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The shift to mobile ecommerce is changing steadily the shopping experience we have before. Now it is moving to mobile online stores or shop apps that are even more convenient in using and allow to purchase offline from smartphones. The critical point in making an ecommerce mobile solution profitable is to deliver an exceptional shopping app design that your users will love and find useful.
But first, let’s discuss why you need to care about the ecommerce application if you have online or even offline retail business.
Today, the trend of e-commerce cannot be underplayed. In 2021, retail ecommerce sales worldwide amounted to 5.3 trillion US dollars and projections posit that ecommerce sales worldwide would grow to 14.88 trillion US dollars in 2023.
In this article you will find 19 mobile commerce UX design best practices with examples.
mCommerce, in other words, the application with retail outlet functions is on the rise even more than ecommerce websites now:
According to the Business Insider Intelligence report, mCommerce will increase by up to 45% by 2020.
Under research by Statista, the U.S. mobile retail commerce sales will reach 53,5% of total online retail spending by 2021.
Thus, mCommerce is currently the biggest slice of the giant online market. That means, that having your own shopping app isn’t a competitive advantage anymore, but it’s a must-have for selling your products and services easily on mobile.
But what is actually the secret of mCommerce success for business sellers?
It's true that now with the app, owners can enjoy unlimited market coverage across country borders, and even the shores of continents. They are no longer limited by their inability to be physically present to a lot of people at the same time. The shopping app solves that while saves costs on staff for offline stores. Therefore it means that the company turnover rate should increase tremendously.
However, the main pain point of mCommerce is that not all online retail apps are making waves within the industry and making sales. Applications with good UI and UX are able to leave a better impression on users and increase conversions and customers’ engagements while vice versa is the case of apps with poor UI and UX.
You see, that the mobile app cannot help your business by itself. As often users are faced with difficulties while using online shopping app. It means just having it will not automatically boost your business.
High competitive ecommerce more than any other industry requires careful and well-thought-out efficient mobile UX design. This to say that, if users don't feel satisfied and catered for while using the app, they will cease to use the app, the number of visits drops, and the app loses the ability to fundamentally meet the needs for your business.
Hence, to retain existing users and get new ones it’s crucial to make the app functional right for your customers. For this reason, it is important to invest in a good UI and UX for your retail app. As the purpose of good UX is to help users simplify their use of the app and provide them excellent sales service, efficient and easy to navigate.
Even if you already have a shopping app that sale, you should try to figure out what pain points your users are faced within the app. And this is where mobile ecommerce UX comes in.
Read also: How to Build Your Own BNPL App
Important Points to Note for Designing the UX for a Shopping Apps
Despite your app UX can depend on the industry you’re operating in and your brand identity, there are some most efficient ecommerce UX tips applicable for any shop app design. Let’s walk through each one:
Start with solid UX concepts then integrated into right UI
In a nutshell, an astonishing design is the result of the well-though UX design development process. But it’s important don’t miss to implement that handy UX with relevant UI that fulfills the design with the right colors, elements, shapes, etc.
The user interface is an inheritable part of any mobile solution. Thus, the first start project building with applying UX deliverables including your product design ideation, user and competitors research, mapping your customer journey and creating the best suitable design for that.
Thus, UI and UX should work interconnectedly to ensure that the user is having a chill time using your app. So, this said, despite UX is a backbone of fantastic design, don’t forget to implement it with the right UI.
Color scheme combinations consistency & not overloading with drop-shadows and gradients
Be careful in your choice of colors, they have the sole power to either drive up or drive down your users' engagement and conversions. Ensure that your app color combination matches with each other on different screens. What about drop-shadows and gradients, they are effective tools for creating the illusion of space but don’t overuse them in your UI/UX.
Check some color combinations sheets like this one below by Adobe and get to know more about what psychological effect every color has before applying it in your product design:
Use Thumb-Friendly screen zones for UX/UI design
Take care of developing your shop app UX in a thumb-friendly zone as a design tip coined firstly by Steven Hoober in his book on Designing Mobile Interfaces. Using the thumb-friendly zone as a space on the screen where a user can easily reach with his thumb while holding his smartphone with the same hand to make clicking easy, will guarantee a better user experience. That is an instance of the interdependence of both UX and UI and the need to, therefore, concentrate on UI.
