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23/09/2020 Luke Goldsworthy

eCommerce Spring Clean: Design and UX

Having already covered improving your website’s conversion rate and SEO in our eCommerce Spring Clean series, this week we shift our attention to the too often overlooked aspects of design and user experience (UX).

It’s easy to get caught up focusing on metrics like checkout abandonment rate and cost per acquisition, which we’ve also written about in this blog, but to forget the important role that design and UX play in enhancing the shopping experience and ultimately in driving sales.

We would argue that the best eCommerce websites are designed with UX at the core, seeking to get inside the head of the user to create a shopping experience for them that is easy-to-use, logical and enjoyable, on a platform that is clean and attractive.

Here are five areas to consider:

Navigation

Great navigation on your site is even more important than search. You need well-organised navigation and categories that clearly lead to product pages. To achieve this, use category names that are easy to understand, and that reflect users’ expectations of category types. Ideally, this should be tested with a target group or at least based on the analysis of competitor websites. The main categories should be limited to less than eight, and then subcategories used if needed. If a product matches more than one category, it should appear in all relevant categories. Navigation needs to be consistent across all pages. 

Search

Place the search bar in a visible and easily accessible part of your website, which is consistently placed across all pages. The search should dynamically suggest results, and also support query mistakes so that spelling mistakes are corrected or similar results are displayed. When nothing matches a query, products should still be suggested whether based on previous searches or other criteria.

Filters

Users should be able to apply filters to both category and search results, enabling sorting based on various product attributes such as price, best selling, and new release. Make it easy for users to select filters, such as with drop-downs or checkboxes, and also to clear all selected filters. Filters should be listed in the order they are most used on your website. 

Product Pages

All of your website’s efforts with navigation, search and filters – not to mention SEO – can be thrown away because of a poorly designed product page. Keep the product page as clean as possible, providing only the crucial information in the main view.

Rely on high quality images to represent the product, including multiples angles and each colour available. Adding a zoom function over images is helpful too. Depending on the product, a video can also boost sales but as with images be mindful of file sizes.

For the product description, never use the manufacturer’s copy. Not only will it harm your SEO, but it won’t be tailored to your particular audience and is likely to be more descriptive than persuasive. Keep it concise.

Finally, make the price and Call to Action stand out. In particular, consider the size, placement, design and content of your Call to Action. Make the next step obvious for your customer, such as with ‘Add to Cart’ or ‘Buy Now’ buttons. 

Embrace Feedback

There are many other areas that could be discussed such as the value of providing a seamless omnichannel experience, responsive layout, an efficient and effective checkout, and the need for quick-loading pages. But our one last tip is to stay ahead of customer expectations by paying attention to their feedback. Given the chance most customers aren’t shy about sharing their experiences. We’ve written recently about embracing reviews, and you should listen to your customers and consider what design changes can be made to improve their UX. 

The Playhouse Group is available to make a free assessment of your website design and UX. To discuss this, or for any other eCommerce questions, please don’t hesitate to click below to set up a free consultation with one of our experts.

Get in touch with our team and we can talk to you about this or any eCommerce questions you may have.