Ecommerce is rapidly becoming the way you do business today. And one of the most important outcomes of this prosperity is a large number of customers. The biggest challenge is how to convert your visitors into customers.
One way you can gain customers is by building a well-developed ecommerce user experience. If your store doesn’t offer the best UX, all your efforts might go down the drain.
Let’s look at why you need to care about UX, and how ecommerce designers can make the customer’s experience hassle-free.
What is Ecommerce User Experience (UX)?
Ecommerce user experience (UX) is defined as the overall experience of the visitor when interacting with your store, from the second the visitor loads your homepage, to the purchase, and even the post-purchase experience.
That is why it’s wise to focus on every element of UX, starting from performance and neat design, to clean navigation. The best ecommerce user experience aims to make the shopping experience as good as possible to drive potential customers to your products and services.
Improving your ecommerce UX leads to more impulse purchases, less cart abandonment, high trust and confidence in your store, and higher overall conversion. So, it's important to follow the best practices when you build your ecommerce store.
9 Best Ecommerce UX Practices
1- Clean and Clear Homepage
Your homepage is the first thing your customers see when they come across your store, and it’s usually the page that gets the most traffic. It’s crucial to make it look clean, uncluttered, and have a clear purpose.
Here are some points to consider while building your homepage:
- Don't make it cluttered. Keep it offering minimum choice pathways. Don’t bog down your customer with too much information.
- Keep content short and to the point.
- Avoid pop-ups and forms. They distract your customers.
- Make your customer support contact information prominent through a live-chat widget on your homepage.
- Keep your hero area streamlined and simple. The images should be relevant and meaningful to your ecommerce store. Use high-quality images and make them full-width.
- Keep the text on the hero image short, and relevant, and let there be a contrast between the text and the background.
- Always add Call-to-action buttons on your hero image. It ensures the highest chance of customers interacting with it.
- The visual hierarchy should follow the information hierarchy so customers naturally gravitate to the most important products first. You can do that by adjusting the position, color, or size of your products.
2- Make Sure Your CTA Buttons Are Clear and Prominent
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are key to ecommerce success. They help customers to navigate your store and help you highlight the products and promotions. CTA in ecommerce generally is an “Add to Cart”, a “Buy Now”, or a “Checkout” button. Therefore, good CTA buttons would inspire your customers to take action and urge them to purchase.
A good CTA should be:
- Noticeable and clickable.
- Readable with contrasting colors and bold lettering.
- Placed in the right place on the website or the application so that customers can find them quickly. For example, place “Sale” on the navigation bar to make customer access it easily. You can also place the “Sale” button on the hero area or in a wide section on the homepage.
- Be clear about what happens next. For example, the “Show Sales” button or tab will show your customer only the products in the sale, not any other products. Also, the “Shop Now” button should show your customer product listing page.
- Keep the wording short but with clear and common phrases. For example, use “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” to add a product to the cart.
3- Enable Search From All Pages
In ecommerce stores that sell a large number of products, the search bar is an essential way for customers to find the products that they are looking for.
These are some considerations to take when you design the search bar:
- Make the search bar prominent and ensure to use a background that makes it stand out. For example, make the field lighter and the background darker, which makes the customer catch it readily.
- If you use a search icon, you should make it easy to spot. For example, near the cart icon.
- Place the search on the top right or centralized.
- Use sticky search bars to ensure the search feature is available everywhere on all pages.
- Use autocomplete function to help customers search faster and fix spelling mistakes. For example, you can use Algolia for the best practices.
- Add filters when using the search bar to narrow search results.
- Use suggested results and autocorrect for human errors.
- Save customers’ search history.
4- Make Your Product Listing Pages Informative
The product listing page is the most important page for customers. Not only do they use it to find the products they need, but they can use it to find products they didn’t know they needed.
Some essentials to include are:
- Provide product images, prices, availability, and options (colors, sizes,...etc) on your listing pages.
- Show primary actions like “Add to Cart”, “Buy Now”, and “Add to Wishlist” buttons for each product. Place them prominently relative to the rest of the page content.
