The Nielsen Norman Group (NNG) research group of experts – Jakob Nielsen (king of usability), Don Norman (business process guru), and Bruce Tognazzini (interface guru since 1996) – have been conducting experiments and tests to optimize User Experience (UX) and Usability of eCommerce websites since 1998.

Over the years, thousands of cases have been reviewed and a huge information base has been created. Despite all the changes taking place in the world of web design, Jacob Nielsen, a pioneer in the study of usability who began researching “usability of the web interface” back in 1994, was sure that the fundamental principles of creating a good landing page / product landing page / commercial web resource remain unchanged: simplicity of design, clarity of the conversion action required from the user, strict balance of visual and textual components.

In their report, NNG positively assessed the latest trends in web design and current online marketing practices such as:

  • use of large product photos to help answer user questions;
  • leveraging trusted user reviews that provide contextual feedback value
  • the use of discount and discount triggers, motivating “bargain hunters” to close the deal.

Let’s consider all these trends in more detail.

Useful trend # 1: big images

Increasing the size and resolution of monitors has led to visual “spaciousness” in web design, which means that marketers and designers improve the user experience by using large product images.

A huge image on a selling landing page can convey more visible product details. To paraphrase the famous “one picture is worth a thousand words” applied to eCommerce, we can safely say that “one good big picture makes thousands of dollars.” In usability tests, users effectively get information about important details of the proposed product from photos, including those details / features that were not mentioned in the text description.

A huge photo reveals to the visitor a lot of significant details of the product offer, and product shots taken from several angles add visual information, in principle, not conveyed by words. For example, Elogic was working with Roller Rabbit helping them with magento migration and consulting how to start an ecommerce business. And as its being a clothing store we were concerned a lot about images quality and size. Eventually we created images, which can zoom to enable customers view important details of the products.

ecommerce business

The new trend is great for product categories as well. Whereas previously hard-to-see miniatures of goods were crowded on product landing pages of online stores, now you can place great-quality images there.

Helpful trend # 2: reliable feedbacks

Customer feedbacks help users to learn more about the quality of a product and how it is used. They can answer questions potential buyers have before closing a deal, because they come from people belonging to the same target group.

While posting feedbacks on product landing pages is beneficial itself, some marketers are taking the UX improvement path even further by offering additional information about a product feedback author or ranking reviews by usefulness / popularity rating.

On many e-commerce sites you can see even more additional details such as relevant information about the reviewer, or specific criteria for evaluating a product – price, quality, usability, etc. On such resources, the best authors are distinguished and encouraged and other visitors can rate the value of the review – all this helps to establish and strengthen feedback with the target audience and increasing customer lifetime value (LTV)

In addition, by analyzing consumer reviews, you can identify frequently used words/ phrases related to the product and use them as keywords and phrases for PPC or content marketing campaigns.

Collecting additional information about authors can be a great benefit to marketers, because they will allow new visitors to find reviews that are relevant to their problem or correlate with their age, gender or social status, which will allow potential customers to choose a review that directly relates to their case.

In other words, the audience is independently segmented into different groups, which is always useful for further work with it.

Amazon example

User experience and usability of eCommerce websites 1

Useful trend # 3: coupons and discounts

The use of discount coupons as a way to stimulate sales is a trend coming from the “stone age” of online trading. Nowadays many stores made as easy as possible for customers to apply a discount or even allow to receive it automatically – upon registration, as a birthday present, New Year’s gift, etc.

But if the owner of an online store advertises discounts on his site, then he must facilitate access to those users who deserved it. The reason is usually that the discount is provided as a reward for spending a certain amount of money in this particular store, and the buyer can exchange the discount for free shipping, etc.

Eventually, if as a result of the current or previous commercial interaction, the visitor has received a discount in any form, then he must know about it from the first moment after confirming the login / password during the current session. He should be notified about benefits granted for him  from the very beginning of the sales funnel. 

In fact, eCommerce websites make it difficult for users to use the discount in every possible way, some go further and publish it in the smallest print on the order confirmation page, believing that a customer’s refusal from a 3% discount or free delivery will automatically increase the average check.

In reality, firm adherence to these promises is exactly what increases the average check: the Nielsen-Norman group has statistics that claim that the Internet entrepreneur, who has proven his honesty in the matter of user benefits get the shoppers who fill the basket with goods just to to get free shipping from a merchant they absolutely trust.

Being an entrepreneur or marketer you always should be concerned about the buying process of your visitor. In order to gain leadership in your niche, your website should be simple, convenient and user-friendly environment for the new customers and attractive for the former ones. 

About the Author

Evgenia Pereverzeva

User experience and usability of eCommerce websites 2

SEO content writer at Elogic Commerce

Evgenia is a B2B content writer specializing in SaaS, ecommerce, and digital marketing.