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Learn the Most Important Parts of UX for E-commerce

There are so many parts to optimizing an e-commerce site that we sometimes forget about the audience and how important the first impression is when a user enters your online store. If you run an e-commerce business, keep in mind that the success of your site depends mostly on the UX, or user experience. A few best practices can help you build and improve a profitable online business. What are these practices, and what can you do to take your e-commerce UX to a whole new level?   In this article, we'll talk about UX best practices for e-commerce and how they can be used on modern websites. The general rules are the same no matter what kind of business you run. Let's get right down to it!  

Best Practices for UX in E-commerce

  User Experience (UX) refers to all of the things that make users happier by making an e-commerce website easy to get to, easy to use, and efficient. All of this has to do with how people feel when they visit your site.   E-commerce   In general, the design, general feel, speed of loading, and functionality of a website are the most important parts of a good user experience in any online store. In particular, it's all about being open, easy to reach, and user-friendly, and not about your business but about the needs of the end-user. Before we tell you about the best practices for e-commerce UX, let's make sure you know what we mean by these practices.  

What is the User Experience in E-commerce?

  UX is a term for how a website makes people feel when they use it. UX design and related best practices for an e-shop are based on making a website that makes it easier to browse the products, place an order, and send payment.   Finding a specific target group is often necessary to offer a personalized user experience that meets the needs and expectations of a certain type of visitor. In our article about customizing websites, we talked a lot about this, so feel free to check it out.     All e-commerce sites must meet the same minimum UX requirements, such as an easy-to-use layout, professional photos and videos, reviews, clear call-to-action buttons, and a search engine that works. So, you could say that improving e-commerce UX design comes down to optimizing the website's structure and functionality so that shoppers feel as comfortable as possible when they visit it.  

A Few Facts and Figures

  User experience is about more than just making customers happier. Statistics and the experiences of thousands of marketers show that if you don't pay attention to UX design in the e-commerce world, your company's finances and growth will be in bad shape.   Here are some of the most interesting UX stats from the last few months: • 46 percent of customers say they won't order from a website if they don't know what the company does. • If the website only works on desktop computers and isn't mobile-friendly, only half of the shoppers will use it. • If your site is made for mobile devices, 74% of customers are likely to come back. • Slow sites cost advertisers about $2 billion each year in lost sales. • For every dollar spent on UX design in e-commerce, up to $100 is made back. • Using best practices that focus on the user experience could increase conversion rates by as much as 400%   Don't these numbers say a lot? They show how important best practices for UX design are to the growth of businesses, no matter what kind of business you run. The needs of your customers must come first. As one of the best UX designers, Frank Chimero, put it:
“People ignore designs that ignore people”. - Source: https://www.myinspiredesign.com/editors-note-people-ignore-design-that-ignores-people-frank-chimero/  

