eCommerce web design is a complicated field, and it’s one of our specialties at Australian Internet Advertising. And while it’s difficult to boil down the complexities of web design and choose just one aspect that’s the most important, there is one thing that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest – user experience, or UX for short.
And in this blog from AIAD, we’ll discuss user experience in detail. What is it? Why does it matter? How do you ensure that your customers have a good user experience? Read on and find out.
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The Most Important Aspect Of An eCommerce Web Design Is The User Experience
If you want to build a great eCommerce store, you need to provide a great user experience. What is a user experience? That’s a great question. To explain what a user experience is and why it’s important, let’s compare eCommerce to brick-and-mortar stores.
When you go to a brick-and-mortar store, you expect a certain level of service. You want to:
- Be able to get into the store easily
- Find the products you’re looking for
- Get help from a salesperson or customer service representative if you need assistance
- Check out quickly with your preferred payment type
- Head home with your new purchase
If you have a bad experience – a salesperson is rude to you, the item is out of stock, your card is declined at checkout, the store is messy and it’s hard to find what you need, etc. – you’re probably less likely to visit that store again.
The same is true of an eCommerce store. When potential customers visit your website, they have certain expectations, similarly to visiting a physical store location.
- They want to be able to find the items they’re looking for with the search bar
- They expect your store to be organized with intuitive product categories
- They want comprehensive descriptions and images of each product on your product pages
- They want to be able to choose from a wide variety of payment options, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, and other such popular payment methods
- They want the website to load quickly and function smoothly overall.
Successful eCommerce stores exceed their expectations and provide an excellent shopping experience. But if you don’t meet these expectations for a user-friendly website, your customers may leave – and they never come back.
What Goes Into A Great eCommerce Web Design & User Experience?
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of user experience and what it is, let’s do a little more digging. What elements are required to create a great user experience for an eCommerce shopper? What expectations do today’s online shoppers have? Read on and find out.
A design that works on every device
More people than ever are shopping on mobile devices. eCommerce sales used to be mostly made on desktops and laptops, but today’s customers expect your site to support devices of all sizes and types, including phones and tablets.
Up to 79% of smartphone users have made purchases on their phones within the last 6 months. If your website doesn’t support mobile devices, you could be missing out on a lot of sales and rev
Fast loading times & consistent performance
First and foremost, today’s customers want your website to be fast, and to offer consistent performance – without errors, broken links, or other issues that can interrupt their shopping experience.
In fact, webpage loading time is one of the things that is the most impactful when it comes to conversion rates – the percentage of people who buy a product after visiting your website. If your website loads within 4 seconds, you have the highest odds of making a sale – and after this, conversion rates drop by about 2-4% for each additional second it takes for your website to load.
If your website takes too long to load, potential buyers will just leave – and they may never come back, and may shop with a competitor instead. That’s one of the reasons why page loading times are so important.
High-quality, detailed product descriptions
Online, your customers can’t “window shop.” They can’t look at a product themselves, handle it, check out the packaging, and learn more about it that way.
Instead, they have to rely on product descriptions, product images, and other information that you upload to your website. The only way they can learn more about the product is to read more about it on your website.
Because of this, you need to create original, high-quality, and properly laid out product descriptions that will help customers learn everything that they need to know about a particular product.
You need to make sure that your catalog is easy to navigate, with intuitive product categories, filters that let customers sort by price, item type, product ratings, and other such information.
Again, thinking of a brick-and-mortar store, this is the equivalent of having different “aisles” for each product. If your customer only wants to shop for shoes, they shouldn’t have to browse through pages of socks, belts, jeans, and other apparel to find what they want.
A smooth, intuitive shopping cart & checkout process
Checkout frustrations are a top reason that customers abandon their shopping carts. If your checkout process is difficult to understand or doesn’t provide a consistent shopping experience, you’ll lose customers. 27% of people have abandoned a shopping cart because the process was “too slow,” and 35% of people have abandoned a purchase because they were forced to create an account before the checkout page would let them continue their purchase.
A wide variety of payment options and shipping options
You should provide a wide variety of payment options on your eCommerce site, such as credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal. The more options you provide, the better, since customers will be able to choose their preferred method.
In addition, offering a wide variety of shipping options at checkout – particularly free shipping – is a great way to provide a better user experience and convert more customers. 90% of customers say that free shipping is a “top incentive” for online buying.
A search bar that actually works
Search frustrations are very common in eCommerce. 43% of customers go directly to the search bar when they first visit an eCommerce store – and if they don’t find what they’re looking for due to a poor search experience, they’re unlikely to keep shopping at your store.
Self-service customer support options
Customers don’t like having to contact customer service if they have a basic question or issue. Instead, they prefer to use self-service channels such as FAQs and knowledge bases, according to Forrester. These resources allow customers to solve simple issues on their own.
Easy-to-find contact information for customer support
When a customer decides they need support, it’s important for your contact information to be easy-to-find.
Whether you provide support over the phone, via email, or through web-based forms, your customers need to be able to submit questions and get in touch with you right away. The longer they have to wait to get a response, the less likely they are to be satisfied with their user experience.
UX is a complicated field – and providing a great user experience isn’t easy. But it’s worth it. With a smooth, streamlined user experience, you can bring in more traffic to your website, maximize conversion rates, build a loyal base of customers, and enjoy a lot of other benefits – which will contribute directly to your bottom line.
Need Help With Your eCommerce Store? Contact Australian Internet Advertising!
As experts in web design and Shopify eCommerce stores, Australian Internet Advertising is here to help you build a better eCommerce website. With our help, you can focus on providing a truly top-notch user experience.
To learn more and get started, just contact us online or give us a ring at 1300 304 640 for a consultation. Our team is always here to help small business owners and eCommerce entrepreneurs meet their goals.