If you are running an eCommerce website, you must always be concerned about how to develop your site as one of the most potent weapons to scale up your business. An eCommerce website is far more like a bridge between companies and customers, so making it easy to access and friendly to use is an ultimate goal that every business is pursuing.
A website that can generate sales effectively needs to have a good user experience (UX) first. In other words, an online business doer who owns a website must invest in UX design as a vital priority to make it easier for customers to interact with the brand, and satisfy their needs. According to a survey, 88% of users say that they will not revisit a site if it has a bad user experience.
Do you want to improve your website performance and user experience? Are you scratching your head every day to make your user experience better, but still receiving complaints from customers or sales ineffectiveness? This article showcases essential aspects and techniques on how to optimize UX design for your eCommerce store site. It may help you find and solve your problems.
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Why is UX Design important for eCommerce Websites?
First, let’s learn about the importance of UX design for an eCommerce website.
Customers come to your business and buy from you because they want products, services, and benefits that only you can provide or you do better than others. It’s evident that your products are the most crucial element. But your products can’t sell themselves without supporting factors. In order to get a good conversion rate, you need something that helps showcase your brand, your products to customers, and make it easier for them to buy. A good user experience (UX) is what you need.
A good UX is crucial to an eCommerce website. It will increase revenue through conversion and retention. On the contrary, a bad UX design makes users abandon your site. Now I’ll walk you through main reasons behind the importance of UX Design for eCommerce websites:
Your website is where you expose your business to customers and raise brand awareness. When customers first discover your brand, the most popular way for them to approach and learn about who you are is via your website.
In fact, customers will be more likely to assume that the visual examination of your website – such as how it looks and how they feel when browsing it – is the perfect reflection of your business. More important, it lets users know how you position your products/services in the market. The overall look and feel of your website contributes 94% to customers’ first impression on it.
A good UX is a catalyst for customers to love your business at first sight.
It’s illogical if you want to increase conversion rate but do not take any actions into UX optimization. Creating a great UX design reduces the possibility of the session when customers leave your site without navigating your website further, also known as – bounce rate. A bright, cohesive, and beautiful design helps customers to confirm that they are in the right place and can search for their desired items along with complete information without any difficulty. As a result, they’ll be happier to buy from you, and they may buy more frequently. It’s a sweet achievement of bounce rate reduction and conversion rate optimization.
What to Consider when Designing an eCommerce Website?
There is no point in designing a gorgeous website but not converting to any sales or complete purchases. Your website needs to be easy for customers to navigate and find what they want quickly rather than scrolling down endlessly but end up finding nothing. One of the most popular reasons why customers leave your site and never revisit is that your website has complex navigation.
The process of creating a website that is user-friendly and intuitive is not simple, but you can take away some essential points to improve your design.
There may be no need for too many search fields on your website. Instead, group your products precisely and keep each element of your website well-organized. Making your tabs and categories easy-to-see is important too. So how about the menu? A simple, straightforward menu is also good for your SEO since it makes your homepage more authoritative and more trust-worthy.
Besides, it’s essential to make it easy for users to move from one page to another. They’ll leave your site for your competitors if it takes them a lot of time and clicks to move from homepage to another page. Or, when they can’t define where they are landing on your site and how can they get back to the homepage.
Build a Killer Homepage
On average, a customer only takes 0.05 seconds to judge your site. So if you don’t make your website simply-attractive, reliable, and valuable enough, you’re more likely to receive a “bounce.”
Here are some highlight elements that you should consider to design a homepage that works best:
- Company logo: Your company logo is one of the first things customers see on your homepage. Indeed, it’s your brand’s identity that differentiates you from your competitors. So make it clear, easy to recognize, and, most importantly, unique so that customers can remember it and figure out your company if they see the logo somewhere later. Place your logo in an appropriate, easy-to-see position on your homepage. Studies show that a precise and professional logo on the top left side is the best spot.
- Homepage Footer: You can add links directing to your important pages that customers visit the most when coming to your website, such as the customer support page, core product collections, FAQ, social media accounts, etc. Remember always to include your contact information. So here’s an example of good Homepage Footer design from the famous makeup brand Sephora. As you can see, their hompage’s footer is quite simple, but the information they provide is extremely sufficient. The footer uses just a white sans-serif font against a black background. And there’s a big white input box where you can sign up for Sephora with your email address.
- Make it easy to connect: when customers browse your website and want to know more about your products except the information provided on your site, they will find where and how to connect with you. It’s better to include chat box, email, or call-here buttons in an easy-to-see position on your site. Below is a smooth footer design from Orbitmedia, they provide not only email address, phone number and social icons but the contact copy is also clickable, redirecting you to a form. Users can easily choose to subscribe, start a project or explore their work.
Present Sales Funnel
Sales funnel is the path website visitors take on the way to buying your product or service. In other words, it’s a technique that moves customers through several stages from providing necessary information about the products and benefits to persuading customers to make a purchase.
