ECommerce UX Design - Best Strategies and Principles

How To Improve ECommerce UX Design And Measure It's Success?

Published Under: SEO | UX Design
Last Updated: January 27, 2020
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Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon once said: “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”- For the last 20 years, with the take over of the internet, commerce has completely evolved. Did you know that there are more than 2 billion global digital buyers? That's 25% of the global population. More and more consumers are turning to online shopping and more than ever, positive online user experience means more business and profits. In this article we will discuss in detail UX design for eCommerce and a few ways to improve and measure its performance.

Raul Harman

What is eCommerce?

ECommerce (Electronic Commerce) is the mode of providing customers with goods or services, using electronic devices over the internet.

Electronic commerce relies on technologies such as

  • Mobile commerce
  • Electronic funds transfer (EFT)
  • Supply chain management
  • Internet / digital marketing
  • Online transaction processing and management
  • Online data hubs and interchange
  • Online inventory management systems
  • Automated data collection

Internet is the backbone of the eCommerce and electronic devices such as mobile phones and computers are the gateway for eCommerce.

UX Design for eCommerce

Success of an eCommerce platform depends on the quality of:

  • Product or service offered by a business
  • Presentation of the product or services
  • User interface (UI) for the platform
  • User experience (UX) for the platform

We can see that, UX interface design and experience is clearly playing half of the role in the success of an eCommerce platform.

Important features for eCommerce UX design

  • Simple and easy to Interact user interface
  • Clear hierarchy
  • Consistency in layout
  • Easy and sensible navigation
  • Organized layouts and structure
  • Attractive presentation for products and services
  • Helpful product descriptions
  • Simple and easy payment system
  • Reliable feedback system
  • Sensible branding
  • User security
  • Sensible visual elements placement
  • Easy to access contact information

Ecommerce trends are evolving at an astonishing pace and some of them are changing the industry forever.

In 2020, ecommerce digital marketing will be more customer-centric. This simply means that, instead of prioritizing their brand exposure, online retailers need to focus on customer experiences.

As your website is the backbone of your ecommerce business, start by making its design more user-friendly. Sure, to design a user-oriented website, you first need to collect your customers’ data across multiple channels.

Most importantly, you will need to run A/B tests continuously and audit the performance of your UX design tactics to learn which ones work for you.

“Always deliver more than expected.” -Larry Page | Google
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1. Offer Intuitive Navigation Features

According to Google, 67% of visitors will ditch your website when annoyed with its navigation.

They do not want to scroll endlessly to find the product they want to buy. No matter where they are on your website, users should always know what page they are on, where the menu is, where search boxes and filters are, where they can find detailed product information, how they can contact you, etc.

First, you will need to simplify your homepage navigation menu. Trim down the number of categories and subcategories and focus on the most important ones.

Second, use descriptive labels when naming product categories and subcategories. The idea is to help users orient themselves easier and find the desired content faster.

Third, use the right kind of homepage menus. For example, dropdown menus are the most common option ecommerce sites choose, but they can often be too confusing. Hamburger menus, on the other hand, are simplified and make categorization easier.

2. Increase Mobile Experience

The number of mobile shoppers is constantly growing. According to Statista, mobile ecommerce will account for 72.9% of ecommerce sales by 2021.

To improve user experiences, you need to invest in responsive website design.

Some simple practices that may serve as your starting point are:

  • When designing mobile pages, remove all unnecessary elements from your desktop page. Too much information will overwhelm users and drive them away.
  • Use proper spacing, choose legible font sizes and typography, and leave lots of white space to make your content easily readable.
  • Optimize your content for the “thumb zone” to boost usability. Namely, 75% of people use thumbs when navigating through sites, so make the most important elements central.
  • Improve the website speed by minifying code, upgrading your hosting plan, investing in a CDN, and reducing image file sizes.
  • Keep your graphics sharp on both larger and smaller devices. That’s where using Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) is critical.
  • Standardize your clickable areas (links and buttons) across the entire site. Make sure they are easy to click from smaller screens.

3. Create Amazing Visual Content

To engage your website visitors, you need to create amazing content and make them visually appealing and engaging. So, what kind of content you should create on your ecommerce site?

  • Infographics are an amazing way to present a bunch of data and facts in an aesthetically appealing and engaging way. People love them because they are easy to follow. For marketers, this means increasing website traffic, shares, and backlinks. The example of backs me up on that. Namely, Infostarters creates infographics, with custom illustrations, for their site to drive traffic and shares. Their recent infographic about vlogger generated 4.850 page visits, 652 shares, and 136 backlinks.
  • Improve your product page photos. Remember that your customers cannot feel your products when shopping online. Your goal is to provide them with seamless experiences. That is where 360-degree photos can help, letting you present your products realistically, from different angles.
  • Leverage augmented reality. AR plays a vital role in digital marketing. Its major implementation revolves around letting visitors visually experience products to make better buying decisions. For example, IKEA has created IKEA Place that lets users upload photos of their rooms and insert different furniture from the site.
  • Embrace videos. They are perfect for displaying different product features. How-to videos help customers learn how your products work and are more engaging than lengthy textual guides. You can also use videos to show behind-the-scenes moments to humanize your brand and make it more transparent.

