Key Elements in Designing an eCommerce Product

Designing an ecommerce site is tricky – customers tend to leave you at any given point and as per numerous surveys, check-out point is the zone where abundance rate is the highest.

So how do you build a great shopping experience and have a greater conversion rate?

In this fortnight’s theme, we will ask you few questions (there is no right answer though),suggest you process flows that will help you define the appropriate workflow for your ecommerce store.

We have divided this theme in different parts (a. Usability/Ease of Use, b. Building Trust, c. Messaging. d. examples) and here is presenting the first part, i.e. Usability/Ease of Use.

Focus on Search or Navigation?

While many of the ecommerce sites focus on navigation, it’s surprising that they haven’t implemented a nifty search on the site.

The basic idea behind the focus on navigation is the assumed intention of users (we will show them the latest N97 and they will buy one!), which in reality is too much of an assumption to live with.

If you can’t help your users drill down on product they are looking for, how do you expect them to buy from you?

Also, do you help users filter via category? (a lot of novice users aren’t so sure of search feature and needs some hand holding in firing the right queries/keywords – and that’s where a good navigation structure helps). Moreover structured navigation (well defined category tree) is a great exploration experience, especially for those users who haven’t got anything specific to buy.

Login – Do you really need one?

Do you really want the user to login and buy products? If yes, do you have the login feature at the beginning of the buying experience? Or towards the end?

In pure transactional play, your email id serves as your login. So think about the login workflow before you irritate the uses with *just another* login experience.

And what if you add the login at the end of the buying experience? What if the user doesn’t have an id? How easy is to register (would you go for email verification and waste user’s time?)? AJAX (is that thoroughly tested with different browsers?)

Shopping Cart

Is shopping card editable at any given point in time?

How easy is it to add/remove items from the cart while one is on the search/navigation flow?

What if I just want to save the cart and come back later? Do you persist the same?

money and ecommerce design
Good eCommerce Design will make you Rich!

Price per unit or Total Price?

Have you ever wondered why many airline sites show ticket price per passenger prominently in the search result page even though you have clearly mentioned the total number of passengers to be more than 1?

Live Chat Anyone?

So your user has a query – be it about the delivery timelines or about the product. How do you help him right there?

There are multiple ways to achieve this – solution ranges from providing Live chat service (or a minimal one with meebome) to ensuring that you have contextual help/menu in the site.

Make sure that you have figured out a solution before they abandon you with a confused state.

Product Description

If you are directly selling your products from your online store, who is writing the product description? The engineer or the marketing guy? Engineer will talk about numbers (gets overwhelming for an average user) while marketing team will simply add a lot of *zing* without relevant numbers in the description. Balanced diet is what the doctor orders.

There are whole lot of other usability improvements that one can add to the site, so do share some of your tips/suggestions.

Next in the series – Building Trust/Confidence.

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