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Is Your UX Holding Back Your E-Commerce?

Dec 16, 2021

Every online retail strategy shares one common goal: driving more conversions. So why do some succeed in this task while others fail? A lot of it comes down to the user experience (UX).

Now, when we say “user experience,” we’re talking about more than simply how an e-commerce website looks. UX is also about how it feels to the shopper when they’re using it. It’s the experience as a whole from the customer’s perspective and everything that entails.  

Think of it like this - imagine two physical stores that look exactly the same from the outside. 

One of them is well laid out inside with good lighting and an attractive design. Products are neatly grouped into different types and there is clear signage so that you can quickly find what you want. The checkouts are well signposted, and the staff are knowledgeable and friendly. 

The other is uncomfortably cramped with a dated design and poor lighting. All of the product types are muddled together and scattered across the store so it’s impossible to find a specific item quickly. There’s only one checkout and it’s up two flights of stairs. Which gives you the best experience as a shopper? More importantly, which store would you choose to shop at? 

Creating a winning e-commerce experience is much like creating a world class physical store. You need to consider how the user will interact with the website. Is it easy to navigate? Is it useful in helping them complete their shopping goal? Is it nice to use? 

A poor user experience usually makes for a poor conversion rate. Poor conversion rates are, in turn, going to work against your online retail strategy.  

It’s because of this that user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design are part of every single e-commerce project that we deliver at Avensia – from start to finish. They’re always an integral component of any online retailer’s winning strategy. 


What Does UX Involve? 

User experience is more than just design. We emphasize this because so many online retailers fail to consider UX on a larger scale.  

How an e-commerce site looks and is structured is important, but UX goes far deeper than just visuals. It’s the overall experience for the customer of using the website. 

At a minimum, a good UX means the site is easy to use, is pleasurable to engage with and does what the customer is expecting. And that’s fine. Good UX can get you pretty far in achieving the goals set forth by your online retail strategy.  

Great UX, however, can go above and beyond that to improve your brand perception, overall customer engagement satisfaction, and even strengthen loyalty.  

When we work with online retail clients, we don’t settle for good UX. We want great UX.    

How an e-commerce site looks and is structured is important, but UX goes far deeper than just visuals. It’s the overall experience for the customer of using the website.

Our UX team brings together specialist knowledge in digital commerce, responsive web design, digital transformation and inclusive accessibility rules to create a holistic offering that spans all elements of UX design. 

This includes: 

  • Discovery workshops
  • Rapid prototyping
  • Customer journey mapping
  • Content strategy
  • Interaction design
  • Brand design
  • User research & testing
  • Design management
  • Information architecture

As we said, UX goes a lot deeper than visual design. It is what shapes the customer’s journey on your website. And in a world with minimal digital patience and an abundance of websites, if your UX doesn’t stand up then customers won’t stick around. 



UX Affects Every Element of E-commerce Performance 

At its core, UX is all about driving e-commerce conversions and supporting customer flows. 

The fact that it is focused on the user – and the user is involved in every single part of the site – means that UX affects every element of an e-commerce site’s performance. It’s a core part of any online retailer’s strategy, and it cannot be worked on in isolation. Instead, UX needs to be part of every step in developing a new e-commerce project. 

For example, website speed has a considerable influence on whether a customer stays and converts or bounces off your e-commerce site. While a lot of speed may come down to your technical set-up, great UX can actually help a site to feel faster and more responsive. 

It’s for this reason that we bring our UX team into the client conversation from the very beginning. Alongside all our other in-house competencies, we can think about the user experience as a whole to provide a complete solution.      

The Combined Power of UX and Development Teams Working Together 

Unlike a design agency, there is no distance between our UX team and our development team. By working on projects in tandem, they can ensure that any potential problems are identified early on and solved. They also ensure that UX isn’t forgotten about when choosing the technical elements for your e-commerce site. 

UX & Web Design

Revamp your User Experience

Our UX and Design team helps you create experiences that matter – quickly progressing from UX ideation to web design, prototype and implementation.

This is a major part of our customer-focused approach to e-commerce.  

This is also the approach we use in projects using our own Nitro and Excite e-commerce platforms. These solutions offer a lot of out-of-the-box benefits to clients looking for best practice e-commerce implementation, but it’s the UX team who ensure that the design of these solutions is personalized to you and your audience. 

The UX specialists also sit as a bridge between our clients and the development team. They’re able to help balance the ideas and requirements of both sides in order to ensure the site is well presented to customers. 

This includes the introduction of omnichannel services. While it’s easy for a brand to say they want to be more omnichannel-focused, not every company has the tech in place to facilitate this. 

It may be that the product categorisation isn’t as detailed as it needs to be, or the stock availability solution isn’t equipped for real-time information. Some retailers are limited by their payment provider or other systems as to what is possible. 

It’s easy to overlook the role that your different commerce technologies play in UX, but they can have a major impact on how customers view your website.  

For example, your product information management (PIM) system will determine what a product page looks like, while your relevance engine will impact the quality of recommendations your customer sees. 

If what you want to achieve isn’t possible through the commerce technologies you utilize, then the UX will suffer. Identifying this early on, and looking at recommendations for alternative technologies or approaches, makes all the difference. 

It’s easy to overlook the role that your different commerce technologies play in UX, but they can have a major impact on how customers view your website.

Great UX Is an Ongoing Commitment 

Great user experience doesn’t stay that way without work. 

UX is not something you can ‘do’ once and never revisit again. With shopping behaviours, customer expectations and technology constantly changing, the e-commerce user experience also needs updating regularly to be the best it can be. 

At Avensia we have long-term relationships with many of our clients, which allows us to maintain an open dialogue to make these iterative improvements or to solve issues as they arise. Rather than having to spend time onboarding a new agency each time they want to update the e-commerce experience, our clients can concentrate on responding to new shopper behaviours quickly. 

In addition, our clients benefit from our considerable knowledge base throughout the company from every e-commerce project we’ve ever delivered. As such, every project benefits from the learnings gathered from others. A rising tide lifts all boats, after all.  

We’re able to share this knowledge between our customers, including bringing new innovations and best practices to existing clients to keep improving their user experience. This has lasting value far beyond the original project. 


Make Your UX Work for Your E-commerce Goals 

It’s clear that there is more to UX than meets the eye. Literally.       

UX is an enhancer for the overall performance of an e-commerce website. When making sales means keeping customers on the site, the importance of a great UX that creates an enjoyable customer journey can’t be understated. 

Your UX could be the key to achieving your online retail goals, and we will be there to help you make it happen.  

Unlock your e-commerce potential and get in touch with our UX specialists today to find out how we can help you improve your conversions.