As an award-winning Magento design company, we understand that building an eCommerce website can be a confusing endeavor.
When designing a Magento site, there are so many facets to consider, especially when taking into account a brand’s trajectory and ability to scale.
However, one of the most important aspects of any eCommerce website is its user experience (UX) and the impact that has on consumer behaviors. To boost on-site conversions, merchants must build a captivating, seamless and intuitive UX design.
After all, UX research conducted by Forrester highlighted that a superior user experience could elevate conversions by a whopping 400 percent. Given this information, the significance of creating an outstanding eCommerce UX with Magento cannot be overstated.
While there is a myriad of options for merchants to choose from regarding eCommerce platforms, Magento is an industry leader thanks to its unparalleled flexibility, advanced functionality and near-endless possibilities in terms of design options.
Moreover, there is a sizable (and rapidly expanding) community of developers, engineers and Magento design company resources from which users can leverage and learn.
Here, we seek to share some of our knowledge on Magento UX best practices to help retailers achieve a more complete toolset for building user experiences that convert.
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First Impressions Matter
Prior to vetting out a Magento design company, it is vital that retailers consider how they want the site to look. In today’s attention economy, aesthetics have become nearly as important as functionality. Therefore, it is critical that eCommerce sites wield a design that is attractive and charming to shoppers.
A Magento store’s appearance provides visitors with tons of information about a brand, as well as informs consumers on their next step. Naturally, one aim of the user experience is to get folks to stay on a site longer, meaning that merchants must focus on each of the key elements of UX design, including product page layout, search functionality, checkout flow, navigational features and so many other components.
Concerning Magento, there are two options in terms of themes: ready-made designs and custom themes.
The Magento marketplace houses tons of themes that come equipped with an array of elements and features that allow merchants to obtain slight degrees of customization without a Magento design company on hand.
However, these templates do have a list of pros and cons attached to them.
On the pro side of the argument, retailers can:
- Purchase themes immediately and integrate them into the store
- Save time on integration and customization
- Obtain documentation and troubleshooting guides
On the flip side of that coin, in the con column, pre-made themes often feature:
- Poorly written code that impedes site performance
- Limited customization options
- Incongruences to a brand’s image or identity, given the generic nature of the theme
While custom themes will require that retailers partner with a Magento design company, the payoff tends to be extraordinary given that these themes are created with the merchant in mind and often feature above-average performance in terms of speed, user engagement and conversions.
That said, much like pre-made themes, custom designs also tout a list of benefits and drawbacks.
Speaking to the pluses, custom themes give sellers:
- The ability to alter functionality based on unique requirements
- Complete congruence with the brand’s identity
- Easier site management
- An edge in Magento SEO optimization as the theme is tailored to the brand’s needs
However, in the cons department, custom themes:
- Can be costly to produce
- Can take a considerable amount of time to build
- Require a Magento design company or dedicated developer to maintain
For brands that want their store to be reflective of the company’s personality and truly meet the demands of shoppers, hiring a Magento design company to create a custom theme is highly recommended.
Design an Illuminating Homepage
For eCommerce retailers, the homepage is often a destination that will make or break the potential for transforming leads into customers. Any Magento design company worth its weight understands that the homepage is often a definitive point in determining if a user will go deeper into the site or bounce. After all, most users leave a website in less than 15 seconds.
Therefore, this destination must present a clear, intuitive and straightforward layout to engender a positive perception from visitors. To help ensure that this is the case, a knowledgeable Magento design company would recommend that retailers include on their homepages:
- A short description of the brand along with branding elements
- Best-selling products
- Information on current promotions
- Relevant CTAs
- Links to core site destinations like category pages
- Links to social media profiles
By including the above-outlined elements, retailers will let visitors know who they are, what they offer and how to get to those items without bogging down the user experience with tons of information or unnecessary items.
Tips for Site Navigation in Magento Design
Navigation is a foundational element to a fantastic UX design. Therefore, wielding a simple and intuitive navigation structure is crucial, particularly for larger eCommerce stores that feature a variety of product categories.
When it comes to barriers that hinder on-site conversions, navigation tops the list as no one enjoys dealing with confusing and complex menus that break down every conceivable destination that a site has to offer.
Instead we advocate for retailers to craft menus that are simple and streamlined. The reason for this (outside of UX enjoyability) is that the faster a visitor can find what they want, the more likely they are to complete a purchase.
To help achieve this goal, retailers are wise to implement the following site navigation tips:
Limit Menu Options
For retailers who offer a wide array of products in different categories, it is best to create a top menu, thereby limiting the number of potential pathways. Ideally, merchants should keep these options limited to 5-10 categories.
After clicking on a category, visitors should then be redirected to the appropriate page where they can drill down further into the product options under that umbrella.
Supply Filtering and Sorting Options
The ability to sort and filter products is an incredibly important aspect of eCommerce UX design as such features allow customers to easily narrow down the product selection to just those in which they are interested. Again, the quicker a shopper finds what they are looking for, the more likely they are to buy.
With Magento, the Layered Navigation extension provides the perfect toolset for enabling consumers to find the ideal items without page reloads.
This tool is a critical component for any merchant looking for Magento extensions for creating an outstanding user experience.
Enable Site Search
It should go without saying that the ability to search a site via an advanced search bar is a necessary component for a high-level UX design.
As a Magento design company, this is one element that we think is a must.
This feature enables shoppers to not only find the products they are looking for but also reveals potential suggestions based on a site’s inventory.
