User Experience / Essential Ecommerce UX Design Principles

Essential Ecommerce UX Design Principles

Andy Thorne
Essential Ecommerce UX Design Principles

In an ever-changing retail landscape, ecommerce sales are growing, with estimates that they’ll reach $8.1 trillion globally by 2026. So, if you want your ecommerce website to be a part of this forecasted growth, then investing in ecommerce UX is crucial.


When you first land on any website, the way it looks and performs is the first thing you notice.

75% of users form an opinion about the site’s reliability based on its appearance, in as little as 50 milliseconds.

Website user experience is crucial if you want to see sales and performance improve on your site.

If your site doesn’t allow users to quickly and easily make informed decisions and complete purchases, your business won’t grow and thrive.

The Core Aspects of Successful Ecommerce UX


Can a user reach the target action, and how easy was it for them to do so? Utility is crucially important on a user’s first visit to your site when they have no previous knowledge of how your site functions.

If users can easily complete the action you want them to take, then it is likely that your site is performing well in terms of UX.


This refers to how easy it is to interact with the interface of your website. Are the journeys clear? Does everything function as you’d expect it to? Can the user achieve what they want to do whilst enjoying the experience on your website?


Accessibility is the practice of making sure there are no barriers to any users, regardless of physical disabilities, situational disabilities, and socio-economic restrictions.

The W3 has extensive guidance on how to make your website accessible to varying degrees of adherence.

With around 15% of the world’s population experiencing at least one form of disability, accessibility is a really important area to factor into your UX plan, if you want your website to reach as many people as possible.


Desirability is what affects the users desire to use your solution or website. The visual component of your website is generally responsible when it comes to achieving desirability.

If your site looks old, outdated and messy, then you risk losing up to 40% of your users. A site that doesn’t look appealing or inviting, isn’t likely to encourage users to stick around.

Incorporating UX At Every Stage of the User Journey

Website discovery

Essential Ecommerce UX Design Principles

Every aspect of your website should reflect your brand positioning, as long as it doesn’t inconvenience your user’s journey.

Users will form their first impression of your site in 0.05 seconds so you need to wow them quickly. You risk losing 52% of your visitors if the aesthetics of your site don’t meet their expectations.

Product search & browsing 

Your site should offer a straightforward, helpful search function, and it should always be available to your users.

If you offer a large catalogue of products, this will make it even easier for users to navigate through your site and find what they’re looking for quickly.

Product page


Once users reach individual product pages, you should be offering helpful information about the item they are viewing, and make it as straightforward as possible to add that item to their basket. 

Consider the hierarchy of information and don’t overload the top of the page with unnecessary content at the risk of distracting or overwhelming the user.


As soon as a user clicks to buy a product, they will experience their first interaction with your shopping basket. A successful basket shouldn’t get in the way of your users shopping experience, whilst also being intuitive and clear. 

Poor UX causes 70% of shoppers to leave the basket. A large drop-off rate at such a crucial stage in the shopping journey will have a serious negative impact on your business, so make sure you pay particular attention to the basket.


The checkout section of your ecommerce site will no doubt involve multiple steps for your user, from accessing their account, inputting personal information and completing their transaction.

To make it a smoother experience and require less effort, remove unnecessary form fields and employ the help of auto-fill features for some fields.


The user journey doesn’t end as soon as the transaction has been completed.

Reassure your users that their order has been successful, by sending an order confirmation with a tracking number, option to amend or cancel the order within a certain time frame after placing the order and expected delivery date.

The value of investing in good UX 

UX won’t just benefit your customers. Investing in good UX can improve your ecommerce site’s conversions by 400%. Happy users who enjoy using your site are more likely to buy from you and return to your site in the future.

Completing a UX audit will help you to uncover where your site is currently falling short and identify opportunities to improve your ecommerce site and grow your business to reach its goals.