Since its inception, eCommerce has changed the way we live, shop, and conduct business in countless ways. Success in eCommerce, like brick-and-mortar stores, boils down to giving your customers the greatest possible user experience (UX).
Excellent eCommerce UX is essential because it guarantees that customers can effortlessly explore your website, locate what they need, and then purchase it. UX and conversion go hand- in-hand. If the UX design of your site isn’t carefully crafted, it could fall flat when it comes to converting visitors into customers. People will buy from you more frequently if your site makes it easy for them to do so. As your company strives to hit its next growth milestone, UX design elements and best practices should be a top priority.
This article first assumes you have the cornerstone four Ps of marketing nailed down: you have the best possible product, your pricing is competitive, the product is displayed prominently on your site, and it’s promoted through the right channels. To build on this, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of the most impactful eCommerce UX tips of 2022. Even implementing minor changes can have a big impact on revenue!
Load speed and mobile user experience
One of the most important aspects of top eCommerce UX is the site’s load speed and mobile user experience. The design of the interface should seamlessly adapt to the device on which a user is viewing it. After all, according to statista, mobile-commerce is expected to account for 72.9% of all eCommerce sales in 2021.
Fast site performance is also beneficial in several ways: it has a direct influence on conversions, overall user experience, improves search engine optimisation (SEO), and boosts the efficiency of search engine marketing (SEM). Keeping page load times low, however, takes a significant amount of effort.
First, audit and test your site’s speed and mobile UX. We recommend Web.dev which will assess your website and provide you with a load time estimate. This will also outline and assist you in identifying underlying issues that are causing your website to perform poorly in specific areas.
You can also check your site speed with Google PageSpeed Insights. Simply enter your website’s URL, and the tool will assess the whole site and provide a score of 1 to 100 to both the desktop and mobile versions. Anything above 90 is considered an excellent score by Google.
When it comes to eCommerce page speed, there are many options available to website operators and eCommerce marketing managers to optimise for a range of factors. Popular eCommerce platforms like WooCommerce, Magento and Shopify can be optimised with plugins, whereas website stores built on more custom platforms will need to take the recommendations from web.dev and work on them manually through code reviews as well as making changes to images, website themes, and mobile elements.
Core web vitals were introduced as a core SEO ranking factor in June 2021. If your online store isn’t already optimising for these, use the audit tools outlined above to start improving your scores, increasing your quality and quantity of website traffic.
Master the checkout
Arguably, the most crucial component of your online business is the eCommerce checkout page. If you can’t persuade customers to convert, you won’t be able to make sales or expand your business. Keep the checkout process quick and simple, removing as much friction from cart to conversion.
An overly complex check-out experience can see a 21% greater abandonment rate. This means that making the checkout process as straightforward and seamless as possible is essential for that final conversion. Remove lengthy forms and needless distractions and try embedding an array of easy-to-apply discounts, promotions, and auto-fill options that will streamline the user’s experience.
To make the checkout process as efficient as possible, follow these next steps:
1. Enable guest checkout payments
Account registration can be a major source of site friction, with 28% of consumers saying they would abandon a purchase if they must first register an account. Provide a guest checkout option so that your users have a more pleasant experience. After the buyer has entered their name, shipping address, and email address, you can offer them the opportunity to establish a password and account or join as a site member after their purchase.
By collecting a visitor’s email address early in the checkout process, even if the visitor leaves without completing the purchase or account form, you have a way to contact them and nudge them to go back to the cart and convert later on.
2. Set user expectations
Show a progress bar to the final checkout stage and communicate what each step entails by using clear and specific labels. It helps to show additional charges as early as possible within this process too. Surprising potential customers late in the game can result in them leaving.
3. Reduce fields required with autocomplete
Autocomplete and address validation solutions are an excellent method to speed up the checkout process while simultaneously reducing customers’ input mistakes. You can utilise software like AddressFinder which can completely optimise the address form UX right before purchase.
With an address autocomplete, customers can benefit from faster, more accurate and predictive address field filling. This is especially important for mobile users, who can fill out an address form in a fraction of the time and with zero errors, providing you and your customers peace of mind that the package is being delivered to the correct location.
4. Check out enhancements
You can also utilise alternative checkout enhancements offered by providers like OneStepCheckout, Fast, and CartBounty to easily optimise the checkout process further.