Providing a search function is one of the most popular (and consumer-demanded) ways to enhance customer satisfaction with UX design.
Simplify the Customer Journey
We live in an increasingly fast-paced society. Therefore, time is the most valuable commodity a person owns, and consumers sure don’t want to waste it finding their way through some retailer’s website.
Given this dynamic, a Magento design company will be extremely helpful in aiding retailers to simplify the customer journey, thereby keeping visitor efforts to a minimum.
Some of the tactics that Visiture uses to streamline the customer experience include:
Minimize the Number of Clicks
Unless a visitor is just having fun browsing a site, the fewer clicks a customer has to make to complete their journey, the better it tends to be for the overall experience (and store sales). This principle is particularly true of the checkout process (more on that later).
As a general rule of thumb, consumers should be capable of reaching all of a site’s most essential pages in three clicks or less. If this is not true for some sellers’ sites, their architecture is likely off, and they should consider partnering with a Magento design company to aid in restructuring the store for optimal on-site flow.
Showcase Product Recommendations
By displaying similar or related items on various destinations, retailers can build better product pages that not only help to save customers time but also aid in increasing sales.
While there is no guarantee that consumers will convert, it will undoubtedly elevate the site’s user experience.
Highlight Item Availability
No matter if a seller is working with a large or small inventory, some items will inevitably go out-of-stock. However, to effectively ensure that shoppers receive the best user experience, it is incumbent upon sellers to keep consumers updated on inventory stock availability.
With this strategy, retailers should display how many of a specific product are still available if inventory dips below a certain level. Doing so will help to encourage potential buyers to make the purchase before someone else beats them to the punch.
Enable Social Media Sign-In
All retailers seek to improve their eCommerce lead generation efforts and add as many consumers to their database as possible. However, most consumers don’t want to go through the process of creating yet another account and having to remember yet another password.
For this reason, merchants might want to consider enabling visitors to sign in (and later, log in) with their social media accounts, thereby simplifying the process down to a one-click solution.
Focus on Showcasing Products
While much of the user experience is based on the small details that retailers put into their site design, when it comes to products, it’s the big stuff that matters.
As a Magento design company, we can’t help but cringe when we see merchants putting forth poor-quality images on product pages as this is a definite deal-breaker for many consumers.
One of the most significant hurdles that retailers must overcome is the fact that people cannot physically touch their merchandise. This inability is what leads to the dreaded ROPO effect of online sales.
Therefore, it is critical for sellers to not only generate stunning images that sell but to also make images zoomable, thereby allowing shoppers to get a good look at an item’s details and get a better “feel” for the product. Of course, this is something that a Magento design company could help merchants optimize.
Moreover, featuring images from a variety of angles also allows customers to understand a product better, thereby increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
In addition to high-quality, unique images, merchants should also consider including product videos on their product pages as video content is a powerful modality for enhancing the user experience. After all, not only would 60 percent of consumers rather watch a video than read a product description, but a full 58 percent of shoppers consider brands with product videos as trustworthy.
Optimize the Checkout
The checkout process is one of the single most important elements of a great user experience. A good Magento design company will know a variety of ways to utilize UX design to optimize the checkout process.
However, as crucial as this eCommerce component is, the Baymard Institute’s cart abandonment rate research indicates that 28 percent of shoppers ditch potential orders as a result of lengthy checkout processes.
It isn’t just the number of pages that is the problem with many purchase pathways. It is also the number of form fields that buyers are required to fill out.
When studying the average checkout flow, the Baymard Institute found that:
“The average checkout contains 14.88 form fields. Yet our checkout usability testing also reveals that most sites can achieve a 20-60 percent reduction in the number of form fields displayed by default. In short: the average checkout displays twice as many form fields as needed.”
Given this highly valuable information, retailers should aim to minimize not only the number of pages that a shopper must proceed through, but also limit the form fields to only what is necessary for the purchase to be completed as a means to increase conversions.
However, this is not merely our assertion as a Magento design company. This claim is backed up by Baymard’s data as well, as the company states that, “The top 50 grossing US e-commerce sites reveal that the average checkout flow for a new user is 5.42 steps long – counting from the shopping cart step to the order review step (both included).”
This type of checkout optimization is something that we understand well and is why industry-leading brands like Spanx partnered with Visiture to enhance the brand’s front-end user experience and optimize the company’s checkout flow.
By implementing a two-page checkout process, we were able to increase Spanx’s average order values by 28 percent, conversions by 40 percent and decreased its bounce rate by 10 percent.
To make the checkout process as user-friendly as possible, it is vital that retailers make the procedure short and painless. A few ways to accomplish this include:
- Reducing checkout pages
- Minimizing the number of required form fields
- Utilizing autofill fields for location information
- Populating the billing address as the shipping address with a single click
- Showcasing a checkout progress bar to show customers where they are in the process
Creating a superior user experience with Magento should be a top priority for all online retailers as this element not only influences things like conversions, sales and customer loyalty, but UX is also vital to SEO outcomes, meaning that a great design influences how much traffic a site receives as well.
Yet, with so many components to consider and elements to be A/B tested (not to mention the ever-changing market demands and technological innovations), retailers could spend years figuring out the best practices of eCommerce UX design.
Therefore, it is our opinion that this undertaking is best left in the hands of a capable and seasoned Magento design company. If your brand wants a unique, stunning and wholly optimized UX for its customers, reach out to Visiture’s award-winning user experience professionals for a free consultation. We can help develop a game plan for getting your brand to the pinnacle of UX design.