eCommerce UX Design: 8 ways to optimize the user experience

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    Home / UX / eCommerce UX Design: 8 ways to optimize the user experience

    It's the age of e-commerce, and the trends are changing quickly.

    There are lots of options for customers, and that means you have lots of competitors.

    User experience plays a crucial role in increasing your conversion rates and profit when it comes to e-commerce.

    But how?

    Before I get into that, let's define the user experience.

    What is UX in eCommerce?

    User experience or UX is all processes and interactions between users and a company or a product. User experience starts when they first interact with your product which can be through internet search or ads. It continues until users stop interacting with the product, for example, if they leave a website without purchasing anything.

    User Experience (UX) designers improve the relationship between users and products or companies and offer them a better experience. They merge and use market research, product development, strategy, and design to provide a better user experience for products, services, and companies. 

    They connect the customer to the company and help businesses to understand their users' needs and expectations better.

    So if you have an e-commerce store nowadays, UX is crucial for your business. If you don't want your users to switch to your competitors and lose possible profit, you have to find the experience your users want and shape it accordingly.

    Let's say you're a SaaS company that wants to improve its conversion rate. First, you have to find out why users aren't buying your product although they visit the website? Why do they lose interest before taking action?

    Which steps do they take on your website, and how can you manage to chance this flow?

    In this case, analyzing your user flow would help you a lot. Once you see what your users do on your website and how they interact with your product, you can change the interaction and get better results.

    what is ux in ecommerce

    Why is UX important in eCommerce?

    UX is crucial for e-commerce, and a better UX ensures that your customers can: 

    • Easily navigate your website: UX involves all the processes your user goes through on your website; if they find what they need, then they can purchase it. Your website should be designed according to your users' needs and expectations. 
    • Find what they need, buy it, and move on: So when your users find what they want or need, they should be able to purchase. This should be easy and quick as possible because no one likes to wait, especially not the users. Your page has to load quickly. If you make your purchase process easy, people will buy from your more frequently. 
    • Will be less likely to abandon their carts: Shopping cart abandonment is what online business owner is afraid of. It happens when visitors add products to their carts but doesn't complete the checkout process. According to the Baymard Institute, an average of 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts at the checkout process. 

    3 Examples of Great UX Design in eCommerce

    Let me give three examples of good UX designs in e-commerce to give you a few ideas.

    1- W&P Design

    W&P is an e-commerce that sells modern kitchen products, and they are obviously really good at UX design.

    On their homepage, there is a notification bar that says "Free shipping on all orders above $50". It's a great method of letting customers know what your offer extra. If they want to buy only one product and feel unsure about the other product, they are more likely to order both to rise above the $50 limit and pay no money for shipping. 

    w&p notification bar

    Now, check out this section. If someone visits your website for the first time, giving an insight of your what you do and what you offer is really important. When you put a section like these and list products, customers can glance at the products they wouldn't usually go for, and something might catch their eyes. 

    w&p favorites section

    People feel reassured when they see products with good reviews. When you put stars to show their ratings and state that they are customer favorites, your visitors would want to check out the product. An increase in interest equals taking action.

    That's why you have to make sure that you give your visitors a quick route to take action. That's where CTAs come into play. A CTA that stands out will urge users to take action. Make sure that you place CTAs in the right places on your web page and use clear and understandable texts. 

    For example, in this case, "SHOP ALL" is simple but effective.

    Users buy products from businesses they trust, so you should use the home page to gain their trust. W&P uses a section called "Join the Conversation" at the bottom of its home page and shows its Instagram account posts. 

    w&p social media trust

    People don't only use social media to connect with each other but also connect with businesses as well. When you offer social proof of your connection with your already existing customers, visitors can build a connection with your brand and make a purchase as well. 

    2- Manscaped

    Now, check out Manscaped's website.

    The first thing you notice when you click on the link is that beige-colored banner that displays the special offer of the brand. Again, this announcement bar lets visitors know that there is a time-limited offer.

    manscaped special offer banner

    Scarcity is a way to increase your conversion rates. By creating time-related scarcity, you can urge people to make a purchase right away. Even if they don't make a purchase, they will check out the offer, and that would increase your user engagement

    Look at the screenshot below. If you address your visitors' possible concerns and assure that your products are top-of-the-line, they would be more encouraged to try your product. In this case, since the product can cause damage to the customer's skin, by showing the qualities of your product, you increase the interest in your product.

    manscaped addressing customer concern

    When you scroll down the page, there is a section that shows some research studies about what their partners prefer, etc. If you offer your visitors scientific data, they will try to use that information to get the most benefit. So when you use statistics to provide your visitors with additional reasons to buy and use your products, you'll improve your conversion rate.

    manscaped research study

    Lastly, check out the dropdown menu under the "Products" that are located at the header of the website. Once you click on it, you can see all products offered by the brand listed under various categories. 

    manscaped categories

    When users can easily navigate through your website, they can see and experience more. They can check out more products, read more reviews and save time. If they didn't figure out where to go on your website, they would exit your website and find another seller.

    3- Louis Vuitton

    Louis Vuitton is a high-end fashion brand that offers different types of clothing and accessories to its customers. When you enter their website, you can look at a product's other pictures while you're browsing a category. 

    louis vuitton navigation

    As you can see here, a visitor can swipe right and left to see the bag, how it looks from different angles, how it looks on the fashion model, and so on. So they don't have to go inside the product page to see the other pictures. This makes the shopping experience very convenient.

    louis vuitton product navigation

    You can also see the color options for a product and the details of each bag without having to go inside the product page. All you have to do is scroll down to see different models under the category and swipe left and right on the product pictures to see different angles.

    louis vuitton product display

    When you enter a specific product page like this one, you have a section that says "Product Care." Since Louis Vuitton sells high-quality bags, it's crucial to include a section to show their customers how to take care of their products. 

    louis vuitton product care

    Don't forget that user experience doesn't end when a customer purchases your product. If you ensure that they are satisfied with your product afterward, they will buy from you again. 

