- User personas
- Common UX Design Problems
- UI/UX design approach for eCommerce
- Closing Thoughts
eCommerce is the future and its meteoric rise is proof. Now more than ever, having an eCommerce store has become key to retaining and exploring new markets.
In addition to being a shopfront, they also act as an extension of the physical business. Providing it with greater leverage in terms of greater business efficiency, higher profits etc.
Talking about eCommerce website design, a good design stands for good customer experience and comfort, efficient information delivery, strong branding, and cast-iron reliability.
Continue reading to understand everything from different types of shoppers to designing eCommerce stores.
User personas are a vivid cross-section of the different types of users- their different preferences, pain points, psychographics, and purposes. Creating customer personas has a widespread utility.
By employing several qualitative and quantitative methods for persona research, it is possible to identify the potential customers and design accordingly.
Here are some types of shoppers an eCommerce website comes across every day.
These shoppers do not browse the website because they know what they are looking for. They form a major chunk of the total visitors for any eCommerce website. And it is thus necessary to provide them with a smooth and fast purchase experience. You can do so by offering fast and accurate product search, flawless payment gateways, and optimised substitutes.
These folks are the exact opposite of Product Shoppers.
They’re not looking for anything specific but might buy something if they like it. These people spend the most time on the website – making it essential to engage them through better UI, discounts, or more surfing options even if they are not potential buyers.
Researchers are visitors that have a predetermined objective. They’re looking to buy an item but will do so after extensive research. They generally take their time finding what they need, good discount deals, specific products, EMI availability, apt product descriptions, etc.
They would go through all the available information to make an informed decision. To build a relationship with researchers, enabling a fast, precise, and smooth experience are things you want to ensure when designing for eCommerce.
Bargain Hunters are shoppers with a limited budget and are constantly looking for the best possible minimum price to close the deal. They take no time to switch to the competitor if they fail to find what they are looking for.
These are shoppers who (most likely) won’t buy the same product from your website again. Their motivating factor for the purchase could be a heavy discount, a specific need, or just an impulsive buy. They could also be a channel through another source who might have just gifted them vouchers, gift cards, etc.
A “No Account required” purchase would be the best experience for any One-time shopper as they’re generally not familiar with your website, making them want to complete the process quickly.
As an eCommerce business, ‘Product Shoppers’ & ‘Researchers’ are the user personas you want to be able to provide a great user experience to. You want to consider them as your primary visitors, as they are the ones who would provide long term value to your business.
Common UX Design Problems
Here are a few common UX problems that customers face when using an eCommerce platform:
With the increasing numbers of online retailers, lack of consumer trust is a major hurdle that eCommerce platforms face. These trust issues include fear of late delivery or receiving a wrong item, distrust on returns policy, etc.
Incomplete Product Information
Lack of complete product information is another problem people face when shopping on an eCommerce platform.
When buying offline, customers have the choice to touch and feel the product. But when shopping online, they rely on the product descriptions. And thus, incomplete information about products hampers the conversion rates.
Customers often hesitate to purchase from an eCommerce website due to the fear of facing difficulties in returning the product or getting a refund.
Customers too often come across hidden charges during the final checkout process – leading them to abandon the site altogether. Most customers look for the total cost of a product right away to save time.
UI/UX design approach for eCommerce
Design plays a vital role in eCommerce.
A well-designed website directly influences the conversion rate and increases profits for the business.
A few perspectives that can help achieve these through design are:
1. Design for trust and security
Trustworthiness and transparency are key aspects in eCommerce. More so because we live in a time when there are so many eCommerce platforms and a few bad apples too. It is difficult for the customer to trust every platform online.
A few ways to build trust and be transparent are by sharing an overview of the business along with merchant information, policy on shipping, returns etc.
A good design is more than mere aesthetics.
A trendy and fancy-looking website will manage to elicit some ‘wows’ from the customers. But, its success will be determined by the number of products sold. This happens when the customers have a seamless experience.
Intuitive navigation plays a chief role when designing for eCommerce. However, it doesn’t just happen by chance. It is a result of the detailed planning of Information Architecture and Information Design.
Information Architecture (IA) is about how the content is arranged, so the users can find what they need without much effort. And Information Design (ID) ensures that the users can comprehend the key information they want to convey without information overload.
Both IA and ID help create a solid foundation for the future navigation system to increase the functionality and usability of the website.
3. Channel-Specific Landing Pages
eCommerce landing pages are like digital shopfronts.
These are pages where customers land when they click on a link, such as advertisements on social media platforms or emails, or similar places on the web. They are designed with a single goal and are different from the home page or the product pages.
