Over the past few years, ecommerce has become an ever growing financial pie everyone wants a piece of. Although we are lucky enough that it is not a proverbial pie in the sky, the figures are nonetheless sky-high and it is no wonder that many e-retailers look forward to implementing solutions that can streamline their carving up of this lucrative cake. One of the sharpest tools in their cutlery assortment are UX design innovations that offer clear potential to bring e-shopping practices to a whole new level in terms of technology and user-friendliness. Set aside a few minutes to learn of innovative UX solutions that can transform your ecommerce business.
Focus on Hands-On for UX Personalization
From the point of view of e-retailers, the logistics of the entire business effort are based not just around ensuring that a user can successfully complete a purchase of a desired item, but rather around making the buyer do it as many times as possible. You’re aware that customer retention is inextricably linked to maintaining healthy streams of income. So, one of the best ways to keep the customers’ attention is to win their hearts & minds by (spoilers ahead) focusing their UX around the very thing they preoccupy themselves with: their own selves.
Based on this, your primary goal in approaching UX design is to help the buyers gain access to what their hearts desire in the fastest and most accurate manner possible. The interface design plays a crucial role in this, as those that are mass produced on designer conveyor belts will hardly please the desired percentage of audience. Considering that you have only approximately five second to make your visitors believe that your site deserves their attention, you’ll have to be both fast and original if you are to be perceived as sticking out among the competition.
For instance, take a look at what British online fashion and beauty retailer Asos did with their ecommerce store – they personalized their customers’ experience by including a video-based stylist service as part of their interface. As jeans shopping online can be notoriously difficult due to sizing and fitting problems, they got around this issue by offering video presentations of their pieces of clothing in motion, in addition to featuring clear item images and detailed explanations. In this manner, they helped the customer increase their confidence in relation to their choices, driving sales in the process
Pairing Intuitive and Interactive Design
Still, personalization or at least its simulation, will hardly elicit the “wow” response from contemporary shoppers if it is not paired with intuitive and interactive UI design. Its ultimate outcomes are measured in exact manner, meaning by the number of purchases made by buyers. So, yes, it is possible to have fancy and eye-candy design which still fails to deliver, as it does not offer much in the sense of intuitiveness and interactivity.
According to Kelly Vaughn of Shopify, users prefer receiving visual feedback when interacting with an object by clicking on it or hovering over it. Many e-retailers across the web are aware of this and are working to optimize their UX by providing an interactive visual experience. Take for example Boohoo, the UK based fashion retail giant. When hovering over images across Boohoo, users seamlessly unveil of an entire feed of items, that are similar to the item they are exploring. This is what it looks like:
When hovering over images that draw their attention on boohoo.com, users are exposed to further items which they might also like. This is made possible using Syte.ai’s technology.
Utilizing AI and deep learning in the form of chatbots
Search engines have, since day one, relied only on text. When buyers enter a retailer website and type in a search query for an item, for example, “blue vintage shirt”, they’re basically searching for images with a metadata of a “blue vintage shirt”. Naturally, this leads to search results that are far from ideal. But what if the users have an image of what they’re looking for? (maybe they saw it on Instagram, or even better – something they caught with their own camera out there, in the real world.).
Retailers can now integrate visual search engines into popular chat platforms like Facebook Messenger, or directly on their app or website and provide users with a futuristic AI experience, enabling them to search for that blue vintage shirt and receive similar suggested items within a set budget range. But there’s also something else going on here that’s worth mentioning. Chatbots are essentially opening up a new line of communication with buyers, acting as personal shopping assistants whose goal is to simplify the shopping process as much as possible.
Zoom function solutions
A case study involving Adidas’ product display pages hypothesized that lack of adequate zoom function for products created less than optimal conversion rates in some markets. Since Adidas is a clothing company whose fastest growing channel is ecommerce, its focus on making interaction with shoppers as smooth as possible is hardly surprising. Final results of the study involving improved zoom function demonstrated that significantly larger number of users from the EU added an item to their bags after its introduction, while the order conversions grew as well. In essence, the zoom feature is similar to what Asos did when it added video recordings of models wearing different items. Shopping online is difficult because users cannot feel the item, and in many instances, scan it for even the tiniest details, which is something they can do in a store. By adding an advanced zoom feature, visitors are able to emulate the ritual of twisting and turning and analyzing an item. This is something many retail sites failed to implement and those that did, as we can see from the Adidas example, are reaping the benefits. Such a feature is perceived as a significant boost to the overall UX.
To Sum Up
Ecommerce UX design offers a lot to e-retailers, both in terms of its possibilities and the room for improvement. Focus on innovation as the main UX drive has crystallized several novel approaches to this segment, which range from personalization of user experience and increased focus on visual, interactive and intuitive design elements, to moving to the field of conversational commerce as an all-encompassing e-commerce channel. Before moving on with your own take on these solutions, make sure to fully and honestly assess what you already offer to your buyers in terms of UX and what can be scrapped or retained. Whatever you do afterwards, your efforts will be rewarded by always keeping your trusty customer in mind and being ready to regularly offer a refreshed and innovative user experience to them.