Blog Soft Gorillas

1 September 2023
4 min read

Ecommerce User Experience (UX) The Key to Increasing Revenue

Ecommerce user experience (UX) is a crucial aspect of running a successful online store. It goes beyond just website design and encompasses the entire journey that a user takes from their first click to completing a purchase. By focusing on improving the UX of your ecommerce store, you can increase revenue without having to spend extra money on driving more traffic. In this article, we will explore what ecommerce UX is, its importance, and some guidelines to keep in mind for creating a positive user experience.

What is Ecommerce UX?

Ecommerce user experience (UX) refers to the practice of creating a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for customers on an online store. It involves various elements such as website design, navigation optimization, and streamlining the checkout process. The main goal of ecommerce UX is to anticipate and meet customer needs, increase engagement, and build trust, ultimately driving more conversions.

While website design plays a significant role in ecommerce UX, there are other factors to consider as well. These include website loading speed, navigation menu organization, meeting accessibility standards, providing clear and concise copy, and ensuring a smooth experience on both desktop and mobile devices.

The Misconception About UX for Ecommerce Stores

One common misconception about ecommerce UX is that it starts on the homepage. However, this is not always the case. Users may land on a product page, a blog post, or an ad, and these pages could be the starting point of their journey. Therefore, it is essential to consider the entire user journey and optimize the user experience across all touchpoints.

For example, Bull and Cleaver, an ecommerce business selling South African biltong, found that their top two visited pages were a blog post about the differences between biltong and beef jerky, and a product page that served as a landing page for their ads. This insight highlights the importance of understanding where users are starting and tailoring the UX accordingly.

Ecommerce UX Guidelines

Improving ecommerce UX requires understanding your users and their specific needs at different stages of their journey. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind to create a positive user experience and drive more conversions:

1. Prioritize Function Above All Else

While visually appealing websites may seem attractive, they can often distract users and slow down your website, leading to lower conversions. Flashy features and design trends like parallax scrolling, automatic image sliders, ghost buttons, and video backgrounds can negatively impact the user experience if not implemented correctly.

It is crucial to focus on the functional aspects of your website and ensure that it loads quickly, provides clear and concise information, and enables users to navigate easily. Avoid adding unnecessary features that may hinder performance and increase friction for users.

2. Build Sales Funnels, Not Webpages

Instead of designing individual webpages, it is important to think in terms of sales funnels that cater to different user contexts. Beginner merchants often focus on designing their homepage and product pages and then think about driving traffic to them through ads and SEO. However, experienced merchants build sales funnels that start from the channels and campaigns first and then design an experience that aligns with where the users are starting.

To harness ecommerce UX effectively, consider the user’s intent and design an experience that guides them towards making a purchase. For example, optimize your website for SEO by understanding what users are searching for and designing content and user experiences that align with their needs.

3. Start with User-Centered Copy, Then Design

Copy plays a significant role in ecommerce UX as it sets expectations for users and guides them throughout their journey. It is important to understand your target users, their goals, and your goals for them before writing copy for your website.

In your marketing efforts, consider whether you are capturing attention or intention. Capturing attention involves making users aware of your offering, while capturing intention involves targeting users actively looking for what you offer. Tailor your copy to match the user’s intent and use it to communicate key information, provide signposts, and speak in the voice of the customer.

When designing your ecommerce website, ensure that the copy sets expectations and guides users at every step. Consider the labels and structure of your navigation menus, anchor text in blog posts, button copy, and product details. User-centered copy helps users understand your brand, products, and the steps they need to take to make a purchase.

4. Make Online Store Navigation Intuitive

Website navigation should be intuitive and easy to use for users. Anticipate their needs and enable them to direct their own experience across your website. Navigation goes beyond the links in your menu and includes elements like search functionality, filters, and sorting options.

On your homepage, make it easy for users to drill down into your products, pages, and collections. The utility of your homepage should predict the user’s needs at every scroll and click. Organize your navigation menus strategically to ensure users can find what they’re looking for quickly and efficiently.

Consider using sticky headers, expandable submenus, and prominent search bars to enhance the navigation experience. Make sure your navigation is clear, concise, and visually appealing to guide users effectively.

5. Always Consider Ecommerce UX for Mobile Devices

With mobile traffic accounting for a significant portion of web traffic, it is crucial to design your online store with mobile devices in mind. Responsive design ensures that your website adapts to different screen sizes and provides an optimal user experience on desktop, tablet, and smartphone screens.

Mobile payments have also become more prevalent, making it easier for users to complete purchases on their mobile devices. Offer multiple mobile payment options like Shop Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal to streamline the checkout process and reduce friction for mobile users.

Finding and Fixing UX Problems

Improving ecommerce UX is an iterative process that requires continuous monitoring and optimization. Here are some methods to identify and address UX problems on your ecommerce site:

  • Utilize online store funnel analytics to identify drop-off points in the conversion process.
  • Implement scroll and click heat maps to analyze user behavior and identify areas of improvement.
  • Use session replays to watch real visitors interact with your site and gain insights into their experience.
  • Conduct user testing by observing individuals as they navigate your site and provide feedback.
  • Perform five-second tests to gauge users’ understanding of your messaging and value proposition.

By leveraging these tools and methods, you can identify UX issues and make data-driven changes to enhance the user experience on your ecommerce site.

Conclusion

Ecommerce user experience plays a crucial role in driving conversions and increasing revenue for your online store. By prioritizing function, building sales funnels, starting with user-centered copy, ensuring intuitive navigation, and considering mobile devices, you can create a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience for your customers.

Remember that improving ecommerce UX is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor user behavior, gather feedback, and make data-driven changes to optimize the user experience and drive more conversions on your ecommerce site.

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