Minimalist aesthetic experience according to Material Design for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for iOS
Whether you outsource your design development or build it in-house, you need to check that your design on both versions of operating systems is aligned with the most common guides on the design that are Material Design for Android and Human Interface Guidelines for iOS. Without putting these rules in the backbone of your UI, you can’t achieve the right user experience of any app, moreover shopping one.
What you should care about from the Material Design and Human Interface Guidelines perspectives are minimalist aesthetic user-centered experience, product architecture aligned with layouts, navigation, shapes grouping, using design patterns like for searching, filtering appropriate for each OS but not forgetting about own branding in your app.
Easy UX mobile structure under the 3-Tap Rule
Developing your app UX, ensure that it shouldn’t take more than 3 taps from a user to get to any of the products he wants to buy. So, soak that in. Users should only be kept 3 clicks far from the product they want to buy.
Screen size for readability and spacing issues
The small screen size of mobile devices has always been a major challenge when it comes to mobile eCommerce. It was stated by the Baymard Institute that over 61% of mobile users will often use their desktops to complete purchases that they started with their phones. This is due to the stress that a small screen proffers.
While shopping on mobile users need to read the product descriptions or your shipping details So, it’s crucial to achieve the maximum readability of screens content and check all possible spacing issues with clickable and even not clickable elements of design.
Object animation and imagery as a functional element of UX
Keep in mind that every design element and animated object should serve some function. Moreover, because of the mobile screen limits, it makes sense to use animated design objects served some dual functions.
If it’s applicable and natural, then use object animation and imagery that guides users and engage them to do the desired action making UX more clear. Through using object animations and motion graphics in your design you keep users engaged and interested in the process.
Look how such kind of object animation can have a few functions and don’t overload ecommerce mobile design already overloaded with products items.
Visible and intuitive ecommerce navigation UX
As we’ve said before without robust UI you can’t achieve the perfect UX. Especially in the retail app design UI and UX is closely connected. And ecommerce UX of navigation is an example of that. On mobile users don’t have mouse or keyboards to navigate and make desired actions.
Thus, bear in mind this point and build navigation in your shopping pretty clear and smooth. Put up signs and objects that will ease the use of the app and help users maximize every of the functionality of the app.
Registration form UX
Make registration forms easy to access and fill. You could add auto-suggestions and auto-complete features and auto-detect forms with errors. These are quite convenient on the mobile and improves app UX especially when users don’t like to register to buy something.
Easy user account design
If your retail app provides has an account or profile registration for users, make sure these functionalities have all the required features for shopping.
To give you a little bit more details on what it might be, let’s take as an example developed by our team the DSC app that has easy UX of users account management and provides such functionality as availability to change delivery frequency or membership options, switch razor types, add/remove products, and track your orders, track customers’ orders shipping.
Thus, the simplicity of use and clear data presentation of account and shop details will make the shopping experience convenient and also eliminate any ambiguity in the mind of the visitor.
Exceptional UX for search results
Make sure that in-app search experience assists the online sales process. Today around 40% of customers use AI-based assistants to search for a needed product. Thus, use that as your pros and implement the voice recognition technology like Amazon Alexa to provide users with answers on the voice search.
The same story is with image invert search. You can use the image recognition technology and show the results in an image search on your app.
While for usual search in shopping app makes search results more personalized based on user profile history or providing predictive search functionality as we’ve built in Hollar web application. This will keep boredom away from the transaction process and leave users engaged and interested and make app UX more accessible.
Horizontal filtering (e-commerce filter design)
Horizontal filtering has become pretty popular for the last time. It’s more applicable for ecommerce apps as it’s more human-centered and flexible. This type of filtering allows to use the full-screen width and to view filters while scrolling. From UI perspective users can use different elements as sliders, tables, paragraphs, that drives more extensive UX.
