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Why UX Matters to your eCommerce Site - by Sean McGowan

The success of your eCommerce website depends on a myriad of factors: the quality of your products, your prices in comparison to the competition, your ranking in Google’s search results. While those examples are indeed crucial, there is one aspect of your eCommerce site that dominates all of the others.

I’m referring to the user experience, or UX, of your website.

UX is a concept that’s hard to define, but obvious when you see it. A site with well-designed UX smoothly guides you to exactly what you’re looking for. It seems to respond to your every thought and whim. It has the answer before you even know the question.

Perhaps the best way to explain UX is to compare it to something that it’s often confused with: the user interface, or UI. While an effective UI contributes to the user’s experience, UX is much more than just an appealing color scheme or a well-placed graphic — it encompasses how the user thinks, feels, and ultimately acts, when browsing a website or app.

If UI is how the car looks, UX is how it drives. If UI is a well-crafted dating profile, UX is the actual date.

No matter what your website’s objective is, UX is an important tool to help you achieve it. This is no truer than in the eCommerce sector. In the realm of the online retailer, UX is more than just important. It is absolutely essential.

The Prevalence of Shopping Cart Abandonment

Your online store is plagued by a disease unique to the eCommerce domain. No blog, no newsletter, no photo gallery has to fend off the malady that has beset the landscape of online retail since its genesis. I am referring to the heavily researched phenomenon of shopping cart abandonment.

Shopping cart abandonment describes the act of a customer entering your site, finding products that appeal to them, and filling up their cart — only to exit the page before checking out, leaving their full cart behind and taking their money with them.

It’s an extremely common occurrence — research shows that the average shopping cart abandonment rate is a whopping 65.27%. If your online retail store is suffering from shopping cart abandonment, luckily, there is a cure.

Well-designed UX is the potent medicine, an antidote administered to any eCommerce site that can remedy the ailment of shopping cart abandonment. Take a look at the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment in the infographic below.

Of these fourteen typical reasons for abandonment, a majority of them can be rectified with well-crafted UX. And many are simple and easy to implement, especially if you enlist the services of a UX design agency.

Whether it’s adding a guest checkout option, improving the speed of your website, or reducing crashes — these UX techniques are absolutely essential to the success of an online retailer.

UX Boosts Your Bottom Line

When you prioritize the UX design of your eCommerce store, you mitigate shopping cart abandonment, and significantly increase your bottom line. Data collected on eCommerce sites implementing UX-first strategies corroborates this. Take a look at the infographic below.

It is the first statistic that conveys everything a eCommerce store owner needs to know about UX. Companies that emphasize quality UX in the design of their site experience a 37% increase in revenue.

It addition to this notable impact on a company’s bottom line, one case study reported a variety of other benefits that resulted from optimal UX as well. While impressive in their own right, these additional features are the direct causes behind that massive increase in revenue.

eCommerce can’t Exist Without UX

It shouldn’t be a surprise that UX and eCommerce are so inexorably linked. The very nature of eCommerce is translation of converting the experience of real life, brick-and-mortar shopping into the digital realm.

This translation cannot exist without UX. It is not the products nor the prices that convey the familiarity of brick-and-mortar retail, but the UX design that engages customers with the shopping experience your eCommerce website provides.

UX does not just “matter” to an online retailer. It is essential, indispensable, inescapably present in the very DNA of eCommerce. In short, if UX does not matter in your online store, your online store will not matter either.

Guest Contributor - Sean McGowan
Sean is a technical research and writer at Codal, authoring blog posts on topics ranging from UX design to the Internet of Things. Working along side developers, designers and marketers, Sean helps support the writing team to ensure Codal produces engaging web content of the highest quality. When not writing about the latest innovations in app and web design, Sean can be found cooking, watching old movies, or sifting through boxes of used vinyl records.