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UI & UX Design for Ecommerce: Best Practices for 2024

UI & UX Design for Ecommerce: Best Practices for 2024

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01 Aug. 2023

#interface #design #interior #ecommerce

Ecommerce is growing more than ever and is expected to reach a whopping $6,478B by 2029 with a growth rate of 9.49%. These numbers highlight the fact that the industry is constantly evolving and becoming more competitive every year. However, the nature of competition in ecommerce is quite interesting as companies are focused on unique customer experiences.

That's why UI and UX is becoming a centerpiece of any ecommerce business that wants to succeed. Over the past decade, ecommerce design has moved from simple online catalogs of goods to impressive and immersive shopping experiences. This shift was driven primarily by the advancement of technologies and the growing importance of UI & UX design for ecommerce.

As a result, design matters. Recent research shows that a $1 invested in UX brings $100 in return. In this article, we delve into the importance of an optimized ecommerce UI tailored to the needs of these businesses in the interior design industry and explore how we applied this to one of our projects.

What is Ecommerce

Ecommerce is the latest iteration of the commerce industry. It refers to the process of buying and selling goods and services over the Internet. The term includes a rather wide range of business activities, from retail shopping to digital downloads.

The rise of ecommerce was an expected turn of events after the Internet became widely accessible. Even today, it is evolving along with all the technological advancements that we've been experiencing recently. 

Consumers can access marketplaces 24/7 instead of going to a physical store. Ecommerce businesses create web and mobile apps to compete over customers, and global industry giants are setting new standards for other companies to follow. 

However, smaller companies are fighting over smaller user niches, creating rich ground for diversification and unique value propositions. This is where factors such as ecommerce UI design come into play.

The Importance of an Effective Ecommerce UI

A user-friendly UI is imperative in ecommerce. It holds particular significance for the interior design sector. We will explore what makes a great UI through the prism of a case study of an interface solution developed by DBB Software experts for a furniture ecommerce platform.

Businesses can foster lasting relationships with their customers by addressing pain points and providing a guided experience, transforming casual browsers into devoted and satisfied clients. However, there is more to ecommerce design than meets the eye. 

The Psychology Behind a Good Ecommerce UI: Examples

A company that puts effort into designing its UI can take advantage of human psychology. People's brains are looking for convenience. That is why a good UI/UX reduces users' cognitive load, making the shopping experience effortless and enjoyable. The conditions trigger dopamine release, often leading to improved retention and retention rates.

Let's look at an example of a website with great UI & UX Design for ecommerce. Houzz is a textbook UI that guides users through their purchase journey. A person entering their website gains access to a field that allows them to pick a service they require immediately. The product and service catalog at the top of the page is sorted to ensure that users find what they want.

People often say ordering something on Amazon is easier than going to a store for a reason. Amazon is well known for its 1-click ordering system. This approach to UX is a prime example of convenience as the main factor to the customer journey. This experience and simple ordering process considerably contribute to Amazon's success as an ecommerce giant. 

Lessons Applied

We took these and other lessons into our projects as well. Our specialists designed the ecommerce platform to be feature-rich yet universal in its application. As a result, we used AI to improve product tagging, advanced product filtering to remove user frustration, style-based recommendations, and interactive design matching interface. 

Together, these and other elements form an intuitive UI that covers every aspect of a great user experience. Highly customizable product selection options ensure user convenience, while an AI-powered showroom and other elements bring interactivity. Therefore, we received a functional and entertaining UI & UX Design for ecommerce that surpassed our expectations.

Key Elements of an Effective Ecommerce UI Design 

An excellent interface should streamline customer's experience with a platform, not complicate it. Let's take a look at some of the key elements of the ecommerce UI for an interior design platform that we included:

  • High-quality images: Furnishings and decor rely heavily on visuals, so professional photos taken from multiple angles are necessary. Images should load quickly and be zoomable.
  • Virtual staging: Customers can view products in a realistic virtual space, which allows them to visualize the items in context. They can understand proportion, scale, and how pieces will coordinate.
  • Filters and sorting: Robust filtering and sorting options make it simple for customers to find what they want based on style, color, material, price range, and more. They can narrow the results to pinpoint products that match their needs and budgets.
  • Augmented reality: AR features take virtual staging to the next level by allowing customers to view digital renderings of products in their living spaces through mobile devices. This high-tech functionality enhances the user experience.
  • Streamlined Checkout: An uncluttered, minimalistic checkout process is the final step in providing an intuitive experience. It should only require simple fields and clicks to complete a purchase, keeping customers happy and engaged.

Mobile Responsiveness 

Think about the distribution of orders in ecommerce. Smartphones accounted for approximately 77% of traffic and 66% of order share! Therefore, a mobile-responsive UI design for ecommerce apps is no longer optional. Scaling down a desktop website is not enough – we should reimagine websites to suit smartphones, including their specifics, such as touch interactions.

Chatbots and AI

AI-powered chatbots are the latest attempt at further streamlining ecommerce UX design. After extensive research, we also decided to apply AI and trained ChatGPT to collect parameters of design creation from users through on-site chat. The practice proved incredibly effective for smaller vendors and markets with extensive selections. 

