UK eCommerce sales will continue to reach new heights in 2020, especially in light of the recent pandemic and people being less willing to shop on the high street. Worldwide, eCommerce will continue to make strong gains to the tune of $2.3 trillion. But what’s going to make one eCommerce site victorious over another?
Many factors determine the overall success of the eCommerce website, including product quality, brand recognition, shipping costs, return policies, reliability and customer service. However, a thoughtful user experience focussed design is also crucial to providing clients with a satisfying, friction-free experience. Not only does it convert potential clicks into actual eCommerce transactions, but it also makes customers come back time and time again.
Design An eCommerce Store For Trust And Security
It’s important to create a website that consumers feel they can trust. Most consumers are worried about privacy and whether the website will protect their personal information by providing a secure transaction. If the website does not feel reliable, they will simply choose to purchase elsewhere.
Here are some of the methods that will communicate credibility:
Include A Company Overview:
- Provide general information
- Images of people behind the company
- Contact us page
- Social Media Links
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page
Publish The Policies of The Store & Make Sure They Are Not Too Hard To Find:
Shipping and Return Policy
- Find out more about the return process and which goods can be returned.
- Write in clear terms and avoid any legal or internal policy jargon.
- Share reviews of the product.
- Have product reviews to help shoppers understand the product better; this will help ease any concerns they might have and provide a high UX eCommerce rating.
- Take a further step by offering product reviews along with extra information on the reviewers or outlining the reviews. This step can help to make it easier for shoppers to take full advantage of the opinions of others.
Use A Secure Server
Shoppers expect their personal data to remain secure while they purchase products online. SSL certificates (Secure Sockets Layer) authenticate the website’s identity and encrypt site information that must remain secure. It is a vital sign that indicates that checkouts are secure. Ensure shoppers that their data is protected by implementing SSL and displaying SSL certificate badges.
Add The Recognised Seal of Trust To Your Site
The seal of trust verifies the validity and protection of the website. Often trust companies even add an extra layer of protection by offering insurance if the transaction turns out to be illegitimate. Using recognised trust seals ensures a secure transaction process for potential shoppers, which leads to increased sales and improves UX eCommerce.
Show your attention to detail. Make the site appear credible and professional by avoiding typos, missing images, broken links, 404 errors (page not found) or other UX-killing errors in eCommerce.
eCommerce UI Design Considerations
The look and feel of the site is the driving force of the first impressions. Study indicates that people will determine whether or not they like a website in just 50 milliseconds.
Here are some key user interface design tips:
Follow the identity of the brand. Branding should be visible throughout the website. Choose colours that represent the brand and set the style to make it clear what products and services are sold. You should ensure that brand experience is consistent across all channels — whether online, in-store or on a mobile device. This is going to help establish a brand-customer relationship.
Adopt a visual design. The most critical content should be shown above the fold. In some cases, it is better to use less white space to bring items closer together than to push critical content below the fold.
Don’t over-design your site. Limit the font formats such as font face, sizes, and colours that you use. If the text looks too much like graphics, it’s going to be mistaken for an ad. Use high-contrast text and background colours to make the contents as clear as possible.
Stick to the symbols you know. Use icons or symbols that can be easily identified. Unfamiliar icons are just going to confuse shoppers. Providing labels for icons is a good way to avoid any possible confusion.
Steer clear of pop-up windows. The pop-up windows are a distraction. Even if they contain useful information, buyers are more than likely to ignore them immediately — once gone, even if they want to, it’s hard for shoppers to find the information again.
The Importance of Frictionless eCommerce Site Navigation
Friction-free is the right way to be. Navigation is about how simple it is for customers to move around the website, find what they’re searching for, and finally take action. The eCommerce customer experience should be effortless so that shoppers do not drop halfway through the process.
Some of the key aspects of eCommerce website design for easy navigation include:
Well-defined Product Categories
The top tier of navigation should show the set of categories offered by the site — group products into meaningful categories and subcategories. Category labels work best as single words describing the range of products so that shoppers can browse through them and immediately recognise what they represent. It’s best to test the browsing site as much as possible for a great UX e-commerce as it’s a key make-or-break feature of websites.
