How to design an Award-Winning eCommerce Website

Nowadays, most of the world’s population spends more time on digital platforms than any other activity. The reason for that tendency is not far-fetched – the world is now a global village. Whether learning, communicating, business, work, or shopping, you can now carry out almost all of that online.

eCommerce has transformed over the last few years as people now prefer shopping online to going physically to outlets and boutiques. There was a time when there used to be small competition in eCommerce, but now, the E-commerce industry is considered the most competitive niche for business.

An award-winning eCommerce website design depends on many essential factors related to having an outstanding user interface and user experience (UI/UX). All the elements will collectively make a website an award-winning product. It will help to consider the strong connection between an intuitive website interface and an improved user experience.

UX vs. UI Design

As digital platforms are available and you can now easily access them, the interface should reflect everyone’s expectations and preferences. Whether adhering to age group or gender, a balanced interface structure, including fonts, colors, images, transitions, and animations, should always relate to the user experience (UX).

Generally, the development of all systems, apps, and websites ultimately serves the user. If their design does not comply with the user’s point of view, any purpose, value, or proposition of such systems is rendered meaningless.

Experiments and modifications are always encouraged when developing new designs and websites to be user-friendly and give the user an excellent user experience by applying a well-researched user interface design.

In this article, we have compiled and will discuss all the necessary steps and key factors from the beginning till the end of designing an Award-Winning eCommerce Website, with a strong emphasis on the value of UI and UX.

CLIENTS REQUIREMENTS

Firstly, to develop an award-winning eCommerce website, a documented brief must be received from a client on the website requirements before the project commences. Do not hesitate to brief the designer with every bit of crucial information such as website purpose, audience, features, competitors, expected deliverables, cost, and even a series of well-planned deadlines. If, for example, there is no clear audience overview, user personas should be established by an experienced User Experience Analyst.

During the requirements gathering, the designer can also help the client understand what type of user interface graphics will give a better user experience for their particular clients. The details about the main pages – such as the homepage – should be precise. It will help if you channel considerable efforts towards avoiding ambiguity during or after project completion. For a website design company to leverage all the stated requirements and produce an award-winning deliverable, here’s a list of vital factors that you must examine closely.

Purpose and value proposition

The value proposition should articulate or pass a meaningful message of the purpose of the website’s existence. The website deliverables, niche, and all offers should be clear. Within a blink of an eye, through the logo, banners, header content, and the entire website UI, users should understand what the purpose of your website is all about. The designer should plan, revolve, and perfect his designs around the website’s main goal and value proposition. If done correctly, your website users can find what they are looking for without losing a second.

Competitor’s UX research

Competitor’s user experience research helps a lot in carrying out an award-winning website design. Design experts can analyze competitor websites and - through detailed analysis - find the specifics related to their UI approach. You could use user demand to produce an excellent design plan. Questions like ‘What the competitors are doing right?’ ‘How are they doing it to give their users the best experience?’ should find their answer at this stage.

Sometimes, user demands about a particular eCommerce website design might differ from market demand. The designer’s responsibility is to educate the clients on what is good for them and produce the best possible strategy to meet market and user requirements.

UI DESIGN

Once a designer thoroughly analyses and understands the client’s requirements, value proposition, and competitors’ UX features, their next step should be the actual user interface design.

Website UI designers use many tools for designing. Some of the best tools considered for UI/UX are Figma and Adobe XD. The UI/UX apps include many advanced-level tool features that make it easy for designers to wireframe and prototype designs. Such designs range from various shape selections, sizing, or the alignment of design elements.

At first, designers will convert website requirements into Wireframe designs. Later, they can use these to convert them into responsive, high-fidelity UI designs. These can then turn into test-ready interactive prototypes.

Once the designer decides on the design software of choice, they implement the following key areas and produce unique UI designs.

Easy navigation

Website UI designers should always make sure that a website design comes with easy navigation. The best approach is to make it so that users can reach their destination with three clicks or less (there is a discussion in the design community whether this argument is still valid, but fewer clicks generally lead to faster conversions).
The overall design structure and interface of the website should provide easy access to each option. Everything on the website should have proper form and hierarchy: the menu, buttons, icons, drop-down lists, radio buttons.

The menu bar should have every necessary detail since it is the first thing users notice when browsing a new website. The home page, ‘about us,’ products, contact us pages are standard, and users expect to see them. The remaining details could become a part of a drop-down list. All product categories should be listed in the product or category option.

Product listing in Ecommerce websites comes through familiar categories such as Electronics, Cosmetics, Makeup, Women’s clothing, Men’s clothing, and many more.