For example, OneStepCheckout is a useful technical solution and eCommerce module for reducing shopping cart abandonment. More visitors complete their orders as a result, which has an immediate impact on your bottom line.
Flexible Payment Gateways
It’s 2022 - we all know that offering multiple payment options is important. It’s now commonplace to see a variety of payment options within eCommerce checkouts. Typically, this includes any combination of traditional payment options like Visa, Mastercard, Bank transfer and Paypal with one or multiple Buy Now Pay Later options. So how can this be improved further?
Enhance the eCommerce checkout experience by maximising the number of payment providers you offer. When your customers enter your checkout funnel, presenting multiple options means they can keep their user and purchase momentum. If your site can provide consumers with additional options, ease, and affordability, they will then connect these benefits and ease with your brand - increasing conversion rates.
Make it clear to your customers that your eCommerce business is secure. This is a minor detail, yet is significant. You can include credit card logos and other trust signals such as return policies or social proof on relevant pages. For customers to be ready to input their credit card information you must establish that your site’s payment methods are safe, and all the data is collected through secure third-party service providers. This degree of trust is established in just a short period of time - the quality of your site’s UX will also contribute to this.
When it comes to selecting Buy-Now-Pay-Later options, it’s typically best practice to go with the platforms that are most used among your customer base, which will provide the greatest benefit and impact on your bottom line. AfterPay currently has the largest market share in AU and NZ but there are small margins so if your site can allow it, offering multiple Buy-Now-Pay-Later services will open up purchasing opportunities to a greater number of users.
Wow with motion graphics and site design
Your eCommerce business must appear professional and trustworthy - to achieve this you must first master UX design elements or your website. The quality of pictures, navigation features, and the user interface will all have an impact on the customers’ entire UX. These factors will influence that ‘store-front experience’ as they shop with their eyes. They will readily trust your website if it has a ‘premium feel’ to it and be more inclined to purchase.
Enhance your customers’ shopping experience without being too distracting (too much emphasis on images, videos, and over-design can complicate the site navigation and bloat the loading demand which can be bad for SEO). However, a smart, attention-grabbing design with the appropriate visual elements such as menus and catalogues may help engage the user and dramatically increase your conversion rate.
Particular attention should be paid to visual content that will aid mobile UX. To enhance your customers’ experience, follow these design techniques:
1. Mega menus
Mega menus are a great design choice for supporting a lot of product alternatives or showing lower-level web pages at a glance.
When a site visitor hovers their mouse over an item in the top navigation bar, a mega menu drop-down shows panels organised into groups of related navigation choices. You can then present your complete website’s navigation in a single menu with multi-level extensions. Visitors may go straight to what they’re searching for and spend less time trying to navigate through a site, lowering bounce rates and improving your site UX.
2. Motion graphics
Motion graphics engage site users quickly. With eCommerce UX, you can’t touch, use or try on the product - the greatest thing you can do is offer the consumer a comprehensive photograph or video so they know precisely what they’re getting.
Motion graphics are excellent for explaining complicated or abstract topics, as animation provides a distinct set of creative possibilities. This could be useful for those wanting to sell software or other more complex product packages. By incorporating high-quality motion graphics you’ll drive traffic to your site, lower bounce rates, and boost your conversion rate.
3. Keep it simple
Keep it simple with the fundamentals. Your website’s fundamental design and text copy should be both engaging as well as devoid of any errors and typos. This is because low-quality material can turn off a huge proportion of online visitors. You should also be aware of who your target market is. These considerations will help you select the appropriate design style, colour palette, typefaces, and overall tone for any motion graphics.
4. Responsive design
Design with the device your customers will be using in mind. Many businesses still view their websites through the lens of a desktop computer. However, this does not imply that you should pursue a mobile-first-only approach. Instead, being totally device neutral can be more successful. Start planning how you’ll create this experience and make sure it’s consistent no matter where your customers visit your site.
Above and beyond the store
While direct response marketing can increase the number of users who visit your site and buy right away, there will always be a segment of users who are hesitant to part with their money and require more touchpoints to help them make their decision. Touchpoints can begin when customers first find your online store and continue until they receive their order – and beyond.
