eCommerce platforms are constantly evolving to meet the needs of modern shoppers. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to design an experience-led eCommerce platform that provides a personalized, seamless, and engaging shopping experience.
And it makes sense why.
Customers are more demanding than ever, and they expect a personalized, engaging, and seamless shopping experience at every touchpoint.
Personalized is at the helm of marketing in the digital age, with 91% of the customers more likely to shop with brands that offer personalized experiences. In fact, Forbes shares that 90% of the customers are willing to share their personal data with brands to receive a personalized shopping experience.
To design an experience-led ecommerce platform, you need to understand your customer’s needs and how they interact with your brand across every channel. Additionally, once you clearly understand your customer’s needs, you can design an engaging and personalized shopping experience that meets their needs.
Understanding Experience-Led eCommerce: What Is It?
Before we jump into how to design an experience-led ecommerce platform, let’s first understand what it is.
Simply put, experience-led ecommerce is all about creating a personalized and engaging shopping experience for customers. Additionally, it’s about understanding your customer’s needs and providing them with the right product, at the right time, through the right channel.
Creating an experience-led ecommerce platform requires a customer-centric approach. You need to design your platform around your customer’s needs, not your business goals. To do this, you need to understand your customer’s purchase journey and instill elements in the design philosophy that will help to forge lasting relationships.
This also means having a perfect omnichannel strategy. Customers must obtain the same or a similar experience whether they shop in your brick-and-mortar location, on their laptop, or their phone. Essentially, potential consumers are presented with a visually enthralling and experientially engaging story, depending on their preferences and past interactions with your brand.
Ingredients Of Experience-led Ecommerce Design
To design an experience-led eCommerce platform, you need to focus on three key areas:
To create a personalized experience for your customers, you must first understand their needs and preferences through-
– data collection and analysis
– customer surveys
– and focus groups
Once you understand your target audience well, you can then start tailoring the user experience to their individual needs.
The next step is to ensure that your platform is engaging enough to keep users coming back with the help of a-
– a minimalistic and user-friendly interface
– providing relevant and targeted content
– offering attractive discounts and deals.
The final goal of any ecommerce platform is to convert visitors into paying customers. To do this, you need to-
– ensure that your platform is easy to use and navigate
– have a clear and concise checkout process
– offer a variety of payment options.
By focusing on these three key areas, you can create an experience-led ecommerce platform that provides a personalized, seamless, and engaging shopping experience for your customers.
How To Design An Experience-Led Ecommerce Platform?
Now that we’ve covered the basics of experience-led eCommerce let’s look at how you can design an experience-led ecommerce platform.
1. Invest in the right technology:
The technology you select will play a vital role in the success of your platform. To create a personalized and engaging shopping experience, you need to invest in technology that will enable you to:
– segment your customers
– collect and analyze data
– personalize the user experience.
The technology infrastructure must be able to share information across channels by accessing a 360-degree view of the customer data. This will allow you to provide a consistent experience to your customers, regardless of their channel. At the same time, the infrastructure must follow the economies of scale and be ready to upscale at a moment’s notice.
Headless commerce platforms might come to your rescue here. These platforms decouple the frontend from the backend and give you the flexibility to design a unique user experience without being limited by the backend technology.
2. Implement An Omnichannel Approach:
An omnichannel approach is essential to delivering a consistent shopping experience to your customers across all channels. To do this, you need to:
– integrate your brick-and-mortar store with your online platform
– allow customers to purchase products online and pick them up in-store
– enable customers to return products bought online in-store
– create a loyalty program
UI/UX Design takes center stage here as it is the most crucial aspect of an omnichannel strategy. Customers should be able to move seamlessly between channels without feeling like they are starting from scratch each time. The overall goal is to create a cohesive customer experience that provides value at every touchpoint.
3. Prioritize customer experience:
The customer should be at the center of everything you do. From the design of your platform to the way you market your products, every decision should allign with providing an exceptional customer experience.
Customer experience involves every touchpoint that a customer has with your brand. This includes how they interact with your website, how your customer service representatives greet them, and how they receive their orders.
To create a seamless customer experience, you need to first map out customer journeys and then design your platform and processes around them. This will help you eliminate any friction points that might cause customers to experience your brand negatively.
4. Leverage Artificial Intelligence:
Artificial intelligence (AI) can help personalize the user experience and provide recommendations that are relevant to the customer.
For example, if a customer is looking for a new pair of shoes, AI can recommend products based on their past purchase history, search history, and reviews. AI can help eCommerce platforms upsell and cross-sell products. For example, if a customer is looking at a pair of shoes on your website, AI can be used to recommend complementary products such as socks or insoles.
From the point of view of UI/UX, AI-powered chatbots can be used to provide customer support and answer any questions that the customer might have. This frees up your customer service representatives to handle more complex issues, leading to a better overall experience for the customer.
5. Simplify the checkout process:
The checkout process is one of the most essential steps in the customer journey. A long and complicated checkout process can lead to cart abandonment and lost sales.
To simplify the checkout process, you need to:
– define the check out process simply
– remove any unnecessary steps
– offer a variety of payment options.
With a simplified checkout process, you can minimize the chances of customer frustration and increase the likelihood of conversion.
6. Focus on speed and performance:
It would make no sense to invest in other elements of UI/UX if your platform is slow and sluggish. Moreover, customers expect a fast and responsive website, and anything less than that will reflect poorly on your brand.
Ensure your eCommerce platform is fast and can handle high traffic volumes without issues. If necessary, invest in a good content delivery network (CDN) to improve loading speeds. You can also use dynamic caching to improve the performance of your website.
7. Use data to drive decisions:
From the design of your website to the way you market your products, data should be used to drive all decisions.
Analytics tools can be used to track the performance of your website and identify areas that need improvement. For example, you can use data to see which pages are being visited the most and which pages are causing customers to leave your website. You can then leverage this information to improve the overall design of your website.
A/B testing is another way to use data to unearth UI/UX improvements. By testing different design elements on your website, you can see which ones significantly impact conversion rates.
Is Headless Commerce the Answer?
Headless commerce is a decoupled approach to eCommerce where the frontend and backend are built on separate platforms. This allows for more flexibility, scalability, and a better customer experience.
The frontend can be built using any technology without dependency on the backend. This gives you the freedom to experiment with different technologies and create a truly unique customer experience befitting your brand.
Moreover, headless commerce platforms are designed to be API-first, making it easier to integrate with third-party applications. This allows you to add new features and functionality to your e-commerce platform without hassle.
It is also worth noting that headless commerce platforms are more scalable than traditional eCommerce platforms. This is because they are not reliant on a single monolithic application. Instead, they are composed of multiple microservices that can be scaled independently.
This makes headless commerce an ideal choice for e-commerce platforms today to achieve the perfect UX that they are gunning for.
Achieving the perfect balance between the UI and UX of an eCommerce platform is a never-ending journey. However, by following the tips mentioned above, you can ensure that your platform is designed with the customer experience in mind. This will help you create a platform that is easy to use and provides a seamless and enjoyable experience for the customer.
What other tips would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!