E-commerce Sales Funnels

  A sales funnel is the path that website visitors take from where they start (usually an ad or a search engine) all the way through the buying and payment process. The metaphor of a funnel shows that visitors go from point A to point B and that the path between the two points should be as short as possible. One of the first steps in any e-commerce UX design process should be designing the shopping path.   CTF Assets   Many marketers agree that sales funnels affect conversion rates and sales directly. A bad checkout page that doesn't follow best practices for user experience can be a deal-breaker. Even though there isn't a perfect sales funnel that you can copy and paste for your business, we can identify the following basic steps:   1. Trigger interest: The first few seconds after each page loads are very important, especially on your online store's home page. If you don't grab your visitors' attention at this point, you probably won't be able to do so later.   2. Find out what you need: If the visitor is still on your e-commerce site after a few seconds, the first step is done, but it's not the end. The next step is to get customers to buy something. To do that, you have to sell products that meet their needs and meet their expectations. Do some research and use tools like Google Analytics to find out what your customers want so you can:
  • What products they are interested in
  • Which sections on your website are the most interesting for them
  • What their characteristics are
  3. Get users to trust you: E-commerce sites should make people feel comfortable. To reach this goal, you should take care of things like product pictures, video presentations, relevant content, and helpful tips that your customers will find useful. It's also a good idea to think about publishing reviews to make a business look more trustworthy. Payment methods that are well-known and safe can also help build trust. It's important to look at the situation from a local point of view. In Poland, for example, BLIK and PayU are well-known. In the US, you have to have PayPal.   4. Give the customer content that fits what they want: At this point, your product pages and product sheets are very important. The last part of UX e-commerce should focus on getting the attention and interest of even more customers. So, it's important to have an easy-to-use search engine, clear product categories, high-quality images of products, and interesting descriptions of those products.   5. Assure your clients: When it comes to placing an order, the e-commerce UX design and all of the content on the page may not be enough on their own. You need to reassure the customer again at this point. Make sure that all of the procedures are clear and easy to find in case a customer has any questions or doubts.   6. Close the sale: Now that the customer has put something in the shopping cart, they should pay attention to that. Now, customers shouldn't see any more things that take their attention away. To keep everything clear, the user should only see the CTA buttons and instructions that walk them through the process. After the sale is over, you can show a thank-you page or offer customers more products.   As you can see, when designing e-commerce websites, many parts of the sales funnel should be taken into account. A well-made site should naturally lead buyers through the sales funnel from the beginning to the end.   Now, I'll show you some important UX best practices for e-commerce websites.  

Essential E-commerce User Experience Tips

  It's not easy to make an online store that follows best practices for e-commerce UX and has a high conversion rate. So, we've put together some important tips for you.  

Don't Use Complicated Graphics

The easier your website is to use, the clearer and easier to understand it looks. An e-commerce site should have a simple layout that doesn't make it hard for users to move between pages. Graphics shouldn't be used too much. First, the project should make it easy for users to interact with your website in the best way possible, both on mobile and desktop versions. A design that is too aggressive can quickly annoy users and make them leave the site without putting anything in their shopping cart.   tubik studio Source: Tubik Studio  

Make it Easy to Use the Navigation, Menu, and Filters

  Every e-commerce website, especially the home page, is built around navigation, which includes the main menu and filters. So that visitors don't have to look for what they want for too long, your navigation feature should have links to different pages and product categories. The menu should also be made to stand out and be easy to find.   tubik studio Source: The Gourmet   Also very important are information architecture and logical categories. How your customers think about the products you sell should be reflected in how you group them. Also, it is sometimes important to give two ways to classify something. A good example is IKEA. They sort things by type and by room. It makes a lot of sense and makes searching a lot easier!  

White Space

  The design of a business website should be clear, have a clear hierarchy, and be easy to read. Appropriate gap management is helpful here. White space lets you add a touch of practical minimalism to your website so that it doesn't have too much information and overwhelms visitors.  

Images of High Quality

  High-quality photos are better for sales and conversions, and they are also better for UX best practices. Bad pictures show that the company didn't put much effort or care into how the product was shown. Customers will quickly wonder, "If a brand doesn't care about the pictures and videos on its website, what does that say about the quality of the product itself?"   tubik studio Source: Say   The right way to show off your products is one of the best investments you can make in your e-commerce business. The more detailed the picture, the more appealing the product looks to the customer, and the more likely they are to buy it.  

You can Improve Customer Service by Using a Chatbot

  A live chat feature or chatbot is a great way to boost the number of people who buy from you. A visitor can talk to an advisor or chatbot at any time if they need help or have questions. This solution can be especially helpful on the page where you pay for something.   Seattle Ballooning Source: Seattle Ballooning   99firms.com says that customers accept chatbots in online stores 34% of the time, and you can be sure that this number will only go up over time. According to the same source, about 37% of people use chatbots to get help quickly in an emergency.  

