User Experience / Optimization

The user experience consists of the entire shopping process from start to finish. It begins with discovering the store, finding the products, understanding the product features and benefits, feeling safe and satisfied about doing business with the company, the payment process, delivery, and great customer service both before and after the transaction, on or off the site. If even one of these items is less than ideal, the customer may never return or tell others about the unpleasant experience.

Here are a few things that help create a great user experience.

Easy to discover products
● Relevant and successful search
● Related product listings
● Merchandising/curated content
● Easy search refinement

All of the info required to make a decision
Photos, video
Contact an expert
Technical Information

Trusted business
Easy to find contact info
Good store reviews
Trust marks
Professional design
Fair terms/return policy
Trusted brand

Business on customers’ terms
● Pay how they want
● Contact how they want

Customer Service
● Helpful
● Polite
● Prompt response
● Easy to track orders

User Experience / Discovery:

Stores should move users to the products they want with as little effort as possible. This means providing a discovery process that fits the product, person, and situation.

Users discover products on an eCommerce site in a number of ways.

Off-site discovery:
● Off-site search such as Google
● Link from another website or social network
● Ad-on through other websites or social media
● Email promotion
● Recommendation from a friend

Retailers cannot always control the off-site discovery process. When they can, an effective idea is to direct people to the most specific page possible. If shoppers are looking for “Red Jordan Basketball Shoes”, do not send them to the main athletic shoe page.


Send customers to the page that is as close as possible to the product they want.

On-site discovery
● Search
● Navigation
● Recommendations
● Past orders

One King Lane lets you navigate by style, room, product type or search. Everyone shops in a different manner and it is great to provide discovery options for multiple user preferences.

Search filters are an important part of discovery for large eCommerce sites with a wide verity of products. When users can limit their search to specific sections, this will help them find what they want even faster. If a user searches “Star Wars” on eBay they may be looking for a video, toys, collectibles or clothing?

User Experience / Information

Useful product information such as reviews, videos, demos, and comparison charts can make all of the difference when choosing a product.

The type and amount of information provided on your site will depend on a number of factors.

Product photos are often the most important product info and the first thing shoppers see. Multiple angles, customer generated or in-use shots, are a must for most eCommerce sites.

Text descriptions can be basic or lengthy depending on what the product or customers demand. Bullet points are noticeable and easy to scan.

Videos can provide more information in a short amount of time, go into extra detail, include demonstrations and successfully explain the product in a detailed way.

Spec sheets add additional information, charts, line drawings and other product information, often from the manufacturer.

Comparison guides help shoppers distinguish differences between products and make it easier to quickly compare products that have a number of features.

Grids can make some type of information easier to read. They are excellent for displaying information such as product weight, size, color, material and more. Grids are usually easy to skim and a useful way to present single data point information.

Reviews give shoppers real user perspectives by providing both the good and bad aspects of the item and help users find the right product for their needs.


This product detail page is for a safety vest. Notice that a large photo, description, and PDF downloads are provided. Along with that, there is an “Industry and applications” tab. The purpose of this information is to answer the user’s question “Is this a product for my use case?” in a suitable way.

User Experience / Trusted business:

No matter how easy it is to find the perfect product, shoppers must feel safe giving the store their credit card information and trusting them to deliver the right item.


Here are some signals retailers can send to shoppers that indicate they are worth the risk.

Positive and plentiful store reviews
Trust marks
Professional design
Fair terms/return policy
Trusted brand
Easy to find contact info

User Experience / Easy Payment Process:
Ideally, the payment process is easy, fast, safe, and performed in the method the user prefers. Product discovery, information and having a trusted store are necessary but if the shopper’s preferred payment method is unavailable, the store is out of luck.


These companies are working hard to make the payment process smoother.

Apple Pay allows users to pay with their watch or phone
PayPal makes it easy to send money to others or set up credit card payments on store sites.
Square allows users to swipe credit cards using a smartphone
Bitcoin lets users pay anyone around the world no matter what currency is popular in a country
Tala provides credit based on how you use your phone.
Amazon Go lets shoppers automatically pay for the item and walk out of the store
Collect on delivery is important for shoppers in less trustworthy locations.

User Experience / Off-line experience:

Customer service
The experience of dealing with a real person or a bot can have an enormous impact on overall satisfaction. Often, the customer service team only needs to get involved when a problem has occurred. How the customer is treated when they are upset or irritated can have an enormous effect on what they think about the store and how they speak about it to others.

When and how a product is delivered directly affects the customer’s overall experience.  A product that is damaged because of poor packing methods, a late delivery, no tracking information, multiple split shipments or lack of a liftgate can make all the difference between a happy and unhappy customer.

Product quality
If the shopper ends up receiving a product that was not of the quality expected, they may blame the website for “tricking” them into purchasing an inferior item. If the product sent was not the size, color, shape, material or craftsmanship depicted on the web store, intentionally or unintentionally, most customers will feel cheated.

Conversion Optimization
Conversion optimization views design with the goal of encouraging more sales for the store owner while user experience views design from the perspective of the user. 
Many of the concepts are similar to those in user experience design. Here are some tools, ideas, or concepts marketers and conversion optimizers take into consideration when designing a website. Often, these two align but not in every case. The user may ask “How can this store give me a great experience in which I end up buying exactly what I want and receive the best deal with the least effort?”  The seller may ask “How can I persuade this shopper to choose my store for spending their hard-earned cash at with despite other options that are available?”

Here are some of the tools marketers and designers use to help convince people to shop at specific sites.

● Social proof
● Anchor points
● Fear elimination
● Scarcity
● Related items

Conversion Optimization / Social Proof:

Social proof can be used on a website to ensure the customer it is a legit and safe website as well as inform them about the product quality, features, and use cases.

● Trusted by
● Seller rating
● Product rating
● Customer testimonials
● Popular product banners


Conversion Optimization / Anchor Points:

Anchor points set a mental default point in the customer’s head.

List price, On Sale, and 25% Off are used by retailers to show the product is a deal and provide a reference point of what the price generally is set at. If the list price is $350, $92.69 must be a great deal.



Conversion Optimization / Eliminate Fears

Shopping online can be scary. Hackers, scamming retailers and bad service after the sale can be issues for many online shoppers. Marketers use a number of tools to help erase some of the hesitations to purchase caused by the many ways a transaction can go wrong.

Media coverage can help prove a site represents a legitimate company.


Store testimonials and reviews show what past customers think about their experience.


Safe site badges prove the store is not a phishing site and that hackers cannot easily gain your credit card information.

Conversion Optimization / Scarcity:

Scarcity can act as an incentive to get people to buy now or persuade customers to believe it is a popular product.

● Limited rooms available
● Only 2 left
● Deal ends in 3 hours 22 minutes.’
● Clearance sale
● One of a kind
● This week only


Conversion Optimization / Related items:

Every item a person buys gives retailers one more clue about what else the shopper may be interested in. A retailer can use this information to help them discover what the user wants. “Guests also viewed” and “frequently bought together” encourages them to buy more or come back later to make additional purchases.