10 E-commerce UX Best Practices for Guaranteed Conversions

Optimizing your e-commerce UX is crucial for driving conversions. Discover 10 best practices that will help you improve your user experience and boost sales in 2024.

Author

Soham Saha

Date

March 24, 2023

In 2024 retail e-commerce sales amounted to approximately 5.2 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide. This figure is expected to grow by 56% over the next years, reaching about 8.1 trillion dollars by 2026.  

However, with staggering growth, the competition is growing too; there are 24 million e-commerce websites worldwide, and this number is increasing daily.

As the number of e-commerce websites continues to rise, users expect a certain level of quality, are used to certain elements, and want flawless UX.

Though we know user experience is vital for every website, it’s especially critical for e-commerce sites. Why? Because e-commerce businesses lose an estimated $4.6 trillion in sales annually due to frustrated shoppers who abandon their carts due to poor purchase experience.

In order to acquire and retain your customers, you need to pay attention to the best practices for e-commerce UX and incorporate them into your design. Because if you’re not optimizing your e-commerce UX yet, know that your competitors are.

With that in mind, given below are five user experience best practices that will help you improve your conversion and deliver the best experience to your users. Let’s take a look.

Why Improving Your E-Commerce UX Is Essential?

Improving your e-commerce UX is essential for success in today's competitive online market. Here are some key reasons why:

1. Increased sales and conversions

A smooth and intuitive UX makes it easier for customers to find what they're looking for, understand product information, and complete purchases seamlessly. This reduces friction and empty carts, leading to more sales and higher conversion rates.

2. Enhanced customer satisfaction

A positive UX experience means happy customers! When users can easily navigate your site, find relevant products, and complete transactions without hassle, they're more likely to be satisfied with your brand and return for future purchases, increasing your repeat customer rate.

3. Reduced customer support costs

A well-designed UX can answer user questions proactively through clear product descriptions, intuitive navigation, and FAQs. This reduces the burden on your customer support team and saves you money.

4. Improved brand image

A professional and user-friendly website reflects positively on your brand. It shows that you care about your customers and prioritize their experience, building trust and loyalty.

5. Competitive advantage

In a crowded online space, a standout UX can set you apart from competitors. By offering a seamless and enjoyable shopping experience, you attract and retain customers more effectively.

10 e-commerce UX best practices

#1 Create a Clean, and Simple Design

Design plays a crucial role in the success of an e-commerce website. According to research by Forbes, a better UX design yields up to 400% more conversion rates. So, your web design must be clean and concise so customers can find what they are looking for, make payments seamlessly and checkout quickly.

Most people know this, but unfortunately, they just focus on adding fancy UI elements, without much effort put into the actual functionality. Subsequently, they over-complicate the design that may look nice but lacks functionality.

Remember, good websites like PayPal or Amazon are not the most creative when it comes to design, but they are very functional. And that is what good UX design is all about.

Good UX design is about keeping only those elements that add to the bottom line and avoiding visual distraction.

MatchesFashion has an aesthetically pleasing website design and a CTA that stands out clearly; the clear white text on a dark background adds to the appeal and minimalist design.

better UX design

#2 Use High-quality and Eye-catching Product Images

Images are integral to every e-commerce website. In a brick-and-mortar store, you can try things on but in an online store whatever product you sell is mainly communicated through images as you can’t feel and touch the product before you buy them.

Since the quality of the pictures can directly impact sales, you should invest in high-resolution images so potential buyers can see the fine details of the merchandise without having to strain their eyes. This, in turn, will increase the chances of that product reaching the checkout section.

But your product photos should not only be high resolution. They should also feature the different elements of the product as possible – like:

  • Shots of the product from different angles
  • Close-up images of its texture
  • Photos of the product in use

And your images should be zoomable!

Given below are two examples from sites that are doing it right:

 e commerce ux

e commerce ux design

#3 Make Your Checkout Process Frictionless

Did you know cart abandonment is the most troubling thing for most e-commerce store owners? Nearly  7 out of every ten shoppers that add a product to their cart leave it before completing the purchase.

Wondering what you can do to reduce your cart abandonment? You can optimize your checkout process and make it a frictionless experience for your shoppers, encouraging them to move forward with their purchases.

Here are a few things you can do to optimize your checkout:

  • Reduce the number of form fields.
  • Automatically copy shipping information to the billing field if they are the same.
  • Show the checkout flow by using a progress bar.
  • Use trusted symbols to make your shoppers feel secure.
  • Don’t add unexpected fees at checkout as it can be a turnoff for your shoppers and will lead to cart abandonment.

#4 Employ a Wishlist Feature to Increase Conversions

One of the easiest ways to increase your e-commerce website conversion is by letting visitors Wishlist or save the products they like.

Why? Because sometimes shoppers need to postpone the checkout. There can be a lot of reasons behind it, from a lack of funds to a lack of time.

The Wishlist feature can help e-commerce in two ways:

1) It allows shoppers to add a product they like but don’t want to buy at that particular time.

2) It allows them to add a product they’ve wanted to buy, but could not buy due to its non-availability, thus adding to the waitlist.

No matter the reason, a Wishlist feature can help you enhance your user experience as it will help shoppers continue the shopping process where they’ve left it.

ModCloth lets shoppers add a product to their Wishlist. Also, it shows how many people have already wish listed that particular product.

ux e commerce

#5 Tap into User Research to Spot UX Problems

Following UX Best practices are a great way to start, but they can only take you so far. Every e-commerce site and its visitors are different, meaning your UX problems need not be the same as your competitor’s. To deliver a flawless user experience, you need to spot the issues on your site and fix them. And user research can help you do that.