Take Care of Your Website's Mobile Version

  Users want to be able to browse e-commerce sites as easily as they do social media sites. We use desktop computers at work, but we use mobile devices more and more outside of work. One of the most important parts of e-commerce UX is that shoppers can use the website on both their desktop computers and their mobile phones.   tubik studio Source: Tubik Studio Make sure that your e-commerce store is responsive so that people can shop online from any device. Also, both the mobile and desktop versions should follow UX best practices in the same way. Think about how your product filters will work on mobile devices, for example. Sometimes, the mobile version needs changes that aren't needed on the desktop version, like the extra "Apply" button.   Adding a "go to the top" button can also be helpful. On a mobile device, it might be hard to scroll down a website, especially if you want to go back to the top. In that case, this button might be the most important thing on your website (pun intended).   Use this free tool from Google to see if your website works well on mobile devices.  

UX for Product Pages

  When it comes to making money in the e-commerce business, product pages are very important. They can be even more important than the homepage in some cases. On the product page, your customers will decide whether to buy something or leave your store. To help them decide whether or not to go through with the deal, you need to make them happy by giving them all the information they need.  

Elements of E-commerce User Experience (UX) that Should be on Product Pages

  If you want to get a customer to buy something, don't forget to include the most important things on your product page. The most important parts are a clear layout, the name of the product and any technical details, a short and accurate description of the product, and high-quality pictures.   It's a good idea to let the customer enlarge the picture so they can see the item's details. The product page should have technical information like the color, size, and availability of the product. The customer should also be able to add items to the cart quickly and easily.   Hiut Denim Co. Source: Hiut Denim Co.   Enter as much information as you can about the product into structured attributes. This makes it easy to use them as search filters in your search engine. If the only place you can find important information about a product is in its written description, it won't help you in a more in-depth search.   It's a good idea to divide your products into groups, such as by color and technical specifications (for example membrane for outdoor clothing).   The rest of the products on the page can be put into two groups. Let's call them features and elements that are nice to have. We've put these categories into two lists so you can see how they fit together:

Nice-to-have features

Shoppers usually expect and like it when your e-commerce website has these features. But most of the time, they are not necessary to close the deal. Some things that would be nice to have are:
  • Product reviews and the ability to sort items by how well they are rated
  • Additional product images (detailed views, animated images of the product in use)
  • Product videos
  • Related product recommendations
  • User-generated content: Product reviews of images or videos from customers
  • A wish list
 

Fancy features

Some products might benefit from these elements, but only if they are well-made and easy to use for e-commerce UX. Most of the time, they are used by the largest stores and brands. Some examples of fancy features are:
  • Virtual try-on (this feature is available thanks to augmented reality)
  • Voice search and smart assistants
  • The search by image option
  • Subscription purchases
  • Product customization
Let's look at two examples of these kinds of fancy features:   Nike by You Source: Nike By You   Nike By You is a service that lets you design, build, and order your own fully customized Nike running shoes and sneakers. There are almost too many ways to change it. AR, what's up with that? Augmented reality is being used by more and more online stores to show off their goods in a more interactive way.  

Let People Compare Items while Shopping

  Here, it's important that the way information is given is consistent and makes sense. Don't hide anything and make it easy to compare. If you have products that are similar and your users might want to compare them, give them all the information they need. Many stores have a "compare" button that makes it easy to see how two or more products compare to each other.  

Help the User and Think of Questions they Might have About the Product

  Your product pages should have everything you need to know about the product you're selling. Users expect to find the information they need to make a choice, such as the product's features, configuration, price, delivery time, shipping costs, and technical details. Unfortunately, many websites don't use these good e-commerce UX design practices and don't care how much information is on the product pages. It's an easy way for you to stand out from the crowd.  

Don't Forget CTAs

  Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are one of the most important parts of good product pages. A good CTA is a button that stands out from the rest of the e-commerce site and doesn't get in the way of navigation. On a product page, CTA words could be:
  • Buy Now
  • Add to Cart
  • Create An Account
What's important is that the call-to-action button should stand out from the site's colors and be near the top of the page's visual hierarchy.   Flourist Source: Flourist
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