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Recent Trends in E-Commerce User Experience (UX)

As e-commerce continues to grow and evolve, industry experts constantly look at ways to improve its effectiveness. If you have an e-commerce site, you are probably familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and site performance measurements such as traffic analysis and conversion rates. Another growing metric is User Experience Assessment or UXA.

Just as any person’s opinion is subjective, so is UXA, relying on individual users to rate their experiences on various websites. When you step back and look at “big picture” evaluations though, some things stand out that unquestionably affect user satisfaction. As e-commerce sites become better designed and more sophisticated, UX surveys are revealing more about what shoppers like and dislike. Here are some trends UXA is finding.

Users Like Bigger Product Images

To paraphrase one UXA researcher, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a good product picture on your e-commerce site is worth a thousand dollars. Users report that larger images let them see more detail and see things that aren’t necessarily covered in product descriptions, making their buying decision faster and easier. Product pictures with multiple views get even more favorable ratings. This is true on both category pages and product pages.

Robust Reviews Make Shopping Easier and Sellers More Credible

Different people put different values on product reviews. What thrills one buyer may not matter to another. Conversely, what turns off Buyer A may be inconsequential to Buyer B. But all buyers want to know what other people who have bought the product think of it. Sites that offer information about the reviewer (age, location, credentials, etc.) and summarize reviews let users gather information that is pertinent to them and help them assess the strengths and weaknesses of products without having to waste time getting to what they really want to know.

Easy-to-Use Coupons and Discounts Build Trust and Loyalty

Sites that make coupons and discounts easy to use get better results than ones that don’t. Users want to see their discountsbefore they wade through the checkout process. Showing offers and codes early in the shopping process and automatically applying them to qualifying purchases increases sales and increases customer loyalty. Sites that make it difficult to get discounts in the hope it will increase full-price sales only erode customer trust and build frustration. Simple rule: don’t say it if you don’t mean it. You’ll only alienate your customers.

Skimpy Product Descriptions Can Cost Sales

Bigger pictures mean less screen real estate and this has led to fewer descriptive details or hard-to-read copy. Mobile sites have to be carefully designed for the smaller screen sizes, and attempts to make one format work for another have led to decreased satisfaction with larger-format sites. If space is tight on a smartphone screen, layer the product information (the shopper still wants to see it), but don’t make your desktop shopper navigate needlessly when there’s plenty of room on the page. Investing in well-designed sites for multiple platforms pays off in better sales on all of them.

While UXA may not be the primary driver for e-commerce site design, there’s no denying that it offers powerful insights into consumer behavior and preferences. It’s just one of many tools we use at The Unleaded Group to design sites that deliver bottom-line results. We’re a Magento Gold Partner and couple it with Responsive Design tools to build e-commerce sites that consistently show industry-leading performance across all platforms.

The Unleaded Group is a global leader in high-performance e-commerce web development, so why wait to take the lead in your field? Call The Unleaded Group toll-free today at 855.865.3233 and learn how Responsive Design can work for you. Or drop us an email and we’ll send you a free quote for designing a site that does the job you need.

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