Best UX Practices For Your eCommerce Website Design
What is eCommerce?
ECommerce has become an important part of the economy. Statista anticipates 246.15% increase in worldwide ecommerce sales from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.5 trillion in 2021. There are massive opportunities for global ecommerce that is too good to ignore. Every product-based startup starts it’s career from online stores as it easy to set up. And every brick and mortar based stores need to have an ecommerce store to sell their product online. Companies which are 100 years old are forced to move into ecommerce to sell their products as users are becoming indifferent to the physical shopping experience. The only problem with the online store is that customers are not able to touch and feel the product. That is why the following ecommerce website design best practices have become an integral part to keep the users happy.
Why Should Owners Care About eCommerce and UX
First of all, a lot of owners don’t know the meaning of UX and it’s importance. Many people confuse UX with how pretty the design looks but there is more to the design that goes into creating an experience for the customer retainability. A lot of the ecommerce store owners do NOT know their target audience which will take you nowhere. Doing user research and creating personas for your ecommerce website will help you find the right target audience.
Having a good experience in your online store has become an important part to retain your customers. Thousands of dollars are spent on digital marketing, yet UX goes unnoticed for most of the store owners. Bad UX will affect your revenue, current customers, potential customers. UX design is an important part of an ecommerce store. Good ecommerce UX can lead to:
- Increase in conversion rate
- Reduced customer support
- Increased customer loyalty
- Increase in referrals
While designing the user experience for the ecommerce site, there are few things to keep in mind like:
- Does the page loads fast?
- Are Call to Actions (CTAs) labeled properly and clearly defined?
- Is the store easily navigable?
- Is the text clear and concise?
- Is the store accessible?
- Is the store responsive and adaptable on different devices?
- Is the search form working?
According to Baymard Institute, the average cart abandonment rate is 69.23%. There are many reasons for cart abandonment rate, for example, many users will be doing window shopping or price comparison or comparing different products and many more. These are natural unavoidable cart abandonments. But there are other reasons like:
- Site forcing them to create an account
- Too long process to checkout
- Total cost not shown up-front
- Website had errors
- Customers did not trust the website with their credit cards
- The extra costs are too high
If the UX is bad, customers will not hesitate to leave the site and shop somewhere else.
Best Practices For Your eCommerce Website Design
The functionality of the store is of utmost priority
Don’t add any functionality to make the website just look pretty or fancy. The core functionality of the website should be just SALES. If you add more functionality than required, you can make the website slower. Customer’s time is valuable and they will not wait for the website to keep loading. Slower the page load time, the lower the conversion rate. Look at Amazon, it’s website is not fancy or beautiful but gets the job done. Users come, they buy and they leave. Some of the “fancy” functionality could be:
- Parallax Scrolling
- Full page image or video
- Any new type of navigation
- Animation at every step
UX design does not mean you keep adding new design elements or functionality but to keep users happy and website functional. UX’s main goal should be to help customers get what they came for.
Make the text readable
The text on the website should be clear and concise. People will not read through long paragraphs of text, they don’t have time for that. Keep it short and use bullet points wherever possible. Make sure the text is readable and text size is large enough for people to read without straining their eyes. Make your products easy to find for your customers. Have a clear indication of the product description for customers to search. Understand how your customers read (scan) your website.
In user experience design, copy comes first. Copy tends to get overlooked on ecommerce sites especially on the product page with the product description.
Make product page simple
Even though ecommerce is a fast growing market, people still prefer to shop at the real-world store as they can look and feel the product before buying. To make customers comfortable while buying a product online. Store owners should have high-quality images from every angle for the user to see as well as zoom features so that users can make an informed decision. Videos help too.
Make product page simple with relevant information in an organized manner. Have all the features listed out for users to quickly scan.
Make navigation simple
Make navigation simple and intuitive for the customers to use.
- Label the menu items with familiar words, not some creative words where users have to think twice
- Have basic elements like shopping basket, where users expect it to be (on the top right corner of the website)
- Use breadcrumbs for to let customers know where they are
- Have a search bar on every page of the website
Offer assistance to your customer through chatbots and phone
With chatbots becoming an integral part of the websites, store owners can use them to offer virtual assistance to their customers. They can provide guidance while customers are choosing their product. It gives a more personalized experience for the customers.
Hassle-free checkout process
Have a hassle-free checkout for your customers. Don’t force them to get an account created, there is a high possibility that they will abandon the checkout process. Keep the checkout process simple by minimizing the number of steps to make a purchase. Have the total cost of the purchase including with shipping and tax before they start with the checkout. This will make the customers trusting your website.
There should be enough trust created by the store owners that the customers will be ready to give their credit card numbers.
According to Baymard Institute, 78% of mobile ecommerce sites perform poorly when reviewing the combined mobile product finding experience: that is primarily the mobile homepage, category navigation, and on-site search experience. If your website looks awesome on the desktop does not mean that it will be user-friendly on the mobile phone. The website has to be fluid and adaptable in different screen sizes.
How You Can Spot UX Problems On Your Website
There are many ways you can spot UX issues on your website. Many ecommerce store owners do not want to get UX research done as they feel that it is expensive. But the money spent on getting UX audit will help spot the issue and hence increase the conversion rates.
There are many ways to spot the issues:
- Heats Maps/Scroll Maps
- A/B Testing
- Session Videos
- Click Rate
Even small changes in the website can help increase your conversion rates. Or there could be other reasons which may require you to redesign your website. The above ecommerce website design best practices will help store owners gain more traction and conversion rates.
Idea Theorem has recently launched UX Audit services for you to understand where you are missing pieces to gain more user base. You can also check out DIY UX Audit where we have provided you with our insights that will help your business grow.
Idea Theorem is Toronto based digital agency which creates simple and usable products for web and mobile. Our human-centered design approach lets us understand your customers, identify their pain points & deliver solutions that enhance their experience with your brand. Contact Us if you have any questions and we will be happy to help you.