Customization and Ecommerce UX Design

Offering a wide range of customization options for furnishings and decor is a must for any interior design ecommerce platform. The functionality allows customers to find pieces that match their tastes and needs. 

Our desire for uniqueness and control drives the desire to customize one's experience and options. If a customer can personalize a product, they feel a sense of ownership even before purchasing it. This, in turn, increases the emotional investment in the journey and improves the chances of a successful purchase.

In our case, we decided to enrich our client's platform ecommerce UX design with the following customization options:

  • Upholstery fabrics. If customers can choose from various fabric options for sofas, chairs, and ottomans, they can find the perfect texture and pattern for their living space. This level of customization helps the piece feel like it was made just for them.
  • Finish options. Providing different wood finishes, hardware colors, and even stain colors for tables, cabinets, and shelving enables customers to tailor the items to complement their existing decor.
  • Size options. Offering size variations for rugs, curtains, bedding, and tabletop accessories like vases and trays ensures customers can find items that work within their space constraints. Many customers appreciate being able to choose the perfect size for their needs.
  • Add-on features. Providing customers with the option to select additional features like power outlets, USB ports, or storage options for furniture like sofas, beds, and side tables provides a personalized touch.
  • Personalized engraving. Providing the ability to engrave or embroider customers' names or initials on items like throw pillows, towels, and mirrors gives them a unique decor piece just for them.

Offering extensive customization options demonstrates a desire to meet customers where they are and accommodate their specific preferences. The more personalized an interior design ecommerce platform can be, the more memorable and intuitive the experience will feel for customers.

Understanding Customer Needs for Ecommerce UI & UX

To design an intuitive UI for an ecommerce website in the interior design sector, conducting user research to understand customer needs is essential.

UX research seeks to understand target customer behavior and needs through observation, analysis, and interviews. Customer needs research typically employs qualitative and quantitative research to classify and rank target customers' needs, wants, and expectations. 

Some of the proven and practical approaches for gaining customer insights that we actively used during the project included:

  • Focus groups. Group information gathering that generates open-ended feedback and insights into group dynamics.
  • Surveys. Questionnaires allow companies to gather information from a variety of target customers. They can include open-ended and closed-ended questions.
  • Customer interviews. One-on-one conversations with target customers deepen businesses' understanding of their needs, behaviors, and experiences. Interviews often provide more insightful data than focus groups or surveys.
  • User testing. The practice involves observing real target customers interact with a prototype of your product or service. User testing helps identify usability issues, pain points, and opportunities for improvement early on.
  • Analytics review: Analyzing existing data on target customer behavior through website analytics, mobile analytics, and customer service data. 

By applying multiple research methods, interior design ecommerce companies can gain a holistic view of their target customers' needs and design an intuitive user experience that transforms the customer journey. Conducting ongoing user research will help ensure that the UI & UX Design for ecommerce continues to meet customer needs even as they evolve.

High-Quality Product Visualization is a Key to Ecommerce UI

High-quality product imagery is critical for captivating customers' imaginations. Renderings and lifestyle shots provide an immersive experience. Interactive models allow customers to view products from all angles and place items in a virtual room. These elements create a UI design that helps users visualize how pieces look in their spaces.

Renderings and Lifestyle Shots

Research showed that incorporating renderings and lifestyle shots into ecommerce UI can create an emotional connection with the target audience. This trend motivated our team to implement these features in the platform.

Professionally created renderings showcase products in a stylized setting. They help customers visualize an item with complementary decor in a real interior space. Lifestyle shots feature products naturally integrated into a virtual room.

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Professionally created renderings show furniture pieces from unique angles, highlighting details and textures. A rendering of a sectional sofa from above illustrates how the chaise and ottoman extend from the main seating area. Another rendering from the side shows the profile and thickness of the cushioning. 

Combined with lifestyle shots set in a living room, these visualizations help customers determine if a particular piece will meet their needs in size, style, and comfort. We combined this approach with individual item renderings to allow customers to visualize the item from multiple perspectives at high resolution.

Color Palettes and Themes

Color is one of the most critical factors of any UI. We know that some colors influence our emotions, and this knowledge has been and continues to be imperative for ecommerce companies. 

You will notice that most marketplaces and specialized platforms have their color palettes. Colors bring out our associations, for example:

  • Blue – trust and security, which is popular among financial brands.
  • Green – nature and health. You can often find this color as a primary one in eco-friendly companies.
  • Red – urgency. This color is popular among companies to use for limited-time offers and sales.
  • Black – luxury and sophistication. The color is popular on ecommerce websites such as Amazon.
  • White – purity and cleanliness. Companies often use this color in minimalistic designs. 

Regarding the ecommerce platform developed by DBB Software, we decided to go with a white theme to emphasize simplicity and clean design. Moreover, white is a great background, making the most sense for an AI-powered digital showroom with lots of dynamic elements.

