Prioritizing user experience during eCommerce website development can increase customer satisfaction, drive conversions, and set you up for long-term success. Our guide gives insight into eCommerce UX best practices to create a seamless and enjoyable online shopping experience for your customers.
What Is UX in eCommerce?
In eCommerce, user experience, or UX, refers to the user’s journey when interacting with a product or service.
In eCommerce websites, UX design involves creating an interface that provides a meaningful, seamless, and enjoyable shopping experience in an online store. This is accomplished by optimizing navigation and search functionality, streamlining the checkout process to anticipate customer needs, and incorporating branding, usability, functionality, and design.
Why Is UX Important in eCommerce?
UX is important in eCommerce because it plays a significant role in creating a seamless and effortless online shopping experience for your customers. With its customer-centric approach, it can increase engagement and boost sales.
eCommerce UX ensures that:
- Your site loads quickly enough to accommodate all devices.
- You have a well-designed eCommerce site that works well on all devices.
- The navigation menus are designed with the user in mind.
- When a user clicks a link or button, they’re taken to the right place.
The user journey is so vital that it can negatively impact your eCommerce business’s success if you don’t consider it upfront. This is why choosing an eCommerce platform wisely is fundamental to achieving the best results.
12 eCommerce UX Best Practices
Starting an online store requires careful planning and decision-making. Sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in all the factors that affect your eCommerce business. With the help of experts like us at Nativo, you can effectively navigate these challenges.
However, it’s also imperative to understand how to ensure your eCommerce site meets UX best practices. Therefore, we’ve prepared a comprehensive list of things to never forget. Let’s take a look!
#1. Use a user-centric design
User-centered design considers your users’ thoughts, feelings, and goals when creating specific requirements. Flashy design elements may confuse users and slow down older computers and mobile devices.
Through user research, eCommerce businesses can reduce decisions that make a merely stylish website rather than one that works and converts well. Prioritize loading times and ease of navigation over aesthetics like fonts, colors, and interactive elements.
#2. Clearly define your sales funnel and customer journey map
Creating a seamless user experience in eCommerce requires clearly defining your sales strategy and customer journey map. Your website should operate so customers can easily explore, make decisions, and complete the purchasing process without hiccups.
Understanding how users come to your website is crucial to achieving this. Before designing your website, consider who is searching for your products, what they are looking for, and what content they want.
#3. Simplify your website navigation
The navigation on your site must be intuitive. You can achieve intuitive navigation by anticipating your users’ needs so that they can have a self-directed experience. For example, switching between product pages and enabling filters for online shoppers.
Even though your menu’s links aren’t the only thing that matters, your site’s menus are a central part of navigating an e-commerce site. The top navigation menu on your site will be one of the first things new visitors will try. The search bar is also essential since it lets them quickly locate what they need.
#4. Consider mobile responsiveness
Mobile devices are here to stay. That’s why adapting your eCommerce website for smaller screens is a must. What does this mean? It’s simple. In smartphones, you tap instead of clicking, elements are vertically arranged, and you see a hamburger menu instead of a navigation menu.
Among the things you can do to create versatile mobile sites are:
- Sticky navigation bars
- Mobile-friendly pop-ups
- Call-to-action buttons
- A click-to-scroll button
- Zooming and pinching capabilities
#5. Ensure fast loading times
For eCommerce sites, every second counts. That’s why fast loading times on your website become a non-negotiable element of a stellar user experience if you want your eCommerce site to thrive. It fosters a positive perception of your brand and meets user expectations.
Imagine the scenario: a potential customer clicks on a product link, eager to explore and buy. However, the enthusiasm can quickly turn to impatience if the page loads slowly. A slow-loading page can frustrate visitors and cause sales to be lost.
In terms of UX, here are the top ways an e-commerce site can ensure fast loading times:
- Optimize images
- Compress and optimize web content
- Develop responsive web design for various devices
- Choose a reliable and fast hosting provider
- Evaluate and minimize third-party scripts
When your site is optimized for speed, you provide a good user experience and ensure potential customers stay engaged and complete transactions easily.
#6. Use high-quality images and videos
A significant challenge for eCommerce sites is to replicate the in-person shopping experience. Online purchases can’t touch and feel products, but compelling visuals fill the gap.
Your product videos and product images allow customers to understand your products clearly. Besides highlighting relevant details, it also offers a virtual exploration similar to trying out items in a store.
For an optimal user experience, include visuals showcasing the product from different angles, close-ups highlighting texture, and images showing the product in action. Combining these visuals with a product detail page gives your customers a complete picture of what you’re selling.
#7. Improve your copywriting
Compelling UX copy provides clarity without being overbearing. Using concise, well-chosen phrases, website visitors can find the information they need quickly.
Always consider your target users, their goals, and your objectives. Then, take the customer’s perspective and present key information on how they expect it. You can use a simple content structure, like bullet points, to make it easy to read.
