11 Steps to Improve Your eCommerce User Experience
The world of eCommerce moves fast. In this world, one change follows another, and trends and research are shaping the industry at lightning speed. Today eshopping has become an easy way to obtain the thing or service you want – but selling online is a skill. We've compiled a list of the best practices in eCommerce.
With the advent of eСommerce, many sellers are trying to find best-practices UX design for a positive user experience. UX design is central to the user experience of your eCommerce store. This is not just about beauty. Intuitive interaction, logical transitions and CTA buttons, payment for purchase – all these details play in your favor or otherwise. eCommerce is fairer than retail. There's constant change there, and it requires the retailer to constantly monitor the market.
Retailers used to study customer psychology. Buyers and managers positioned merchandise on their shelves in a meaningful way. This was to ensure that the customer made his journey through the store the way the salesperson wanted. The customer's spend increased with the help of competent navigation on the shelves and racks, music and additional services: tastings, discounts and random purchases at the cash point.
Today's consumer has become picky. According to a recent Adobe study, nearly 40% of online shoppers are willing to close a page because they don't like the design. UX design affects a website's conversion rate, and helps create a positive user experience for eCommerce. However, product pages are just as important. All interactions should be simple and user-friendly:
- Easy navigation
- Quick answers to questions about the product
- Best shopping carts and design
- Beautiful and informative photos and videos
- Quick payment processing
- Reviews and references
- Safe purchasing
This is by no means a complete list of things that can help and motivate the buyer to interact with your eCommerce store.
Logical questions arise:
- How do you create a simple and intuitive UX design for an eCommerce website?
- What do you need to do to keep the customer in your eshop, and come back to it again?
We've put together 11 tips to answer these questions. At the end of the article, we've prepared an eCommerce launch checklist for your eshop.
1. Basics of eCommerce UX design: registration, returns and wish lists
It's easy to understand
Just imagine how many similar products and services there are on the Internet. Maybe your website is the only one that sells a real brisket grill, but there may be thousands of them. Treating yourself as unique is good, but you must not forget about the competition. So offer the customers a simple way to interact with the eshop.
Make it easier to register
Offer two ways: one fast and one a little longer. It's perfect if the customer can sign up with a Google or Facebook account. Let the customer decide whether he wants to provide extra information or not. Motivate him to sign up for the site, but don't insist. This is a best UX practice in eCommerce. A quick way to register will cut down on time, and reduce the chance of a purchase being rejected. That doesn't mean it fits everything on one screen. Additional sales funnels in this case only prevent the purchase from being completed.
Ease up on returns
This is where it's essential to make it easy for the customer to return the item to you. Save your customers time and money, they'll be grateful, and your eCommerce shop will benefit.
Let lists be created
This improves the user experience, as internet giants like Amazon and Macy's confirm. Being able to defer an item, or add it to a Wishlist, gives the shopper time to think about it and make an objective comparison. Perhaps they will save up some money to purchase the product that they have put on their list. And if there's integration with Pinboards and the option to subscribe to the goods of interest to track the cost, the user will be willing to buy only from you. It's simple: you've thought of them and offered a solution – why look in another estore?
2. A need for speed — make sure pages load fast
3. Trends in UX design for eCommerce: up-to-date content
Becoming a sales leader in eCommerce means updating your website or app regularly. Your store has to evolve. So don't forget to keep your content up-to-date.
Update the information
Delivery times may change, or the collection point may be closed. If customers have always received their order on time and no one has notified them of the change, it will drive the user away from the eCommerce store. Think about this in advance.
Keep an eye on seasonality
Some customers may buy Christmas decorations in June, but many make these purchases a couple of months before the holidays. Especially during the season, current items are more expensive, which will bring you extra profit.
The modern shopper may or may not be aware of trends. Here it is important to think of the first as those who will be happy with your knowledge, and the second as those with whom you will share the current news. Cultural and digital integration, youth interests and social media can help you.
Be informed about discounts and sales
A limited time and quantity of items during the discount season allows the customer to make a purchase faster. Don't forget to give notice of the timing of such promotions.
Customers are put off if an item is suddenly unavailable for purchase after it has already been added to the cart because it has sold out.
