Google has announced plans to update its algorithms in 2021 in a move that will increase the importance of UX to SEO and significantly impact how eCommerce websites should optimise their consumer experience. 

The plans will introduce a new measure called Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) which is designed to assess visual instability on web pages. It also places greater importance on existing metrics relating to loading speeds and user experience under the banner of 'page experience'. 

The announcement will come into effect in 2021 with six months advance notice. In part, this timescale is designed to allow businesses some breathing room while they deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis – suggesting that Google has chosen to delay the launch of this change.

UX’s importance in eCommerce 

For eCommerce stores to be successful the UX of the website must be well optimised, ticking off the all important features to ensure that the customers get an experience conducive of conversions and sales. 

People love buying things from the comfort of their homes, especially in the situation we are currently facing, but they also love buying from a website that has a fine tuned user experience where they are able to navigate effortlessly. Slow loading speeds, ill-fitting imagery and a jumpy customer journey will only result in customers abandoning so the importance couldn’t be more clear. 

Optimising your website ready for the update

In order to be proactive and get your eCommerce site optomised and ready for Google's 2021 UX update there are number of things you can do to get ready that include: 

1. Mobile Optimisation primed

Coming in with more importance than ever is the need to ensure your eCommerce site is mobile-optimised. Mobile commerce sales are continually gaining importance in the world of online selling with their contribution expected to account for 54% of total eCommerce sales by 2021. 

Even as things stand, your site's mobile-optimisation already affects where you will rank in search engines so get ready by carrying out regular audits, using more concise text and visuals – whether that be images or videos. 

2. Think ease of navigation 

It will take consumers less time to decide whether they want to continue using your site to shop for the products they want than it will to read this sentence. Whilst I’m not sure if that will hold up to be entirely true it does only take a couple of seconds for things to go right or wrong. 

Ease of navigation around your eCommerce site will be key to winning consumers over at the first touch point and making sure you are in the right position to move them down the purchase funnel. Ensure that you only have pages you absolutely need, copy is kept snappy, and you adopt a minimalistic theme that makes everything clear and easy to find. Nothing will frustrate them more than not being able to find the product or service they need with ease. 

3. Personalise the experience 

Personalisation on eCommerce sites is quickly becoming one of the best marketing strategies for business owners as consumers appreciate interacting with brands that provide a customer journey that resonates with them.  

By personalising, you're able to show consumers products and services that match their needs. You can research your audience on social media and your website to develop customer personas based on your target audience. Using this information, you can create specific marketing material that targets different segments. 

Failure to implement this has been shown to lead to significant loss with an estimated $756 million lost due to poor personalisation over the course of a year. 

Introducing this level of personalisation to your customer journey is something Cloud.IQ has helped implement for 1000’s of businesses to great success as they utilise Visit Capture, Exit Capture, and Cart Reminder overlays to optimise key touch points in the customer journey. 

To learn more about how Cloud.IQ has helped get websites ready for sales and how it could help you, click below for a free trial.