Product description form
The app should be able to effectively (without many details, but yet expository) describe the product being sold. Details about the available forms to choose, the variety of colors, size, and other details should be shown not breaking the entire mobile UX.
Product image zooming with the help of fingers’ gestures
This is quite a trick and it is surprising that quite a number of brands have not realized this. Statistics state that over 40% of mobile eCommerce applications do not support zooming gestures. However, the ability to zoom pictures will definitely help customers make conclusive decisions as to purchasing or not. The feature aids proper inspection of the product and therefore helps dunce curiosity. This suggests therefore that the support of product image zooming gestures in a mobile eCommerce app is fundamental.
Wishlist or Save features
Providing a “Save” feature for the Shopping Cart makes your customers shopping UX uninterrupted. You could also create an option to allow shoppers to receive emails or custom notifications of all their saved items, there could be reminders as to unfinished purchase at the background of the mobile device.
Painless Checkout and Payment process UX
Simplify the ecommerce checkout flow and payment process if you want not to lose your customers right before they buy. Options like paying via Google pay or Apple pay would tremendously improve user experience. Another retail app feature helps to make the purchase for users is to be able to scan their cards as we’ve done while building the DSC app.
Implement wayfinding or navigation UX if you have a local store
With GPS and map integration, you will help users find your local stores, the ones that are close to them. You can even go further and implement some other features that simplify app UX. As we’ve developed for Floorwatch app you can also implement some of the next features like listing locations with details such as store address and hours, sorted by proximity to your mobile device, displaying distance and opening map for driving directions.
VR-based shopping UX
Virtual reality technologies impact mCommerce positively and drive engaging UX. VR/AR integration helps users to view the products via their device’s camera like in real life.
Such innovations can totally reduce the need to go to the offline store if you can wear the clothes virtually and see how it looks like or see whether new furniture will match your room interior checking it with the VR app first.
Add a rating or reviews features for products
Such features as ratings, reviews, best sellers marks fulfill entire ecommerce UX and simplifies customer journey as they help to make a buying decision.
What benefits you get from improving your retail app ecommerce UX
Despite that’s not an exhaustive list of all possible UX design tips for ecommerce apps as they are not limited by some number. That’s the field where you can experiment with new UX features and test their efficiency for your case. But you as any business owner should get a clear understanding of the importance of UX in mCommerce.
Keep in mind that improving shopping app experience and making it tailored for users’ needs that will result in substantial benefits for your business if it’s done properly:
Increase in the number of users
It is a proven fact that after having one bad experience with shopping in-app always discourages customers from re-using the app and not just the app, even his trust for the brand would begin to decline. It should, therefore, follow that having a nice shopping experience with an app will increase the rate at which the app will be used.
Increase users’ engagement and users’ retention
Providing personalized user experience whether it is in design or in content, will raise all app's engagement metrics.
For instance, the DSC app is designed to keep users engaged with such features as Original Content, Gift Cards, Handsome discount notification, and some others. Such UX customization will increase users’ engagement and retention in the app.
Increase brand name and authority
Once customers are beginning to have great user experience with your app, they would begin to build their trust for your brand and as such you could enjoy referrals as they can even recommend your app to their other friends and relatives.
Increase your profits by increasing the conversions and declining abandon cards
Conclusively, there is no one general solution on what the perfect UX for the mobile commerce app is. But there are major guidelines for finding the uniquely perfect UX design for your retail app construct. These guidelines have been included in all of the above-mentioned points and instances, if you follow through on them, you will have minimal challenges in fixing your UX.
Besides, improving UX is a continuous process as you should always have your eye on new ecommerce UX trends so as to keep up with the fast-moving trend. Don’t forget to review your app analytics and users' behavior to figure out their pain points in the app and solve them through the usability and A/B tests.
In case you’re seeking to outsource your design from scratch or redesign retail app, our design team with extensive expertise in ecommerce design development can help you find the best UX solution tailored for your users' needs and business purposes.
Our target is to make your visitors feel comfortable while shopping and to help you earn their trust and build your brand.
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