In eCommerce, user experience (UX) is everything. If your users have a less-than optimal time on your website, you can wager they won’t be coming back for more.
As such, you always want to pay special attention to every element on it and anticipate how your users will react to them.
In other words, you have to employ eCommerce web design best practices to ensure that every interaction they have with your brand is positive, which increases the odds of them converting with you.
As it happens to be, best practices seem to be intertwined with the coming and going of trends.
For example, one of the eCommerce design trends 2018 brought us was voice search optimisation, which was directly related to the increase use of voice assistants like Siri, which itself was caused by an increase in mobile usage.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 10 eCommerce web design tips and eCommerce UX best practices 2018 trends have brought us so far.
1. Pay Special Attention to Mobile Experiences (As Always)
Let’s start this list of eCommerce web design tips with one that’s been making the rounds in recent years: mobile optimisation.
The fact of the matter is that consumers are reaching for their phones with increased frequency nowadays, and websites that can’t support these on-the-go users will suffer from poor UX (and high bounce rates) because of the slow speeds and incorrectly sized content that comes with accessing a desktop site on a mobile device.
To counter this, optimise your website by using a responsive design that resizes all content according to the screen it’s being displayed in.
2. Focus on Speed and Improve Your Page Load Times
According to Google, as page load time goes from:
- 1s to 3s, the probability of bounce increases 32%
- 1s to 5s, the probability of bounce increases 90%
- 1s to 6s, the probability of bounce increases 106%
- 1s to 10s, the probability of bounce increases 123%
Everyone’s impatient these days, and when it comes to accessing a website, the biggest pain point, by far, is a page that loads too slowly.
Not only does a slow website lead to very poor UX, but landing on a page with content that takes too long to load often prompts users to visit alternatives that can provide the same service. In eCommerce, this means going to your competitor.
3. Do More with Less
“By far and away the biggest mistake I see in eCommerce design is information overload. You’ll be tempted to showcase everything you have in your arsenal whether that be a plethora of information or a backlog of every product you’ve ever made.” – Mark Perini, Designer & Founder at Icee Social
As Mark Perini said, one of the worst things you can do in eCommerce is bombard your users with too much information. Instead, adopt a minimalist mentality that utilises white space to not only create a clean website design that looks more professional, but also place extra focus on the products being displayed.
At the end of the day, less can sometimes truly be more.
4. Pay Special Attention to Your Visuals
If you intend to do more with less, you have to make the most of what you’ve got. In our case, this means paying special attention to your visuals and making sure they’re as aesthetically pleasing as possible.
For instance, make sure all the images on your website are high quality and show off the products their depicting in the best light, and in every angle.
5. Tailor Landing Pages
As your brand’s online visage, your landing pages will set the tone of the relationship between you and your users. As such, you want to tailor them specifically for them, and only them.
For example, instead of promoting products YOU want to sell, delve into your site’s analytics and use each user’s browsing and purchasing behaviours to display the items THEY want to see.
In other words, use AI-based eCommerce merchandising to promote the right product(s) to the right user(s) that have the highest chances of converting.
6. Pair a Chatbot with Your Site
Going off of using artificial intelligence to create engaging user experience, one of the best ways of doing this is by attaching a chatbot to your website, which can “speak” with your visitors as if they themselves were alive.
Because they can reside on your website 24/7, and because machine learning backing allows them to learn the more they interact with users, chatbots can actually perform multiple functions that all contribute to good UX.
For example, they can function as customer service representatives who are always ready to help your users out if they need something, or as sales reps who champion conversational commerce by guiding your users through the customer journey to checkout.
Image Source: Chatbotslife.com
7. Maintain Consistent Branding Across Platforms
A big part of UX has to do with how your brand is perceived by your users. If they see it as established online presence, they’re more likely to engage with it and keep on coming back for more, as they’ll be more comfortable doing so.
If, on the other hand, they feel as if you’re still new and not yet established, they’ll be more hesitant to interact with you.
Fortunately, an easy solution to this is maintaining consistent branding across all your online platforms, such as your website and social channels, as this will lend an authoritative air to your brand.
For instance, imagine browsing items on a store’s social page. You find something you like, so you click on the link that takes you to their site. But, upon landing, you see that everything is different—the colours, the logo, the font, everything—resulting in a brand that, to you, seems less than professional, which will shine a negative light on all future interactions.
8. Promote Ratings and Reviews
When shopping, people tend to be and remain happy if they know they’re getting a good deal. Well, people tend to know they’re getting a good deal if they can look at ratings and read reviews saying as such.
Look at it this way, if your users know for a fact that what they’re about to buy not only works well, but is also worth the money, their experience is bound to be a positive one. After all, they know they’re about to buy something they want at a decent price, so why not continue browsing and see what other bargain they can get?
9. Include a View Cart Button
The last thing you want as your users are browsing your store is for them to be deep into the fourth page, only end their search short because they wanted to see what was in their cart and had to leave the page to do so.
What you want is for them to remain engaged throughout, which can be accomplished by including a “view cart” button that’s always visible on all your pages. In doing so, you’ll allow them to always know what they’ve placed in their cart, and lower the probability that they’ll stop their search prematurely.
10. Speed Up and Simplify Checkouts
Closing our eCommerce web design tips, nothing screams “poor UX” and leads to more abandoned carts than a prolonged checkout made so with unnecessary steps or prompts asking for more information that’s needed to checkout.
Instead of doing that, make it easy for your users to checkout by speeding things up and allowing them to checkout as guests, which really only requires contact information (including a shipping address), payment information, and maybe an email address if they want to confirm their purchase and track the package.
Let’s Take a Second Look
Engaging UX isn’t always easy to create, but now that we’ve covered these 10 tips, hopefully you know how to improve user experience on a website and make it more appealing, which will end up improving your eCommerce store.
Let’s take a second look:
- Pay Special Attention to Mobile Experiences (As Always)
- Focus on Speed and Improve Your Page Load Time
- Do More with Less
- Pay Special Attention to Your Visuals
- Tailor Landing Pages
- Pair a Chatbot with Your Site
- Maintain Consistent Branding Across Platforms
- Promote Ratings and Reviews
- Include a View Cart Button
- Speed Up and Simplify Checkouts
Best of luck optimising your eCommerce UI design to create engaging UX!