Categorizing is convenient for the user because once they select a category, they can look for their desired product within that category page, or — if that feature is available, it should be — get additional help from using a search bar. Other options such as speech-to-text or text-to-speech should also be present in modern commerce.

Easy Navigation in eCommerce

The-above mentioned features are primary customer attraction points that great UI designers include in an eCommerce website design. They are part of golden rules related to a guaranteed enhancement of user experience.

Attractive Colour schemes and Infographics

Designers consider colors and color schemes crucial in eCommerce to make a user interface (UI) attractive and promote a good user experience. Colors should be chosen by keeping in mind the target audience and niche of the website. Too light or too dark hues can affect the charm of the website. A combination of dark and light tints is always a good approach.

A light color based with dark colors outlines, borders, banners, images, and text always produces an attractive UI. Visuals such as Infographics, Images, Icons, videos, hover effects and transitions, and humorous illustrations should be effectively used to improve engagement and user experience.

Engaging components for user engagement in eCommerce

During the eCommerce website building, the product images displayed with an adequately attached title, description, and price produce an excellent user engagement. A professional product photographer should be the one taking the product photos. Like product photos, all the designed images, such as brand logos, banners, or posts, should also come from the work of a professional designer.

Graphics designers should preserve color consistency by recognizing color schemes that go well with a specific brand or product line.

Video marketing is one of the most popular techniques used in current times. UI designers should create an interactive UI that accommodates Promotional Videos with engaging content that renders product pages more attractive. The videos can have a promotional purpose or work as product feature highlights. 2D and 3D videos are also pretty popular nowadays for video marketing purposes.

Video Marketing for user engagement in eCommerce

Use of call-to-action buttons

Call-to-action buttons and tabs are essential UI features. They are designed to compel a website user to take action psychologically and can include call-to-action words such as “Shop Now,” ”Read more,” or “Order Now.”

During the website UI design, various call-to-action buttons are strategically placed at different places and positions. For instance, a clear image of the product should be on every product page with a title stating the product name, a familiar keyword, and an extensive product description.
Content managers should appropriately explain all the features and specs in bullets and tabular form. They organize and present all banners, images, icons, and videos on the page. All necessary Call-to-Action buttons such as Add to cart, Buy Now, Shop Now are strategically presented on the page to promote good user engagement.

Call to action elements in eCommerce

Responsiveness

Since people prefer to browse using desktop computers, mobile phones, or tablets, the website should have a responsive design. Its planning should start during the UI design stage. The screen size should also be selected to allow the maximum number of audiences to visit the website UI. All these points also count in search engine optimization as websites with no focus will not gain any decent position in search engine results.

UX DESIGN

Once you completely design an excellent, engaging, and responsive eCommerce website UI, the next step is to optimize the design from a user experience point of view. To do that, you must gather user case data, scenarios, user requirements, best practices of known competitors. Please note the following key points and factors.

Speed and loading time

One of the essential criteria experts use to measure user experience on website performance is loading speed and loading time. A website that takes too long to bring content into view will make most users lose interest. People don’t like slow websites, and neither do search engines.

You have to work to design the website with a high loading speed in mind. Content experts should optimize all website images and videos to produce the best possible loading speed. Websites that open quickly offer an improved user experience to visitors and thus make the majority of the audience stick around and spend quality time on the website.
More time spent on product pages ultimately leads to better sales conversions.

Content quality and clarity

Website content aims to communicate a clear message to the user, whether information about the company itself, their services, or products. SEO techniques in content optimization are compulsory for any website to rank on search engines and pass a meaningful message for an eCommerce website. The fonts, text colors, and types should present simple, readable, and engaging content for everyone.

Content Quality, readability and clarity

The more content is understandable and readable, the better the effective communication between the interface and the user. A well-written content worthy for an eCommerce website comes from a professional SEO Copywriter. Important product details such as image, title, description, and price must appear in the product listing. Missing one single piece of information from these will make the product listing incomplete. Every user hates incomplete information, and once the user does not get what they are looking for, they will hurriedly skip to a competitor’s website.

Completness of Product Listings, Information

Once this is frequently happening, the bounce rate of your website will increase. Any website having high bounce rates is an indicator of poor User Experience. This will consequently affect the ranking of such a website on search engines.

New updated Data

For an excellent user experience, the latest and trending products should be accommodated on the website by a good UX design. Once this is possible, the new edition of products that companies launch should be immediately updated. One of the best marketing strategies is to present upcoming products to the website by using a heading like COMING SOON. Once you release the products on the web pages, the brief caption should be removed or updated to reflect the change, like LATEST EDITION. Such a title will build trust and credibility as the users will learn to seek the latest updates and determine the latest product availability.

