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The 15 E-Commerce UX Commandments for 2016

Written by: Guest

May 10, 2016

Abbas Rajani is an Inbound and SEO Strategist at PNC Digital, a digital marketing agency in Orlando, FL. He has been assisting B2B and B2C businesses with ROI growth and effective online presence. Currently, he is working on a logo design project ‘PNC Logos‘. Follow @abbas_rajani for more online marketing related updates.

Almost every person on this planet has a New Year’s resolution at the beginning of every year. And while most lose their motivation to achieve the resolution just the very next month, we entrepreneurs have a knack for fulfilling them and taking our goals to the next level. For many of us, however, this year’s resolution may be very similar to last year’s: trying out various e-commerce marketing techniques to get the desired outcome, when users float around the website and bounce back without making any purchases.

Instead of blaming your e-commerce marketing tactics, why not shift your focus towards your website’s design? Is it really meeting the users’ experience standards? The answer must be NO!
E-commerce business stability is more dependent on its customers. If they fail to entertain their customers with their UX design and marketing tactics then there is no chance for them to survive. In my opinion:

“Customers are the investors of your business. If you provide them value, they will nurture your business through their investment.”

Entrepreneurs, nowadays, focus more on their marketing rather than other aspects. Design area is mostly ignored or only considered to make your website look creative. It should, however, be done by taking usability principles and user experience into consideration. Because UX is important. Let me share some shocking stats before moving on to our main topic:


As Armando Roggio stated in his article on Practical E-commerce, around 80% of businesses are failing. There are multiple factors involved in the failure of their E-Commerce business, but the lack of user-friendly web design has always been topping the charts.

According to a study, E-Commerce sites had a 45% task failure rate due to the poor user site design and bad user interface. And according to web design research by GoodFirms, slow loading pages are one of the top three reasons why visitors leave a site.

15 UX Commandments that you should be adopting

1. CTA placement and design

No one can deny the importance of call-to-action buttons–whether, it’s an e-commerce website or a static one.

You need to be careful while choosing the color, directional cues, and style of your call-to-action button. It should catch the users’ attention at first sight. More importantly, research has proved that people, naturally prefer reading or viewing anything presented on the left side as compared to the right side.

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Macy’s is doing a great job in this regard, have a look at their call-to-action placement.

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2. Clear navigation structure

We know that navigations are usually developed to make it easier for users to find the exact pages, they are looking for. Normally, an e-commerce website contains hundreds and thousands of pages so it’s important to navigate them to a visible spot. Furthermore, page sorting and categorization process should be smartly done.

3. Search efficiency

No business can fulfill the requirements of each and every customer with a single page. Every single customer is looking for a diversified range of products, for which, an efficient search feature will make user experience swifter. It allows the customers to reach their desired product pages within no time and without having to go through several unimportant elements.

By integrating leading design experts into the process, businesses can ensure that the search functionality and overall website layout and navigation are optimized to provide a seamless user experience.

Make sure that your search feature is performing well in this regard; a single bug can directly bounce your users back. Gourmet Gift Baskets has a great search feature; it serves their users by displaying the prices, matching the keyword within the search suggestion box.


4. Clutter free category pages

Once you succeed in driving the user to your targeted category page, your website UX can play a game-changing role. If it is compelling enough, it can convert a user into a potential customer. Category pages should be decently designed, and major focus should be on the products instead of various deals and sale offers.

Sophie and Trey has an amazing UX when it comes to the category page design. They didn’t focus on any other elements of the design except for their products.


5. Delicious content

In the E-Commerce industry, most of the businesses don’t believe in the power of content. You might be wondering what content has to do with UX element? Content has a major contribution in making any UX design, a success. Content should be engaging and allow users to test your product. Also, the font size should be clear and visible to the audience. Now, content can be anything, it can be the product descriptions, sales and deals banner or website content. It’s a sure thing that content can draw an immense influence among your targeted audience.

