In the world of ecommerce, getting potential customers to click on your site is important, but it’s not enough to build a recognizable online brand that stands out. Your goal is to provide exceptional user experiences that delight a visitor and motivate them to buy from your website again and again.
There are four key aspects of UX designers should focus on:
- The utility of a website that allows visitors to find, choose, and purchase the right product faster
- The usability of your website provides frictionless customer journeys, helping a customer move from one stage of a sales funnel to another without having to click on unnecessary pages, experiencing page crashes, or wasting time on poor load times.
- The accessibility of your site that makes your website content easily available to all users, irrespective of the devices they use, their level of tech literacy, or abilities.
- The desirability of your website that stands for the overall appeal your site provides. Namely, if a visitor is satisfied with the performance, look, and feel of your website, they will wish to visit it again.
Here is how to inject these UX factors into your ecommerce design strategy.
Aligning UX Design with your Ecommerce Brand
One of the most effective ways to set yourself apart from similar companies and gain customers’ trust is to build a solid brand around your online store. Here are a few brand elements that may directly impact the UX design of your website:
- The USP of the product – highlighting the benefits and uniqueness of your brand.
- Defined target customers – casting your net wide is never a good idea. You need to know who your customers, segment them according to their backgrounds, interests, problems, and demographics, build solid buyer personas. This is the only way to create a precise store design that meets their needs.
- Your positioning and tone of voice – determine the major traits of your brand? Is it authoritative, friendly, or fun? Is it affordable or premium? How transparent is it? Do your customers use informal or formal language when communicating with brands? These are all valuable details that will help you establish your unique tone of voice that resonates with your customers and use it consistently across all channels.
- The way customers use your website – what devices and browsers do they use? This impacts the overall design of your website, from the choice of layouts and color schemes to typography and communication channels.
These factors are an important aspect of your ecommerce web development strategy. They give you the opportunity to understand your target audiences and adapt your brand personality to their expectations. Most importantly, by building a solid unique selling proposition, setting your tone of voice, and choosing relevant UI elements like colors or typography, you will increase the overall brand consistency. Talk to a web designer about your corporate missions and values and how you want them to be injected into your website and even build solid brand style guidelines with them.
Boosting Conversions through Intuitive Navigation
The performance of your website is measured by the number of your complete purchases. No matter how gorgeous your website is, if it doesn’t make visitors happy and convert them into sales, your revenue will suffer. And, this is exactly where your website navigation plays a fundamental role.
When browsing through your website, a user should know what company they’ve visited, what page they’ve landed on, how they can go back to the menu or the home page, where they can browse products and make purchases, how they can write product reviews, where they can connect with a customer support representative, and so forth.
In this case, every CTA button, link, or menu category can be important for customer conversions. Their goal should be to eliminate the unnecessary steps and make the purchasing experience as simple and fast as possible.
For starters, simplify your navigation menu. All menu labels and categories need to be named clearly to help a visitor find the desired content faster. Also, the number of menu items and categories should be reduced to increase the overall searchability of your website.
As for CTA buttons, they need to be placed on the prominent place on your website. Their goal is to grab a visitor’s attention and inform them about the benefits they will enjoy if they click on the button.
Breadcrumbs also play an immensely important role in website navigation. These are link paths that visualize a customer’s buying journey and help them find the desired location faster.
Guiding Customers down the Sales Funnel
A sales funnel mirrors your customer’s buying journey from beginning to end. This technique guides a customer through different stages of engagement with your brand, providing them with the information they need to complete the purchase. Any solid sales funnel consists of the following stages:
This is when a customer comes across your brand for the first time. They learn about your brand’s name, niche, and types of products. In this phase, your goal is to attract the visitor and ask them for their email address through specific landing pages, ads, videos, infographics, whitepapers, handy guides, etc.
A user is interested in your company and products. Now, your goal is to educate them about your products through useful content like case studies, demo videos, product webinars, etc.
This is when a customer compares products. Therefore, apart from informing them about your product types, you should also emphasize the benefits they will get by buying from you. This is where cost estimates, free trials, customer testimonials and online reviews, live demos, and similar offers may help.
A customer decides what product to buy. This is where welcome emails, questionnaires, implementation documents may increase customer satisfaction.
- Customer retention
Your goal is to keep customer relationships going. This is where you should start sending out relevant email newsletters with announcements and offers regularly. You should also have a solid blogging strategy to keep delivering value to visitors consistently. Social media are also an important factor in your lead nurturing strategy.
The idea is to diversify your content creation strategy to delight a customer at each touchpoint and get them to take the desired action.
Personalizing Customer Journeys
Personalization is the backbone of your user-friendly design strategy. The recent study by SalesForce claims that 62% of online customers expect to get personalized offers. They’re even willing to share their personal information to get relevant deals and even spend more money on them.
For starters, provide personalized product recommendations. Observe your customers’ previous interactions with your website. What kind of products did they search for or buy? Then, tailor your product suggestions based on their preferences. You could also use this as a solid up-selling strategy, recommending products that are similar in style and design to the ones they were looking for, but higher in price.
Only by understanding your audiences and tailoring their buyer journeys to their needs and preferences will you inspire them to buy from you and visit you again.
Boosting Engagement through Multi-Channel Customer Support
According to Microsoft’s study, 96% of online consumers believe that customer support is a key factor determining whether they would buy from a company or not. The research study further found that the majority of consumers now have greater customer service expectations than before.
And, this is logical. We’re living in the era of hyperconnectivity, where instant messaging apps, chatbots, live chat, social networks, email, and voice search intertwine, providing a multi-channel relationship between customers and online brands. Given that, a customer expects you to be available for them 24/7.
For starters, integrate an AI chatbot that would provide your customers with real-time and personalized customer support. Stats say that almost 70% of online consumers prefer chatbots for faster interactions with brands.
As many customers prefer self-service over some traditional customer service tactics, you should also have a solid FAQ page. It should consist of all relevant questions your customers ask, as well as detailed and easily understandable answers. FAQ pages help customers find the desired information faster and minimize purchasing anxiety.
Live chat should also be available to those customers that are facing some more complex problems they cannot resolve themselves.
Finally, have a mobile-friendly and a simple contact form a customer could use to ask you any questions or provide feedback easily.
Over to You
When designing your ecommerce website, you need to keep in mind that there is no uniform strategy that may work for you. To get the most out of your online presence, you need to experiment with different design tactics, test their impact on your customer relationships, and keep track with the latest industry trends. Most importantly, you need to refurbish your website accordingly.
Be careful about the wow-effect you want to evoke in a visitor. Complex layouts, large videos and images, aggressive colors, and confusing, large menus may hurt your website’s appeal and performance and confuse a visitor. Always choose simple, user-centric, and predictable solutions your customers will easily adapt to.