Also, you can apply content SEO techniques to ensure the best results in search engine rankings. Writing SEO copy involves using relevant keywords while providing engaging, linkable, and shareable content. SEO copywriting allows you to write blog posts, landing pages, and product pages that are genuinely engaging for your customers.
#8. Use clear and persuasive call-to-actions (CTAs)
CTAs are powerful prompts that direct users to the products you want them to explore on your website. However, there are right and wrong ways to create a CTA. CTAs should be visually appealing, stand out on the page, and communicate the next steps. With prompts like ‘buy now’ or ‘add to cart,’ they encourage users to take action.
CTAs can be powerful, but too many can be overwhelming. Limit the number of CTAs on each page to keep your customers focused on the specific task you want them to complete
#9. Streamline your checkout process
Make buying a breeze for your customers by simplifying the checkout process on your e-commerce site. Remove any distractions from the checkout page for a quick and hassle-free experience. The more steps it takes to complete a purchase, the higher the chance of customers abandoning their carts.
#10. Make your content consistent and accessible
Delivering a positive user experience requires consistent and accessible website content.
Consistent content helps your audience become more familiar with your brand. Also, it ensures that users can easily navigate your site and find what they’re looking for.
Additionally, you should focus on making your website user-friendly and accessible. Here’s how to develop smart designs and contribute to a positive online experience:
- Include a straightforward sitemap that helps users and search engines locate your pages.
- Design a menu structure that organizes content logically, making it easy for users to find what they need.
- Consider dropdown menus for clear categorization.
- Make sure all relevant pages are easily found in key areas such as the menu and footer.
- Create clear links within your content so users can move seamlessly from one page to another.
- Keep navigation labels consistent across sections.
- Organize your content with clear, descriptive headings that follow a hierarchy.
#11. Leverage customer feedback and analytics
Feedback and analytics are powerful tools for good eCommerce UX. With feedback, you’ll gain valuable insights into the overall customer experience, identifying what your customers like and areas where you can improve.
While analytics provides data-driven insights into how users interact with your site, understanding metrics like page views and conversion rates will enable you to make informed decisions about where to improve your site’s technical features.
#12. Conduct regular UX audits and updates
As a business owner, you should perform routine UX audits to ensure your site meets users’ expectations.
By performing these checks, it is easier to spot areas that need fixing or updating, whether broken links, outdated content, or design improvements. You can keep your online presence up-to-date and provide visitors with an enjoyable user experience.
Success Stories of Companies That Leveraged UX Best Practices
You may feel overwhelmed by all these aspects, but remember that UX is a process, so while you can’t address them at first, you can keep including them to improve your eCommerce site.
Consider these three eCommerce stores that have conquered UX design for some extra inspiration. Here they are:
Amazon is one of the companies that’s leveraging UX best practices. With its user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, personalized recommendations, and streamlined checkout process, shopping on this site is a seamless experience. Their success has largely been attributed to the continuous improvement of their platform based on user feedback and data analytics.
With Shopify, businesses can easily manage and create online stores with a user-friendly platform. Intuitive design features, customizable templates, and an emphasis on user experience have attracted millions of businesses to Shopify.
Etsy is a global marketplace for handmade, vintage, and unique products. The website has thrived thanks to its dedication to highlighting individual sellers, providing customized recommendations, and implementing a straightforward checkout process, contributing to its positive reputation.
What Tools Can You Use to Improve UX Planning and Execution?
A successful UX plan requires the right tools to complete the job. Using specialized tools is the best way to streamline and enhance the process. Not only do these tools make planning more manageable, but they also make executing user-centric strategies seamless.
Let’s explore them:
Figma is a collaborative design tool that simplifies UX planning. Team members can collaborate on designs in real time, and a unified vision is ensured throughout the development process.
Optimal Workshop helps UX professionals optimize the structure and navigation of their websites by providing tools for:
- Card sorting: Helps designers understand how users naturally group and categorize content, shaping the website’s organization and menu.
- Tree testing: Checks if users can easily navigate and locate what they need within the website’s structure.
- First-click testing: Finds out if users can find and click on the most logical option for a task, helping designers make the website more intuitive.
UsabilityHub allows you to conduct quick usability, preference, and navigation tests. You will gain valuable insight into user preferences and potential design problems.
UserTesting connects businesses with a diverse panel of users who provide feedback on websites, apps, and prototypes, ensuring a continuous understanding of user preferences and behaviors.
Want to Implement a Targeted eCommerce Strategy? Let Nativo Help!
Ready to take your eCommerce website to the next level? With our expertise, we craft targeted e-commerce strategies that ensure seamless customer experiences across every aspect of your online store’s design.
We offer a comprehensive solution to unlock your business’s full online potential, including SEO, PPC, and social media marketing. Our comprehensive digital eCommerce solutions will make your user interface look great, work better, and drive growth.
Contact Nativo now to learn what our experts can do to help you succeed!