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2014 Trends in eCommerce Usability


When researching into ecommerce we are pleased to see things are changing within UX and design. These changes are eliminating unnecessary noise and steps that could hinder the final purchase.

Embrace minimal

We have all heard it before ‘less is more’. Brands are keeping things simple; many household names are now showcasing monochrome colour schemes and fuss-less site architecture.

For sites that have a huge stock inventory, it is critical to have a strong navigation structure, useful filters and good call to actions. Good ecommerce design ensures customers are not distracted by anything that could deter them from that all important conversion.

Be gone flashing banners jiggling round like a hamster on Red Bull, it’s all about smooth tranquil transitions and clean uncluttered design.


Bigger is better

Product images have been taking their vitamins and are growing big and strong. The increase in size means that more intricate detail of the product is shown. This can help answer questions that might otherwise not be covered in the product description, and you guessed it, increase conversion. They do say a picture is worth a thousand words.

Larger images are to be found on the category and product page, but I would also encourage larger imagery sitewide. Be authentic and use your own product images, don’t distract potential buyers with too much stock photography or old product lines. These images are your visual display, make sure they show the products you want to push.

Not only will larger images benefit your customers on the desktop website, they will look great on mobile. No more pinching and zooming to reveal a pixelated product image.

H and M

Opinion matters: more detailed reviews

The best way of selling something is word of mouth. Time and time again research has proven that when someone recommends something to you, you are much more likely to buy. However you will only trust this opinion if you know who it is coming from and so anonymous reviews online won’t do the trick.  To get round this we are seeing more details about the reviewer and their demographic, theoretically consumers can then better relate and see if the product is for them.

As an example psychologically you are probably more likely to buy a product recommend by someone of the same sex, a similar age, who lives locally and provides relate-able experiences. Providing more information about the reviewer can help build confidence to your new customer that they are legitimate and honest.

Reviews also have a use to you as an ecommerce owner; a review can identify benefits of your product that you might not even have realised would be important to your customers. You can then use this information and include it in your product description.


Click journey

The click journey of a customer is the bread and butter of a good ecommerce website. Having to navigate through too many areas of the site before checkout can be very frustrating to a customer, so much so that they navigate their way off the site completely.  Ever heard of the $300 Million Button?

To reduce this sites are implementing areas of the site that overlay the content instead of going to another page. One example is when a customer adds a product to the cart, an overlay will appear asking to continue shopping or procedure to checkout. Giving the customer this choice in this way helps help with their overall journey.

In conclusion

Your customers determine the success of your website so you need to cater to their needs.

  • Be transparent, have reviews: Build a customers trust from their entrance on the site to their completion of checkout – the more trustworthy a site looks the more likely you are to buy from it
  • Keep things minimal and clean: don’t clutter the journey
  • Showcase your products: you have to rival the experience of being in a shop and having the product tangible to the consumers own hands

It’s your shop window, display it well.