4. Provide a Seamless Checkout

Now that you have managed to grab your potential customers’ attention, engage them, offer the right products, you need to motivate them to buy from you. Keep in mind that many customers decide to abandon the shopping cart due to the overly complicated checkout process.

  • Don’t force customers to register to purchase. Let them choose the right moment to sign up for your email list.
  • A prominent “Add to Cart” button – place it above the fold and use attention-grabbing colors.
  • Simplify your forms. Eliminate all irrelevant form fields and leave only those that can really help you learn more about your customers, such as their email address, credit card data, delivery address, etc. Make sure your forms are easy to fill out on all kinds of devices.
  • Insert financial security badges, logos, and certificates that will gain people’s trust and increase conversions. Another important trust feature is HTTPS. In 2018, Chrome has started marking sites using HTTP as “not secure,” which may drive people away.
  • Provide multiple payment gateways to improve user experiences.
  • Let customers review your products and services. Statistics say that nearly 95% of online buyers read reviews before making purchases.

5. Personalize User Experiences

Statistics prove that online customers are eager to spend more money and wait for more relevant content. Given that, it is not surprising at all that personalization has become critical in any form of digital marketing, especially in the ecommerce sector. When creating user-oriented website experiences, you need to do the following:

  • Track your customers’ location, historical purchases, and buying patterns and, based on this data, display recommended products. You should also tell them what similar products customers are buying.
  • Tell your customers what products they previously viewed to inspire them to go back and finalize the purchase.
  • Provide exceptional service. Integrate a chatbot with your website that will provide real-time feedback 24/7. Also, chatbots offer lots of opportunities for personalization. For example, Sephora’s customers can use the brand’s bot to upload their photo and try out different makeup products until they find the perfect one. Finally, a chatbot will reduce your lengthy sales cycle by pointing customers right to the right products or even allow them to order them from the bot.
  • Interactive forms of content, such as quizzes or polls, can also help you learn more about your customers and, at the same time, engage them.

How to Measure the Effectiveness of your Ecommerce UX Design?

To improve your ecommerce website design, you first need to measure its effectiveness.

First, you will need to set realistic, measurable, and timely goals you want to achieve with your website design.

Do you want to improve conversions, increase brand awareness, or maybe boost retention rates? Once you set clear goals, tie them with the right metrics to understand whether your ecommerce UX design is performing as expected.

Now, the UX metrics can be behavioral and attitudinal.

Behavioral UX Metrics

Behavioral UX metrics tell you how effectively your customers are interacting with your ecommerce site or app. Here are some of the most important KPIs to keep in mind:

  • Task success rate (TSR) tracks the number of correctly executed tasks. Namely, if a task is straightforward and has an obvious endpoint, such as making a purchase or filling out a newsletter form, you can measure TSR easily.
  • Time-on-task tells you how much time a user needs to finalize a task. It is usually measured in minutes and seconds. Logically, if your design is simple and user-friendly, a user will complete the task faster.
  • Search boxes vs. navigation. Greater use of search boxes may indicate that your navigation menu is not optimized as expected.
  • The user error rate (UER) tells you how many times a visitor makes a wrong entry. For example, if a user cannot click on a CTA button fast, this means that something is wrong with it. Logically, the higher the user error rate, the poorer your website usability.

Attitudinal UX Metrics

Those metrics tell you what your customers think and how they feel before and after purchasing from your website. You can measure them in multiple ways, including:

  • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) measures how satisfied your customers are with your online store. The scale usually includes 5 most typical answers, ranging from “Very Satisfied” to “Very Unsatisfied.”
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) measures customer loyalty on a 0-10 score. It asks a single straightforward question – How likely is it that customers will recommend your ecommerce brand to their friends, families, or colleagues? Unhappy customers (with a score of 0-6) are detractors, while those with a score of 7-8 are passive customers. Customers with the score 9-10 are promoters. The final NPS is calculated by subtracting the percentage of detractors from promoters.
  • System Usability Scale (SUS) is a ten-point survey that measures subjective assessments of your site or app’s functionality. The questions range from “Strongly Agree” to “Strongly Disagree.”

Over to You

Today’s ecommerce digital marketing has become both data-oriented and customer-centric.

Only by adopting this mindset when designing and optimizing your website will you be able to outcompete other brands in the industry, grow sales, and retain customers.

I hope this helps!

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Meet The Author

Raul Harman

My name is Raul, editor in chief at Technivorz blog. I have a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. You can reach me out on Twitter.

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