eCommerce UX Design: Best Practices and Design Examples
Learn about the importance of design in eCommerce? Read how eCommerce UX design best practices can improve your business.
Let’s assume that your friend tells you about a new clothing brand with sustainable products, excellent customer service, and a great variety of products. What is the first thing that you’re going to do? Google it. This holds true for almost all of our experiences today. Whether it is an application, a physical product, or a software service, our first interaction happens online. User experience design is, therefore, incomplete without the online world. The importance of online experiences is even more pronounced for businesses that rely on the internet to a great extent, i.e. online shopping or eCommerce platforms.
This is where eCommerce UX design comes into play. It is critical for all modern businesses to have a strong online presence. This is essential not just to gain a competitive edge but also to ensure better visibility of products and to reach out to a wider audience. Therefore, creating a better online experience is something that all businesses must focus on. For eCommerce websites, this aspect is of immense interest, as their business model relies on their online presence. By improving the online shopping process and creating a seamless experience, businesses can earn great success. It is for this reason that an eCommerce business often requires the services of a quality eCommerce UX design agency to improve its online presence.
In this article, we introduce you to the concept of eCommerce UX design along with its importance for designers. We also list down some best practices and provide real-world examples that you can use as an inspiration for future projects.
Read along as we discuss how to be there for your users who love shopping online.
eCommerce User Experience Meaning
In the last few years, the number of online shopping businesses has increased rapidly. This indicated multiple things. The audience is getting more comfortable with purchasing goods and services online and the businesses are trying hard to maintain a strong online presence. Another, often overlooked, aspect of this increase is the competition in the market. With a number of new eCommerce platforms, the organizations have to strive hard to maintain their place in the market. One of the best ways to do so is to improve the customer or user experience.
What is eCommerce user experience?
From the moment a potential customer lands on your eCommerce site to long after they’ve made a purchase, design has a significant impact on their overall experience. eCommerce UX design focuses on all these interactions and experiences of users with your online store.
UX design for eCommerce focuses on all the interactions of site visitors from the moment they land on the website to long after they’ve made a purchase. Therefore, when designing an eCommerce website, UI/UX designers pay attention to the user journey, mapping it carefully as they design the experience. eCommerce UX research addresses the way users navigate through the website, find the products they are looking for, make payments, and process complaints or returns if necessary. Good UI/UX design is one that makes the entire experience seamless, saving time and effort for the target audience.
It is also important to note that UX design for eCommerce websites is not restricted to a specific type of brand or product. All types of businesses, whether selling physical products or digital services, can equally benefit from good design practices. Additionally, UX design is equally important for all customers and not just first time visitors. If, on the one hand, it increases brand visibility, then, on the other, it also helps in customer retention.
Impact of UI/UX design in eCommerce
According to Amazon Web Services (AWS), 88% of the users are less likely to return to an eCommerce site with a bad user experience. Therefore, if your eCommerce design system is not efficient enough, there is a chance that you’ll lose customers, leading to your failure in the highly competitive market. It is essential for modern organizations to maintain a strong online presence, ensuring a pleasant user experience for the target audience.
Why is UX important for eCommerce?
It is critical for all eCommerce businesses to focus on the design of their online stores. Good UX design ensures that the customers have a seamless and pleasing experience when making purchases. It also sets you apart from your competitors by adding more value to the users’ experience.
The success of any eCommerce platform heavily depends on the quality of the user experience. Some of the ways in which UX design for online businesses can prove to be beneficial are as follows.
Good user experience design ensures that the products get maximum visibility. By designing a better experience and improving the information architecture, designers can highlight the key products, make the important features visible, and guide the potential customers to the right web pages. This is also an excellent way to promote products that might otherwise go neglected. When presented in an effective way, the audience will be more likely to interact with the featured products, thus bringing more business.
Better conversion rate
From the business perspective, better UI/UX design is always helpful in increasing the conversion rate. When new users interact with a website and find the experience to be satisfying, there is a better chance that they will end up making a purchase. This can be achieved by making the websites aesthetically pleasing as well as meeting the major needs of the target audience. It will not be wrong to say that good design can increase conversion, thus adding to the ROI. It will, therefore, be wrong to overlook the value of UI/UX design for modern eCommerce platforms.
The success of any business, whether in the physical or the digital world, is directly related to the level of customer satisfaction. One of the biggest values of good design is in improving this aspect. UI/UX designers take extreme care in mapping the user journeys and ensuring that all their needs are met without any hassle. This improves the overall user experience, thus ensuring more satisfaction. These customers not only keep coming back to websites with good designs but also help in spreading the word, bringing more potential customers.
