The e-commerce industry is booming. The reason for its overwhelming growth is the diverse choices that the buyer is exposed to, the ease of comparison, flexibility of time, and the reliable payment systems ecommerce platforms provide.
Statista predicts the number of digital buyers to exceed two billion by 2020. Therefore, a retail business without a well-designed ecommerce website is missing out big time on potential sales.
How vital is the UX for an ecommerce website?
Like me, most of you must have gone through the annoying scenario where we want to buy something online, but usability factors of the website turn us off. Problems such as slow loading time, limited categories, or out of stock items hinder our purchase repel a customer away from the site.
In layman’s terms, User experience, or UX, determines the experience of a website visitor.
An infographic on Toptal’s website shows that 88% of buyers say that having a bad experience will compel them not to visit that website ever again.
Improving the UX of your ecommerce website will build trust among the consumers and will bring your higher sales. A study by Forrester revealed that investing in UX of a website can give a return of as high as 9900%.
Let’s look at the top web design practices for ecommerce that will help your website outshine your competitors.
A Mobile Responsive Design
It’s natural to pick up your phone immediately when you are searching for a product, right?
Statistics published on Ourcodeworld show us that 50% of all the buyers in the US shop from their mobile.
A mobile-responsive website will allow the consumers to view the products in an appropriate size as opposed to a desktop version opened on mobile. Interaction is also easier for them, and this results in soaring sales.
Buying and selling via smartphones and tablets is also known as m-commerce. Its share in all ecommerce is expected to climb up to 72.9% by 2021, according to Statista.
A Clear and Appealing Homepage
A homepage will hook your audience and compel them to spend more time on your website. Laying out an aesthetic homepage can work wonders for your business.
So, what makes a homepage appealing to the users?
Firstly, place your logo on the top left side of your page. Eyetracking studies prove that this is the most noticed spot. Hence, the critical branding element, i.e., the logo, should be placed there. The top middle region is ideal for the search bar.
Next, make sure to showcase the links to categories clearly at the top of the homepage as Macy’s does:
Links to the most important pages like the FAQs, customer support, return policy, and your social media accounts should be given in the homepage footer. Your contact information also goes there. Make it a breeze for customers to contact you.
The more seamless the UX of your website is, the more likely customers will seal the deal with you.
An Uncomplicated Navigation
After landing on your website, the customers are pretty much on their own to go through the website. Ease of navigation will help them understand and expect where they can find something that they want to buy.
Complicated navigation will only frustrate the users who came to your website for convenience in the first place.
Simplifying the website navigation will increase the interest of the consumer, and they won’t feel perplexed when buying from your e-commerce store.
Product Search Functionality
You can increase your conversion rates by implementing product search functionality on your ecommerce website. It will help customers to find the desired products easily.
Just like Alibaba, add auto suggestions in the search drop-down, and ensure that each query of the customer gives some result. Remember to add the filtering option to ease the customer’s search further.
Review Section For Every Product Listing
Buyers give the utmost importance to a product’s reviews before buying it. Let them get what they desire directly under the product listing.
As per the Testimonial Engine, 72% of the buyers don’t make the final decision to buy a product until they read its reviews.
An Attractive Display of Products
Showcasing what you sell is the prime motive of designing your ecommerce website.
Therefore, you should display your products in the best way possible. Use high-quality images and videos to appeal to the audience. Several high-definition visuals will help them analyze the product from multiple angles.
You can add a CTA on the product image on the homepage, which will help the user explore a product via a detailed product listing.
Take a cue from Braun, whose product displays are always on point:
Entry Discount Pop-ups
Using an entry popup with an incentive for the customer is a highly suggested tip to increase sales for an e-commerce website.
When you offer a discount on the first interaction with your audience, it will develop a buyer’s mindset, and they will prioritize you for their next purchases as well.
Take the example of BN3TH. The company provides a flat 15% discount to whoever signs up for their newsletter. In the image below, you can see a popup on their website, clearly showing the discount offer:
Call-to-Action buttons urge the customer to take action. Short and clear is the only formula to succeed with a CTA, so refrain from experimenting with them a lot.
Cryptic CTAs will only confuse the customer, which is the last thing you want. Here is a comprehensive guide on CTAs according to the conversion funnel:
Fast Webpage Loading Speed
The conversion rate of an ecommerce website largely depends on its loading speed. Even if you ace at everything else, a slow loading website repels the customer, and they will leave immediately without any chances of ever looking back.
According to Annex Cloud, a slow loading website can increase the abandonment rate by 75%. It also impacts loyalty by bringing it down by 50%.
Thus, an e-commerce website must identify what elements are slowing down the webpage and work on optimizing the website to ensure good user experience.
Personalization In The UI
When it comes to UX best practices, personalization of the user interface cannot be ignored. It offers a pleasant experience to the customers by making them feel connected.
E-commerce websites are increasingly integrating personalization in their UI. An example of this personalization is the display of relevant fashion staples according to the weather of the customer’s location.
A user from the northern European countries will see a plush fur coat on the homepage of a fashion website, and another one from the Middle East will be shown a summer clothing essential.
A Smooth Checkout Process
Annex cloud states that shopping cart abandonment accounts for a loss of $2-4 trillion per year. An optimized checkout process reduces shopping cart abandonment.
Refer to the graph below on how these factors hinder a smooth checkout that every customer desires:
The first thing you can do to avoid abandonment is to be upfront about the cost. Keep the form fields minimum and avoid asking unnecessary information, which may prolong the process.
Also, don’t make the sign up compulsory and make a guest checkout possible. Lastly, validate information as soon as the customer inputs it. Invalid credit card numbers, for instance, should be instantly checked.
Enhancing the UX will tremendously impact the success of your ecommerce platform. When customers have a good, smooth, and fun experience, they will revisit your website and recommend it to friends and family as well.
Tell us in the comments below if there are any other UX practices that you think we have missed. As always, we love to hear from you!