With the likes of Shopify it’s now easier than ever to start your own Ecommerce website. I’ve noticed a lot of websites tend to not follow common Ecommerce practices, after performing hundreds of Ecommerce UX Audits. I decided to put together a list of some of the more important things I typically check, when analysing websites and product pages. Hopefully this provides inspiration for designing effective product pages and gives some idea of what to look for when designing an Ecommerce website.
1) Have pointless design elements been minimized?
People are quick to judge, you have less than a second to grab their attention. With that in mind you should make sure your design is digestible and simple. Don’t force the user to process too much visual information otherwise you risk them being overwhelmed and bouncing.
Minimize the about of visual information users have to do to understand what you are offering.
2) Is the most important content at the top of the page?
Elements above the fold will get the most attention. Make sure you position important content at the top of a page. Users shouldn’t have to scroll to find your CTA (Call To Action), Menus or value proposition.
3) Does the Call To Action standout and is it clear of any distractions?
Your call to action, should be visually clear of any distractions. Make sure to surround it by lots of white-space and contrast it from the background colour.
Good example – Visually clean design that makes it very digestible for the user.
Bad example – Design is too busy and could overwhelm the user
4) Has a lot of thought being put into the product images?
Get lifestyle shots of your products being used. Make sure to use high-quality photography, don’t just use images from a manufacturer’s website. Bespoke imagery will make a great first impression and increase the perceived value.
Good example – Multiple images showing context and bonus points for videos.
Bad example – Just displaying a handful of manufacturer images.
5) Do the product Descriptions contain benefits instead of a paragraph copied from the manufacturer?
You should always list the unique benefits of your product high up the page and above the fold if possible. The benefits and feature should be formatted using bullet points. Go the extra mile if it lists how it solves your customer’s potential problem or improves their symptoms.
Good example – Benefits and features are listed in a clean and easily readable design, although they should try putting the Add to Cart button above the fold.
Bad example – No benefits or real information is listed, just generic paragraphs.
6) Are the Shipping Information and Return policies easy to find?
Bonus points for including a real office address, phone number and the team behind the brand. Being anonymous doesn’t do your brand any favours.
Good example – Free Returns is mentioned very high up the page.
Bad example – Have to scroll to find the return policy and no obvious address or location.
More business should take inspiration from Amazon. Users rely on the search function to find exactly what product they want without clicking through several pages. The search bar should be located in the center of the header and be large enough to stand out. Bonus points for making it sticky to improve usability, having autocomplete enabled and displaying product images in the search window.
Good example – Prominent Search Bar, Sticky, displays images and auto corrects spelling mistakes.
Bad example – Small search bar, no autocomplete and has “no results” pages, always show a “did you mean? option”
8) Has Urgency being used effectively in the design?
Show the estimated shipping time and stock levels to encourage the customer journey.
Good example – Estimated delivery time and a dynamic timer, bonus points for showing stock levels.
9) Have Product Descriptions been used effectively?
You should always create unique and engaging product descriptions – never copy and paste the manufacturers version. Include high quality and honest product reviews in descriptions to improve the chance of conversion. You should aim to address objections in your product descriptions by listing the benefits and solutions that your products offer. The examples from point 8 showcase the difference between a good product description and one that has zero effort put into it.
10) Display shipping and return policy on product pages
Example – Estimated delivery time and a dynamic timer, bonus points for showing stock levels.
11) Recommend similar products on product pages
To enhance the customer journey include related products and accessories on the product page to increase your Average Order Value through cross-selling.
12) Show Security badges on the cart and checkout pages to increase trust.
Show well-known security badges throughout the checkout process to increase trust.
Good Example – Shows security badges, has live-chat and up-sells in a smooth fashion.
13) Allow Guest checkout
Don’t force users to register an account before being able to purchase, offer guest checkout and then offer an incentive if they do choose to register upon completing the checkout.
14) Tell a story
Hopefully these points help you get an idea of what makes a good Ecommerce experience in terms of the user experience, keep an eye out for our next article showcasing bad product landing pages.
If you don’t have the time to incorporate the points listed in this article then why not to hire me to carry out a 247 point Ecommerce UX Audit? Just get in touch, using the form below: