As the retail landscape evolves and brick-and-mortar stores falter, the e-commerce market is prepared for expansion. Global e-commerce sales are predicted to exceed $4.48 trillion by 2021, more than doubling the figures from 2017.
E-commerce retailers and designers who pay close attention to user experience and follow a standard set of e-commerce UX design guidelines for the consumer shopping flow will be able to benefit from this market expansion and see tangible financial results.The shopping flow is a broad user path that, when successfully implemented, leads to more impulse purchases, fewer cart abandonment, and higher total conversion.
The user journey consists of:
This article discusses the major aspects of the user journey and how e-commerce designers may make the customer’s experience joyful, simple, and straightforward.
1. Brand Positioning on the Website Clearly
In as little as 50 milliseconds, visitors create their first impressions of a website. An e-commerce website must capture the user’s attention by clearly and swiftly displaying what it sells and how it fits into the larger market.
A website for a luxury jewelry company, for example, would most certainly look and feel significantly different than one for a budget-conscious big box store. Bang & Olufsen, a high-end electronics shop, expresses brand excellence with elegant typefaces, a sophisticated color palette, and clean product photos.
2. Display Calls to Action That Are Relevant
When a visitor arrives at your home page, greet them with relevant content and explicit calls to action (CTAs). A large banner image that matches the current season or a special event, combined with a suitable CTA, assists the user in moving to the next stage in the purchasing process. Avoid using generic terms like “get started” in CTAs because they don’t properly communicate to the user what happens next.
During the holiday season, Polaroid produced an effective CTA by assisting consumers who were shopping for gifts. Rather than a generic term, Polaroid chose “Shop Gifts,” indicating that the user will be sent to a section of the site with gift choices.
3. Customize Landing Pages for SEO
E-commerce companies can capture customers who are on a mission to find a specific product by connecting the user’s search phrases from search engines like Google to customized landing pages.
When a person looks for something, they’re likely looking to buy it. Creating a unique landing page for popular product search phrases enhances the likelihood of a shop making a sale (and maybe a new customer). Papier, a stationery firm, accomplishes this with a page dedicated to wedding invites that appears in Google search results.
Product Search and Browse Are Available On-site Lookup
While it may appear to be a simple feature, many websites still do not provide a broad site-wide search, or if they do, it is not effectively optimized. However, on-site search is critical to a positive e-commerce purchasing experience.
According to Invesp, 60% of internet transactions are not made on the spur of the moment. People frequently know what they want, and typing their query into an e-commerce website’s search bar—such as a product name or model number—is significantly faster than searching through menu possibilities.
Additional tools such as predictive search and autocomplete assist users in quickly seeing possibilities. Apple employs this strategy with a search box that dynamically updates product fast links and popular suggested queries.
4. Motivate Visitors in the Discovery Mode
While many shoppers have a specific item in mind, not all visitors are that confident. Nielsen Norman defines five sorts of e-commerce shoppers, one of which is the “browser.” Browsers are not always seeking something specific. Rather, they are searching around to see if they can find anything fascinating.
E-commerce websites can assist shoppers in the discovery stage by displaying new or best-selling products and allowing them to swiftly and easily view product categories.
5. Encourage Discovery Mode Visitors
While many consumers have a certain purchase in mind, not all visitors are as certain. Nielsen Norman classifies e-commerce buyers into five types, one of which is the “browser.” Browsers are not always looking for a specific item. Instead, they are looking around to see if they can find anything interesting.
E-commerce websites can help shoppers in the discovery stage by showcasing new or best-selling products and allowing users to peruse product categories quickly and simply.
6. Display the primary actions prominently on the product page.
The consumer should never be confused about how to perform anything vital, such as adding a product to their shopping basket. Display primary actions as buttons, such as “add to cart” or “purchase now,” and place them in a prominent spot on the screen about the rest of the material.
7. Give Specific Product Information
Display high-quality, professional photographs and extensive product descriptions to assist shoppers in understanding the goods.Use progressive disclosure and visual hierarchy to provide the user with the appropriate amount of information as needed. Provide the most critical information first, then add specifics further down the page for users who want to learn more.
8. Increase Customer Trust
Customers should not be left in the dark about delivery options, product availability, and return procedures. Making ensuring that all of this information is easily accessible develops consumer confidence and trust, which may assist push a hesitant customer toward a purchase. Knowing whether or not they can return something allows consumers to make better-informed selections.
Add Social Proof Social proof is the idea that people are influenced by the actions of others. Dr. Robert Cialdini’s (a major researcher in the science of influence) principles of persuasion include this concept, which has been demonstrated to work.By including user ratings, reviews, and comments, e-commerce firms can boost shopper confidence. Products on Amazon frequently contain thousands of reviews, which consumers can sort by star rating level.
9. Show a Clear Order Summary in the Shopping Cart
Show the buyer a clear and succinct order summary that contains the products purchased, the amount and price of each item, and the order total before they complete their purchase. Allow the user to amend any goods they want to alter or delete, and include a shipment summary to avoid shipping charge surprises.
10. Allow Users to Checkout as Guests
Impulse purchases account for over 40% of all e-commerce spending. Allow buyers to check out as guests to save the added step of creating an account or checking in. A simple integration to create an account during the check-out-as-guest procedure may convert some guests to account users.
11. Allow for Visual Feedback During the Checkout Process
A progress bar lets clients understand where they are in the checkout process and how much work remains.Apple displays each phase of the process and allows the user to browse between them using the progress links. The user’s progress is stored, so nothing is lost while switching between phases.
12. Use Popular Payment Methods
In addition to accepting major credit cards, offering popular payment alternatives such as PayPal may enhance conversion for purchasers who do not want to give their credit card information.
13. Order Acceptance
After a purchase, show a detailed order confirmation.
Once the consumer has completed the purchase, provide them with proof of successful payment processing as well as delivery details such as an address, delivery method, and projected delivery date.This Amazon confirmation email concept presents the order number, an overview of purchased items, a shipping date, and some recommendations for future purchases.
14. Email Order and Shipping Status Updates
A confirmation email, in addition to the confirmation screen, keeps the user updated on the status of their transaction. While all customers should receive an email confirmation, this is especially useful when users check out as guests and do not have an account on the website to view their previous orders.
Send an update if something changes with the order, such as a delivery delay. Send an email with the tracking number once the item has shipped.
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