The design of your online store plays a significant role in long-term e-commerce success. Yet it entails more than aesthetics. Each merchant must find ways to improve all conversion metrics for long-term success. You need to know what to track, what the numbers mean, and how to optimize the user experience to improve the key metrics.
Conversion rate and average order value are two of the most important stats to track and improve for long-term success. This is where UX design can play a significant part in boosting these metrics.
What is UX Design?
User Experience Design is a process of designing and optimizing a site or online store with the main focus on user experience. The focus is on creating a meaningful experience for visitors, including the product sections, branding, usability, accessibility, and function. Think of it as telling a story through design that entails every user interaction with your product or service. The ultimate goal is to create a pleasant experience throughout the customer journey.
Understanding how your users interact with your site will lay the foundation from which store owners can tweak almost every aspect of their site and help improve customer satisfaction and revenue by default.
“If you think good design is expensive, you should look at the cost of bad design.”Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover
Competitive Playing Field
eCommerce is growing in leaps and bounds, and the growth is set to continue exponentially over the next decade. Competition is also picking up pace with more stores entering the markets each day, giving customers more options for spending their hard-earned dollars.
Customers are also becoming more demanding in what they expect from the online shopping experience. More educated consumers are making it increasingly hard to keep their attention long enough to convert into a sale.
2.1 billion people buy products and services online, with global e-commerce sales close to $5 trillion. These consumers spend on average $100 to $150 per sale. The worrying figure, though, is of the 20 million online stores worldwide, only 6 million generate more than $1,000 annually.
Where Optimized UX Design Can Give Your Store the Edge
Keeping and Holding Customer Attention can give you the edge and help drive sales. Optimized user experience is one of the best ways to do this:
Offer Personalized User Experience through:
- Personalized Homepage Design
- Display Recently Viewed Products per user
- Location-Based personalization such as showing customer-specific currency
- Personalized Product Recommendations
How fast your site loads can significantly impact conversion rates, so this is one of the critical areas where merchants can optimize the user experience. Even a one-second delay can cause a large drop in page views and conversion rates.
Ensure that your site loads fast by optimizing image sizes, delaying assets that don't need to load immediately, compressing code either through coding or the use of speed optimization apps
Improve Customer Service
- Include live chat on your site so that users can interact with your staff in real-time
Optimize Site Navigation
- Make sure your site is easy to navigate and does not leave the user guessing. Make sure your key categories or service offerings are front and center.
- Use dropdown menus so that a customer can drill down deeper into your subcategory and showcase special offers or sale items in the sub-menu.
Clearly Show the Shopping Cart
- Make it easy for customers to check out by highlighting the Shopping cart on desktop and mobile. You can use a slide-in cart that keeps the user on the current page and use colors and icons that stand apart from your brand colors to make it even more apparent.
- Always show the total price and number of items in the cart.
Search on Steroids
- Make sure your customers can find what they are looking for by making your search box easy to locate.
- Include the predictive search where possible but make sure it is presenting the correct information based on the customer's search query
- Include filters in the search page so that the user can quickly drill down into the results
Optimize Product Pages for maximum conversion
- Provide as much relevant product information as possible on the product page so that it is easy for the customer to make a decision
- Show any hidden costs such as shipping VAT/Tax so that the user does not get a surprise at checkout.
- Make sure your descriptions are user-friendly.
- Ensure that the Add To Cart and Buy Now buttons are above the fold
- Show stock levels if possible.
- Include Reviews to help build trust in the product
- Include large high res images and have the option to scroll between images and Zoom or enlarge the image.
- Use visuals to direct your visitor's attention to crucial areas of your store.
- Clearly state your value proposition.
- Use video where it makes sense to deliver the right message with impact.
- Showcase user-generated content to build trust — for example, customer product video reviews, unboxing, testimonials, case studies, and interviews.
- Test if Chatbots works with your customer base. This solution is not for every brand, as some customers find communicating with a bot off-putting.
- Design for mobile-first, followed by the desktop design. Most of your visitors will be entering your site through their mobile phones.
UX design must ideally be researched and implemented from the start of a project. That does not mean store owners and developers cannot continue post-launch to optimize the user experience. The data will often show you where your store might be lacking or areas where you can tweak the design to boost the key metrics.
Your customers will also be a great source of information long-term for any additional issues that might arise, like popups covering key areas, for instance.
It is up to each store owner to continue testing, improving, and validating these ideas and see what works best for their individual store. Testing as often as possible will give your store the advantage over other competitors and will lead to satisfied customers. Hopefully, you'll also see the difference over time in revenue.
UX Design Optimization is not a one-time event but a long-term journey that all merchants must take seriously.
Above all else, align with customers. Win when they win. Win only when they win.Jeff Bezos