Simply put, if shoppers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it — build a search function that helps them easily find what they’re looking for:
Make search ubiquitous. Put the search box on each page and in familiar locations. The box should be visible, readily recognisable and simple to use. The default settings for the search box are the top right or the top centre of the pages or the main menu.
Support all sorts of queries. Search results need to support all types of queries such as product names, categories, and product attributes, as well as customer support related information. It’s a great idea to include a sample search term in the input box to suggest to shoppers the use of the different functions.
Have an auto-complete search function. The auto-complete feature makes it easier for shoppers to find what they’re looking for and increase their sales potential by suggesting things in the area they’re already looking for.
Allow results to be sorted and filtered. Let shoppers sort search results on the basis of different criteria (highest or lowest priced items, best sellers, product rating, newest item, etc.) as well as remove items that do not fit within a certain category.
Filtering Your Products
The more choices you give people, the harder it is for them to decide. Help shoppers find the right products by setting up filters. It will help them limit their choices and jump directly to their desired product range.
Product Quick View
Product quick view can reduce the time it takes for buyers to find the right product by removing unnecessary page loads. Generally, the details of the product are displayed on the viewed page in the modal window. Don’t try to show all product details, instead, include a link to the full product page to see the full details. Also, be sure to include the prominently positioned “Add to Cart” button as well as the “Save to Wishlist” feature.
Shoppers are always looking for special offers, discounts, or best deals. Make exclusive offers visible so that shoppers know about them. Even if the price differences aren’t that big, the psychological sense of saving some money creates the impression of having the upper hand.
eCommerce Product Page Design
For outstanding eCommerce UX, when shoppers are successful in finding the product they want, let them find out about the product. Design a product page that generates an experience that is as similar as possible to an in-person shopping experience, including a lot of pictures, detailed descriptions and any other valuable and related product information. Let’s take a closer look at what this means.
Provide Great Product Images
With eCommerce, shoppers are unable to touch, feel or try the product. Instead, it all depends on what they are seeing online. This is why it is critical to provide product images that clearly show all aspects of the product. Here’s a checklist for the perfect image of the product:
Use A White Background To Do This
The background to the product images should not be a distraction or conflicting with the product itself. The white background works best because it enables the product to stand out and works with almost any style or colour scheme.
Use High-Quality, Large-Scale Images
Good pictures are going to sell the product. High-quality images capture the interest of shoppers and show them exactly what they are buying. Having large images lets shoppers zoom in and examine the product in detail.
Use A Wide Variety of Images
Display the product from a variety of different angles and include close-ups to get a more complete sense of the item. A 360-degree view, where shoppers can move the item around, is a good way to provide a close-to-store experience and engage with it. The next wave of this experience is VR eCommerce.
Videos are capable of delivering a lot of information in a short amount of time. Use a video to show the product you are selling and to provide as much functional detail as possible.
Use photos that are consistent across different pages, and are also consistent with the look and feel of the rest of the website. This is going to keep everything looking clean and tidy. All areas of the website, such as product highlights or in the featured item section, should have the same main product image.
Detailed Product Information
Provide shoppers with detailed product information so that they can make informed purchase decisions. Display availability, options for different sizes or colours, dimensions, size chart, materials used, total cost, warranties, and more. The fewer questions they have about an item, the more likely they are to buy an item.
Employ Persuasive Design
According to the principle of scarcity, people place a high value on an object that is limited, and a lower value on those that are widely available. Create a sense of urgency in the selling process by showing scarcity — display how many products are left in stock, grey out items that are out of stock, or show sales deadlines. Scarcity is going to motivate potential buyers to take action.
Companies are increasingly using advanced psychological studies and, in order to drive more interaction and purchases, have transformed what used to be an art into a science. Persuasive design in eCommerce is a very efficient way to gain more purchases.
Show Related and Recommended Products
Display similar products that consumers might also like that work well with the current product or products that others have purchased. This can be displayed on the product detail page or in the shopping basket and will help guide shoppers to products that meet their needs, potentially motivating them to continue shopping — a great way to sell related products.
