Is Your Ecommerce Makeup Store Giving Shoppers Cognitive Overload?

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You’re excited about your online store. You’re eager to show shoppers your cosmetics lineup and your brand personality. And, for the most part, that’s a good thing. Brands just need to make sure their websites are optimized for a sleek, intuitive user experience above all else.

Still though, it’s time to step back and ask yourself: is your ecommerce makeup store giving shoppers cognitive overload? Those fonts you thought were fun may actually be inhibiting online users from figuring out how to find your product catalogue. Putting your entire company history on the homepage is slowing shoppers down as they try to locate your product pages. A user just trying to find your return policy may be stuck in a loop clicking between various pages trying to access a link.

In other words, websites need to understand the difference between intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load. Intrinsic load is good and necessary because it’s simply the act of shoppers processing the information at hand and moving toward their goal. Extraneous cognitive load, however, is just a waste of precious mental resources because it distracts or confuses shoppers. In other words, every unnecessary feature, word, link, tab or image on your website can contribute to an overwhelming experience for shoppers. It may become so tedious they actually abandon their shopping carts or exit your website altogether.

Cut Down on Clutter

Repeat this mantra: If it doesn’t serve a purpose, it has to go. Perform a content audit to determine the success of various pages across your website. Just like when you’re cleaning out your makeup bag (or, let’s be real, cabinet) you should create a system for identifying content to keep, content to edit and content to scrap. Shorten where you can; a pithy sentence does more than an aimless paragraph. Make sure images make sense in their context and links work.

Even something as simple as your website typography can aid or hinder shoppers. Stick to two font families when it comes to typography, and keep lines around 60 characters or less so users’ eyes can catch a much-needed break.

Streamline Site Architecture

Obviously, selling beauty products from home comes with many advantages like convenience and creative control over the branding experience. But the biggest challenge is you can’t walk every customer through every purchase in person; your site architecture must be a substitute for a salesperson in the sense its navigation and structure should be intuitive and easy to follow. Part of this means considering decision-based architecture. When a customer comes to a natural “pivot point” (meaning it’s time for them to make a choice), your website needs to lay out the options and lead them down whichever path they choose. If they make a mistake, they should be able to backtrack to the previous step easily.

Make Calls to Action Pop

The concept of the call to action (CTA) is simple: literally persuade shoppers to engage in a desired behavior. But there are actually quite a few factors to consider, from placement to color, message and size. First and foremost, CTAs must answer the user question of “Where should I click?” This is why so many ecommerce stores make CTAs as buttons or bold links within text; it eliminates any ambiguity about where to click. From there, your makeup store should ensure CTAs contrast with the background and clearly spell out the desired action. Your CTA for signing up for your email list (“Sign Up for Beauty Coupons in Your Inbox”) is going to be much different for the one compelling shoppers to check out a seasonal sale (“Shop Holiday Cosmetics for a Limited Time”).

So, is your ecommerce makeup store giving shoppers cognitive overload? If the answer is yes, minimize it right away. Keep only the essentials for a more streamlined user experience.

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