Everyone knows that UX (user experience) defines the way visitors perceive your e-commerce site, as well as has an influence on website conversion. It is especially important in the sphere of e-commerce and online retail since unless the customer succeeds in allocating what’s needed, he/she will most likely abandon your website without making a purchase (and might not ever return). The reasons for that can be in your imperfect UX: poor navigation, unoptimized website, images loading very slowly, to name a few.
Therefore, in this guide, we gladly share what is considered to be the best practices in UX / UI, provide examples of recent trends, and give tips on what you may improve so as to stop losing customers and your revenues.
Let’s Start With the E-Commerce UX / UI Basics
As mentioned previously, user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) play a crucial role in e-commerce. Regardless of which platform your website is built on, it is best to think everything through all the way down to the tiniest details.
Here are some pointers to pay special attention to:
- Yes, it’s wise to make use of the eCommerce UX best practices. Yet “copy-cat” behavior most likely won’t do you good. While some ideas can be adapted to your online store, things should stay individual.
- The same applies in regards to the data that you’re using to back up your decisions. If the research isn’t yours and you aren’t sure what the customer behavior in your specific niche is, then you’ll be basing your “moves” on “shot-in-the-dark” assumptions, and that’s risky. Do your homework and know your target audience.
- Also, more isn’t always better. Make sure not to get carried away and don’t implement as many ideas as are available. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a mess.
- In most cases, it’s wise to turn to the pros for UX / UI help with e-commerce. For instance, if we take one of the most popular e-commerce platforms, Magento, it makes sense to invest in Magento theme development services in order to raise your store’s game. You can steer clear of terrible design choices, avoid rookie mistakes, and boost performance. This is particularly vital as each business is a separate case and deserves a divergent approach.
- Moreover, remember that not all offered solutions are “magic wands”. What works for one website might not be applicable to another. Meaning that you should be ready to get your hands busy with research for at least some extent of experiments.
- If you’re aware that your online store has a bug or some defects that need to be fixed (e.g. a layout or style is off), this must be fixed without delay. You can be losing money because of something as simple as an option not being available on a product page’s dropdown list due to technical issues (e.g. your customer can’t pick the size, so your customer doesn’t buy from you).
- Don’t underestimate the power of website speed. Every second is priceless. Put in some effort into website speed optimization and stop keeping your clients waiting and leaving your store in irritation.
- Finally, apart from overall visual appeal, you must make sure that your online store meets numerous standards, including those of Google.
Which Elements of an E-Commerce Store Need UI / UX Attention?
In reference to Google’s UX Playbook for Retail (that collects top practices that were gathered on the basis of common client behavior), e-commerce websites should especially focus their attention on core store components. Listed below, we bring you those parts of the e-commerce store that should be in top priority in terms of UX / UI.
Homepage & Website Navigation
Having all the important information right on the homepage is vital. This is the first page your clients usually see. Thus, things should be well-structured and there shouldn’t be too many elements. Double-think about your calls to action and speak about which value your products or services bring.
Significantly, your store must be intuitive in terms of navigation. Every move of your client during their journey has to be taken into account. It should be easy to find needed items and to buy them too. So, avoid things that’ll tangle up navigation.
Site Menu & Product Search
This is where your customers will go to find something in your store. Have a basic top menu that states plainly what kind of product categories you have. If you have too many categories, limit the ones shown in the menu to “the best of the best”. Show the rest of them later on.
It’s twice as important to have items categorized smartly so that users won’t have trouble accessing them. The product search should work quickly. Plus, you can even make use of smart search and autofill functionality to speed things up.
Speaking about the catalog pages that generally come in grids, make sure to give each of your products the space that they need. Wishing to show as much as possible in one place, products are often overcrowded, resulting in scattered attention and loss of focus on specific products. Add filters and flexible product “quick views” to make the user experience better. Take a look at the catalog page of Nike as an example.
Keeping product pages simple is also a good idea. Larger close-up images of the item or the variations that it comes in are a good way to go. Here’s an example of the Forever21 product page with a close-up feature.
There should be enough info on the product but not too much. A clearly stated price (without hidden fees) and an obviously visible button with a CTA should be in place too. User reviews and feedback on the selected product from those who’ve already bought it helps a lot. So do sections with similar products or “You might also like this” blocks.
It must be easy to place items in the cart. So make sure that the shopping cart section is clear and understandable. Don’t add too many unneeded elements so as to urge your customers to take their shopping intentions to the checkout.
Last but not least, take heed to the checkout. Many store owners even tend to place all the steps of the on a single page! The process of checking out your order should be fast and convenient. Therefore, the number of required fields to be filled out in forms should be minimized. There should be many payment methods available to select from as well.
Web Design UX / UI Trends for E-Commerce in 2021
Going Mobile & Responsive
Progressive web applications and responsive website designs are highly popular as the number of purchases made from mobile devices continues to increase. Such a design solution emits the necessity to make a separate mobile design for the mobile version of the store or the need to build a native application (that users have to download to their device).
The recent shift to simple and basic layouts with an accent on something warm and colorful is also a trend. Asymmetry and collage format for images is another hit. Garish designs with “screaming” colors or elements are considered to be tasteless and distracting. Similarly, too many pop-ups are a bad choice.
Adding Multimedia & Graphics to Products
A great idea for presenting the goods you’re selling is displaying them via video visuals. As such, videos are often used as elements of the gallery on the product pages. Such footage shows your products “in action”. Plus, it raises the chances for the customer to make up their mind and purchase the item. The same goes for various graphics to understand the dimensions and sizes of an item, and here’s how it is used on the Chanel website:
Making it possible to twist and turn the product in 3D is a great trend. Even better, the authenticated reality technology is also often used lately. As such, on the screenshot below, you can see how Shiseido offers to “test” how a product will look on you (e.g. a lip gloss shade) using the camera of the device. After clicking the “try it on” button, the gallery section is replaced by the device’s frontal camera view, and the technology applies the makeup.
Final Thoughts: The UX / UI Guide for E-Commerce Websites
All in all, good UX and UI are highly important for successful e-commerce businesses. They’re needed for your online store to be compatible and user-friendly. If everything’s done right, this will help to boost sales and your business to grow!
For further resources, take a look at the development section of our Resources for New Web Design and Development Projects page.
Take a look at the articles 5 Starting App Stack Coding Project Suggestions, Learn About PCI DSS Compliance for an E-Commerce Store, Why Effective UX Design Is Critical to Your Website’s Success for further reading.