Web Design for E-Commerce: How to Build an Intuitive Online Store

Today’s digital consumer is pickier than ever about which brands they choose to buy from. Since there are virtually limitless options in terms of brands and online retailers selling the products they are searching for, any annoyance, interference, or negative experience is enough to send them looking for other options.

If a website is not working correctly or simply not offering an excellent user experience (UX), visitors will often leave a website in a matter of seconds with no intention to return. As an online e-commerce brand, this could mean certain death for the success of your business.

Consumers need to find a clear value proposition to hold their attention and convince them to stick around. This is why intuitive web design is critical for an online business that wants to offer an exceptional UX design that keeps customers engaged from start to finish.

What Is Intuitive Web Design?

There is no clear definition of what an “intuitive” website looks like. There is no set list of factors and features that you can check off a list and -voila- you now have an intuitive site. Instead, this type of web design is more about how it makes your customers feel and the kind of experience it offers to them.

Say for example that you are launching a new online clothing store. Any typical retail website will include common features like organizational tabs for customers to browse through the shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, and so on. It may include a search bar for specific items or even a few special features, but this does not necessarily make it intuitive.

An intuitive clothing store is going to make the experience truly exceptional for the customer. More than just being well designed and easily navigable, their website may offer a style quiz for the shopper to participate in and use this to guide them to the sorts of items they would enjoy best. They may offer shopping recommendations based on their viewed items or previous purchases. And above all, they will create an outstanding UX that pleases their customers.

Why Build an Intuitive E-Commerce Site?

Obviously, your competition in the e-commerce industry is extremely fierce, so your brand’s website needs to offer a UX that pleases customers. This requires understanding what your customers want, knowing how they are going to interact with your site, and eliminating any obstacles that stand in the way of an optimized experience.

While there are nearly endless benefits that an intuitive UX offers, there are four major reasons an intuitive design can increase your website’s conversion rates.

1. Enhances Engagement

Keeping your customers engaged with your website is crucial if they are going to move through the buyer’s journey. After their initial introduction to your brand, there needs to be a clear reason that a customer not only stays on your website, but conducts their research, compares your products, and decides to purchase.

If they encounter any disruptive UX challenge, it could lead to disengagement. But if your website can anticipate what that customer is looking for next, they will be more likely to stick around.

2. Keeps Visitors Glued

Intuitive website design is all about how it makes the user feel. When you use a website that seems to know exactly what you’re looking for or what you want to see, it creates an innate experience that keeps you locked in.

This gives you a strong competitive advantage over your competitors, especially considering the fact that customers are even willing to pay more if a website offers a more targeted shopping experience.

3. Reduces Bounce Rates

If a website has a high bounce rate, there could be several culprits that are causing people to exit soon after they arrive. First of all, it could be an accidental click, which is unfortunately not fixable. Another reason is that the web page does not work properly. If it has slow loading speeds, 404 errors, or the layout is not optimized to the device, a customer will quickly exit. And finally, the webpage could simply not offer what the user is looking for.

Obviously, an intuitive site will not have any errors and will adjust its formatting based on the device the user is viewing it on. Plus, an intuitive website will be clearly laid out and descriptive so that users are able to navigate easily and find the information they are looking for, eliminating these two common bounce rate triggers.

4. Improved SEO

Just like your business, Google’s search engine wants to offer people the best experience possible. They seek to provide users with the answers they are looking for so they keep using Google’s services. Therefore, their algorithms will look for signals that a website not only matches up to a customer’s query, but will also offer them an excellent experience.

An intuitive website will include the kind of e-commerce SEO factors that Google picks up on when determining its search results. While the placement of keywords throughout the webpage is obviously important, Google does take other features into consideration, including the internal linking signals which indicate good site navigation, as well as better behavioral signals from users, like click-through rates and personalized options.

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Examples of Intuitive Websites

Again, there is no set way to create an intuitive website. There are thousands of little ways that your site can offer an intuitive experience, but these examples can give your team inspiration and ideas for your own strategies.

The Mountain is an online retailer that sells items like t-shirts, mugs, and hats while being incredibly committed to creating a sustainable, environmentally-friendly business. They use recycled materials and water-saving strategies during production while simultaneously raising awareness for issues such as endangered species and social issues through their product designs. What makes their website truly intuitive is how personalization is woven throughout the shopping process. Even their CTA buttons are phrased in ways that make it personal, inviting customers to “Shop Spring Arrivals” or even create your own product on the “My Mountain” page. On the back end, The Mountain segments their audiences and offers customized promotions depending on that customer’s behavior, such as sending out loyalty perks.

Mountain Website

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