A popular sales funnel include the following stages:
- Introduction (Awareness)
- Education (Interest)
- Evaluation (Analysis)
- Decision (Engagement)
- Retaining (Repeating the experience)
When designing an eCommerce website, the awareness of the principles of sales funnel may help a lot. It leads to customer-centric, informative and engaging design solutions. You can probably present your sales funnel on the website or landing page, or even in social media and mobile application. For example, social media may be in charge of directing engaged traffic to the platform (your eCommerce website), therefore enabling users to buy. Have a look on this product presentation on Mageplaza’s homepage:
Brand and User experience are two separate disciplines that only coordinate occasionally. But it’s essential to design UX that vigorously exposes your brand. By integrating brand attributes and touchpoints into creating user experience on a website, you can reinforce customers’ perception of your brand and encourage positive experiences on your website.
To make the best combination of brand and UX, you should understand your brand and users at the initial stage. Only after understanding your brand’s promise and attributes, you can define which interactions should be involved in your site. Then, through learning your users, you will know which features are in line the best with your brand attributes. This process ensures that the interactions and features will be valuable and usable.
Effective use of visual elements
Visual elements form fundamental blocks of any type of visual communication, including line, shape, color, texture, and pattern. To find a general concept that gives the website an attractive and useful-for-sales look, designers need to combine all the above visual elements efficiently. Remember always to ensure your website’s visual consistency because it helps customers navigate through your site and remember your brand.
Here are some of our tips on using visual elements:
- Your visual elements should follow your brand guidelines and the tone of voice of your contents. Remember, each industry requires a different way of using visual elements. You just can not trust a law firm with a crazy texture style and a vivid background on their website.
- Remain visual consistency: Visual consistency plays an important role in website design. It helps users navigate through your website and remember your brand. Having inconsistent visuals is like communicating with your customers in different languages. So remember this: Font, Size, Color, Button, Labeling, etc… should remain consistent across the products to keep visual consistency.
- Content comes first: Visuals can give a deeper understanding of your product, express a feeling of your brand’s personality and help communicate your tone of voice. But users still need to find what they are looking for, and content makes it easier. Give people value with your content. Written content and visuals both have their place, but one cannot function well without the other.
- Use “negative space” or “white space” wisely: White space does not mean wasted space. Sometimes users want to be provided as much information as possible, so presenting everything you have in just one place may make it difficult for them to find what they want. You can possibly design your white space any colors you want it to. It allows tired eyes to rest a bit while the brain processes the new information.
Have a look at Slack homepage design. They use the triadic scheme with purple-yellow-green palette. They form an equilateral triangle on the color wheel. A safe choice for websites with a large audience, it gives a calm, harmonious look without surprises. Everything balances here and the elements don’t overpower each other.
Your ultimate goal is to sell your product, that’s natural. So don’t forget to showcase your products to customers in a way that attracts them most effectively. It’s time to think about designing an optimal layout and content arrangement of the product pages. You should add selective information about the products, which is enough for customers to know about the most critical features and benefits of your products. Take time to optimize your product photography that directly attracts customers. It is one of the decisive factors in customers’ purchase. Don’t overwhelm users with too many details and pile-up layouts. Looking at Volkswagen product pages, you will be impressed by how they do product marketing. Instead of listing out all of the features you can have in a car, the company allows you to build your own car.
Designers need to understand both products and target users to choose the right balance of data given. The product display can be designed in different ways, depending on the purpose of the store owners. Some tools that help products to show up more creatively and conveniently for customers to see, such as Quick View. It enables customers to view product information in detail quickly without being directed to another page.
Allow Users’ Feedback and Review
Once customers find your brand is trustable and worth spending their time and money on, they will want to connect with you more. At first, they want to discuss with you about your products and their concerns directly through chat. Then, they want to leave personal thoughts about their experience on your brand through several aspects such as your website performance, customer service, or your products. It’s an opportunity for you to interact with customers and let them know you are willing to listen to them and care about their feelings. This kind of interaction is an effective way to relieve buyers’ remorse, increase your store transparency, and improve user experience.
User experience is critical for every online store. Good user experience will attract, retain users, increase conversion, and stimulate users to become loyal customers. Designing a good user experience is one of the most important things to consider from the initial steps when building a website.
To have an excellent UX design, besides fundamental aspects, you should keep a watchful eye on new trends and opportunities to create a website that is not only usable but also up-to-date. However, it’s essential to always keep your website easy-to-use, clear, and eye-catching.
Want to learn more?
Want to get an industry-recognized Course Certificate in UX Design, Design Thinking, UI Design, or another related design topic? Online UX courses from the Interaction Design Foundation can provide you with industry-relevant skills to advance your UX career. For example, Design Thinking, Become a UX Designer from Scratch, Conducting Usability Testing or User Research – Methods and Best Practices are some of the most popular courses. Good luck on your learning journey!