Push notification

One user-engaging approach that creates an excellent user experience allows your eCommerce website, app, or anything user-facing to use push notifications. Such notifications are clickable messages that a website can send out to subscribers. Their primary function is to send out a notification to users whenever any new products or information is updated. Such data can include special offers, discounts, launching a new product, and many more.

With an expert UI and UX design, you can develop an engaging push notification that will keep users interested in your website at all times.

Push Notifications

Email notifications

Whether it’s signup/registration, promotional emails, updates, or special offers such as discounts, vouchers, gift hampers, email notification has always played an important and prominent role in private communication and engagement with users.

Generally, Users love to move forward with those who care about them and provide them with what they need. Through excellent UX design, create engaging and promising email notification templates and techniques that will keep them engaged with your content and make them feel special like never before. This move will undoubtedly give your users the fantastic experience they would hardly find anywhere else.

False promises

Don’t make false promises to your user through your website; nobody does business with a liar. Always say and claim what you can do for them. Present a good and reliable website image with all necessary features through quality UX design and principles. Otherwise, users will lose their trust in your company, and it will be tough to restore it. Unfortunately, you will not only have a bad reputation and lose users who had a terrible experience with you, but they will share that with many other people too.

However, if they are delighted with your services, they will become a free and potent marketing asset for you. Happy Users will recommend your website to their friends and family and will share their experiences with them. Studies also indicate that users trust websites and systems that are upfront. Honest sellers are likely to enjoy more popularity eventually.

To sum it up, let’s pick something from this famous quote:

A satisfied customer will continue to buy from you, seldom shop around, refer other customers and in general be a superstar advocate for your business.

Gregory CiottiContent Marketing Lead at Shopify

Reviews

When your website comes as the result of the work of a talented user experience designer, any satisfied customer will gladly give you a praising review on Google and different other review platforms. You might even get constructive criticism you can later use to improve your UI/UX design. On the other hand, a user having a bad experience with your website will give you a bad review, and you should avoid that at all costs. A single bad review can damage the image and reputation of your website irreversibly. We live in a digital world where people lack tolerance. To better manage your reputation, it is best to furnish your website with the best possible UI. Undoubtedly, an improved UI will lead to a better UX. Any flaws in the UI inevitably also reflect on UX.

Reviews

SEO factor

The high competition among eCommerce websites is exponentially growing day by day. To achieve a high-ranking position on the first page and in top results, you should manage all SEO-relevant activities such as On-page SEO. Keywords research is essential in getting the best out of your written content. Off-page SEO should never be left behind, as it lies on the other side of the same coin. It is best to keep in mind these two while developing and finalizing your UX strategy.

A website has no significance without having a proper SEO strategy. The strategy is to achieve a high-ranking website position, ideally on the first page at the top of search engine results.

Google search engine updates

Every year Google updates its algorithms to improve its SEPR (Search Engine Page Results). This year’s update (2021) was in June. In this update, websites with a less attractive user interface design lost positions in google search engine. Some of the websites did not receive any traffic for days.

The regular algorithm changes show how much Google sets importance and pays attention to websites’ UI/UX factors. There is high competition, especially since the world suffers from a pandemic and people avoid going outside and have reduced their face-to-face interaction.

With this, SEO keeps changing from time to time, and it is now correlated with the excellence of UI/UX design. In an ideal condition, the website should have a dedicated SEO expert who can make sure that the website can rank high on search engines and attract more traffic. In contrast, a UI/UX expert ensures the overall user-friendliness of the website.

CONCLUSION

The e-commerce industry is booming, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. The highly competitive environment has elevated the importance of user experience and having a clean website interface. However, user-friendly eCommerce websites come through the service and expertise of experienced UI/UX designers.

At CodeCoda, we help online businesses grow, utilizing best practices in the field, coupled with a multi-channel approach, and focusing on delivering a supreme customer experience through our eCommerce and Advanced Software Development solutions.

Do you need a perfect UI/UX design that presents an efficient and reliable user experience for your eCommerce website? The waiting can stop now; contact us today and get the best of your online business today.

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Author

David Dorr, Head of eCommerce

David is the Head of e-Commerce at CodeCoda where he is responsible to lead several teams of eCommerce specialists. In his previous role as a data scientist for London Metropolitan Police, he was developing deep learning NLP algorithms as part of the Crime Prediction initiative. He then switched over to combine AI with e-Commerce.
He received a B.Sc in Physics from the University of Surrey, Guildford in 1996. With this scientific background, he switched relatively early in his life towards Neural Networks and e-Commerce and has ever since been fascinated with what AI and Machine Learning can do for Online Commerce.