Design for Engaging Ecommerce UX Design

The team stuck with the idea that designing an ecommerce UI design for the interior design company is about simplicity and clarity as paramount factors to enhancing the customer experience. Achieving effortless user engagement requires sophistication and the coordination of various elements to ensure an efficient yet appealing design.

We based our approach on the idea of least effort yielding the most results. Every unnecessary click is just an opportunity to abandon the purchase journey. That’s why we emphasize the importance of minimizing the number of steps and combining this approach with clear CTA buttons. 

Here are our team's recommendations and key takeaways based on practical experience with this case of ecommerce UI for an interior design platform.

Simplicity in Design

Simplicity in design requires removing unnecessary elements and focusing on only the essentials. However, simplicity should not come at the cost of functionality. Balancing minimalism with meeting user needs creates an easy-to-use design.

To create a successful online shop specializing in interior design, we decided to:

  • Make product images, descriptions, and prices as our central features.
  • Streamline the checkout process with as few steps as possible.
  • Limit pop-ups, notifications, and ads that distract from shopping.
  • Employ consistent layouts, buttons, icons, and typography across the site.

Remember that the navigation should remain consistent throughout to indicate the customer's location. Breadcrumbs at the top of pages show where customers are in the site hierarchy. A search bar in the main header allows customers to quickly find products. Pagination links for product categories and search results let customers navigate between pages easily.

Clarity in Communication

Designing for clarity leads to efficient interfaces that users can appreciate. Some of our recommendations include:

  • Descriptive headers and titles, an intuitive information hierarchy, and familiar navigation menus. These make it clear for users to explore categories and find desired products.
  • Specific and helpful error messages in case customers provide invalid information or encounter issues during checkout
  • Contextual help, FAQs, and concise product information assists customers in making purchasing decisions
  • High-quality visuals that accurately represent products allow customers to evaluate items efficiently before clicking for more details.

An ecommerce platform can achieve an effortless user experience and higher customer satisfaction by focusing on simplicity and clarity in design. Striking the right balance when incorporating these elements can transform and elevate interior design ecommerce.

Current Trends in E-Commerce UI/UX Design 

Based on what we learned and implemented during the project, there are several noteworthy trends that any company working on its ecommerce UI and UX design should consider:

  • Dark mode. Night mode interfaces are becoming more popular than ever. This option is yet another chance to provide users with additional functionality and customization. Dark mode also reduces eye strain. So, implementing this feature is often necessary to enhance UX.
  • Minimalist design. We went for a minimalistic design and it worked because the “less is more” philosophy is dominating the ecommerce design market. Such an approach reduces users’ cognitive load and allows them to focus on products. Things to focus on include clean layouts and simple navigation structure.
  • Interactivity. Engagement is the key to a successful purchase journey. We used an interactive showroom to ensure that users receive visual feedback to their actions while customizing their options.

Conclusion

As the landscape of ecommerce evolves under the influence of AI, companies must stay ahead of the curve and deliver a great customer experience. In this competitive market, an intuitive UI design for ecommerce app or website becomes a critical factor for success. 

We explored the case of an interactive platform developed for an interior design company. The main takeaways include:

  • Streamlining the customer journey.
  • Offering customization options.
  • Using user research.
  • Providing high-quality visualization options such as renderings and lifestyle shots.

These elements, combined with a strategic and informed approach, results in an ecommerce UI that yields high customer satisfaction rate, increased time spent on site, and higher conversion rates. Also, remember about the current trends in ecommerce UI design such as dark mode, interactivity, and minimalistic design.

Ready to elevate your ecommerce platform and provide your customers with an unforgettable shopping experience? Book a call with a DBB Software representative to find out more about effective ecommerce solutions.

FAQ

Why is UI/UX design important for ecommerce companies?

It is crucial for ecommerce businesses because it directly impacts customer experience and conversion rates. A good UI reduces cognitive load and adds enjoyment to the shopping process. A well-designed UI can positively impact a company's bottom line as a $1 investment in UX can bring $100 in return.

How can an ecommerce business bring customization into its UI?

A company should look to add customization to the product selection process when creating a UI design for ecommerce. This way, users will become more invested in the purchase journey. The key is to offer customization options without overwhelming users to ensure balance between variety and convenience.

What is the role of mobile responsiveness in UI design?

Smartphones account for 77% of traffic share and 66% of order share. A mobile-responsive UX design for ecommerce requires reimagining the interface to suit smartphone interactions. This includes considering touch-friendly interfaces, simplified navigation, and integration with mobile payment systems.

How can high-quality product visualization enhance the ecommerce experience?

It is essential for keeping users’ attention and assisting them with making informed decisions. This can include professional renderings, lifestyle shots, 360-degree product views, and even augmented reality features. Customers can better visualize items in their own spaces and reduce uncertainty and potentially increase conversion rates through the use of multiple angles and contextual views of products.

What are some current trends in ecommerce UI and UX design?

Dark mode, minimalistic design, and interactivity are some of the most prominent current trends in ecommerce UI design. These trends aim at improving user experience and increasing engagement while adapting to evolving consumer needs. 

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