User experience isn’t only to do with aesthetics. UX covers all aspects of interaction with a given website: usability, ease of use and efficiency. And it has a function, to provide users with an excellent experience to achieve a specific goal, making a purchase.

E-commerce features – table of contents:

  1. E-commerce functionalities harnessed by the major players in the industry revealed
  2. UI (user interface) and information architecture
  3. Product sheet – key elements
  4. Payment & Delivery
  5. The better way to the checkout
  6. After-sales customer service

If the UX is poor, a frustrated user will leave the site or abandon the shopping cart. What to do to prevent this from happening? Get inspired by how the key e-commerce features are exploited by the giants of this industry in the following article.

E-commerce functionalities harnessed by the major players in the industry revealed:

UI (user interface) and information architecture

The more products you offer, the more important the interface and related information architecture become. Customers can’t waste too much time finding what meets their expectations, even if they are not precise.

An efficient search engine is an absolute must. The “magnifying glass” bar should be there:

  • immediately visible,
  • auto-complete phrases,
  • don’t pay attention to typos,
  • properly filter the results.
magnifying glass infographic

TIP: Think of your store’s search engine as a shopping assistant. It should smoothly guide users through your assortment, whether they know exactly what they came for or are just looking around.

Product card – key elements

What can’t be missing on a product card?

  • PHOTOS
  • Photos must visualize the product as fully as possible. They should be of high quality, present the product from various angles and – if possible – enable close-ups to show precisely e.g. the texture of the material. It is also good to present the product “in use”, e.g. show clothes on a model.

  • DESCRIPTION
  • The description should complement to what cannot be presented graphically. It should be comprehensive and appropriate when describing e.g. technical functionalities of a product, avoid jargon. But be persuasive when giving practical applications of a given product.

  • CTA
  • CTAs (call to action), i.e. buttons which allow the user to go further, e.g. to the checkout, should be visible, differentiated from other buttons e.g. by color, and located above the line of the screen “fold” so that the user does not have to scroll to find them.

  • WISH LIST (or clipboard)
  • Use the so-called wish list or clipboard, i.e. a place where users could save “for later” products of interest to them.

Product card - key elements

TIP: Make sure that the product card contains all the necessary information about the product, but do not limit yourself to copying the description from the manufacturer’s website. The card, apart from purely informative functions, should also fulfill sales functions.

Payment & Delivery

The so-called last mile, i.e. all aspects related to the delivery of the parcel to the customer, for years was the weakest element of online shops’ activity. However, this has been changing dynamically recently. Apart from Parcel Machines, which took the market by storm, many shops started to cooperate with places such as neighborhood shops or kiosks, making them the so-called collection points. This means that you can simply pick up the ordered package from the nearby grocery store within a certain time. For many people, this option is more convenient than waiting idly for the courier’s phone call.

TIP: Ensure that the delivery options you offer on your e-store are varied.

The better way to the check-out

When the user has already decided to buy, theoretically, there should be no problem with finalizing the transaction, and yet this is when many e-stores lose their seemingly sure income. And they are often to blame, having unnecessarily required countless actions the user has to perform to actually buy.

Amazon, Zalando are all trying to simplify things. Amazon even allows you to order with one (literally: ONE) click. And sure, this convenient option only applies to returning customers, because you can’t do it to Zalando without filling in your data, but it’s still a very interesting feature letting you shop at will.

TIP: Don’t force customers to fill out long forms and provide too much data.

After-sales customer service

Zalando, which ”taught” us to buy clothes online, entered the market with a bang, extending the period in which customers had the right to return purchased goods from 14 to 100 days. What seemed crazy at first (there was no shortage of voices saying that abuse is a matter of time and Zalando will become a “rental” of clothes), turned out to be a bull’s eye.

Zalando became a leader in the fashion market, and many companies followed in its footsteps. Not all of them decided to have 100 days, but 30 days is a very common practice. And usually, it’s enough for the customer to feel safer, aware that he has time to withdraw from the transaction without stress.

However, you can make it even easier for customers by, for example, guaranteeing the possibility of a free return at the point of collection. What is at stake? His loyalty, which is worth much more than the profit from a single transaction.

Read also: how to prepare your store for Black Friday

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Author: Martin Sparks

E-commerce enthusiasts which constantly digs around the internet in order to make sure he hasn’t missed any important information on the topic of starting and scaling profitable online stores.