Ask any business owner or marketer, and they would swear by the importance of user experience for any business. And the need for better UX and its consequences on the revenue of a business is even more significant in the case of an eCommerce business.
Be it fulfilment, packaging, delivery, ecommerce design, branding, or advertising, UX has a role to play in many aspects of an eCommerce business. Unfortunately, many eCommerce marketers and business owners think that user experience design only concerns website design, which is far from the truth.
UX for an eCommerce business is definitely not just about website design. It also includes many other aspects such as packaging, fulfilment, etc. This is because a website is just the beginning of the customer journey, which is simply the tip of the iceberg.
For example, suppose that you only work on the UX of your website but fail to optimise your delivery process. This way, your frontend order process will offer good UX. However, your delivery process may be sloppy and full of errors - ultimately leading to better ecommerce conversion rate optimization and a higher retention rate for your business.
Hence, when you optimise both the frontend and backend of your eCommerce business for a better user experience, you’ll be able to delight your customers and eventually turn them into brand ambassadors. This will lead to maximum conversions and profits.
In this comprehensive guide, let’s look at some of the top UX strategies that you can implement in the frontend and backend of your eCommerce business for better ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
Why is Overall User Experience Especially Important in eCommerce?
Still not convinced about why UX is of utmost importance for eCommerce businesses? Here are a few reasons why:
UX Leads to Improvement in Customer Loyalty and Retention Rate
Advertising, bringing in users to your eCommerce store, and converting them is just half the battle won. You’ll probably find many of your customers forgetting about your store or churning after their first order.
By making improvements to user experience design, you can make a lasting impression on your customers after their first purchase. This will lead to better customer loyalty and an increased retention rate.
Good UX Improves Brand Awareness and Credibility
When you impress your website visitors and customers with a premium user experience, your brand is bound to get the added attention and credibility. This can be through reviews, ratings, social media buzz, referrals, etc. Hence, UX may be the key to building credibility as an eCommerce brand.
Good UX Leads to Better Word of Mouth
As an extension of the previous point, offering a good user experience leaves your customers impressed with your products and services. This will ultimately lead to the best form of marketing - word of mouth.
You’ll eventually find more and more visitors coming to your site through word of mouth. The best part about these users is that they are already convinced with your products and UX and are probably ready to place an order.
UX Helps You Expand Your Reach in the Market
Improving brand awareness, credibility, and customer loyalty ultimately help you expand your reach in the market. This is especially necessary today when the amount of competition in the market is excessive. You can use UX as a way to emerge as one of the top eCommerce brands in your niche and beat competitors with ease.
7 Best eCommerce User Experience Tips to Maximize Conversions
Now that you know how vital UX is for eCommerce businesses, let’s talk about some tips that can help you maximise your conversions.
Ensure Quick Delivery of Orders
As mentioned in the previous section, navigating through your site and placing an order is just half the job done. What happens is also extremely important if you want to improve conversions and think long-term.
The delivery process plays an important role in determining the UX offered by your business. Why? Because the kind of experience your offer during the entire delivery process directly impacts how customers feel about your business.
Based on their delivery experience, your customers are most likely to place subsequent orders or decide not to order from your online store ever again. Hence, optimising your delivery process for the best possible UX is crucial.
Offer same-day or next-day delivery
The best possible way to compete with top eCommerce players in the market like Amazon is to offer same-day or next-day delivery services. This is because most customers today are looking for super-quick delivery of orders, and if you can offer that, then you’ll definitely see a vast improvement in your ecommerce conversion rate optimization metrics.
Automate your fulfilment process
Like any other industry, automation is the key to offering a better user experience in the eCommerce space. But, how does it affect the delivery process? Most delays in the delivery process occur due to sloppy inventory management, gathering shipping documents, unnecessary manual intervention, or other delays in the fulfilment process.
By automating the fulfilment process, placing orders, inventory management, and other important aspects involved in the order fulfilment process can be put into autopilot mode. This way, the process becomes more efficient, and you can ensure quicker deliveries to your customers.
