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Best Practices For E-Commerce UI Web Design

When you visualize shoppers moving through the e-commerce websites you build, you more or less expect them to follow this journey:

• Step 1: Enter on the homepage or a category page.

• Step 2: Use the navigational components to orient themselves to the store and no in on the specific things they're searching for.

• Step 3: Review the descriptions and other essential purchase details for the items that stimulate their interest.

• Step 4: Customize the item requirements (if possible), and then add the products they wish to their cart.

• Step 5: Check out.

There are variances they may take along the method (like exploring associated products, browsing different categories, and conserving items to a wishlist for a rainy day). For the most part, this is the top path you develop out and it's the one that will be most greatly taken a trip.

That holding true, it's specifically important for designers to absolutely no in on the interface elements that consumers come across along this journey. If there's any friction within the UI, you won't just see a boost in unforeseen deviations from the course, but more bounces from the website, too.

That's what the following post is going to focus on: How to guarantee that the UI along the buyer's journey is appealing, instinctive, engaging, and friction-free.

Let's analyze three parts of the UI that shoppers will encounter from the point of entry to checkout. I'll be using e-commerce websites built with Shopify to do this:

1. Produce A Multifaceted Navigation That Follows Shoppers Around #

There when was a time when e-commerce websites had mega menus that buyers needed to arrange through to find their wanted item categories, sub-categories and sub-sub-categories. While you may still run into them nowadays, the better option is a navigation that adapts to the consumer's journey.


The first thing to do is to simplify the primary menu so that it has just one level beneath the main classification headers. For instance, this is how United By Blue does it:

The product categories under "Shop" are all neatly organized beneath headers like "Womens" and "Mens".

The only exceptions are the classifications for "New Arrivals" and "Masks & Face Coverings" that are accompanied by images. It's the same reason "Gifts" remains in a lighter blue typeface and "Sale" is in a red typeface in the primary menu. These are extremely prompt and relevant categories for United By Blue's buyers, so they are worthy of to be highlighted (without being too distracting).

Going back to the website, let's take a look at how the designer was able to keep the mobile website arranged:

Instead of diminish down the desktop menu to one that buyers would require to pinch-and-zoom in on here, we see a menu that's adapted to the mobile screen.

It needs a couple of more clicks than the desktop site, but consumers should not have an issue with that given that the menu doesn't go too deep (again, this is why we can't utilize mega menus anymore).


If you're building an e-commerce site for a client with an intricate inventory (i.e. lots of items and layers of categories), the product results page is going to need its own navigation system.

To assist consumers narrow down how many items they see at a time, you can include these two aspects in the style of this page:

1. Filters to limit the outcomes by item spec.

2. Sorting to order the products based on buyers' top priorities.

I've highlighted them on this product results page on the Horne website:

While you could store your filters in a left sidebar, the horizontally-aligned design above the results is a better option.

This space-saving style permits you to reveal more items simultaneously and is also a more mobile-friendly choice:

Consistency in UI design is crucial to buyers, specifically as more of them take an omnichannel method to shopping. By presenting the filters/sorting options consistently from gadget to gadget, you'll create a more predictable and comfortable experience for them in the process.


As shoppers move deeper into an e-commerce site, they still might need navigational support. There are two UI navigation elements that will assist them out.


The first is a breadcrumb path in the top-left corner of the item pages, similar to how tentree does:

This is best used on websites with categories that have sub-categories upon sub-categories. The further and more buyers move away from the item results page and the convenience of the filters and arranging, the more important breadcrumbs will be.

The search bar, on the other hand, is a navigation component that must always be offered, despite which point in the journey buyers are at. This opts for shops of all sizes, too.

Now, a search bar will certainly assist buyers who are brief on time, can't discover what they need or just want a shortcut to an item they already understand exists. However, an AI-powered search bar that can actively forecast what the shopper is trying to find is a smarter option.


Here's how that works on the Horne site:

Even if the buyer hasn't completed inputting their search phrase, this search bar starts dishing out recommendations. On the left are matching keywords and on the right are leading matching items. The ultimate objective is to speed up shoppers' search and reduce any stress, pressure or aggravation they might otherwise be feeling.

2. Show The Most Pertinent Details At Once On Product Pages #

Vitaly Friedman just recently shared this pointer on LinkedIn:

He's right. The more time visitors need to spend digging around for pertinent details about a product, the greater the possibility they'll just quit and attempt another store.

Delivering alone is a substantial sticking point for many consumers and, regrettably, a lot of e-commerce websites wait until checkout to let them learn about shipping costs and delays.

Because of this, 63% of digital shoppers end up abandoning their online carts since of shipping costs and 36% do so since of for how long it requires to receive their orders.

Those aren't the only details digital consumers would like to know about ahead of time. They likewise want click here to read to know about:

• The returns and refund policy,

• The terms of use and personal privacy policy,

• The payment options offered,

• Omnichannel purchase-and-pickup alternatives offered,

• And so on.

But how are you anticipated to fit this all in within the very first screenful?


This is what Vitaly was speaking about. You do not need to squeeze each and every single information about a product above the fold. The shop needs to be able to sell the product with only what's in that area.

