[Pt. 1] Discovery Design: Introducing the Next Generation of eCommerce UX

Discovery Design is a new approach to eCommerce focused specifically on crafting user experiences that make product search and discovery intuitive and engaging for all types of shoppers. Learn how it works here.

blueprint for ecommerce discovery design

Even before the pandemic-induced eCommerce boom, consumers had already begun paying greater attention to the digital user experience (UX). 

More than a quarter (28%) of shoppers will abandon their cart due to poor UX. Among young shoppers, the rate is even higher. A recent study found 37% of Gen Zers will either abandon an eCommerce site or post a negative review due to a poor user experience. 

Now, with more people shopping online than ever before, the quality of the user experience has become a major differentiating factor for online brands and retailers.

The definition of “good UX” for eCommerce has evolved. Easy-to-read menus, aesthetic design, and intuitive web navigation are no longer enough to stand out or provide an engaging experience. 

Capturing the interest (and buying power) of modern shoppers requires re-engineering UX to connect each individual to the right products in the manner that suits their unique preferences — as quickly as possible.  

Thus, Discovery Design was born. 

What is Discovery Design?

Discovery Design is a new approach to eCommerce focused specifically on crafting user experiences that make product search and discovery intuitive and engaging for all types of shoppers. 

It encompasses everything from the layout of your product listings to the behavior of your search bar, to where and how you display product recommendations. At its best, it ensures that each touchpoint is engaging, individualized, showcases relevant products, and nudges shoppers through their journey toward products that are truly right for them.

As online brands and retailers consider how to build more engaging and conversion-oriented user experiences, Discovery Design has emerged as a key strategy.

discovery design ecommerce site

Whether a shopper is highly motivated to find a specific item or she is just there to browse, strong Discovery Design enables brands and retailers to introduce them to the most relevant and compelling products.

With a robust Discovery Design strategy, every aspect of the customer experience — including menus, web navigation, merchandising, product descriptions, AR fit tools, 3D-imaging, site search, product recommendations, and more — is built with the goal of exposing shoppers to the products that will inspire them to click “add to cart.” Then, on the cart page itself, the process continues, ensuring shoppers see any additional products that could pique their last-minute interest without distracting from purchase. 

3 Benefits of Discovery Design for eCommerce

By adopting a Discovery Design approach in your eCommerce strategy, you can achieve a wide range of benefits, such as:

1. Capture more revenue: Quickly and effectively connecting shoppers to the products that they will love and want to buy positions you to capture significantly more revenue. You can ensure high-intent shoppers never veer from their journey, inspire low-intent shoppers to buy, and increase AOV by consistently introducing shoppers to complementary items at every touchpoint along the journey. 

2. Delight shoppers & boost brand loyalty: By creating an experience that feels tailored to each shopper’s needs and preferred method of shopping, you produce a better overall customer experience that cements your brand as a go-to destination. This drives repeat purchases while improving brand perception, helping you build a base of loyal customers. 

3. Eliminate dead ends: Discovery Design helps you make sure that there is no point in the customer journey that leads to a dead end. Instead, it ensures every touchpoint promotes continuous discovery. This is done, among other ways, by providing relevant product recommendations on each page and transforming “no results” pages into personalized inspiration galleries. With this approach, shoppers can experience more of your offering, increasing their chances of spotting the perfect product.

In our next installment on Discovery Design, we’ll run through the four key principles of this UX approach, so you can begin reaping the benefits of optimized product discovery on your website.