Hire efficient staff
Skilled warehouse staff is another important factor that determines the efficiency of your delivery process. If you rely on staff who are inexperienced and inefficient, then you ought to face unexpected delays in the delivery process - leading to unhappy customers.
Outsource to a fulfilment service provider
If you’ve optimised your processes and are still not able to offer quick deliveries to your customers, then you should think about switching to a fulfilment partner who will handle both packing and shipping for you.
Fulfilment service providers are skilled and much more efficient at delivering orders at a much faster pace. Moreover, they can also efficiently handle documentation, tracking, and inventory by automating processes.
Grouping shipments together is another factor that may help you drastically reduce the time and money spent on the delivery process. Again, outsourcing to a fulfilment partner can be helpful as they can afford to combine shipments at scale.
For instance, Edible Arrangements, an eCommerce store, was able to improve their sales by 8% by offering a same-day delivery service and highlighting this on a message on their website.
Offer a Superfast Checkout Process
If you’re finding that your website gets enough traction, but users are hesitant to convert, then the solution may lie in your checkout process. For the user to complete the checkout process, they have to place immense trust in your brand. Without this trust and credibility, you may face lower conversion rates.
For instance, a case study by UX Planet reveals how one of their clients faced issues with the checkout process. The main problems with the checkout process were - higher drop-off rate, concerns regarding security, and a lengthy checkout process.
The solution to this included analysing the current checkout process step-by-step to identify areas of concern, competitive analysis of common trends to offer a faster checkout experience, and interviews with stakeholders to identify what exact problems the customers were facing.
By tackling these issues, the eCommerce business was able to drastically improve its website conversion rates and reduce the cart abandonment rate.
Here are a few measures that you can take to offer a faster checkout experience to your website visitors:
Keep the cart page, and checkout flow minimalistic
Most cart abandonment results from overwhelming checkout processes. When you offer too many details and distractions to your users, they are bound to abandon your site, and this will lead to lowered conversion rates.
To tackle this, keep the checkout experience as simple as possible. Remove any header and footer links or any ads. Lower the number of steps involved in the process and ensure that your cart page looks clean and simple.
Reduce the number of form fields
No one likes to fill up huge forms with unnecessary fields. Not only does this add to the checkout time, but it also feels like you are asking too much from your users. This may be a massive turn-off for them.
Hence, keep your checkout and sign-up forms as minimal as possible. Only include fields that are absolutely necessary. Remove all unnecessary fields. If your form has to be lengthy, you can think about converting it into a multi-step form as this will feel less intrusive to the users.
Display trust signals
Building trust is a vital part of proceeding with eCommerce transactions. You can use certain signals along the checkout process to build this trust. For example, having an SSL certificate is a must.
You should also include other trust elements such as reviews/ratings, customer support options, different payment options, or a trust badge that assures the security of your website’s checkout process.
Rigorously Focus on Small Screen Devices
Did you know that the share of mobile commerce in all of eCommerce is expected to rise to 72.9% by the end of 2021? Therefore, it does make sense to improve the UX of your eCommerce business’s mobile experience.
Though you may use a mobile-friendly website builder or theme, there may still exist some UX issues that you might easily overlook. This can lead to a massive drop in your conversions, and thus these issues need to be addressed.
Here are a few steps you can take to make improvements to optimising the UX of small-screen devices such as mobiles and tablets:
Research and identify the existing issues
Research and thorough analysis is the first step. You can take help from stakeholders or use focus groups to identify the areas of concern. This can be the text, font, ecommerce design, colours, checkout experience, security issues, site or app speed issues, etc.
Ensure minimalistic design for product pages
Oftentimes product pages designed for desktop versions may not look good on small screen devices. This may lead to increased website or app abandonment. To tackle this, make sure that your small screen product pages are minimalist with optimum text to make the experience for the users less overwhelming.