Bluebella, for example, has a space-saving style that doesn't compromise on readability:

With the image gallery relegated to the left side of the page, the rest can be committed to the product summary. Due to the fact that of the differing size of the header font styles in addition to the hierarchical structure of the page, it's easy to follow.


Based on how this is designed, you can inform that the most important details are:

• Product name;

• Product cost;

• Product size selector;

• Add-to-bag and wishlist buttons;

• Delivery and returns info (which neatly appears on one line).

The remainder of the product details have the ability to fit above the fold thanks to the accordions utilized to collapse and broaden them.

If there are other essential details consumers may need to make up their minds-- like item reviews or a sizing guide-- develop links into the above-the-fold that move them to the appropriate areas lower on the page.

Quick Note: This layout won't be possible on mobile for obvious factors. The item images will get leading billing while the 30-second pitch appears simply listed below the fold.


Even if you're able to concisely deliver the item's description, additional sales and marketing elements like pop-ups, chat widgets and more can end up being simply as annoying as prolonged product pages.

So, make sure you have them stored out of the way as Partake does:

The red symbol you see in the bottom left allows shoppers to manage the ease of access features of the site. The "Rewards" button in the bottom-right is actually a pop-up that's styled like a chat widget. When opened, it invites consumers to join the loyalty program.

Both of these widgets open only when clicked.

Allbirds is another one that includes additional elements, however keeps them out of the way:

In this case, it includes a self-service chat widget in the bottom-right that has to be clicked in order to open. It likewise puts info about its present returns policy in a sticky bar at the top, maximizing the product pages to strictly focus on item details.

3. Make Product Variants As Easy To Select As Possible #

For some items, there is no decision that shoppers have to make besides: "Do I want to add this product to my cart or not?"

For other items, consumers have to define product variants prior to they can add an item to their cart. When that's the case, you wish to make this process as pain-free as possible. There are a few things you can do to guarantee this occurs.

Let's say the store you design offers ladies's underwears. Because case, you 'd need to offer variations like color and size.

You wouldn't desire to simply develop a drop-down selector for each. Envision how laborious that would get if you asked buyers to click "Color" and they had to sort through a dozen approximately options. Likewise, if it's a basic drop-down selector, color examples may not appear in the list. Instead, the shopper would need to select a color name and await the product photo to update in order to see what it looks like.

This is why your variations must determine how you design each.

Let's use this item page from Thinx as an example:

There are two variants available on this page:

• The color variation reveals a row of color swatches. When clicked, the name of the color appears and the product picture adjusts accordingly.

• The size alternative lists sizes from extra-extra-small to extra-extra-extra-large.

Notification how Size includes a link to "size chart". That's because, unlike something like color which is quite precise, sizing can alter from store to shop along with area to area. This chart provides clear assistance on how to pick a size.

Now, Thinx utilizes a square button for each of its variations. You can change it up, however, if you 'd like to produce a difference in between the options buyers need to make (and it's probably the better design choice, to be truthful).

Kirrin Finch, for instance, puts its sizes inside empty boxes and its color swatches inside filled circles:

It's a little difference, but it should suffice to assist consumers shift efficiently from decision to decision and not miss any of the required fields.

Now, let's say that the store you're building does not sell clothes. Instead, it offers something like beds, which certainly won't consist of choices like color or size. A minimum of, not in the same way similar to clothing.

Unless you have widely known abbreviations, signs or numbers you can use to represent each variant, you ought to use another kind of selector.

For example, this is an item page on the Leesa website. I've opened the "Pick your size" selector so you can see how these alternatives are shown:

Why is this a drop-down list instead of boxes?

For beginners, the size names aren't the very same length. So, box selectors would either be inconsistently sized or a few of them would have a lots of white area in them. It truly wouldn't look good.

Also, Leesa wisely uses this small space to supply more details about each bed mattress size (i.e. the normal vs. sale price). Not just is this the finest design for this specific alternative selector, but it's also a great way to be efficient with how you present a lot of details on the product page.


If you wish to eliminate all friction from this part of the online shopping process, ensure you create a distinct style for out-of-stock variants.

Here's a closer take a look at the Kirrin Finch example again:

There's no mistaking which alternatives are readily available and which are not).

Although some shoppers might be frustrated when they understand the shirt color they like is just available in a few sizes, envision how irritated they 'd be if they didn't learn this up until after they picked all their variations?

If the item selection is the last step they take previously clicking "contribute to haul", do not hide this details from them. All you'll do is get their hopes up for a product they put in the time to read about, take a look at, and fall in love with ... just to find it's not available in a size "16" up until it's far too late.

Wrapping Up #

What is it they state? Great design is unnoticeable?

That's what we need to bear in mind when creating these key interface for e-commerce sites. Obviously, your client's store requires to be attractive and unforgettable ... But the UI components that move consumers through the website need to not provide pause. So, simplicity and ease of use require to be your top concern when creating the primary journey for your customer's consumers.

If you're interested in putting these UI design viewpoints to work for new consumers, think about joining the Shopify Partner Program as a shop designer. There you'll be able to earn repeating earnings by constructing new Shopify stores for clients or moving shops from other commerce platforms to Shopify.