How to Increase the UX on Your eCommerce Site

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Lexie Lu
A UX/UI designer with expertise in marketing, web design, and graphic design.
An enjoyable and seamless user experience can go a long way on an eCommerce site. While a cohesive layout and engaging copy play roles in creating a positive user experience, some sites neglect aspects that seem marginal but in actuality prove very pivotal in lead conversion.
An enjoyable and seamless user experience can go a long way on an eCommerce site. While a cohesive layout and engaging copy play roles in creating a positive user experience, some sites neglect aspects that seem marginal but in actuality prove very pivotal in lead conversion.          
A great user experience is more than just how a site looks. A site could have the sleekest design imaginable, yet still fail miserably in the user experience spectrum. Your site's visitors care more about the product or service's use and overall effectiveness than how the site looks. Many eCommerce sites tend to overlook this.
Fitting an eCommerce site with easy-to-access engagement, intuitive comparison tools, relevant and unobtrusive ads — if any — and widespread platform optimization does wonders in enhancing its overall user experience, consequentially increasing the likelihood that anyone visiting the site will become a customer.

1. Keep it Simple

Load time plays a crucial role in determining the quality of user experience. A Soastra case study found that a one-second difference in page load time correlated with a 27% boost in conversion rates. This rule is even more important to keep in mind for mobile, where users expect sites to load at the same speed as desktop.

Load time also affects where your site will show up via a Google search. Sites with slower load times rank below those with fast load times. This decreases your website’s view ability to potential new users.

Site load time does not only turn new visitors away; it also is catastrophic for brand loyalty and makes repeat visitors almost twice as likely not to return.

There are various common culprits of slow page loading times, with the primary problem-causers being:

1.     Inefficient code

2.     Too many images or videos

3.     Flash software

4.     External media usage

2. Use Savvy Ad Placement

Another culprit of slow page loading is excessive advertisements. For one, make sure that any ads are relevant to your product. If you’re selling car parts then an ad for a new movie is unlikely to interest your user, and may even turn them off due to a lack of relevancy.

Ads take up precious load time, so if you’re going to increase revenue by using them, make sure they’re relevant to your user base and are not excessive in taking up space or topically irrelevant. An easy way to alienate a loyal user is to make their experience supremely materialized.

Make sure you work with advertisers that will appeal to your user base. One way to accomplish this is collaborating with a programmatic advertising agency. They’ll help ensure ads are highly targeted to each specific user.

3. Include Simple Onboarding

Remember, your users are likely not experts with your product. They have not spent months developing a concept or application. They cannot flip through your app or website with their eyes closed. Make it easy for them to get to know you and your brand.

First impressions are supremely important. Users make initial judgments on whether or not your website is worth bookmarking, or whether your app is worth their precious phone space. If a user cannot figure out the basic functions of your site and the product or service offered, they’ll become frustrated and are unlikely to return.

It happens at brick and mortar stores as well. Imagine you go to a newly opened bookstore in your neighborhood looking for a Greek recipe book. The store owner has arranged all of the books by their published date, and they’re nowhere to be found. Chances are, you won’t come back to that store anytime soon. The feeling of clutter and inattentiveness is going to come across as unappealing to potential new leads.

4. Offer a Comparison Feature

Shopping online has made it easier than ever to compare competing products quickly. If you’re a retailer with multiple products in the same category, consider making a compare feature. This is useful for visitors browsing your site and various competitors to gauge the best price, as well as showing confidence from the site in that their price is very competitive.

For example, if you’re looking for a garage door, you’ll likely pop “garage door” into Google and siphon through the results site by site. However, if you came across a page like Clopay Door, with an intuitive comparison feature for garage doors, you’ll stay on that site longer and appreciate how that retailer has streamlined buying by making purchasing options and details more transparent. The longer a user gets comfortable with that retailer’s user experience and gains knowledge about the product or service, the likelier they are to become a new customer.

5. Optimize for Mobile

Mobile optimization is integral for sites today, as there are over two billion smartphone users worldwide. If they visit your eCommerce site and find it difficult to navigate, these users may not come back. A site’s user experience increases if compatibility isn’t an issue. As a result, it’s best to check that your site is compatible on various platforms, using services like MobileTest.me. If your site breaks or comes across as strange on mobile, it’s time to update your design.

Smartphones are now the most popular method to browse the web, so you’re missing out on a huge chunk of potential leads if your site only caters to desktop users. If your site runs on Wordpress, consider a plugin like WPtouch, which automatically turns your site into a mobile-friendly design specifically for mobile users. If not on any blog platform, consult with your web designer to ensure that visitors to the site on mobile are experiencing a platform-specific user experience.

6. Avoid Forced Signups

Some eCommerce sites force or persuade visitors to give up their email address to continue browsing the site, mostly in an effort to compile a list of email addresses for their newsletter. While newsletters are certainly effective, forcing people to sign up for them is not. Keep newsletter sign-ups voluntary and unobtrusive, like a simple sidebar widget with an email field.

If you offer quality products or service and the user experience is great, they’ll sign up for the newsletter or follow on social media regardless. Forcing users to do anything, whether it’s entering an email or clicking out of an obtrusive ad, takes away time they could be using to learn more about your business and products/services. Don’t allow the user experience to come across as overly pushy.

A positive user experience can vault an eCommerce site to great success. Use these six tips as a base to start improving the UX on your eCommerce site today.
Author:Lexie Lu
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