Landing pages are designed for target audiences with a clear CTA, to encourage customers to take a particular action. The content and product descriptions are customised for the target audience and are considered best for marketing campaigns like those on Google, Facebook, or Instagram.
Since the landing pages have fewer tantalising clickables, they keep the visitors focused on the offer and turn them into customers.
4. Product Search and Discoverability
The ultimate goal is to sell the product, so product placement is of great importance when designing for eCommerce.
Simply put, if customers can’t find a product, they won’t buy it. This is a make-or-break feature for an eCommerce website. Building an effective search function is the solution to this.
Make search omnipresent by placing a search box on every page in familiar locations so the users can easily recognise it.
The auto-complete function can help customers to easily search for products and save time while also increasing the sales potential by suggesting popularly searched products.
Sorting and filtering results allow users to search according to their preferences. Having too many choices is often confusing. Filtering helps narrow down their search to the desired product directly.
Showing related products can improve discoverability. These can either be similar products to the searched ones or related items that can complement the existing one. For example, the styling options that fashion eCommerce websites provide users for the item they are viewing.
5. Product listings and descriptions
With eCommerce, customers cannot see, touch, or feel the product. The closest they get to know about the product is through its description and pictures.
Thus, the product descriptions should contain all the necessary information, like the available sizes, colours, materials used, quantity, etc., for the user to make an informed decision. These should be appealing and to the point. They can either be a paragraph providing all the information right away or written as a summary followed by a ‘Read More’ link.
Once you have the right description in place, use pictures that are clear and large enough, covering all aspects/angles of the product. We, as designers, ensure that the product pages allow a lot of images. The fewer the questions customers have about a product, the more likely they are to purchase it.
To sum it all up, when designing for eCommerce, it is extremely crucial to provide detailed information about the products in a way that fits in with the complete design of the website and doesn’t feel out of place.
6. Closing the deal: The Shopping Cart and Checkout
The shopping cart and the checkout are where the magic happens, and they should be treated with equal focus when designing for eCommerce.
The Shopping Cart is the second last step to closing a deal. We believe that the only thing that can come in the way of a good website experience and making a purchase is a painful checkout process. The shopping cart page should be user-friendly, encouraging users to continue further.
Some elements we keep in mind to enable this are:
- Using of a clear call-to-action, the primary one being the checkout button.
- Providing adequate feedback to avoid confusion. The product added to the cart should be confirmed.
- Utilising mini cart widgets so customers can add more items to the cart without having to switch between pages.
- Making all the shipping costs or taxes clear at the outset to avoid any surprises.
Once the items are added to the cart, most websites have the checkout option right there to direct them to a page requesting shipping and billing information. This step should be quick and easy. Having too many pages requesting information can make the users abandon their cart.
A few things we focus on when designing the checkout page are:
- Allowing guest checkouts.
- Enabling confirmation after the purchase.
- Displaying all payment options.
- Showing customers that the site is secure and more.
7. Responsive Design
A responsive and mobile-friendly design is a must for eCommerce since most purchases happen through smartphones. It is necessary to provide customers with a good experience on their mobile devices as well.
A well-optimised website can bring more sales and improve conversion rates for your business.
8. Strong Branding
Branding tells users about your business. Before we jump into working on the design process, we learn all the necessary information about your brand i.e. the USP of the product, target audience, positioning, tone, choice of the brand, and more.
All of these points directly influence the design for eCommerce and reflect the values of the brand through design to users.
Storytelling is one way of branding to distinguish your business from others in the marketplace. It focuses on showing the customers how your products can solve their problems rather than telling them how great they are.
For example, Apple identified their brand story as user-friendly and simple. And they convey this through their brand design, using a minimalistic logo, product design, packaging, UX, and UI.
Aligning the brand with the customers’ emotions helps build meaningful connections and foster trust and loyalty. Design plays an important role here by conveying this story to the visitors visually and verbally.
9. Conversion Rate Optimization
Conversion Rate Optimisation is the process of improving the shopping experience to turn visitors into customers. It can be conducted on landing pages, product pages, or any customer touchpoints.
Perfecting a seamless UX design interface by focusing on navigation, product information, and the other aspects mentioned above can greatly increase the conversion rates of the business.
Online shopping has become all about a good customer experience. It is not just about creating a website but converting passive shoppers into paying customers.
The elements discussed in this article are just a few of all the user journey design touchpoints we follow.
If you’re looking to build your eCommerce platform or learn more about it, write to us or call us and we’d be happy to discuss it further with you.