Ecommerce is a relatively new but exponentially growing industry. While business did not immediately fly at the development of computers and the internet, it is safe to say that much of our day-to-day activities revolve and rely on these two technologies.
Today, ecommerce is one of the largest market industries. A 2021 report shows that ecommerce sales amounted to a whopping 4.9 trillion USD and this is even expected to grow in the coming years. The industry is even forecasted to grow by 50% in the next 4 years to reach sales amounting to nearly 7.5 trillion USD by 2025.
Anyone thinking of dipping their toes into the world of ecommerce should understand the nuances of the industry. While ecommerce is considered a lucrative option for businesses all over the world, it’s not like every ecommerce venture automatically leads to success. Taking this into consideration, one of the most important elements of an ecommerce business is its website.
But before we go any further, let’s start by answering the question how does ecommerce work?
The Ecommerce Business Process
When a person purchases a product or service from a store, this is considered a sale or transaction. For example, you come into a clothing store, browse through their collection, pick the item or items you like, and go up front and pay for it at the checkout. The same goes for ecommerce business transactions. However, the process is slightly different.
Ecommerce refers to the process of selling goods and services using an online platform. To do so, ecommerce businesses require these three systems to function: a web server or website, a database system, and a dispatch system.
- The web server or website serves as the business’s online store that displays all its digital products or services available for purchase.
- The database system is used by online business owners to keep track of their stocks. The database should automatically update with every successful transaction and restock.
- The dispatch is a system linked to the business warehouse where products are stored and shipment is processed.
The Importance of Websites in Ecommerce
Now to answer the question, why is the website so important in ecommerce?
The web server or website is the first thing that customers see and engage with in the ecommerce business process. This is also the place where potential customers would spend the most time when they are browsing through your product collection, learning more about your services, or researching your niche or industry. Taking this into consideration, it’s important to invest and improve the quality of your online store’s web server.
So, what are the website’s user interface (UI) and user experience (UX)?
A Closer Look At Website User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)
The user interface refers to the design of the website. It is also the point where a customer or website visitor interacts and communicates with the web server using their choice of device.
The primary goal of the UI is to anticipate what users need in order to accomplish their purpose on the website. A good UI design should provide clear navigation, quick access, and easy-to-follow steps and actions. To do so, UI uses the concepts of interaction design, information architecture, and visual design.
Interaction design focuses on the way users would interact with the website. It considers the way a user would interact using different types of communication technologies which can be achieved through touchscreen displays, voice control, gesture, and more.
On the other hand, information architecture emphasizes the way the website’s hierarchy. Starting from the main web page or home page and down to succeeding web pages. The information architecture is supposed to organize, structure, and label the website’s content in a way that is easy to follow and logical for the users.
The last concept in user interface revolves around visual design. However, this does not refer to just aesthetics. It also considers the implementation of shapes, colors, images, texts, and other design elements to make navigation easier to conduct and information easier to digest.
Many mistakenly use user experience and user interface interchangeably. Although slightly related, user experience goes way beyond the website’s design creation but also the process of acquiring, integrating, and using the product in the eyes of a consumer. UX deals with other aspects of a customer’s experience such as efficiency, pleasure, fun, and even troubleshooting stress. It aims to answer the questions of why, what, and how throughout the buyer’s journey.
In ecommerce, UX focuses on the whole business process. For example, UX aims to ensure that it is easy to browse through the online store’s collection as well as jump from one specific product to another. A good UX design also wants to ensure that it’s easy to check out items, choose payment options, and secure shipping information for its customers.
Tips for Improving Website UI and UX
As an online store, it’s important to ensure that you create a good first impression. When a potential customer visits your website, it is not enough that your UI is pleasing to look at. It is even more important that visitors can pinpoint different site functions, features, and options at first glance. This prevents them from instantly turning away from your shop but instead further exploring your online store. Taking this into consideration, here are some tips on how to improve your website’s UI and UX design:
- Avoid cluttering your website.
- Keep the display and interface clean and simple.
- Practice unity and consistency when applying design elements.
- Design for your users, not for yourself.
- Establish clear communication by using icons and labels.
- Adapt your design to different display sizes.
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