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6 Ways to Improve E-Commerce UX Design

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E-commerce UX Design: Why Does it Matter?

UX designer at work.

UX designer at work. Source: Pexels

As digital companies improve their pricing and product quality, the competition is becoming fiercer in one crucial area — UX design. Customers are growing increasingly tired and fed up with having poor experiences on the web.

Improving your e-commerce UX design can help improve multiple areas of your business. So, how does UX work, and how can you improve it in your business? This guide will walk you through it.

What is UX Design and why is it important?

UX, which stands for user experience, refers to all the experiences a customer has when interacting with a company website. This includes everything from loading the site and looking for information on it to completing a purchase.

A good UX design strives to make every interaction with the website as easy and intuitive as possible. In addition to following the best practices of user experience design, UX also involves introducing interactive elements to make it both interesting and practical for the user.

It’s worth investing in UX because consumers choose businesses that offer a good customer experience. A joint Adobe and Forrester study found that design-led companies report good design results in emotional bonds between businesses and customers.

What does E-commerce UX Design cover?

Designing e-commerce websites has one simple goal — to increase sales. When creating UX for your website, growing sales is also the end goal. To achieve this, you’ll need to make customers’ lives easier in various key areas.

  • Accessibility on all platforms
  • Capturing attention
  • Fast loading speed
  • Ease of navigation
  • Ease of product discovery
  • Simple and fast checkout

In the guide below, you’ll learn how to cover all of these key areas.

Ways to Improve Your UX Design for E-commerce Websites

To arrive at a solution that works best for your particular audience, quality UX design for e-commerce websites requires a lot of experimentation. But it’s always best to start with a set of best practices.

Here are six ways to improve the UX design of your e-commerce website.

Optimize for mobile

One of the first things you should look into when optimizing website UX is whether the website is available on all platforms. Purchases made from mobile make up around half of all e-commerce in the US, so e-commerce companies have to create mobile-first UX designs to satisfy consumers.

Thankfully, it isn’t very hard to do this with most e-commerce platforms. If you’ve created your website with any of the mainstream website builders or frontend frameworks, the odds are website elements are already displayed responsively on mobile devices.

You can add to that by decreasing the number of navigation elements in the mobile version to avoid cluttering the visual space. Also, keep the CTA buttons in the middle of the screen, so they’re easy to press with the thumb. You may also consider not including videos on the front page so that the page loads faster with a mobile connection.

Optimize product pages

Product pages serve as the primary way of gaining information about the product and making purchasing decisions, so you need to pay a lot of attention to designing the UX of these pages. However, the difficult part is that there is no single solution for product pages.

The final decision on the overall design depends on the product you sell, the kind of audience you cater to, and your brand image. There are also some key things that you need to introduce on the product page.

First, you need to produce a high-quality image of the product. How you do this depends on the product.

In the case of utilitarian products like lawnmowers, you want a few photos of the product and an image with specifications. In the case of clothing, you need a few photos, from different angles, of how the clothes look on a model.

In the case of beauty products or the perfume industry, you might add an attention-grabbing photo like this.

An attention-grabbing image being displayed on a product page
An attention-grabbing image being displayed on a product page. Source: Lush.com

An even better design strategy is to include an AR, or VR visualization, on the product page. This can show your products in a more interactive way and improve engagement.

The next important part of designing a product page is making sure the page provides important information about the project. If the customer can’t find certain information about the product, they might not be as eager to make a purchase.

It’s impossible to list every little detail about your products, so focus on the ones that matter most to your audience. For instance, if a cosmetics brand has an audience that prefers natural products, it can describe the ingredients at length.

A cosmetics product page highlighting natural ingredients.
A cosmetics product page highlighting natural ingredients.

Source: Lush.com

Prioritize the most important information and place the purchase button above the fold. 

Optimize website speed

Website speed is an important part of UX as it affects the entire website and can create a bad impression if it’s not optimized. Ideally, you want the website loading speed to be under three seconds.

You can check your website speed with a variety of free and paid tools. For instance, you can see how fast your website loads running a technical SEO audit with the help of specialized software like SE Ranking. The benefit of using a tool like this is that it not only shows you the website speed but also suggests ways to improve it.

How fast your website loads depends on a variety of factors, from image files being too big to poor server response times. The tool can identify why the website is slow and show you what you can do to improve it.

The tool can also identify many other issues that influence both SEO and UX, like layout shifts.

Improve website navigation

 A crucial part of UX is making it easy to find the right products on the website. This part of UX optimization has a few best practices that all websites should follow. The image below illustrates most of them.

An e-commerce website showing best practices in navigation.
An e-commerce website showing best practices in navigation. Source: Adidas.com

It has a general navigation bar divided by the most popular categories, breadcrumbs navigation, navigation links, and a visually understandable link to the checkout cart. Where exactly you place these navigation links doesn’t matter, what matters is that all of them are visible at the top of the page, where most users can easily find them.

Another design strategy is to help users discover your products with visual shopping. You can show best-selling products or products on sale on the home page and help users find out about products they didn’t even know existed.

An e-commerce website showing a product discovery feed.
An e-commerce website showing a product discovery feed. Source: Lush.com

Organize your checkout process

Sometimes, at the checkout part of the customer journey, some ready to convert users leave your site. The main rule here is to keep the number of actions the user has to take to a minimum. To do so, you need to implement a couple of things.

First, include the option to either continue shopping or go to checkout when the user adds an item to the cart.

A pop-up showing options after adding a product to the cart.
A pop-up showing options after adding a product to the cart. Source: Adidas.com

Next, allow users to make purchases as guests. Having to create an account can scare users away. Also, having to remember a password for an account that was created a year ago can prevent a repeat customer from shopping with you.

And lastly, don’t give customers too many fields to fill in. Even if it’s unavoidable, it’s best to break the fields up into sections so as not to show dozens of them.

A part of the checkout process broken down into stages.
A part of the checkout process broken down into stages.

Pay attention to the overall design of your website

The last tip for improving the UX design of your e-commerce website is to not forget about the larger picture when you are optimizing the functional parts of your site.

For instance, the brand color scheme matters when designing the navigation and CTA buttons. You want to prioritize the CTA and main elements of navigation by highlighting them with a contrasting colour.

Your branding also influences both visual elements and product page copy. Depending on how formally you position your brand and who your audience is, you’ll have to highlight different parts of your products and choose a different tone in the copy.

Conclusion

User experience design is not just a nice move on your part to help consumers. Creating an environment where the user can have a great, seamless experience browsing your site can improve your brand image and increase sales.

Follow these UX design strategies, and your business will be successful.

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