must have them, keep the transition length between 5 and 7 seconds.

Tip #2 – Make Your Return Policy Obvious

Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Return policies are one of the most ignored elements of eCommerce user experience.

Return policies are boring though right? Who even reads those? Well it turns out more people than you think and they have an impact on user experience and conversion rates.

Here are some snippets from other articles to back this up:

Is this safe? Can I do returns? When will I get my stuff? If the visitor has never ordered from you, he will have several uncertainties you have to deal with. Make a list of the most common objections and doubts, and address them on product pages and in the shopping cart.

Full article link at ConversionXL.

A Returns Policy is a marketing document that should demonstrate the ease with which items can be returned and engender confidence in users that should the physical good not be suitable, then they need not worry.

Full article link at Usability Geek.

Do I need it? or Can I try it out without committing? Again, Zappos.com has a very generous returns policy, which they emphasize on their site. In addition, well-written product pages with information about materials, ingredients, etc. can help you decide whether you really need the item. At this point, people know about companies like Zappos, or LandsEnd or REI for their strong return policies. If you are less well known, you may need to work harder to make sure people know you will be a great company to work with.

Full article link at Moz.

Related posts:  9 Paid eCommerce Tools for Serious Online Stores

Tip #3 – Pay Attention To Your Global Navigation

When visitors first land on your eCommerce site, they generally look at the global (i.e. main) navigation in order to understand the context of what you’re selling. Navigation may intuitively seem simple, but designers make mistakes all the time.

The key is to make sure your global navigation sections are all clickable even if they are part of a mega-menu (i.e. dropdown). Keep in mind, sometimes using a dropdown instead of strictly linking to subcategory pages is not a good idea for user experience.

Tip #4 – Include a Recently Viewed Section Throughout Your Site

If you’re lucky enough to get a visitor who is exploring your site and product catalogue, doesn’t it make sense to make their purchase decision as easy as possible?

By providing a permanent recently viewed items section for your visitors you’ll increase the chance of them actually buying something. Everyone knows users have serious attention and patience issues when browsing the web. Giving them a simple way to go back to previous items they looked at is a win-win. Your visitors will appreciate the improved user experience.

Hopefully you found some new eCommerce tips from this post that you can implement right away.

If you know any other rarely discussed eCommerce strategies, share them in the comments below.