    Eight ways to improve the UX of your eCommerce website to maximize conversions

    Now, let's dig a bit deeper into specific practices that will boost the UX of your eCommerce:

    1- Use an Announcement Banner to promote offers and discounts

    When you want to go to a place, and you don't know how to go there exactly, you use maps, right? Because maps show you the way to your desired destination.

    Now, imagine you're a user visiting a website for the first time. You don't know where to go, where to find the product you want to purchase, or how to subscribe to a service. If you see a banner that says "%50 discount for last season's products", you would want to check it out, although you might've had a different product in mind at first.

    Letting your visitors know about the promotions, discounts, and special offers will increase your conversion rates, and your website design plays a critical role in this matter.

    Don't be afraid to update and change your website's layout when it's needed, and always include a website announcement banner.

    apple notification banner ux

    2- Have a clear value proposition for your products - tell them why they need it

    Unless you already have a well-established brand with a stable, loyal customer base like Louis Vuitton, you have to highlight the best qualities of your products to increase interest in your products. 

    Let's say that you're selling shoes. Are they light? Are they comfortable? Maybe your products have an orthopedic license, or it's recommended by credible health professional. 

    You have to persuade people to buy your shoes instead of Nike's. So, list all of the qualities of your products, don't be afraid to use paragraphs to describe your product. Tell them what separates your products from your competitors' products.

    Many people won't read the long descriptions, but still, it will affect their decision process.

    3- Leave no question unanswered

    If people are shopping from your website for the first time, they will probably have doubts. To get rid of their doubts, you should think of the questions your possible customer can have and answer these questions on your website.

    Let's say you're a jewelry brand.

    Do you sell silver, gold, or gold plated accessories?

    Are they water and sweat-resistant?

    Can you give a guarantee that your products won't tarnish when they get wet?

    Think of all the worries visitors might have before and after purchasing your product. Just like the Louis Vuitton example, you can also offer after-care information about your products to increase user experience after the purchase as well.

    4- Easy navigation is a must-have

    Since your website is like a map for your visitors to reach their destination, you must make sure that they can read the map. If the map is too complex and hard to read, then no one can find their way.

    If you don't want your visitors to get lost on your website and eventually leave, you have to offer them easy navigation on your website. Just like Manspaced, you can list all of your products in categorized sections and offer your visitors a full view.

    Or you can follow W&P's footsteps and add a bestsellers/customers' favorites segment on your home page. The possibilities are endless.

    To optimize your UX, you can also form a UX design team in your company to create the most efficient website for your business.

    ecommerce ux navigation

    5- Create collections or groups for related products

    If someone wants to buy a pen, they might as well want to buy a pencil case. They might also need an eraser and pencil sharpener. You can add a whole list of stationeries here.

    That is why most of the e-commerce websites recommend similar products to the products you've already viewed and create collections and sets for related products.

    For example, let's say that you want to buy an action figure on Amazon. The website shows "Frequently bought together" figures and basically asks: "It looks like you're interested in this series. Want to buy both of these characters? Or maybe you want to include a third one."

    Aliexpress also does a similar thing according to your history on its website; it recommends groups of products that you might like and enjoy so you can discover new products and eventually purchase them.

    6- Use Hotspots to display additional information

    Sometimes you can't make your website less complex, but you can still make your user experience easier. For example, Igus struggled with their website's navigation because they offer too many tools and customization possibilities to their customers. It's actually a great plus for businesses to provide custom options for their customer; however, in this case, it was also negative till they started using UserGuiding. 

    They used UserGuiding, a digital adoption platform, to create hotspot elements without any coding.

    Igus, a plastics marketplace, offers hotspots created with UserGuiding with gifs for their customization options.

    With Hotspots, you can give your visitors additional information they need to know about your different features and products, without crowding up your UX.

    7- Keep your website as fast and light as possible

    Since e-commerce sites work with direct actions such as adding a product to the chart or purchasing an item, the speed optimization of these sites is crucial. If a user can't get through the categories on your site for a long time, the user will be +1 to your bounce rate.

    Bounce rate is the rate of "abandoning the website" of users just before they enter it. If a website is difficult to load or navigate, your bounce rate will increase. It doesn't matter if your traffic is high in the first place; low UX will lead to low conversion and will negatively affect traffic and SEO over time as well.

    8- Keep the checkout as quick as possible

    Making a purchase should be a simple process.

    That means you shouldn't include too many stages in your checkout process. If you do, people would simply abandon their carts because they would see it as a waste of time. 

    For example, Amazon has a "Buy Now" option where you can skip the process of adding a product to your cart and pay for it right after entering your address and info.

    Your users should be able to check out as a guest and use whatever payment method they want. That method could be by Google Pay, PayPal, or Stripe. You just have to make sure that your checkout process is easy and quick. A complicated checkout process will worsen your user experience and decrease your conversions.

    ecommerce website checkout

    If you apply these methods, you can improve your user experience and start profiting more right away!

    All you need to do is begin.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What kind of design is good for an eCommerce website?

    Your e-commerce website should have the right colors, fonts, images, words, and graphics to persuade visitors to make a purchase. Your e-commerce website design should catch potential customers' attention and offer a great user experience.

    Can a commerce student become a UX designer?

    Yes, why not. If you want to become a UX designer it doesn't matter what you're studying, there are lots of courses where you can improve yourself and learn new skills.

    How does UX design add value to the business, in this case, your eCommerce solution?

    Good UX design increases the interest of customers, conversions, and generates value for a business. UX Design affects revenues, customer retention, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty positively.

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