The top UX trends for ecommerce in 2017
UPDATE: for a more up-to-date version of this article, please check out our ecommerce UX trends of 2019.
Inviting customers to your ecommerce site and giving them the best experience possible means more sales and a loyal customer base—everyone is happy. But what does amazing ecommerce UX even look like in 2017?
Patrick Foster, Ecommerce Consultant & Coach at EcommerceTips.org, takes a look at the top UX trends so far this year and why they could be game changers for your customers.
It’s about simplicity
Reduce the options and distractions, and make calls to action clear and concise to provide simple ecommerce experiences.
Research your audience to find out what they’d need to know before completing valuable actions on your site. Do they need more pictures? What words and phrases will resonate with them?
Give them what they need and make it really easy for them to access information on your site. Then gently nudge them down the right path—one that leads to a purchase.
Popchart Lab uses minimal design and Pinterest-style dreamboard pages to clearly display products, making a shopping cart ride to a sale smooth and easy. The site looks great and shows off the creativity of the brand without overcomplicating things.
It’s about ease
Not only did Amazon create the one-click purchase experience, it’s upping the ante by creating virtual dash buttons that make one-click seem slow. (Yes, apparently that’s possible.)
The click-to-purchase concept, originally patented by Amazon, led it to create the Dash Button—a physical button customers can stick on their washing machine, in their bathroom, next to the fridge or several other handy places.
When a product is running low, all you need to do is push a button and a refill will be on the way. The physical Dash Button is gimmicky and, let’s be honest, a house covered in product stickers isn’t to everyone’s taste. Regardless, instant purchases have become a reality since being introduced by Amazon.
The multi-billion dollar company is now creating virtual Dash Buttons for your favourite items—allowing super-easy ordering and quick delivery from your Amazon account. It’s UX designed for maximum sales—but also maximum convenience.
Amazon has eCommerce UX down to a ‘T’—no roadblocks, no annoying questions, no chance to backtrack.
Creating a seamless user experience via your own version of a click-to-buy button is a powerful sales tool. You don’t need need to go as far as creating a Dash Button to make life easier for your customers.
It’s about useful features
Have you really considered the “life” of your products? What design features could you incorporate to make your products come alive for users?
Bellroy’s eCommerce site conveys the message “Practicality meets luxury,” through engaging product images and clever UX design.
Features, such as the ability to see inside the product, fit into a wallet buyer’s expectations—while showing off the craftsmanship which goes into each item.
It’s about multi-platform, multi-device purchasing
Integrations are flooding the market so that customers can shop in native applications, without having to visit an online store.
Social selling is growing up. Instagram has recently integrated with Shopify, allowing users to click on Instagram ads to buy products, rather than having to click away to find the ecommerce store. This is especially great for mobile commerce, which is yet to find its sweet spot. But app and ecommerce integrations like this are making the idea of purchasing on mobile more appealing to users.
Vendor, Stripe, is also letting users buy products on their mobile Twitter apps via Stripe Relay. Relay enables customers to buy straight from Tweets using a special link set up through the Stripe dashboard.
By joining forces with social, eCommerce is making mobile purchases easy and enjoyable for users (it’s been a long time coming—check out these mobile usability guidelines).
But perhaps we’re now making it too easy for customers to rush purchase decisions?
It’s about information
Give them enough of the right information in product copy—and not a drop more.
New-Zealand based Hunters makes shopping for wine online a dream, with an easy checkout system and great ways to explore products before adding them to your cart. Personal taste is the predominant decision-making factor when it comes to purchasing wine—especially in bulk. Not everyone likes the same variety of grape, and not everyone enjoys the same vintage.
Being armed with the information you need takes the effort out of choosing and the stress out of parting with your hard-earned cash.
Hunters gives you just enough information about the wine including:
- Description of taste
- Date of harvest
- Alcohol percentage
- Bottling date
Unfortunately, the wine is available for shipping only in New Zealand, so apologies if I’ve tempted anyone with the image of that lovely bottle 🙂
It’s about image
Images and videos that explain concepts clearly and beautifully are UX gold.
Not only does the user get a quick overview of the product itself, but also a great idea of the culture of your brand. They way a video is shot, the language used, the style of photography – it all speaks volumes about your brand, in a language easily understood by your audience.
Large images and minimal text are on trend for good reason. They make it easier than ever for audiences to feel like they’ve physically seen the product—as close to try-before-you-buy as they’re likely to get.
This example from Californian ecommerce cycle store, Pure Cycles, is one of many fantastic uses of images throughout its site. From its products to its ecommerce store, Pure Cycles has carefully considered and executed its design. It makes it so easy for the customer to get a feel for a bike that will suit their personality.
This product video from Nine Line Apparel conveys the product’s USP and brand’s tone of voice, while making the user smile—in just 30 seconds.
And this Reds Baby Bounce product video tells you everything about this stroller.
2017 is an exciting year in UX for ecommerce and mcommerce and we’re yet to fully understand how users purchase on mobile. Watching the design space grow and innovate is exciting–it’s the UX designers who are leading the charge and changing the way we shop. More of the above please.
Patrick Foster — Guest Writer
10+ years of business and ecommerce experience have taught me a thing or two about making money online. Focus on your customers, listen to your users, and be fearless in seeking excellence.
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