Draw attention to the right places
Unnoticeable CTAs may also lead to lowered conversion rates. It is crucial that you place the right CTAs at the right place. Make sure that the CTA text and design stand out enough to draw the users’ attention.
For instance, a case study on Virgin mobile eCommerce shows how analysis of the mobile website revealed several issues concerning the ecommerce design, text, fonts, and other UI elements. Improving these UX issues helped them improve important metrics.
Offer a Pleasant Product Fulfilment Experience
Product fulfilment experience offered by an eCommerce business has a major share in determining the overall user experience offered by them leading to a major impact on your ecommerce conversion rate optimization.
This is because the fulfilment process has a direct impact on how users feel about your business. Slow shipping speeds and errors in orders may lead to a huge drop in your retention rates leading to major losses for your business. Hence, the backbone of any eCommerce business, the fulfilment process, should not be ignored at any cost.
Here are some steps you can take to offer e pleasant product fulfilment experience to your customers:
Optimise your site to offer a better ordering experience
A premium fulfilment experience starts with the ordering process. So, make sure,, to begin with optimising your website for a better ordering experience. You can start by offering a minimalistic checkout and order process with the least amount of steps possible. Offer better navigation through the order process and secure payment processing.
Ensure thorough quality control checks
Imagine placing immense trust in a brand and paying your money - only to find out that a damaged or incorrect product was delivered to you! This can be a very frustrating scenario for your customers, and they are most likely to churn after this experience.
To tackle this, ensure that your products go through rigorous inspections and quality checks before shipping them to the customers. You can set Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in place to make sure that your quality control checks are as stringent as possible.
Optimise the returns and exchange experience
An easy returns and exchange policy forms another major part of your business’ UX. Therefore, make sure that they offer easy, hassle-free returns and exchange policies. Put up these policies on your website and add links to your product pages.
Outsource to a reliable fulfilment service provider
As mentioned before, outsourcing your product fulfilment process to a reliable fulfilment centre may be the key to offer a better UX. Such fulfilment service providers are skilled and more experienced in offering quick deliveries, optimised packaging, better inventory management, better documentation, inspect checks, etc. Hence, this can be highly beneficial for your business.
Strive to Develop the Best eCommerce Website on the Web
Your website is the main hub to ensure eCommerce business, and it plays a vital role in creating the first impression on your users. Hence, developing a user-friendly website should be one of your topmost priorities.
Create a simple, minimal homepage
Your homepage solely decides the first impression you have on your potential customers. Having a shabby ecommerce design with cluttered elements can instantly give your brand a spam look. While a minimal, simple design can help you grab the users’ attention while building trust.
Offer user-friendly search and navigation
Search and navigability are important areas of concern for eCommerce websites. Ensure that you offer a site-wide search engine that allows users to easily browse through products. Also, offer hierarchical navigation that is intuitive to your site visitors.
Avoid intrusive ads and pop-ups
Intrusive ads and irritating pop-ups are a strict no. Having occasional opt-ins at the right places is different. But, overdoing it may make your eCommerce site look spammy, not to mention distract the users’ attention from the intended CTA.
Optimise your product pages
Product pages also have a huge role to play in the kind of user experience design you offer. You should aim to offer comprehensive product descriptions with accurate images that offer a closer look at your products. Having deceptive images and inappropriate descriptions are a strict no.
Use ample social proof
Social proof has the power to drastically change the users’ purchase decisions in your favour. Social proof helps you build trust and give the users the final nudge to place the order with your online store.
You can add social proof in the form of reviews, ratings, social media following, trust badges, etc. You should add social proof to your homepage, product pages, and checkout pages.
For instance, the recent case study by Zoho on the design of an eCommerce website reveals how different elements can bring about drastic improvements in conversions.
Stay in Touch With the Visitors Who Have Left the Store
It is frustrating when you put in efforts and money to drive visitors to your site, only to find most of them abandoning your store. But, these visitors can be of help to your business.
How? Visitors who have landed on your site once are familiar with your brand and are more likely to convert than brand new website visitors. Hence, you can use this fact to your advantage with the help of retargeting.
