Usability testing is the most effective means to increase sales, shopper interaction and popularity for your ecommerce shop. Hands down, there is no more effective means to get MORE from the traffic you have.

So if usability testing is SO effective, why don’t more people do it?

Many shop owners don’t know about it, most assume it is incredibly expensive and frankly most are just to narrow minded to delve in to what “may be wrong” with their websites.

These reasons are none valid. Usability testing is no different than product testing, surveys, soliciting feedback and other techniques used by successful businesses worldwide. So what if you can do basic usability testing for free?

You CAN do usability testing! There are a ton of different means to do simple, effective and free usability testing for your website. I am going to touch on just a few specifically suited for ecommerce. These simple, easy to execute and effective usability testing plans will help you identify problems shoppers encounter on your website. If you just said to yourself “there are no problems on my website”, then I challenge you to do these 2 usability plans… You are most certainly wrong. Every website has problems, no doubt.

Solicit Feedback

This one is the absolute simplest technique to eliminate the problems shoppers encounter on your website. Soliciting feedback from shoppers is both easy, cheap or even free and very eye opening. Some people will not participate, some will and some will not be very nice. Toughen up, listen to each comment, test and take action.

The trick to soliciting feedback is to listen and not be a PIA to your shoppers.

  • Feedback Software: Soliciting feedback from shoppers via software has become very popular. Basically, you get software (most paid services) to ask your customers to “rate their experience” on your website. Software like Shopper Approved (my personal favorite) works with your Zen Cart (or other software) to pop up and ask shoppers to rate their experience. The best part of Shopper Approved is that they followup with the shopper post-transaction email to get a more comprehensive rating which includes delivery time etc. The downfall is that this software ONLY solicits feedback from shoppers who completed a transaction. This leaves an absolute plethora of those who didn’t! They couldn’t find what they wanted, had checkout issues etc.
  • Abandoned Carts: One of the standard package modules we install on new Zen carts is “Recover Cart Sales“. This free Zen Cart module will let you send an email to shoppers who