How UX can level up your ecommerce in 2024
Ecommerce can be very statistics driven, but we all know how powerful intentional design can be in digital marketing and sales. It can transform your ROI from your ecommerce site, and level up the effectiveness of existing marketing campaigns.
But there’s so much more to UX than design alone.
Knowing what to invest time into when improving the UX of your site is vital. So let’s dig into what really brings results. (Hint: it’s all about intention.)
- A more in-depth overview of UX
- Design flow
- The science behind it
- The importance of good UX on online sales
What is UX in ecommerce?
UX refers to user experience, and covers all elements of the customer’s experience navigating and using your site to shop online. It’s all about creating a seamless journey throughout the user’s time spent shopping and browsing.
How to make the most out of your ecommerce UX
There are so many elements to consider when scaling up your UX, specifically for ecommerce:
Some of the basics include clear navigation across every page, linking each page thoughtfully and intuitively, so that first-time visitors are just as easily signposted to the right page as your returning customers. Another highly impactful element is mobile optimisation, as the majority of ecommerce sales take place on mobile devices, not desktop computers.
A potentially more meticulous area to work on is creating a simplified checkout process. One that is easy to use and doesn’t frustrate users with endless scrolling, complicated navigation or asking for unnecessary personal details.
Throughout your site, you should be aiming for fast loading speeds. This isn’t just about speeding up the time it takes to make a sale; it’s about creating a pleasing and engaging experience for your customers. This makes you memorable for all the right reasons.
A part of UX that is often overlooked are the more practical elements of a visitor’s experience on your site. Trust signals like badges and reviews go a long way in putting your customers at ease. They want to believe in your brand, so showcase all the proof you have and let the evidence speak for itself. Reinforcing trust in your brand through security badges and accreditations can also factor into this.
Accessibility decision choices informed by real-life user testing are a must for any ecommerce site. These standards ensure that your site is not excluding anyone from the same level of positive customer satisfaction while browsing and shopping.
Finally, the overall look of your site should be cohesive and on-brand. Work colours into your site that convey the tone of your brand identity and make browsing your site a pleasurable experience. Remember, UX is all about increasing engagement through considered design choices that always have your customer’s interests in mind. No-one wants a headache when navigating a site that’s too visually clashing or overloaded with content. So keep things simple and really focus on what makes your brand special.
What are personas?
A user persona is a representation of your ideal customer, based on your target audience demographic. Through detailed user research, you can build up an empathetic understanding of your customers, taking their needs, desires, likes and dislikes into consideration.
After this research stage, create detailed personas to better understand your audience. Your knowledge of your audience’s expectations, needs and requirements form the starting point for any UX decisions you’ll make in the future.
Personas help you in tailoring interfaces, product suggestions and content to specific user groups, aligning design with user needs.
And guess what - you can make multiple personas to cover all of your diverse customers!
How to create an accurate persona:
Header: This is the fictional name, age and other basic details like gender and an image of your persona. You can also add in a quote that summarises the most meaningful need of that user. For example:
Name: John WIlliams Quote: “I want to make my home look cosy and inviting after I’ve repainted the living room and dining room.”
Demographic profile Now you start filling in details on this persona. There are four sections to consider:
- Personal background: Age, ethnicity, education, family status, relationship status and personal group (e.g. university graduates).
- Professional background: Occupation, income, industry and work experience.
- User environment: The physical environment that your persona lives and works in. Also the social groups they interact with, and the technology that is a part of their life.
- Psychographics: This is a more in-depth version of their likes and dislikes. What do they appreciate, aspire to, dream of? What are their interests or motivations? Contrastingly, what do they hate, and what are their pain points?
End goal : What does this persona ultimately want from visiting your site? In other words, why are they visiting your site, and what are they hoping to do/find there?
Scenario : This is 24 hours in the life of your persona, detailing how they would interact with your brand to achieve their end goal. Would they first stumble across an ad for your site on social media, and then browse your site later that day before making a purchase? Write scenarios from their perspective, and don’t be afraid to add detail.
Your customer is on a journey. From the very first visit to your site, you want to encourage them to discover more about your brand, easily find what they are looking for and ultimately become a return customer.
For this, you need a good design flow across your site. This anticipates user needs, guiding users effortlessly through the purchasing process for a seamless experience.
The focus here is on creating an intuitive, logical user journey from product discovery to checkout, minimising friction points and providing clear calls-to-action. No visitor to your site wants to feel challenged to find the next step in their shopping experience. In fact, they shouldn’t have to think about how to shop at all. You want their focus to be on the products you’re selling, not asking themselves “How do I get to the checkout again?”
Take the time to really consider the needs of your customer base and anticipate what they will subconsciously expect and desire from their shopping experience.
“People ignore designs that ignore people”. That’s a powerful quote from top UX designer, Frank Chimero.
We agree with Frank. If you want your ecommerce site to really appeal to customers, every element of it needs to be created with your customers in mind. Going beyond personas, and thinking like a UX specialist when considering your customer base is a strong start. Here’s how to do that:
In 2014, studies at Nielsen Norman (a leading UX research and training group) found that there are 5 types of e-commerce shoppers. Product focused, browsers, researchers, bargain hunters and one-time shoppers. Consider which of these categories the majority of your customers are in and craft a rough draft of your site with that in mind. Then refine and refine again, until every type of shopper is catered to.
Another Nielsen Norman study found that users tend to first interact with a site scanning the page in an F-pattern. As basic as it may seem, you do need to design your homepage and dedicated landing pages with the first glance of a new customer in mind. After all, they’ll never make it to the checkout if you don’t keep their attention throughout the entire journey, including the very start.
On the subject of customer’s attention spans, Hick’s Law is a principle of UX that suggests the more choices a user has, the harder it is for them to make a decision. This law theories that the user's response time increases with the number of options presented to them. In short… don’t overcomplicate things!
Good UX develops user’s trust in your brand and reliability in ecommerce, reduces friction, and enhances customer satisfaction. These significant positives lead to increased conversion rates, repeat purchases and customer loyalty over time.
If you have good UX on your site, you are actively creating an environment where users feel valued. This has a long-lasting potential impact on your revenue. Customers respond to quality and intentional design, so if your UX can match this, you’re on to a winning formula. Ultimately, it’s all about quality of experience.
We’ve talked a lot about the customer’s journey throughout this guide. But they’re not the only ones on a journey. You may have already guessed, but crafting a truly optimised user experience is a journey in itself for any digital marketer. There are so many levels to consider, this will be a constantly evolving element of your ecommerce site.
Take note of the positive impact of your most effective changes, and be sure to reconsider any updates that didn’t quite have the desired impact. Over time, you will become an expert on your site, your customers and on how both can interact seamlessly.
By following the framework in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to levelling up your site’s UX in no time.
It starts with discovery
Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.Get in touch