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    Elevating Ecommerce User Experience (UX) for Global Brands and Retailers

    August 17, 2023
    7 minute read
    Elevating Ecommerce User Experience (UX) for Global Brands and Retailers

    Global ecommerce sales reached $5.7 trillion in 2022 and are expected to cross the $6 billion mark, according to data from eMarketer. In addition to rising sales volumes, online shopping options have now outpaced brick-and-mortar stores as consumers’ preferred purchasing destinations. As noted by 2022 research from Raydiant, 55.4% of customers would rather shop online than in-store.

    As a result, companies must create a consistent and compelling ecommerce user experience (UX) to keep buyers coming back. But what exactly is ecommerce UX? Why does it matter to brands’ bottom line, what components are critical in effective UX, and what can companies do to ensure their experience stands out from the crowd?

    What Is Ecommerce UX?

    Ecommerce UX is the practice of facilitating the user experience at every step of the buying journey. This starts with initial interest and engagement, naturally leads to product consideration and purchase, and continues with follow-up connections to keep customers coming back.

    Building a great ecommerce user experience requires global brands and retailers to create reliable, repeatable processes that deliver a consistent, end-to-end ecommerce journey for buyers.

    Why Does Ecommerce UX Matter?

    Put simply, if brands don’t deliver a great ecommerce UX, customers will take their business elsewhere. With so many choices for online purchases, both locally and globally, product quality and price aren’t the only factors in buying decisions.

    If customers face slow site loading times, can’t find products they’re looking for, and are confronted with cumbersome checkout processes, they’ll simply abandon online carts.

    Consider website speed. According to data from Tooltester, the average web page loading time is 2.5 seconds on desktops and 8.5 seconds on mobile devices, and 70% of customers say page speed has an impact on their decision to make a purchase. In practice, for every second of load time that passes between zero and five seconds, website conversion rates fall by 4.42%.

    Or look at cart abandonment. Statista data shows that in North America, the average cart abandonment rate is 79.14%, while in Europe it’s slightly higher at 79.28%. With just over 20% of carts moving from product placement to purchase, brands must ensure that ecommerce UX prioritizes high-performance online shopping carts.

    It’s also worth highlighting the impact of mobile devices. Data from Statista found that in the U.K. as of 2022, website page views from mobile devices now outpace those on laptops and desktops — 47.78% of views are from mobile phones, while 47.73% are from desktops and laptops. As a result, mobile responsiveness is a priority to encourage customer purchases.

    7 Essential Parts of an Effective Ecommerce UX Strategy

    To create an effective ecommerce experience, seven components are critical.

    1. Ongoing User Engagement

    Ecommerce UX starts with engagement. This includes social media posts, search results, blog content, and online advertising to help drive brand recognition.

    2. Fast Website Loading and Navigation

    The faster websites load and the easier they are to navigate, the more likely customers are to engage with brands.

    3. Robust Search Functionality

    Search options should be obvious, easy to use, and robust enough to help users find what they’re looking for, even if they only have a few keywords or basic product details.

    4. In-Depth Product Pages

    Product pages should include enhanced product content. This may include videos, images, comparison charts, and comprehensive descriptions along with pricing data and shipping estimates. They should also be regularly refreshed for accuracy and relevance.

    5. Easy Checkout Processes

    As noted above, cart abandonment rates are nearly 80% in the U.S. and Europe. By streamlining the cart and checkout process — for example, ensuring that when users go back to shopping after adding items to their cart they’re taken to their last-viewed page, not the generic product category landing page — brands can reduce abandonment rates.

    6. Complete Mobile Responsiveness

    Sites working across all mobile devices are table stakes. To improve ecommerce UX, brands and retailers need responsive websites that adapt to fit the device being used.

    7. Consistent Follow-Up

    Once customers make their first purchase, brands should follow up with texts, emails, or social media messages to help build a consistent customer relationship.

    3 Tips To Enhance the Ecommerce Experience

    Given the ongoing, interdependent nature of ecommerce UX, it’s often challenging for brands and retailers to pinpoint effective starting points. Here are three tips to help enhance the experience:

    1. Create a Consistent Engagement Strategy

    The customer experience starts at first contact. Brands need to build a consistent engagement strategy that includes initial engagement, first website visits, product research, and eventual purchasing.

    This strategy should include research on target audiences and their preferred contact methods, along with investments in immersive visual merchandising to effectively highlight products when potential customers visit brand websites.

    2. Build Better Product Pages

    Product pages alone won’t drive conversions, but they can make or break the customer experience. High-quality product detail pages (PDPs) can help meet consumer expectations and boost engagement. Not sure where to get started? Check out 10 of the top PDP trends.

    3. Make Mobile Matter More

    With more than half of customers now starting their journey on mobile devices, mobile needs to matter more in ecommerce UX. From ensuring that sites work across all mobile device types to connecting with users via push notifications, mobile apps, or text messaging, a better mobile experience can drive more conversions.

    Deliver Consistent, Customer-Focused Shopping Experiences

    Bottom line? Ecommerce is everywhere. This means consumers are spoiled for choice — if ecommerce UX doesn’t live up to their expectations, they’ll simply shop elsewhere. Global brands and retailers need an ecommerce UX strategy that delivers consistent, customer-focused experiences from engagement to purchase to follow-up.

    10 Essential Product Page Best Practices (With Examples From Top Brands)

    Build better product pages and keep customers engaged with Salsify’s 10 Essential Product Page Best Practices guide.

    Written by: Doug Bonderud

    Doug Bonderud (he/him) is an award-winning writer with expertise in ecommerce, customer experience, and the human condition. His ability to create readable, relatable articles is second to none.

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