Best eCommerce User Experience Tips
For eCommerce businesses, it is imperative to have a functional, responsive, and effective website. One of the biggest eCommerce UX design mistakes is to go with the bare minimum or focus only on the aesthetics of the website without giving due attention to the needs of the target audience. Good eCommerce websites are not only pleasing to look at but also easy to interact with. The design should be such that the users enjoy the experience but are also able to accomplish their tasks, i.e. make purchases, without running into any issues.
What are some eCommerce user experience tips for designers?
The best practices for eCommerce UX design are as follows.
- Create attractive landing pages
- Ensure easy navigation
- Help users search for products
- Focus on simple design
- Highlight your key products
- Provide all relevant information
- Include images and videos for products
- Let users compare products
- Ensure easy checkouts
- Provide multiple payment options
- Make your website mobile-friendly
- Maintain consistency
- Include testimonials and reviews
- Make your websites accessible
- Provide ways to get in touch
Some of the eCommerce UX best practices are discussed below. It must be noted that the adoption of these practices depends on the nature of the business and the availability of resources. The following tips serve as a comprehensive set of guidelines for UI/UX professionals working on the design of eCommerce platforms.
1. Create attractive landing pages
In most cases, the landing page of your website serves as the first point of contact with the target audience. It is important to create a page that is attractive and pleasing to the eye. This does not mean that you use all sorts of colors and images to make the page so heavy that the load time suffers. The balance between attractive landing pages and the performance of the website should always be taken into consideration.
2. Ensure easy navigation
One of the major problems that eCommerce websites face is navigation. It is challenging to present all the product categories in a way that is not overwhelming for the users, particularly when there are a lot of things to offer. Therefore, one of the most important eCommerce UX design best practices is the ease of navigation. This is an area where quality information architecture can come in handy. When creating navigation for eCommerce websites, make sure that the menu is not too long so that it covers the entire page nor is it too short that it does not do justice to the product categories.
3. Help users search for products
When creating the user experience for an eCommerce website with a lot of products, it is essential to provide the search feature. This does not mean that you add a search bar on the homepage and do not make the search function efficient. The users should have maximum control where they can apply filters based on the types of products and services.
4. Focus on simple design
One of the things that always comes up in UX design and user research is the simplicity of a design. This principle is equally applicable to the design of eCommerce websites. Make sure that your design is not complicated as this will only make it hard for your customers to find the products they are looking for and complete a purchase. Remember, the goal is to increase conversions and help the users accomplish their tasks. This should be achieved in the simplest way possible, so the users do not have to spend hours figuring out how to navigate the website.
5. Highlight your key products
One of the most important aspects of good design for eCommerce websites is that it can help you highlight your key products and services. By creating effective layouts of web pages, you can draw attention to your best products. If your best and most attractive products are highlighted on the landing page and specific product sections, the users will be more likely to buy those, thus giving you more sales and better reviews as a result.
6. Provide all relevant information
It is also important for eCommerce websites to provide all the relevant information about the products and services on offer. This can be achieved by creating a dedicated product detail page for all the individual products. These pages should include information about product availability, key features, pricing, and helpful materials such as size charts or user guides if applicable.
7. Include images and videos for products
One of the best practices for eCommerce UX designers is to provide images and videos for individual products. This helps in giving better visibility to the products and also improves the overall presentation of the website. Using high resolution images can make the products, and the website by extension, pleasing to the eye. However, designers must be careful when selecting images and videos as this might compromise the page load speed and overall performance of the website.
8. Let users compare products
When the users are browsing an online store, they may be interested in multiple products, finding it hard to pick the best fit. This is where designers can meet their needs by providing the comparison feature. Such a feature is particularly useful for technological devices, such as mobile phones and laptops. By applying different product variations and comparing multiple products with ease, the users can make an informed decision. This will leave a positive impact on the user experience.
9. Ensure easy checkouts
One of the most critical parts of the purchase process is the checkout phase. Most eCommerce websites fail at this stage by making checkout highly complicated. Though it is important to provide safe and secure checkout, it is also essential to make the process seamless and simple for the customers. Make sure that you only ask the users for the required information and do not ask them to fill out long, complex forms. Additionally, do not make it a compulsion for the customers to create an account. The option of checking out as a guest, without the obligation to create an account or sign up for promotional emails, is always helpful for the users.
