Imagine a world where you could build an ecommerce website and not have to worry about whether or not it looked good or offered a quality user experience.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Now forget that ridiculous fantasy, because it's never going to happen.
When selling items online, you need an online store. With that online store comes tons of design choices, all of which lead to what we like to call the user experience. If the UX is lacking, you can expect to see plenty of people abandoning carts or leaving your site before they even reach the shopping cart area.
With a quality UX and some solid products, you'll start seeing your profits increase, along with many happy customers who have no problem going to your website and shopping, whether it be on computers or mobile devices.
However, to achieve this type of response, you must test like crazy.
Feedback is your golden ticket to testing and figuring out whether or not your ecommerce website is working properly and looking good for the customer on the other end.
It takes some work, but the big question is: Where do you go online to receive valuable feedback to make decisions when it comes to adding or removing products, buttons, colors and other designs?
Luckily, the internet is filled with feedback outlets, so keep reading to learn about the best places to find feedback about your ecommerce website.
The Reddit Ecommerce forum is one of the more useful solutions for online store feedback, because everyone on the page is working with ecommerce sites. Some of them know exactly what you should avoid on your website, while others are getting started just like you.
Not to mention, it's completely free, and you can submit multiple shots of your website and ask specific questions. People then respond to your questions and let you know what you should keep and change. A word of warning, some Redditors can be rather cruel, so prepare yourself for some of that.
A Forum That Lands in Your Niche
Tons of forums litter the internet landscape. That's why it's important to take advantage of these communities. The Reddit Ecommerce area is more focused on general online selling, but you can find forums that work for your particular niche as well. For example, if you sell fishing gear, why not go to a forum and ask people if they think your site is any good?
Would they buy some of the products you're selling? Do they think it's easy to move around and get through the checkout area? It's essential to explain that you're just an enthusiast trying to make a living from an area that you enjoy in order to avoid being viewed as spam.
The Critique system serves ecommerce professionals rather well considering you don't have to necessarily pay anything in order to bring in feedback. It works by accumulating a group of peers who trade reviews for reviews in return. For example, if you upload a shot of your website, you can then earn feedback after you send other people feedback. After that, other folks will send you messages on how you can improve your own online store.
The point of Notable is to provide a dashboard where teams can collaborate about design before making a launch to the internet. If you don't currently have any type of team, this may not be an option, but it's wise to consider utilizing a tool like Notable in order to keep your thoughts organized and recorded for later use.
Here's how it works: You can take a sketch, screenshot or wireframe and upload it to the Notable platform. Your collaborators can then see the image and make comments on it, suggesting what should be changed and how it should be done. Quickly reply or suggest a different idea. This system is designed to provide results in the quickest amount of time possible. Instead of sending email back and forth, all you have to do is open up the Notable app for your documentation.
This tactic only tends to work when you have a certain sample size to collect from. However, if you have a solid customer base, a survey on your website is one of the best ways to understand what your true customers are seeing and what they don't like about your website.
The trick here is to develop a set of questions that don't intimidate the user. At the same time, you want to be as specific as possible so that the data is useful to you as a business owner. Also, consider giving out some sort of reward for filling out the survey. A small raffle or discount can go a long way in terms of accumulating far more survey responses.
Now that you've had a chance to see where you can find feedback, make a list of the biggest problems you've had with your website in the past. Bring up these problems when presenting your site to friends, and mark down any additional comments that arise when you get the feedback from these different tools.
If you haven't yet launched your online store, you're in a good position, since many websites release their products to the world without consulting anyone on the design. Depending on your budget, consider some of the tools above to bring in thoughts about what you can change on your site. Leave us a comment below once you start realizing some of the areas that need your attention.
Feature image curtsey of Vic Bell