There’s an adage in the retail industry that holds even in the Age of eCommerce: “Happy customers tell a few people. Unhappy customers tell everyone.”
Making customers happy when they shop with your Ecommerce site and inspiring repeat business are at the core of designing the ultimate user experience (UX). If you’ve got a great product or service, present it in an attractive way using exceptional content, and package that content in an efficient and effective delivery platform, you’re doing it right.
If not, evaluate your current Ecommerce development and restructure your site to get those sales rolling in. How do you go about that? Here’s our guide to building an Ecommerce site that delivers the ultimate UX and keeps your satisfied customers coming back for more.
Fundamentals of UX Design
There are fundamental characteristics to building an exceptional UX experience, all of which are established by both research and customer feedback. Here’s a quick overview:
- operational simplicity
- building strong brands
- secure user data
- attractive and effective visual element design
- clear presentation of data using menus, catalogs and other presentation methods
- an easy to use customer feedback system
- readily available contact information for your business to inquire about goods and services
- design that accentuates and supports your offers without overshadowing them
These fundamental characteristics are derived from three areas your ecommerce site needs to have completely planned out:
1) Planning Your Brand For Better UX
Building an Ecommerce site without a strong business plan is a recipe for failure. You need to set goals and plan out how you intend to achieve them, and there are some specific points you need to ponder before you start designing your UX.
Product/Service Benefits That Set You Apart
What benefits are you going to capitalize on so your site or mobile app stands out from the crowd? This needs to be established before you can account for just about any other component of building a brand to serve as the basis for your UX.
Define Your Target Audience
Who is your ideal buyer that will visit your site? You need to construct some type of composite image of that ideal buyer to focus your branding efforts effectively. Choosing demographics like age, culture, pain points and desires, tech literacy and online purchasing confidence should be where you start. Once you have your ideal buyer composite, it’s much easier to design a user experience that meets or exceeds their online shopping expectations and wins repeat business.
Find Your Brand Voice
What brand image are you attempting to cultivate? Your tone and style in written content and visual content will be the first impression that your brand makes on customers. Planning your brand voice is critical to expanding your footprint in the market and ensuring that customers can build and retain a personal connection with your site. Are you targeting the mass market? Are you providing boutique luxury products/services? The answers to these questions will directly impact how you build the UX and UI for your site, make sure you have a clear and consistent brand image and voice for your Ecommerce site.
UX Must Extend To Your Marketing Channels
Brand drives marketing as well as UX, and you need to ensure that the two are consistent across all channels. Can customers easily follow you on social media channels to get updates about new products and services? Is your brand recognizable regardless of the medium on which it appears? Keeping your brand and UX consistent in marketing is essential to building a strong brand and a rich UX that inspires customers to keep shopping with you.
Determine What Type of Business Relationship Your UX Establishes
Your products and services will be marketed to your target audience from your ideal buyer composite. Are you selling to other businesses, the average consumer, or specific clientele? Knowing what type of relationships you plan to build through Ecommerce is something you need to decide before designing your UX.
Environment Of Use
Building sites to be mobile-friendly or specifically for mobile use is a non-negotiable component of designing a strong UX, and you need to establish how most customers will access your site.
Let’s look at how you can best implement the brand in your UX.
2) Designing Your Ultimate UX
The ultimate goal is to make your site or app so intuitive and easy to use that your site becomes their preferred online shopping platform. Here are the components you need to offer the ultimate UX.
a) Intuitive Navigation
All the cool new tech on your website that makes products and content pop is useless unless it accomplishes the following:
- identifies company/brand to users immediately
- displays what page they are viewing immediately
- demarcates the site navigation menu
- displays an easily accessed return to the homepage button
- establishes an easy to use and find search bar
- highlights available product/service options
- indicates how items can be paid for
- provides a clear means for saving items to a wishlist or to purchase later
- easy access to seller contact information
- easy access to content ratings/reviews from other satisfied customers
Specific details of building an intuitive navigation system require an in-depth study of online user behavior on mobile apps and websites. Once you have your site navigation planned out, you need to ensure it aligns with an effective sales process to drive buying decisions.
b) A Natural Sales/Purchase Funnel
All content and elements on your page need to move your customers seamlessly through your sales funnel. Content should be organized in the following way to “funnel” the customer to a buying decision:
- Buying Decision
- Repeating The Experience
- Color Choice
- Style Corresponds With Commercial Offers
- Strong Organization of Visual Hierarchy
- Harmony of Perception
- Know Your Buyers
- Keep Users Informed
- Be Consistent With Your Desig
- Check Solutions For Effectiveness
- Don’t Get Distracted By Special Effects
- Show Your Buyers Respect
Customers get product/service information, brand name, and purpose/nature.
More detailed information regarding the features and benefits of your products/services are presented. There should be a strong focus on how products/services can provide solutions to problems or needs.
Create comparisons with competitor products to establish unique selling points of your products/services that set you apart from your competition.
Present the arguments for your call to action. Short summaries, bonus offers, and asking for the order to happen at this stage of the sales funnel.
Send them to the virtual register with their purchase. They are placing an order.
Ask for feedback about the sales experience, collect contact information for supporting your sale after purchase, and offer subscriptions to your newsletter for product/service updates. These additions make it easy for customers to buy through you again and achieve that critical repeat business your Ecommerce site needs to thrive.
c) Product Presentation
This is a balancing act that can benefit from the efforts of a professional web designer and graphic artist. You want to provide just enough content without overwhelming your customers, and you want to maintain a consistently appealing visual experience, too. This is where you want to lean heavily on the plans and goals you’ve set for your Ecommerce site to ensure that your big picture execution of those plans lines up with the objectives you established in your planning phase. Professional designers are experts in making that happen visually and with the presentation of content and products/services.
Finally, you are ready to put the finishing touches on your Ecommerce site by supporting your UX with an attractive and intuitive UI.
3) Designing Your UI To Support Your UX
Logical transitions mesh with style and brand to create an effective and attractive user interface. To help your UI support your UX design, you want to focus on the following:
Do all interface colors and fonts/typefaces correspond with your brand?
Can customers instantly see what types of products or services you are offering?
Do customers instantly know where to click to interact with your site on access?
Are the visual effects of your site’s components aesthetically satisfying and pleasing to the eye?
Building the ultimate UX is a complex process that requires some extensive planning, but the proper execution of said UX delivers revenue and success like nothing else. Here are some additional considerations to help you build the best UX you can
The users who visit your site or use your app daily are not faceless numbers or mass statistics: they are real people. Focus on respecting their time, minimizing the amount of effort it takes to view your products and services and keep their wants and needs at the forefront of planning everything you do. If you can manage this, you can build the ultimate UX for your Ecommerce site and keep it that way.