10. Provide multiple payment options
When working on the checkout process, it is also important to meet the varying needs of the target audience. One such aspect is to ensure that the customers have freedom when paying for the products or services. By providing multiple payment options, such as bank account, credit or debit card, PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, and other such services, the customers can choose what meets their needs. You can also ask the customers to select one and keep it as their preferred payment method which can then be used in the future, thus further simplifying the checkout process.
11. Make your website mobile-friendly
According to Statcounter, approximately 60% of web traffic comes from mobile devices. It is, therefore, essential that eCommerce websites are designed in a way that they are mobile responsive. This means that UI/UX designers need to be aware of the mobile design principles and the limitations that come with smaller screen sizes.
12. Maintain consistency
One of the most important online UX design principles is consistency throughout the website. This is equally applicable to the design of eCommerce platforms where a website may have multiple pages. The users may jump from one product to another in no time. A consistent and familiar experience can help in improving the overall user experience.
13. Include testimonials and reviews
When the customers view your online store, it is always helpful for them to see some social proof. The design of the eCommerce website, therefore, should be such that it shows reviews and testimonials by clients. Even if the reviews are not all perfect, the words of past customers add credibility to your business.
14. Make your websites accessible
Accessibility is an essential part of any UI/UX design project. However, this aspect often gets ignored when it comes to eCommerce websites. In order to reach a wider audience and to make your websites useful for everyone, adhering to accessibility principles is an important practice.
15. Provide ways to get in touch
All digital infrastructures can malfunction and this is where a backup plan is needed. In case of technical difficulties or to answer specific questions of the customers, it is always helpful to provide them with ways to connect with you. This can be done by sharing an email, providing social media handles, or adding the option for a live chat where the site visitors can interact with a customer service associate. This will help them resolve their issues in little time, thus improving the overall experience.
eCommerce UX Design Examples
With new businesses emerging every other day and modern practices in the field of UI/UX design, it can get hard to keep track of eCommerce UX trends. However, aspiring designers can learn about the current practices by analyzing a comprehensive eCommerce UX case study or seeking inspiration from leading organizations’ websites. A number of online businesses have created a strong online presence and can be used as eCommerce UX design examples. Some of the best ones are discussed below.
ZARA is an example of the simplest and best eCommerce UX design. The distinguishing features of this website include its simplicity, easy navigation, and attractive landing page. The information on the page does not appear to be overwhelming and the viewers can easily browse through the products. Another important feature of this website is its accessibility. The website conforms to the W3C standards, making it useful for a wide range of audiences.
2. Dollar Shave Club
Another excellent example of eCommerce UX design is the website of Dollar Shave Club. All the pages on this website are designed in a consistent manner, taking the branding into consideration. The navigation on the website is also extremely easy where the visitors do not get overwhelmed. Another great feature of this website is the availability of the live chat option where the customers can get in touch with the customer service representatives in no time.
Papier is another modern example of good eCommerce UX design. The navigation of this website provides a great way of providing information about all the products in a way that is both pleasing and comprehensive. The live chat option, similar to Dollar Shave Club, is also present on Papier’s website. It is also important to note the way in which featured products get specific attention on the landing page. This increases product visibility, thus improving conversions.
OOKIOH has, arguably, one of the most aesthetic eCommerce sites. This website is designed with simplicity, using lighter colors and adequate white space. This makes the customers want to stay on the website even if they don’t really like any product at first glance. By keeping the customers engaged, the website can then drive conversions. Another excellent feature of this eCommerce website is the availability of multiple payment options at the checkout. The customers have a lot of freedom to choose which leaves a positive impact on their shopping experience.
Beatific is another example of a simple and aesthetically pleasing design. The landing page features some of the key products, bringing immediate attention to them. Additionally, the mention of a social cause on the landing page — conservation of trees — also helps the business stand out. Beatific also provides reviews from the users upfront, thus adding to its credibility.
UI/UX design has immense value in the field of eCommerce. This is one reason that some of the best design agencies are offering eCommerce UX design services to help businesses stand out in the competitive market. Good user experience not only helps in bringing more visitors to the website but also ensures the retention of existing customers. A website with a pleasant user experience can gain a clear competitive advantage in today’s digital world.
Whether you’re a professional UX designer or a student of design, learning the tips and tricks of eCommerce design can be of immense help in your career. Having such projects on your portfolio can help you get better eCommerce UX design jobs that not only pay well but also provide exciting challenges.
Updated: May 31, 2023