Why is readability important in eCommerce? 

It is important for businesses to ensure that their websites are user-friendly. This includes navigation. One key factor of this is readability.

Readability refers to the ease with which users can read and understand written content. It is influenced by a variety of factors, including sentence structure, word choice, and formatting. In eCommerce, readability is particularly crucial. Users need to be able to comprehend product descriptions and other important information.

It helps users to understand the products they are purchasing and the terms and conditions of the sale.

Readability has a significant impact on the user experience. When websites are easy to read and understand, users are more likely to trust the website and make a purchase. It can also help reduce the number of customer complaints and inquiries. This saves time and money for businesses.

Businesses that prioritise these elements can build trust with their customers.

Readability in microcopy

Microcopy can have a significant impact on UX. And, ultimately, affect the success of an online shop.

Microcopy refers to the small snippets of text that appear throughout an eCommerce website:

  • Button labels
  • Error messages
  • Confirmation messages

These snippets may seem small. But they can greatly affect how users interact with a website and make their purchase decision.

Readability in microcopy is vital. It can help users navigate the purchasing process with ease and minimise confusion. Clear and concise microcopy can guide users through the website. This reduces the likelihood of errors or misunderstandings.

One common example is error messages. Let's say a user gets an error. They may become frustrated and abandon the process altogether. But if the error message has good readability and offers clear guidance? They could complete their purchase. It's a make or break moment.

Another example of important microcopy is button labels. Using vague or confusing button labels can be annoying. Aim to use clear and concise button labels to ensure excellent UX.

What is a good example of readability in eCommerce?

A great example of shop readability in action is Shopify. Readable is used to hone and tighten their microcopy. Developers are more used to complex language than the average person. They use an editor to help them address this. Their guidelines mean every piece of copy on the platform has to meet a US grade 7. This greatly expands their reach. 

They use an editor to help them address this. Their guidelines mean every piece of copy on the platform has to meet a US grade 7. This greatly expands their reach. 

It shows that they care about creating a seamless experience for the user. By focusing on readability, Shopify improves UX for vendors and customers alike. 

Andy Healey, a UX writer at Shopify, has great tips: 

“The number one tip for UX folks is usually to understand your audience. Working on the Checkout team at Shopify that’s a little more tricky. The audience is basically anyone. I’m fortunate enough to work with great researchers and data people. They give us real insights into what works for audiences and what doesn’t.

A good UX writer should have an instinctive feel for what is the right content for their audience. But research insights and peer feedback can take you from good to great.

So I’d say try to get as much feedback on your work as you can. My favourite part of the job is when designers make a suggestion that I’d not considered. Or developers call me out for not following our content guidelines.”

You can read more of Andy’s UX tips on Medium.

Dave Child

Dave is the founder of Readable and has been building websites since the early 90s. He’s one of those fortunate people who gets to do what he loves for a living.