The importance of user experience design for eCommerce sites cannot be overstated. It is short-sighted to put all your effort into creating great selling content, information pages and product listings only to fall down on providing the most efficient means of selecting and ordering the desired products. And yet many perfectly good sites in other respects provide a poor back-end service and a frustrating and off putting ordering experience for the customer.
Here is a list of some dos and dont’s when designing the eCommerce section for your site:
- Look at your competitors’ sites – try them out – it might provide you with some insight as to what is good or bad about them
- Make it as easy as possible for users to complete and process their order, preferably on one page
- Put as many helpful features on the checkout as it takes to complete it – don’t use vague terms or make it difficult to follow so the user doesn’t know where to go or what to do next
- Let the user see exactly what they have ordered, what it cost, the charge for shipping etc and let them go back and edit, add to or amend their order
- Use the opportunity to up-sell or recommend complementary or related items (without over doing it!);
- Auto-complete as much of the details as possible to save the customer time and frustration – they will appreciate it and remember your site favourably;
- Tailor the user experience to the audience – if they are time-poor make it especially easy for them to locate products they might want and keep the choices limited; sometimes too many options are worse than too few. Research your audience and find out what things are most important to them in making decisions and try to incorporate these insights into your design;
- Test as much as you can – A/B testing in particular can provide useful information on the relative strengths of different approaches;
- Do remember that you are selling – and selling your company and brand as well as products – so keep reminding your users who they are dealing with and what you represent by clever branding, design and environment.
- Over complicate or clutter the checkout – only have what you really need and don’t ask for repeat information that you have already collected elsewhere;
- Overwhelm the customer with too much or irrelevant information – chances are they just want to go in, make their purchase and get out as quickly as possible so facilitate this desire however you can;
Ecommerce can be a complex area – it is not simply a question of displaying your products and people will buy. There are many considerations around engaging and retaining the user, meeting their needs and making the whole process pleasurable and simple.
If you are interested in improving your site’s ecommerce user experience, why not ring us on +44(0)800 024624 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for an exploratory chat.