So, invest in a user research platform – one that offers features like:

  • Heatmaps/ Scroll Maps: So, you can understand what users do on your website pages—where they click, how far they scroll, what they look at etc.
heatmap-e-commerce
  • Session Replays: So, you can watch shoppers navigate your site. And find out what frustrates them. Where do they drop off, etc.?
  • Facial Coding & Eye-tracking Technologies: So, you can understand the user’s subconscious behavior.

Also, user research can help you understand your customers’ mental models. And you can use this information to create an experience relevant to your users.

Related Read: Search Bar Design: 5 Best Practices for Nailing It

#6 Ensure Your Site Loads in Under 3 Seconds

site load speed

According to Maile Ohye from Google-

“Two seconds is the threshold for eCommerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half second.”

The page loading time is super important for an e-commerce business to do well. A website that loads quickly helps it show up better in search results and makes visitors happy. Even if your website has incredible products, people might get annoyed and leave immediately if it takes too long to load.

Here are the 3 steps you can follow to make sure that your e-commerce website takes less than 3 seconds to load-

  • Compress and resize images and choose efficient formats (WebP/AVIF) for faster loading.
  • Set browser caching headers and leverage a CDN for fast global delivery.
  • Minify and combine CSS/JS files, and consider code splitting for complex sites.

#7 Use a Clear Call to Action to Guide Your Customers

Employ clear and actionable calls-to-action (CTAs) to boost conversions on your e-commerce store. Utilize highlighted text or attractive buttons to draw attention to a particular section of your website, guiding visitors to take the desired next step.

Furthermore, you can conduct A/B testing or preference testing on the format and placement of your CTAs using Qatalyst’s A/B testing or preference testing blocks, which will do a comparative testing of two to four design variants to identify the one with better performance based on defined metrics. 

AB testing using Qatalyst

Observe the impact and make the final decision based on which combination proves to be profitable for your online store. Additionally, experimenting with various text, colors, or textures lets you understand how consumer behaviour changes.

#8 Improve Customer Retention by Providing Easy Customer Support

Live chat support

Despite having a well-designed website, people often appreciate hearing about or discussing products with a real person. Easy customer support can simplify this process and increase customer satisfaction.

User experience(UX) can be challenging without proper customer support. A live chat can be efficient since visitors prefer interacting with someone knowledgeable about the products.

If a live chat is not feasible for your situation, other simple customer support options like email can also be highly effective. In any case, customer support consistently enhances e-commerce sales.

#9 Enhance Customer Confidence by Including Social Proof

Social proof

People often read recommendations or reviews from actual buyers before making a purchase. Therefore, social proof, such as news feeds, user reviews, subscriptions, likes, shares, etc., plays a significant role in influencing the customer's decision.

Social proof provides customers with reassurance regarding your authenticity and the quality of your products and services. It gives insights into previous customers' experiences, making potential customers more comfortable choosing your e-commerce brand. Consequently, this can lead to increased sales. 

#10 Provide Multiple Payment Methods for Your Customers to Choose From

Multiple payment options
“According to Baymard, some people leave checkouts because they don’t find their desired payment method (11 percent) or because their credit card is declined (6 percent).”

You can simplify your customers' lives by including popular and multiple payment gateways. Many people prefer purchasing from sites that offer their preferred payment methods. Therefore, strive to incorporate all possible payment systems that your potential customers might favor, considering your business's user base and location.

It's a common trend for people to be hesitant about sharing their payment information online, leading them to leave the site without making a purchase. To address this, invest time engaging with potential leads to gain trust for your e-commerce brand.

Additionally, consider accepting multiple currencies to ensure that people worldwide can purchase from your site without hassle. 

Final Words

User expectations are rising, and with so many other options, shoppers won’t hesitate to go elsewhere if you don’t offer them a great experience. So, if you are running an e-commerce business, you cannot underestimate the importance of user experience anymore.

Also, a good UX drives loyalty, inspires conversions, and encourages customers to share positive word of mouth about you. So UX is an area you need to constantly invest in because it will help you garner loyal users who will act as brand ambassadors and spread the word about your business.

To stay ahead of the competition and deliver a great user experience, follow the UX best practices covered above. And if you want your success to last, don’t forget to continuously improve and find new ways to enhance your user experience.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. What is UX in e-commerce?

Answer: In the competitive world of online shopping, ensuring customers have a good experience goes beyond just looks. UX is designing a seamless, intuitive, and satisfying journey that fosters customer engagement, loyalty, and sales. It includes everything a customer does on your online store, from the first look around to buying something.

Q2. What is a good UX in an online store?

Answer: A good UX in an online store includes several vital elements to create a smooth, seamless, and enjoyable shopping experience for users. Some of the most important aspects are- navigation, product information, checkout process, and page loading speed.

Q3. What is e-commerce web design?

Answer: E-commerce web design is the art and science of creating online stores that are both visually appealing and functionally optimized to sell products and services. It's more than just making your website look nice; it's about crafting a user experience (UX) that guides visitors through the buying journey seamlessly and efficiently.

Supercharge your research with actionable insights faster on Decode's integrated consumer research platform with Insights AI.
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
Want to conduct lean and unbiased research? Try out Entropik's tech behavioral research platform today!
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Author Bio

Soham is a true Manchester United fan who finds joy in more than just football. Whether navigating the open road, scoring virtual goals in FIFA, reading novels, or enjoying quality time with friends, Soham embraces a life full of diverse passions.

Soham Saha

Product Marketing Specialist

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