Retargeting your existing customers or visitors who failed to convert can be a great way to increase brand awareness and improve customer retention rate. Let’s look at some useful strategies you can use to retarget website visitors:
Set up pixels on your site to track visitors
Pixels can be useful tools that can help you track visitors who have visited your site. Using pixels, you can get a list of visitors who landed on your site at least once. Using these details, you can individually retarget these visitors and eventually convert them.
Use paid advertising for retargeting visitors
Paid advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, etc., can be a great idea to retarget visitors. Such platforms allow you to set up pixels on your site and track visitors to retarget. This can lead to much better ROI and conversions for your business.
Segment website visitors and use personalization
Segmentation may be the key to improving your sales, conversions, and retention. Your website visitors may be of different kinds - visitors who added products to the cart, visitors who only browsed through products, or visitors who made a purchase once.
Segmenting your website visitors into different categories can help you retarget them with a more personalised approach that best appeals to them - leading to better conversions and retention.
A great example here would be an eCommerce store that sold wine. Through abandoned cart retargeting, they were able to increase their revenue by 20.7% and saw a 50% increase in reach year-over-year. This clearly reflects the kind of UX they offer.
Advertising is one of the most common and effective ways of driving visitors to your online store. But did you know that you can also optimise your advertising strategies to offer better UX?
Often, a user comes across your advertisement on search engines or social media even before they land on your site. Hence, we can safely assume that the customers’ journey begins from the advertisement, and so does your UX optimization practices.
Here are a few steps you may take to offer better UX to your eCommerce customers through advertising:
Use consistent messaging and design
It is crucial that the messaging, ad copy, and design you offer in your ads be consistent with the landing page or your product pages. This helps the users have a more cohesive experience. Failing to do this may lead to increased website abandonment.
Use shoppable ads
Shoppable ads are advertisements that can help users browse through different products and make a purchase directly from the platform they are on. Hence, they need not have to land on your site to browse through products. This can be a game-changer in improving your conversions and offering premium UX to users.
Use segmentation and personalisation
Advertising on search engines and social media comes with the added perks of segmentation and personalisation. When you understand your users better, you can offer more personalisation, product recommendations, messaging, and copy to ensure that the chances of converting the user are maximised. And, of course, this also leads to better UX.
Implement retargeting through advertising
As discussed in the previous section, retargeting website visitors and existing customers through advertising can be another great way to offer better UX to your customers, ultimately leading to better conversion and retention rates.
For example, a luxury watch brand, MVMT, were able to generate $90M in revenue in five years by improving their Facebook ad strategy.Source
Q1: What are the top 3 parameters that impact customer experience
Products, customer service, and deliveries
Q2: I'm not sure from where I should begin improving the process of overall user experience?
Q3: Give insight on how effective is the user experience in meeting strategic goals
Here're few case studies that show the importance of UX
Case study 1: Increased desktop main CTA conversions from 8% to 27%, mobile CTA from 2% to 18%
Case study 2: Improving conversion rates by 75% just fixing minor UX problems
Q4: What are some of the good end-user experience monitoring tools?
Lakeside Software's Digital Experience Tool, Pingdom, Uptime, and ThousandEyes
Q5: Do I need a professional user experience designer?
It's recommended to have a professional onboard to work on the UX. Hiring a professional is worth it because you are investing in improving the quality of your business by tweaking the positioning of the overall product. Plus, a good UX is always helpful in building a sustainable brand image in the long run. Therefore, you should have a professional user experience consultant or designer working for you.
To conclude, we can say that user experience design is the key to better conversions, customer loyalty, and market reach - no doubt about that.
But, it is important to note that, unlike the common notion, offering good UX is not just about optimizing your eCommerce website. It also includes optimizing back end processes such as product fulfilment, shipping, delivery, etc.
The tips offered in this guide provide a holistic approach to offering a premium user experience to your customers. Using these tips will help you emerge as one of the top eCommerce brands in the market in the near future.