Below are some forms of visual commerce content and tips through which you can improvise upon your UX design elements:

The content of the banners is crucially important in user experience design. For such content, the rule of scarcity and urgency will apply. Words that enforce users to avail a certain deal or discount should be used.

Product Descriptions
Descriptions should be written in a manner that they speak to the customers. Clear and authentic descriptions which highlight the prominent features of your product can create a lasting impact for the customers.

Website Content
Though it’s difficult to incorporate content on any retail store website but to some extent, we need it for search engine optimization. Detailed and long paragraphs should be avoided as they increase the scroll on both desktop and mobile.

6. Advanced Filtration

Not every online retail store has this feature on their website but advanced filtration should be implemented by everyone. It helps users to directly jump to the product range, they are in search of. Advanced filtration can be anything like price range, style, color, etc. ASOS is offering their customers with completely advanced filters in order to get the most relevant results.

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7. Registration page

There is no hard and fast rule for designing a registration page, but there is one minor (can be major, though) thing that should be considered, i.e. “GIVE THEM A REASON,” why they should register to your online store? Tobi is offering 50% off on the first sale and that being displayed on their registration box is doing a great job in grasping their users’ attention. Additionally, make your registration form simple instead of putting a huge list of text fields.

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8. Product photos

A ‘yay or nay’ factor, at this stage, either you will get a goal completion or a bounce back from your customers. When we check-in to any physical store for shopping, we examine the quality before purchasing. Virtual stores display quality via product photography. Here, I don’t need to give examples of any stores as most of them are doing a great job.

9. Responsive factor

Responsive design is a lifesaving factor for any business, especially for e-stores. Don’t believe my words? Here are some eye-opening statistics:

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Indochino has a great mobile experience design. All the navigation menus, main banners, and crucial parts are in the first scroll of mobile.

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10. Include trust factor

Dealing with the customers virtually has never been an easy task. Building your trust among them is one of the various challenges of ecommerce and requires months or even years of hard work. But no one can wait this long–all of us have a certain set of targets that we want to achieve. Some trust building elements are listed below:

– Usage of secure payment icons like PayPal, VeriSign, Visa, etc.
– Cash back guarantee option
– Buying advice and return policy
– Customer testimonials
– Display brands you are dealing in.
Toll-free number and live chat (including mobile live chat) options
– Places you have been featured
– Social engagement on the website

11. Clear payment options

How does it feel when you are almost done with the checkout process and you find out your desired payment option is not available. Most shoppers tend to complain about this very issue. Payment options should be clearly displayed on the website in order to save your customer’s time.

12. Relevant products

Buying habits never cease to exist, they run in the blood of every shopaholic person. It’s human nature that when we purchase or are planning to buy something, we definitely check the relevant products in order to make an informed decision through comparisons between prices and quality.

Such elements also assist us when a product is out of stock, we can display relevant products in order to persuade them to purchase something quite similar or even better from what they needed. Check out the Rose Wholesale website as a reference.

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13. Give a social touch

A brand needs to be socially involved with the users in order to show certain activity around their brand. Your website design should contain an area where you focus on your active or upcoming social campaigns. Also, place any social widget either it’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to indicate that your brand is socially active.

14. Creative 404 pages

Broken links are a common problem in any e-commerce websites. Controlling them or redirecting them is not a stress-free job. Hence, it is preferable that a website should have its own unique and creatively designed 404 page that allows users to review other products as well. Under Armour has a splendid 404-page design that stops a huge proportion of users from bouncing back from its website.

hold up


15. Blog design

Proper blog design and optimization can be a major selling point of your website. You can display your products/categories in the sidebar of your blog or even promote your deals and discounts. eBay has a great blog design containing all the features that can convert your readers to potential customers.

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All these factors seem to be generic but their impact is huge. If your UX design is done as per these recommendations then you will surely find a drastic change in your conversion ratio. If it is done appropriately then the entire sales funnel will be fixed within no time. So what are you waiting for? Start working and achieve this year’s resolution before the year ends.