A good UX, or the way the user's experience is designed in an online shop, will not only make it more likely to purchase in the shop but will also make it more possible to return to it. In this article, we explain what UX is and how it affects conversion in an online shop. And above all, we present the fundamental principles of designing friendly e-shops.
What is UX?
UX (User Experience) refers to the experience of users of websites and online shops as well as mobile and web applications. In the case of e-shops, it consists of designing them in a way that makes it easier for the user to find the product they are interested in and then purchase it.
How does UX affect conversion in an e-shop?
User experience is the foundation of e-commerce, which often determines the success of a given online shop. A poorly designed UX can be the killer of e-shop conversion. A seemingly small error, which will annoy the user, leads to them abandoning the shopping cart. Imagine that after adding a few products to the shopping cart, the final price is displayed on the screen and does not include the delivery amount. They will only find out about it after going to the next page. Frustration is guaranteed, and similar examples can be multiplied endlessly.
5 principles of a user-friendly online shop
Below we take a look at the excellent UX practices worth implementing when creating or optimising an online shop.
1. Navigation in the shop
Good practice in designing e-shops are so-called breadcrumbs. The breadcrumb navigation allows users to track their current location within the site. Thanks to this, they can return to the element located higher in the navigation tree at any time, without the need to click on the menu. Besides, having breadcrumbs on your site is one of the Google ranking factors.
2. Product search engine
An equally important element of effective UX within the e-shop is a skilfully designed internal search engine. This one must be entirely visible after entering the site and always available in the same place. The best choice in the e-commerce industry is to place the search engine on top of the page in the menu bar. It is also essential that it is easy to use. The hint (auto-completion) mechanism, based on suggesting keywords or products before the end of entering their full name, works well for this purpose. It is also useful to use thumbnails with a given product.
3. Shopping path
Nevertheless, an important element of UX is how the shopping path is designed, i.e. the next steps that must be taken by the user on the website of the online shop before the purchase is finalised. This process must be as simple as possible, so the fewer tasks to be performed, the better. Also, an overly complicated or ambiguous form may discourage the buyer. It is also advisable to allow purchases without registration. Many customers still resign from buying in shops requiring an account.
4. Mobile version
An excellent online shop must be user-friendly for all users, both those using computers and those operating on tablets or phones, especially as more and more users are making transactions via mobile devices. The mobile website of the online shop should be perfectly easy-to-read, all buttons freely accessible and order forms simple to complete. An additional argument which should encourage e-commerce owners to prepare a mobile version of the e-shop is the Mobile-first indexing introduced by Google in 2018. This algorithm assumes lowering the positions of sites which do not have a version adapted to the correct display on phones and tablets.
5. Page loading time
The last element in this list is the page loading time. Often underestimated, although it has a significant impact on UX. So, let us remember that even the best-designed e-shop will not fulfil its function if it is slow to load. Users' patience is limited – there is a good chance that after just a few seconds they will close the website and make a purchase from the competition. According to Google's research, delays exceeding 3 seconds may lead to more than 50% cancellation of the order. Additionally, the time of loading the website is also one of the ranking factors of websites.
For this reason, owners of online shops should pay special attention to the loading time of their websites. Simple procedures such as optimising graphics, choosing efficient hosting or using a web browser cache can help them.