Five UX Must Haves For Your Online Store
Poor User Experience Can Sink Your Online Store
The desire for pleasant, intuitive shopping experiences isn’t limited to brick and mortar boutiques in charming vacation towns on islands two hours from the city. Customers want to feel a sense of order, care, and integrity (on the store’s part) when they shop online, too. Shopping online has the natural benefit of being incredibly convenient. When an online shop is designed well, it has the bonus of being an enjoyable experience for the buyer.
We’ve identified five user experience design features your online store should have to create an evocative experience:
Gorgeous Web Design and Architecture
First impressions matter and the overall aesthetic of your website and flow of pages matter. Good design makes all of the functions of your site immediately apparent (store, product variance, etc.), while also utilizing aesthetics to communicate the feel of your brand. We are as much brand strategists as we are web designers, so we’ll always advocate that your website is branded accordingly. It’s vital that it builds resonance as an asset of your company so that customers know exactly who they are having an experience with.
Product Reviews / Customer Feedback
Squarespace, our preferred platform for building sites, enables us to embed third-party product reviews from sources such as Facebook and Disqus, while also facilitating a native comment box for customers to write reviews right there on your product page. User-generated content goes a long way in building trust with new customers and demonstrating how your audience perceives your value. It humanizes the shop in a way that can’t be replicated with your own content.
An Easy To Use Cart
People get excited about the content on your website, and after they’ve added an item to their cart, they click out of the store and onto your blog, or onto your about page. They’ve technically “abandoned” their cart. It only takes an easy-to-see icon to signify that they can return to the shopping experience and finish their purchase. Utilizing a floating cart or a permanently placed icon in your navigation is the way to go.
Visuals inspire, but words give the granular details. Whether your store as 100 words on it or 1,000, clear copywriting can provide the details necessary for someone to convert from site visitor to customer (and ultimately, to brand ambassador). It’s not only important that your products are well-described and have all of the relevant information visually available before purchase, but that the rest of your copy on the website tells our story in the right brand voice.
It can be tempted to throw up an online store and focus entirely on the products. You assume that your site visitors have found you through some other channel - maybe Instagram, or a Facebook ad - and that they know who you are, what you are about, and why they would purchase from you. Don’t make assumptions about your site visitors. Your online store should include a link to an About page or other content that tells the story of . . . you. Why does your brand do what it does? Where are your products made? How are they sourced? The answers to those questions can be weaved into an intriguing story that excites customers about purchasing from your store. Don’t miss out an opportunity to create some hype around your brand and products.
Squarespace makes managing an online store simple to do, which is great because you have better things to do than to fight with the backend of some other system to maintain your online store. You could be sourcing new materials, or organizing a product photo shoot to make the look, and experience, of your store even better.