Shopping Cart Design
The shopping cart is crucial as it is where shoppers review their chosen products, make a final decision and proceed to checkout. The main objective of a shopping cart is to lead consumers to check out where they will hopefully spend money. Below you’ll find tips on designing a shopping cart that is user-friendly and motivates shoppers to purchase more.
Use a clear call-to-action (CTA) method
On the shopping cart page, the primary call to action should always be the checkout button. Use bright colours, a lot of clickable areas and clear language to make the checkout button visible, simple and easy to use.
Provide appropriate feedback
Make sure that the product is immediately and clearly confirmed when it is added to the shopping cart. Shoppers are confused by a lack of feedback, such as showing an inconspicuous text of confirmation. It’s a good idea to use animations, as the movement attracts the human eye.
Use a mini shopping cart widget
Allows customers to add products to their cart without leaving the page they are already on, using a mini cart. It also enables them to navigate, discover and add more products. Mini cart widgets should always be linked to a full page shopping cart.
Display details of the product. Displaying details such as product names, images, sizes, colours and prices in the shopping cart helps shoppers to remember and compare each product. Link the products in the cart back to their full product pages, so that shoppers can review more details when necessary.
Make the cart easy to edit. It should be easy to access the ability to remove, save for later or change details such as size, colour or quantity.
Avoid surprises of unexpected shipping fees and taxes. Unexpected shipping costs are one of the main reasons for shoppers to abandon their shopping carts. Place shipping options and taxes in advance with a precise cost calculation and the estimated date of delivery.
eCommerce Checkout Design
A stylish and fashionable design does not determine a successful eCommerce website, nor does it necessarily provide a great UX eCommerce. ECommerce success is measured only by the number of total purchases. Here’s a few ways you can build a well-designed checkout page that will contribute to a successful conversion:
Offer a variety of payment options. When it comes to making payments, different customers have different needs. Cater as many payment options as possible (a contingent on the target audience) to broaden the customer base and make it easy for customers to complete their order.
Keep this simple. Minimise the number of fields and steps required to complete the transaction. Using a shipping address as default billing address is a good way to minimise the number of fields — ideally, design a single page checkout where customers can view their cart and enter the payment and delivery information.
Forcing shoppers to create an account before their first purchase will drive the customers away. Give them the option to register after the purchase has been completed and highlight the benefits of registering when asking them to register. The benefits include faster checkout thanks to personal information such as saved shipping address or payment details and access to the exclusive offers that are only available to registered users.
Use clear indications of error. Nothing is more annoying than not being able to make a purchase or figure out why. Instead of showing the errors after the form has been submitted, make the error notifications appear in real-time. Place clear and concise error messages immediately above or next to the item that needs to be corrected, so shoppers will notice and comprehend them.
Keep people on track
Have a progress bar if using a multi-page checkout this will show your customer how many more steps are left to complete their purchase. This will minimise any confusion and ensure that shoppers are on the right track. When the transaction is complete, display the confirmation of the order and the status of the order with the order tracking.
Offer support. Provide a live chat or contact number throughout the checkout process, so when shoppers have queries, they can quickly get answers instead of having to leave the page and go somewhere else.
Online shoppers expect streamline experiences, no matter what. When developing an eCommerce site, it’s not just about creating a website. It’s about developing an online shopping experience that turns passive shoppers into paying customers.
We hope this eCommerce website design guide will help you make the most important design decisions to build a great UX eCommerce that is professional, attractive, user-friendly and makes buyers come back time and time again. Fast growth plus relatively small market share means that there is still a tremendous opportunity for new players to surpass traditional industry leaders.
If there’s anything that we missed or if you’d like to share some of the solutions that worked best for you when you were building your eCommerce site, or maybe you’re an eCommerce professional who’d like to share their knowledge, tips and advice for budding internet entrepreneurs. Leave us a comment below or contact us to see if we can feature you, your company and knowledge in one of our future posts. If you are going to follow the steps in this here article, then we wish you the best with your venture!
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