In the past seven years, the global e-commerce industry has witnessed explosive growth. From a sales revenue of US$1.3 trillion in 2014, the industry is now worth an approximate of US$4.9 trillion in 2021. The industry is expected to grow by at least 50% over the next four years, with Statista predicting a whooping US$7.4 trillion by 2025.
Given its growth and potential, it is crucial for businesses to cultivate an online presence to tap into this growth in demand. To stand out, businesses will have to provide consumers with quality online browsing experiences on their e-commerce websites. As most of the selling is via the companies’ e-commerce websites, user experience or UX in short, is highly important for businesses to retain existing customers or convert potential ones, as a good UX design will help create a meaningful and relevant experience for online shoppers. Conversely, a poorly designed website with a frustrating payment process will only serve to turn away customers.
As mentioned earlier, the purpose of an e-commerce website is to entice and convince consumers to purchase the products and services it offers. Which is why having a good UX design will be instrumental in helping businesses attain this goal through the offering of a positive online browsing experience. To achieve this, UX typically involves the designing of an intuitive user interface or UI, in which customers are able to browse and find what they want on a website in a smooth and easy way.
In this article, we will discuss how the UI/UX design of an e-commerce store can impact the customers’ purchase decisions, and some practices that business owners ought to incorporate in their processes to ensure quality in user experience.
Before we start, it is important to make the distinction between UI and UX. UX refers to the overall user interaction with the business, its services or products, as well as its website. On the other hand, UI refers to the look and feel of the website; these would include interactive visual features such as the strategic placement of call-to-action buttons for easy access on the website.
Although demand for online shopping has increased tremendously, so have the expectations of customers. In order to satiate the demand for goods that are bought online, consumer experience through a well thought out UI/UX design by the businesses must be top notch, as it can determine one’s purchase decisions, and that will equate to higher sales revenue.
On the contrary, poorly thought out UI/UX can frustrate users, and this will result in a decrease in conversion rates and affect customer retention as it increases the likelihood of them engaging the services of a competitor that offers a better user experience. A good UI/UX design offers the following benefits:
In terms of service quality excellence, the process of catering to online shoppers is more than just the offering of a product or service. The modern online shopper not only expects to find products or services with ease, he or she expects a good experience when shopping. This purchase journey from the beginning to the end is a holistic one. From browsing through a website to carting out and making purchase payments, every single step of this journey needs to be planned with the intent to please. An interactive and informative user experience is crucial in ensuring customer satisfaction, and when customers are happy and satisfied, they will most likely stay on as loyal brand users. Based on a study conducted by Hubspot, at least 88% of online users are less inclined to revisit a website after a negative experience.
In this era of data and information, it is crucial to ensure that your UX/UI design is able to engage your customers in a short span of time, as online users tend to have short attention spans. A strong design should also provide customers with key information to help them make important purchase decisions.
What distinguishes you from your competitors is your ability to keep your customers engaged, and how you can incentivise them to keep returning to your platform. A good UX design can help you achieve this goal, as it helps increase your website’s traffic and boost sales. Based on a study conducted by Forester, a strong UX design can increase a website's conversion rate by up to 400%, and coupled with a good UI design, it can be increased by up to another 200%.
Investing in a quality e-commerce template can prove to be profitable in the long run. Though it may seem costly in the beginning due to the processes involved (e.g. researching which e-commerce template best suits your needs, reviewing the template, and testing the template), getting it right will help save costs in the long run, as you will be able to avoid future revisions and design bugs.
The following are some of the best practices you can incorporate to provide good UX to your customers.
Call To Action (CTAs) messages play a key role in converting casual browsers to customers. Customers are often indecisive when shopping online, and with clear CTAs such as ‘Buy Now!’ or ‘Click here!’, they will be prompted to make a purchase.
Customers often abandon their carts due to complex checkout processes. In your website’s design, simplify the check out process so that your customers are focused on completing their purchases.
Another important feature of good UX design in e-commerce is to make websites mobile-optimised. According to Kinsta, the majority of customers now shop online using their smartphones. As a personal computer’s screen dimension differs from that of a portable smart device, surfing the desktop version of a website on a smart device can be frustrating.
In addition, if your website is mobile-optimised, 74% of visitors are likely to revisit it. Hence, ensure that the smart device user’s journey is short, streamlined, and specific, so that they are able to find the relevant information quickly and without hassle.
Another good practice in e-commerce web design is to include high-quality images of your products. Include well-lit pictures of your products taken from different angles so that your customers have a clear visual of what they are potentially buying. You should also include concise and informative descriptions of these products.
As a service provider or seller of a product, it is crucial that good customer support is being put in place. A lack of service or support is detrimental to one’s brand. More often than not, customers would want personalised touches when shopping online. This conveys a message that they are valued, and this builds confidence in the brand.
Essentially, having a well designed e-commerce website will help grow one’s customer base, and consequently increase the company’s revenue. However, another vital aspect one should take note of is reliability. This is very important for e-commerce businesses as customers would like to receive their products on or ahead of time and in good condition. Therefore, partnering with a trusted logistics carrier like DHL Express is key. Sign up for a DHL Express account today to see how DHL Express’s services and logistics solutions can benefit you.