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Best practises for UX when building an online store


Written by Amna

March 09, 2022 | 3 min read

In the time of covid, companies have either managed to go with the times and maximize their profits through having an online store or have stayed in the past and sadly have had to close their doors. This is one of the most important times where e-commerce sites fight with each other, not just by having better prices, but by having a better user experience. The growth of online shopping has grown immensely, so it’s absolutely necessary to keep up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices for UX.

Mobile First

In the age of smartphones, tablets, smart-watches or even ebook readers with internet accessibility, mobile-first should be your first thought. Some statistics state that 80% of the world's population own a smartphone - imagine the amount of traffic your website can miss by not providing a well-to-use and smooth mobile experience. So forget the times where desktop websites are the focus and join the now where everyone everywhere is constantly connected.

Cross-selling & related products

Have you ever bought a piece of clothing that you know would pair together with something else, but you don’t know exactly what it is? Or maybe you need a tool that would match with other things you need?

That’s where cross-selling and related products come in. A simple, yet powerful tool to help you provide a better shopping experience for your customers and boost your sales.

Let’s say you buy a hoodie for exercising - “Hey, wait! This hoodie pairs fantastically well with these trainers and workout pants.” Or you’re buying this drill - “These drill bits are by the same manufacturer and go with this drill you’re looking at.”

Minimizing the amount of time a user has to spend time on the site, while maximizing the amount of products they buy is a fantastic way to bring up the stats for your website.

Minimalist design

In the days of pop-ups, notifications, cookie disclaimers, “please do not leave” messages and online customer support chat indicators - customers want some peace and quiet. Minimalist design is on the up-and-up, so removing unnecessary distractions as well as creating a calm and clean environment for your customers, is one way to boost confidence in your customers and show that you care.

Dark mode

Have you ever opened up a website on your phone in the dark? Blinding isn’t it? The new trend, not only on websites but also operating systems and apps, is to provide the possibility of dark mode - a mode that turns background whites into blacks. There are many benefits to this:

  • White background tires the eyes more - why would anyone want to tire out their customer, if they’re browsing your website?
  • Saving battery life - you don’t want the customer to run out of battery while browsing, right?
  • We’re constantly surrounded by blue-white light, whether it’s ceiling lights, digital screens etc - giving your customer to browse your store in a calm environment is definitely a way to boost sales.

Site speed

This is an issue as long as online stores and websites have existed - site speed. No one likes a slow loading website. Statistics state that most users turn away from a website, if it doesn’t get fully loaded in 5 seconds and most of those never return.

Site speed isn’t all about loading the landing page, it’s also about overall feel and performance - how fast it scrolls, loads images, changes pages etc. Most ecommerce sites fight each other and if your website is faster than your competitors, you already have the upper hand.

You should keep in mind that UX is an ever-growing field, where some best practices last for years, but some are just short-lived fads. If you missed our previous post regarding UX best practices and creating an online shop, take a look at this post: Why is my online shop not working?

Thorgate has more than 8 years of experience in e-commerce and building fully custom online stores. To learn more how we can assist you, check out our e-commerce page

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