UX from an e-commerce perspective

   04 Jun 2020

UX - a guide to buying decisions

UX - User Experience - the art of guiding our visitors to the completion of their, and our, goals. To convert visitors to customers without losing them along the way.

So it's not about color and shape, but how we can influence visitors to navigate and interact with our e-commerce with pace and flow. This is where words like customer journey come into the picture - how does the customer find us, what pages do you land on first, how do you put goods in your shopping cart and how do you make your purchase? But just as important is what happens after the purchase, how we communicate and how we get our customer back into the buying process when it's time again.

It costs up to 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one*.

Friction Free Trade

If you simplify it all, you can say that UX's main purpose is for the customer journey in our e-commerce to be as frictionless as possible. Every time a visitor needs to stop to think about the next step, we have a weak point, an opportunity to leave. These bottlenecks are not uncommon, but we want to remove as many of them as we can. Despite this, as many as 77% of people jump out at the checkout**, sometimes because we are unclear, sometimes we are complicated or because we do not meet the customer's expectation of shipping / payment options.

Huge sums of money are spent on search engine advertising and marketing every year, but how much time is spent on analyzing and optimizing your own site? Asking your customers what's troubling and then, for example, UX-optimizing the checkout can significantly increase the conversion, and this is among customers who have already chosen us.

The UX work is about getting the visitor to find the right product and finally converting to become our customer. With as few obstacles along the way as possible.

UX and the consequences

Defective UX easily has major consequences and no or lousy conversion becomes very measurable in tools like Google Analytics. Finding these bottlenecks is an important part of the analysis work that should be done. There are things to fix with most e-retailers and if you look at the costs that a new customer costs to acquire, it could be money well invested.

If you simplify the most important components of an e-commerce flow and think about each one, you often find details you can improve on each part. How does it look like on your site?

FIND - How does the visitor find the products?

SHOP - Is it easy to choose and add products?

CASH - What are the barriers to checkout? Do we require a login?

PAY - Does this happen seamlessly on the site or open new windows?

WAIT - How do we keep customers informed?

Find – Navigation

Often you see that companies have an inside-out perspective on such “simple” parts as navigation. Often, it is based on an internal structure that is a bit strenuous from a business system. Or do you have a well thought out menu structure that is based on how your visitors view your products? The internal structure of a logical structure does not mean that the end customer thinks that, or understands it.

Find - Search function

How does the search function work on e-commerce sites today? There are statistics showing that 30% of visitors use the search function over traditional menu navigation***, the same survey also says that visitors who have searched and found their products convert almost twice as often as other visitors.

How does your business help visitors find the right one? Do you show results despite common misspellings? Do you get suggestions for synonyms? Can you search for words in reverse order? Can you search for words in several fields? Is the hit list relevant to products that, for example, are in stock and are interesting to me as a customer? The questions are many and searches on the site are very important.

We at 3bits have worked with Elasticsearch for many years and use it in a number of customer projects. Elastic (Elasticsearch) is an open source distributed search and analysis engine based on the Lucene library. It is easy to grow in step with the business and scale up as usage increases. Your data is stored in an Elastic cluster so you can search, index and analyze data in various shapes and sizes. This is a good solution for those who want a powerful and modern tailor made search solution.

Shop - Product Structures

Another UX trap is complicated product structures, with endless choices before the product you are looking for is found or made available for purchase. Can you configure the product easily or logically filter out your results?

Checkout - Form

Another classic conversion killer is unnecessarily complicated forms with the collection of customer data that is not really needed for the transaction. Do you really need a fax number? Do we use multiple telephone number fields? Do we need to know gender?

UX strategy

Is it possible to find a strategy for managing UX, and is this something you can do yourself? Of course, it is about time and knowledge. Working as a UX designer today is a professional role that requires a great deal of expertise, but you can actually look at a lot yourself and challenge the organization in the company. The most important thing is that you make sure you measure the result, make sure that A / B test or at least find some key figures in Analytics that allow you to draw conclusions, did the work yield any results?

It often becomes a UX problem when we assume that the customer thinks and acts as we in the company do and always has. We who work with our products 40 hours a week, or more. We know more than many of our customers and that knowledge can be burdensome when a visitor does not think “as you should”, how can we turn the knowledge we possess into helping visitors actually convert and become our customers?

A typical UX job is to actually ask the customer for help, surprisingly often you get fantastic answers that help us get so much better.

* KISSMetric

** https://www.barilliance.com/cart-abandonment-rate-statistics/

*** https://moz.com/blog/on-site-search

UX e-handel

Tip 1

Choose a person who doesn't know your e-commerce and hand out an assignment. For example, to find a particular product and go to the checkout with it. But with the small detail that the page should be translated into a language unknown to the subject. For example, use Google translate to translate the page in real-time into a lucid language, perhaps Azerbaijani:


Now draw conclusions based on how the person interacts, if the person can handle a transaction without any major obstacles, then you probably have a simple and intuitive online site.

Tip 2

Try installing Hotjar, or similar tools to record the customer journey in your store. Here it is usually possible to identify bottlenecks and problems, especially if many visitors tend to leave at the same point.

Niklas Larsson