The internet has transformed how we shop, bringing convenience and expanded options to our fingertips. Yet, with endless aisles to browse, how does an online retailer stand out and create a shopping experience that delights customers and drives sales? The key lies in crafting memorable digital storefronts focused on user experience and intuitive design. Read on to see our 7 key tips to help your website stand out from the crowd.

Tip 1: Craft Intuitive Navigation

Navigating an online store should feel effortless, with logical flows guiding users to desired products. Cluttered menus and confusing taxonomy disrupt this ideal journey, overwhelming customers with excessive options. Effective information architecture establishes a clear site-wide hierarchy and organization, captivating consumers who enter your website. Descriptive categories help orient users, while faceted filters enable efficient self-directed exploration based on attributes like price, brand, and product features. For an e-commerce site, the product catalog typically guides the information architecture, ensuing navigation scheme, and site experience. Remember to include a robust site search tool in your experience design so users looking for details related to products or accessories buried deep in your catalog can find them.

Tip 2: Personalization of the Experience

Now, retailers can serve customers a personalized store tailored to their interests and needs using simple data. Sophisticated algorithms help predict desired products for individuals based on browsing history, purchase data, stated preferences, and demo/psychographic attributes. Site experiences dynamically adapt through customized content modules, smart recommendations, and tailored promotions.

These personalized experiences establish stronger emotional connections between brands and shoppers. By delivering relevant products/offers, e-commerce sites demonstrate an understanding of customer wants and needs, making them, in turn, feel special. Hyper-personalization requires integrating robust data and machine learning capabilities, aligning investments to the immense revenue potential, but is enormous in designing an engaging site that keeps customers coming back.

However, merchants can implement easier, less-expensive “personalization” by associating products in the cart with upsells and cross-sells, offering users promotions, discounts, and ongoing advice by signing up for regular news/promotions via email or text.

Tip 3: Gamify the Experience

Gamification applies game design elements to non-game contexts, digitally motivating certain user behaviors. For example, in e-commerce, retailers incorporate mechanisms like points, badges, levels, challenges, and rewards programs to drive desired actions around purchases, product discovery, site activities, referrals, and more.
These game-like features tap into the human psyche, triggering emotional responses that increase engagement. Points and status levels give customers a sense of progression from initial sign-up onwards. Unlocking badges and rewards catalyzes dopamine hits, making shoppers feel special while promoting loyalty.

Keep in mind that gamification strategies must balance business KPIs with user experience, avoiding overly aggressive tactics that damage perceptions. When thoughtfully implemented, these motivational tools enhance enjoyment and excitement around online shopping.

Tip 4: Implement Conversational Commerce

Messaging has become consumers’ preferred way to communicate instead of picking up the phone to call. E-commerce sites can embrace this shift through conversational interfaces facilitating shopping over chat and text. Whether via live human agents or AI-powered chatbots, customers appreciate the low friction, personal connection, and real-time assistance.

Live chat on product pages enables shoppers to ask questions when needed immediately, while chatbots can handle simple inquiries, providing 24/7 self-service support. Customers can browse selections, complete purchases, or track orders through natural dialogues, never needing to wait on a customer service line again. With their familiarity and convenience, these conversational touch points make the online shopping experience more intuitive to the consumer.

Tip 5: Always Include Inspiring Visual Design

Beyond site functionality, visual presentation significantly impacts customer perceptions and conversions. While information architecture and navigation enable user goals, website designs and aesthetics make lasting impressions that distinguish brands. E-commerce design should align with brand strategy, conveying style and emotions through creative direction.

Photography and iconography on the site should consistently align with brand value, however, artistic creative liberties can establish unique stylistic languages. Consumers are immediately drawn into sites with more personality and designs that are different from just a normal eCommerce template. Standout visuals attract user attention while communicating brand identities.

Tip 6: Use Frictionless Checkout Experiences

As we all know, the final step of online purchases involves customers providing shipping, billing, and payment information. Overly complex checkouts that demand extensive data entry can derail transactions right before completion, often leaving customers to abandon their carts. E-commerce providers should minimize required fields to only essential details (like name, address, payment, email, etc.), allowing users to checkout as guests or retrieve saved details with a one-click login.

Integrations with digital wallets like Apple Pay and PayPal further expedite checkout, enabling purchases across devices and saved payment methods to reduce typing and build loyalty. Overall, the key is analyzing checkout funnel analytics to identify breakoff points, then iteratively refine processes to reduce abandonment. eCommerce platforms like Shopify make the checkout process simple to the customer, try mimicking this process to keep it manageable.

Tip 7: Adopt a Continuous Evolution Operating Model

Online customer expectations will continue advancing as new eCommerce shopping technologies emerge. E-commerce experiences must evolve based on changing behaviors, innovating ahead of broader adoption curves. Retailers who continually experiment with site capabilities and shopping modalities will impress customers, increasing loyalty and purchase conversion. By unifying user understanding, design excellence, and technology innovation, online stores can create shopping experiences that customers love while driving profitable conversions.


Today’s consumers have high standards shaped by their everyday digital interactions. They expect online stores to offer the same instant gratification and personalized service they receive from leading apps and social platforms. Meeting these elevated expectations requires brands to continually develop their shopping experience to include all of the above tips.

On top of creating engaging digital experiences, you must refine your analytics approach to identify usability issues frustrating users and conversion bottlenecks limiting sales. But metrics only reveal part of the picture. Qualitative insights from usability testing and customer surveys complete a holistic view of the user experience. Armed with this comprehensive understanding, companies can reinvent their sites to better serve customer needs.

To learn more on how your site can up-level your design to better engage your customers, reach out to Wass Digital!