4. Product Details Page UX design: make an offer your customers can't refuse
Product cards are the most important pages for business in eCommerce. Pages describing your products and services should cover possible questions from customers. The buyer can't touch what you're selling to him. That's why you need to give the most detailed picture of the product. Do not add air to the description; give only useful facts and information.
Correct description of the goods or services
It takes ability and skill, but you have to describe the product so that the customers understand what they are buying. Tell them about the size of the product, and its functions. Add tabs with technical specifications. Share the color palette or the ability to purchase the product in different colors. Describe the composition, properties and size. Customers themselves can suggest with their reviews or questions what else is needed for the description. If you're selling clothes, add the size the model is wearing to the specifications.
A picture tells a thousand words
It's important for the customer to see what they're buying. Quality pictures of the product from different angles make it easier for them to decide to purchase. Make it possible to scroll through the photos while still searching categories, without going to a specific product. Use custom photos with their approval, this will boost loyalty. If you're selling a small product, you can use a background to mark its size and functionality.
Video in addition
An additional opportunity to make a purchase is to see the product in use. Add video reviews to products so that the customer can see the product in action.
Many eCommerce sellers have already figured out how important it is to have a product zoom feature. Remember the movie "The Intern", where the heroine (played by Anne Hathaway) is worried that this function doesn't work, because sales are starting to fall. The user wants to see the product up close, as if they were holding it in their hands.
Don't be fooled
Give users the ability to compare products, and don't write false information.
Keep track of feedback on your products. It's a time-consuming process but the more you learn, the more exactly you can tell them about the product, and the better your chances that they will buy it.
5. eCommerce Feedback Forms
Actively ask for feedback
Feedback from customers helps your eCommerce store improve. You can change the description of the product, how much it is in stock, and whether you need it. Feedback gives you insight into who your customer is and what they want, it's an important part of analytics.
Do not be scared of criticism
Negative feedback is just as important. Many eCommerce stores delete negative reviews. This is a colossal mistake: even Bill Gates noted "Your most unhappy customers are your biggest source of learning." Create relevant filters and let the customer decide which reviews they want to see first. Negative feedback, like positive feedback, is an invaluable source of information.
Users respond positively to instant feedback. If you have the ability to add a "live chat" with an agent or manager you will help the customer, and help yourself avoid a negative experience.
Make a system of rewards for feedback. Additional bonuses in the form of points, which the customer can use to pay for the next purchase, will also work here. This is additional motivation to return. You can give promo codes and create an internal customer rating. People like to know that their opinions matter.
The more positive the user experience, the more often people will come to you, tell friends about your store, and the more loyal they will be. Remember, you're improving the customer's life, solving their problem, and that requires knowing what the user likes or dislikes.
Don't laugh: let's talk about the quality of filters here. When choosing, the user wants to avoid scrolling through hundreds of product cards that don't match the size, color and manufacturer they are looking for. Think about this in advance. Understand what classification and equipment is available for your products and services to give the user freedom. However, do not create more filters than required: it may lead to zero demand when using them, and the customer will leave. That's why you need to make your product cards correctly (go back to point 4 and reread it).
If you are in a single product category or a mono-brand eCommerce business, invest in flawless navigation instead of prioritizing onsite search. Customers are more likely to use a menu instead of searching when they look for a particular product category. Ensure your navigation is top of the game by employing the "card sorting" method for product grouping and A/B testing various navigation structures and UI ideas.
The onsite search is a must for multivendor marketplaces and large eCommerce shops, where customers are more likely to hit the search button instead of navigating extensive menus. The search, naturally, doesn't exist in a vacuum. The only way to ensure your customers can find anything is to make sure your product catalogue is in the perfect logical order, the products titles and descriptions are extensive and use words and terms from your customers' vocabulary.
Analyze what your customers are searching for and enhance your search with on-fly suggestions, similar category products, brand products, and mistyped suggestions. Focus on customers' needs and keep track of their movement through the website.
This is where many eCommerce stores drop the customer or overload them with additional personalisation. It's a good way to lose the sale. Try to make the shopping cart experience smooth and use best practices in UX design for eCommerce shopping carts. Don't overload the customer with unnecessary information: give only the benefits – the product, amount, part number, stock availability, delivery dates and address, etc. You can talk about easy returns. Don't try to make an extra sale for the profit, make it useful. For example, if the user puts a chandelier in the cart, you can remind them that they need lamps at checkout. Just don't suggest the customer look for the right ones again, make a choice for them and make an offer, let them decide for themself.