For example, a user’s off-site experience is just as important as their on-site when pushing for conversions. Email flows and cart abandonment emails should be considered; there’s still time to persuade visitors to come back to your website.
If customers abandon their cart before purchase, you can nudge them back with emails with catchy subject lines, restating promotions, products, or deals that they won’t want to wait and miss out on. Cart abandonment emails are often underestimated but have been found to recover many lost sales with a 45 percent inbox open rate.
Pre-programmed email flows can also aid in brand recognition, awareness and messages. Not every email you send needs to be promotional. For example, a “thank you” email after a transaction or a “birthday” email on your customers special day.
Social proofs may also have a significant impact on your consumers’ purchasing decisions. Even when your products and services are of high standard, visitors to your site may want to see the behaviours of others to influence or validate their decision-making. Social proof is evidence that others have made a decision or used a product/service, such as user testimonials, business credentials, reviews, expert endorsements, and social media shares. These make online buyers feel more at ease when making a purchase from an eCommerce business, making them an important component of UX optimisation.
Great support and communication, fast shipment and a quality UX can affect someone’s engagement with your site and likelihood to purchase again. Remember, you’re attempting to create a long-term relationship with your customers, not simply make a one-time sale. The purchase and user experience of a consumer may have a significant impact on the customer’s lifetime value.
Great support can’t be understated
ECommerce customer service refers to how companies help online consumers with everything and anything: from completing online purchases to resolving problems and answering queries all while maintaining a consistent customer experience across channels and platforms.
If your organisation still manages hundreds (or even thousands) of customer support emails via a shared access mailbox, investing in and implementing customer service software is the quickest approach to enhance your customer service operations. You can use a live chatbot application or automated chat flows. When you use chatbots to communicate with consumers, you can assist them to receive answers to their questions fast. What this accomplishes, is establishing a direct line of contact between you and your potential consumer right when they need it.
However, if a chatbot is unable to process a query we suggest that the conversation should be transferred to live human support to create a high-quality end-to-end user experience. By providing assistance in real-time, visitors can be reassured and any remaining concerns can be dispelled with a little hand-holding. This genuine connection between the business and the customer will build trust for this transaction as well as long-term loyalty.
Dealing with customers that ask the same questions over and over again is necessary, but it may be tedious. According to a Forrester survey, consumers like to find solutions on their own, with immediate answers a priority. Consider scaling your customer service by establishing an FAQs page or knowledge base if you’re having trouble keeping up with reactive customer support or just want to invest in building and expanding a better customer experience.
Make sure to acknowledge all customer queries and consider offering omnichannel assistance. Customers with hectic schedules or who desire more flexibility in how they communicate with your business might benefit from a variety of communication channels. Look to provide help via email, live chat, and social media. You can also continue to engage with customers after purchase with follow up automated emails, promotions and events to help them maintain a relationship with your brand.
Don’t stumble when you ship
An eCommerce website’s checkout procedure is the grand finale. It’s here that the prospect finalises product choices, picks any add-ons, verifies shipping arrangements, and finally pays. But how many times have you gone to purchase something online only to find the shipping costs are more than the actual goods? You’re not alone. According to Statista, 56% of customers abandon their shopping carts due to unexpected shipping costs.
Offering free delivery is the simplest method to combat this. If that isn’t a possibility, try a zip code or shipping calculator on the ‘Review’ page or a clearly stated flat cost shipping on the product description page.
If you have the resources, you can also provide a more expensive express or overnight shipping option. This will appeal to customers who are in a hurry to get their hands on your products, as well as making your normal shipping option look more affordable. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises at the conclusion of the customer’s journey after all your other excellent eCommerce UX implementations.
If you make use of a verified address autocomplete service on your checkout, as mentioned above, you can also be confident that the addresses you collect are real, correctly formatted, and are able to be delivered to. Collecting verified addresses in this way will prevent returns, costly redelivery and the need to micromanage individual sales.
Set and acheive your eCommerce goals
With online purchase activity only anticipated to accelerate, it’s now more important than ever to set yourself apart from your competitors by implementing the best eCommerce UX practices.
Whether you’re aiming to wow new or existing consumers - convey that your brand is modern and cutting edge by combining tried-and-true techniques with the most up-to-date eCommerce design trends of 2022.
Learn more about AddressFinder and our suite our address verification services.