- Make the name of the product bold and the price of the product clear.
- Show products in grids and use a divider between products.
- Provide pagination to allow your customer to navigate between pages without struggle. Allow them to jump to specific pages within the results.
- Mark bestselling, recently launched, and out-of-stock products with unique tags or icons.
- Allow customers to sort products by price and rating.
5- Use High-Quality Product Images and Strong Descriptions
The online shopping experience is limited on all fronts. Your customers can’t try on products and can’t feel or tangibly experience them. So, providing high-quality product images and strong-detailed descriptions help your customers get a better understanding of the products.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Use large, high-resolution images with white backgrounds and good lighting.
- Add a zoom-in feature to allow customers to see product details clearly.
- Allow customers to scroll back and forth between images.
- The images should show different shots of the product from different angles, close-up images of its texture, and photos of the product in use.
- Use clear, well-written, and detailed product descriptions to assure your customers that your product is the right fit.
- Provide available product dimensions and colors.
6- Show Product Reviews
Including customer reviews on your product pages is a very powerful way to encourage customers to purchase. By displaying customer reviews on the product page, you’re showing new visitors that you’re a trustworthy seller.
Here are some tips to ensure the best UX for product reviews:
- Show the rating average by stars.
- Pair the star rating with a review.
- Allow customers to submit photos and videos of the product they received.
- Show a questions and answers section.
- Place the ratings closer to the price. A high rating can encourage the customer to make the purchase.
Promotions play an important role in attracting customers to your site and tempting them to purchase once they arrive.
Here is how you can ensure that promotions are communicated effectively to your customers:
- Show a prominent sales and deals section on the homepage. It should be noticeable but shouldn’t compete with the homepage’s primary value proposition.
- Call-out deals with bright colors, bold text, and full-width photos.
- Show the discount percentage.
- Show the old price and the price after the discount, preferably in red color. Also, don’t hide the old price.
- Use countdown timers with the products that have sale periods to encourage customers to make a fast purchase decision.
- Be clear about the rules and conditions for special offers. For example, “buy one get one free” or “buy two get one free”.
- When you have an urgent or a seasonal sale, add an announcement bar or add a Sale button on the hero area with a catchy message.
8- Make The Checkout Progress Straightforward
The more steps that stand between your customers and confirming their purchase, the higher the cart abandonment rate will be. Streamlining checkout makes the purchase process faster and prevents the customer from rethinking their decision.
There are plenty of ways to optimize the checkout process:
- Simplify the checkout process as much as possible. Skip steps that are not essential, and combine similar steps.
- Show the customer their progress and how much is left until they complete the purchase. That can be done with a progress bar, or numbered steps or stages.
- Ask for only the minimal required information, and clarify and indicate optionally and required information.
- Highlight the discount code field or coupon.
- Allow customers to use the sa billing address as the shipping address with one click.
- Offer different payment methods and third-party payment options backed by trusted companies, like PayPal’s OneTouch, Amazon, Android Pay, and Apple Pay.
9- Don’t Force Customers to Register
Account creation can feel like a long process and include many steps. it might include the confirmation link or One Time Password (OTP), and this annoys customers who want just to purchase.
For an enjoyable experience, you can enable checkout as a guest. This further makes the checkout process simpler which leads to more purchases.
Here are some tips to follow:
- Only require the customer’s email. You can also tie the address they enter to that email so that they can have the address auto-filled the next time they use the same email, even if they’re not logged in.
- Enable social login on the checkout screen to allow the user to register with one click.
- You can encourage the customer to register by letting them know that they can see their order history, track order details, get coupons, or mot.
The tips in this article provide a baseline of UX best practices that every ecommerce store should follow, but it’s just the beginning. In general, you have to follow UX standards, make your ecommerce store accessible, and make sure the performance and the security of your store meet the quality standards.
Good ecommerce UX, in a growing and competitive market, is the ultimate advantage. It leads to higher conversion rates and more purchases.
For more useful tips on the success of your ecommerce store subscribe to Medusa’s newsletter to get updates directly to your email, or just stay tuned on our blog.