Customer account sections of eshops offer too complicated UX design and messy navigation. Let's repeat that it is worth giving only the important information here, or people just avoid registering altogether, and do not forget about a simple registration form in the first place. Let the user access the necessary information in a personal account: customer details, delivery addresses to simplify ordering, used payment methods, order history, promo codes and bonuses.
7. eCommerce Website Customization
Experts are amassing specialized articles to teach business owners how to create a responsive UX design for eCommerce as soon as possible. The situation is changing, and complex and sliding menus are a thing of the past. Such layering is distracting and can annoy users.
To that end, turn to your users. They are an invaluable source of information, let creative user-generated content work, don't just think of the customer as the source, the customer is part of the process of improving your eCommerce website.
Colorful buttons and pop-ups can cause epilepsy. A simple and concise design already on the homepage will reflect the voice of the brand, and let the user know that you're an attentive seller and offer high-end service.
8. eCommerce UX design Fundamentals, checkout flow: easy payment processing
Here we would like to focus on payment forms. The user needs to see the actual order in the cart, as we mentioned above. Then we direct them to the payment page. Here it's important not to create a complicated path for payment, when the customer travels through three pages and starts getting confused and doubting the security. The customer should see the payment data with the order’s exact amount, and the different payment methods(we'll talk about this in a separate article).
The lines for entering credit card details should be intuitive; be sure to ask if the user wants to keep the payment information and add a line for an email address, so that the buyer can receive a receipt into their inbox. Many banks now offer two-factor authentication for security. Make sure notifications come fast and pages load quickly.
Next, the user would like to see the way to work with the order. This is offered by many eCommerce websites. In other words, it's the product flow: checkout-pay-pick-up-delivery-receipt. This is a great user experience that helps the customer follow the order in real time and not have to worry.
9. eCommerce Safety Zone
Every customer wants to be sure that personal data will not be leaked. To achieve this, the site owner will have to regularly update and monitor security protocols. This is like frequently changing locks and keys.
Here, too, we'll talk about security at the time of delivery. Some customers don't want their items to be delivered in see-through packaging or in envelopes that are insecurely sealed. That's why at the checkout stage it is better to offer the user to choose special non-transparent packaging as an additional service, or a nice bonus.
Some owners of eCommerce websites offer eco-friendly packaging, which increases user loyalty. Certain types of goods must only be shipped in high-quality packaging, so that the goods don't break. You can write about this in the product card, and remind them of it when ordering.
10. eCommerce UI design: personalization and balance
Personalization is taking over the world of eCommerce. This applies to the user interface or UI design and the personalization for eCommerce of fields for user engagement. This is where you have to balance between good and over-the-top. It is important to strike the right balance.
Let's talk about good things
This is one topic where you can turn to the experience of Amazon and Jeff Bezos in particular. Huge amounts of product data sometimes confuse the user. Proper personalization offers the customer a product already based on the one they were previously interested in. Topic sections and voice search greatly simplify the user experience on your eshop.
Instagram's successful Stories solutions have pushed UX designers to integrate this experience for some of their best eCommerce apps. You can just see what's relevant at the top. It's simple and fun, and the personalized offers pinned inside refer the user to relevant discounts or products.
A great example of personalization would be major news outlet websites, where the user has been given the ability to customize content to suit their individual interests and needs.
Now let's talk about excess
You may not agree, but studies show that forced offers on every page of the eshops and sending out unpersonalised emails annoys users. To the customer, it looks like spam. Many eCommerce store owners use UX design to push at the checkout stage and fail to warn about sponsored items in the cards. This unfair advertising can turn the user away.
11. The Pinnacle of eCommerce UX design — Customer Service
Online customer care is still a service. Now this service is taking on new forms. Instead of the world's best sales manager, you have product pages – but users make a lot of requests. It is how you solve problems that increase customers' attention and loyalty.
This may entail a lot of expenses, which will be repaid over time in purchases by grateful users. With quality service, you'll reduce customer attrition, build brand awareness, and build customer trust.
Your eCommerce website is a daily job that requires constant attention. We commend you for your hard work and persistence. There is no unique recipe for a perfect UX design in eCommerce because everything changes fast. Just don't be afraid to try new things.
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