Editor’s note: This is part two of the two part UX UI for ecommerce blogs. To read about the importance of UX in ecommerce and how to implement it, check this knowledge article: Importance of UX in E-Commerce | Guiding Conversions.
Ecommerce sites and applications measure success based on conversions. Sales are everything, and it is what determines whether or not a business is doing well and progressing in its niche. This is exactly why marketing efforts that drive traffic to your ecommerce store should be complemented with a website that is prepped for conversions.
This is achieved through two aspects of the store (keeping brand specific factors like quality, pricing, etc, aside) and that is the user flow defined by the UX, and the aesthetic appeal defined by the UI. In this article, we’ll see what UI elements impact user decisions and how to properly implement them on your ecommerce store.
Stages Of The UI Design Process
The front end user interface (the UI) of the ecommerce store must be visually appealing and intuitive from the user’s perspective while being efficient in achieving business goals. Colours must reinforce the brand, elements must be placed in such a way as to guide the user towards a conversion, fonts must be easily readable, there should be more use of images than text (because users prefer visuals), etc.
You can design a good UI for your website by learning about and understanding the precise needs and desires of your customers. This ensures that all the design elements of your website can complement the expectations of the shoppers. The three main stages of UI design comprise the following:
Define Functionality, Features and Products
What are you going to sell, how are you going to sell it (functionality), what else will the app do (features). These questions have to be answered before the UX or UI designing can begin the design process. Brainstorming your requirements as a business and the key functionalities that are integral to your brand is the first step to designing an effective UI for your e-commerce site. Once these three questions are answered, the UI designer will be able to accomodate all of them into the design, and this will also greatly minimize iterations.
Define Your Audience Persona
It is important to put in a good amount of research to understand your target audience. This includes understanding the buying behavior, habits, needs, and preferences of your prospective customers. These insights, when duly incorporated into your UI design, will help your e-commerce app or website look as your audience expects it to.
Ecommerce stores thrive on returning users. It’s important to build a loyal customer base to ensure continued growth, and that is achieved through branding. Your logo, brand colours, brand messaging, etc should be clearly projected through the store UI.
UI Elements That A Business Must Focus On
Here are some good practices and UI elements that must be focused on when designing a store’s UI:
Positioning Of Elements
Element positioning plays an important role in influencing conversions. A little later we have mentioned the ‘F-Pattern’, which shows how a typical user glances over a website. By positioning important elements within this area you stand to have the highest chance for a conversion. Conversions aside, element positioning will decide how easy or difficult it is for a user to navigate through the store, and will impact CX. Another important concept is the dilution of attention as the user scrolls. They are most attentive and interested when the site opens, and their attention reduces as they scroll. It’s important to give them a reason to stay and browse right from the start. This is why stores flash offers and discounts right on the top, above the fold.
A CTA or a Call-To-Action triggers a user to take action and takes them from one point on the store to another. From a UX point of view, it is important to ensure your visitors go from start to finish in the minimum number of steps, so don’t create multiple click points. From a UI point of view, the CTA has to attract, intrigue and convince. The size, shape, colour, and content of the CTA must grab attention, give an immediate message, and enforce action. ‘Get Your First Item For Free!’ is a long CTA but it does the trick. If the button leads them to cart, the CTA must clearly say ‘Go to Cart’. Not ‘Continue’ or ‘Know More’ which is vague. If clicking gives more information, the CTA should clearly say ‘Know More’. You get the point.
It’s already a widely known and proven fact that people respond to visuals (images and videos) more than text. This works greatly in the favour of ecommerce stores because their sites and apps are image/video driven. It’s important to bank on this fact by firstly investing in professional photography and graphic design for high quality visuals, and second by incorporating as many visuals into the store as possible. This includes using icons to complement headings and text. Yes, this may impact load speed but there are solutions like CDNs and lazy load that can help mitigate negative impact.
Following The F-Pattern
According to research, users scan a website or app starting from the top left, moving to the right, moving back left as they scroll down, and so on, basically following an ‘F’ pattern:
This is an extremely important conclusion that ecommerce stores can leverage to maximize conversions. Remember the element positioning we spoke about? Placing important messages or products in the F-Pattern is the best possible way to grab attention, and influence all subsequent action.
For E-commerce, UI is essential. If you create a kickass UI for your web or app store with excellent aesthetics, it will result in conversions and more importantly, a loyal customer base. Getafix Technologies has a team of UX and UI designers and app developers and we can help you propel sales by developing a conversion accelerating ecommerce platform. Get in touch for a consultation.