Expert UX/UI Strategies to Improve the Experience of Online Shopping

Discover 7 proven strategies to take the experience of online shopping to new heights with expert UX/UI tips derived from a comprehensive Philips Romania audit
Expert UX/UI Strategies to Improve the Experience of Online Shopping
Every online shopping experience, physical store interaction, and brand touchpoint influences consumer decisions. But keeping up with customers' ever-changing demands has become increasingly challenging over time.

As a result, retailers are facing a pressing issue: creating engaging experiences across all touchpoints or risk losing customers to competitors who provide holistic shopping journeys. So, how do you captivate your audience and keep them coming back for more?

A positive customer experience (CX) ultimately sets successful retail businesses apart. While the physical retail experience has long been a retailer's focus, to improve CX, we must turn to UX/UI design, an essential aspect of any eCommerce platform—what turns browsing into buying and transforms hesitant clicks into conversions. What we’ll cover:

  • How to improve the shopping experience online
  • The impact of UX/UI design on the online store experience
  • Practical strategies to implement UX/UI design for the best online shopping experience and improved customer satisfaction

What Makes a Good Online Shopping Experience?

A consumer-first retail platform guarantees a positive online shopping journey. This includes a user-friendly interface, intuitive navigation, clear product categorization, and thorough product descriptions.

From a technical perspective, a good online buying experience involves fast loading times, secure and diverse payment options, and responsive customer support (pre and post-purchase).

In fact, studies show that 40% of users will leave a page that takes more than 3 seconds to load. Currently, the average loading time for desktops is 2.5 seconds.

But slow loading times aren’t just a user experience thing – they directly impact bottom lines. Forbes points out that each year, slow-loading websites result in a loss of $2.6 billion in sales for retailers.

Eventually, it all boils down to how users perceive the online customer experience. If this is a priority for your business, keep on reading, as we’ll delve into the top challenges and solutions to improve online CX below.

Common Challenges in Delivering Great CX in eCommerce

two people strategizing on a board


Fostering a positive customer experience journey is becoming more and more difficult as customer demands and technological advancements evolve at a fast pace.

So, let’s address the hurdles that stand in the way of your customer’s journey and zoom in on the common pain points that burden CX efforts:

Complex Website Navigation

Poor website navigation, cluttered interfaces, and unintuitive menu structures can distract users. This often leads to increased bounce rates and reduced conversion rates.

Confusing Product Information

Clear and comprehensive product information drives informed purchasing decisions and builds consumer trust. In contrast, inadequate descriptions, ambiguous specifications, and insufficient visual assets can sow seeds of doubt in the minds of potential buyers. This impedes conversion rates and recurring purchases.

Ineffective Search Functionality

Subpar search algorithms, irrelevant results, and limited filtering options will affect the user experience, resulting in frustration and abandoned shopping carts. That’s why a responsive and user-friendly search function is non-negotiable, especially during the exploration and discovery phase of the customer journey.

Cumbersome Checkout Processes

Baymard study reflecting statistics on  checkout processes

Source: Baymard

The checkout process demands the utmost efficiency and simplicity. Customers shouldn’t face complex checkout procedures, mandatory account registrations, and unexpected fees.

6 UX/ UI Questions to Ask if You Want to Boost the Online Store Experience

Retail success hinges on delivering exceptional customer experiences across all touchpoints. UX/UI design plays a crucial role in achieving this goal by posing six common questions that tap into the minds of retail consumers:

1. Is the customer journey easy to navigate?

Are customers able to navigate effortlessly from product discovery to purchase completion? Are there any unnecessary steps or barriers in the journey that we could eliminate or optimize?

2. Are we addressing user needs effectively?

Are the design decisions aligned with user needs and expectations? Does the digital platform provide relevant information, intuitive navigation, and personalized experiences that cater to user preferences?

3. Why are customers leaving without converting?

What are the primary reasons for cart abandonment or site exits? Are there usability issues, technical glitches, or friction points that deter users from completing their purchase journey?

4. How can we improve the user experience?

What actionable insights can be derived from user feedback and usability testing? Are there any low-hanging fruits or quick wins that we can implement to enhance the user experience?

5. Is the design accessible to all users?

Is the design optimized for screen readers, keyboard navigation, and assistive technologies? Are there any accessibility barriers that we can address to ensure equal access for all users?

6. Are design decisions data-driven?

Are design decisions backed by empirical data and user feedback? How can data analytics be used to refine and iterate on design solutions for better user engagement and conversion rates?

The Building Blocks of a Great Shopping Experience Online

person conducting online shopping with a card


Now that we've delved into the fundamental aspects of UX/UI in building a positive online store experience, it's time to address them, hands-on. Simply identifying issues won’t benefit end users, so let's explore ways to improve these key areas.

Drawing from our recent experiences, including a comprehensive UX/UI audit and usability testing conducted for Philips Romania – we'll offer practical solutions and insights to help you boost the retail customer experience.

Here’s what we found works best when trying to improve the online customer experience:

1. Improve search functionality and product discovery

Search functionality refers to how a website or an app allows users to input queries and retrieve relevant information. It consists of search bars, filters, and algorithms that help users easily find specific content.

To enhance search functionality and ensure a positive user experience, focus on the following aspects:

  • Relevant results based on user queries (features like autocomplete, spell check, and synonyms to improve search accuracy and user satisfaction).
  • A clean and intuitive search user interface (UI) that features the search bar and provides helpful suggestions or prompts as users type their queries. Our advice is to not go outside the mainstream regarding search bar design, allowing users to find what they’re looking for with ease. 
  • Filters based on common attributes such as price, brand, size, color, and other relevant criteria.
  • Responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions, allowing users to search for products on any device.
  • Consider implementing AI solutions for retail that drive hyper-personalization into your eCommerce platform. For example, tools like RecommendationAI can integrate seamlessly into retail platforms and improve product discovery for users. 

2. Ensure clear navigation

Clear navigation involves organizing menu options on websites or apps in an intuitive and accessible form. User-friendly navigation helps steer through different pages or products without any confusion, which is essential to improve the customer experience for retail consumers.

With the right UX/UI design, you’ll guide users through the eCommerce platform while providing them with a good browsing experience. Here’s how to use UX/UI design to improve navigation:

  • Keep the menu consistent, allowing users to access all links regardless of their current page.
  • Ensure the "back" button remains visible in the mobile version.
  • Implement a sticky navigation menu that remains visible at the top of the screen even as users scroll down the page.
  • Optimize the speed and usability of your menu to minimize loading times.
  • Maintain consistency in breadcrumbs across the site to avoid confusion in page orientation.

3. Focus on product information architecture

Product information architecture consists of organizing and presenting product details on an eCommerce platform. Good product architecture means users will easily find relevant information about your products.

To improve information architecture, you’ll need to establish a clear product categorization system and provide detailed product descriptions. This will assist users in understanding product features and benefits, making it easier for them to make an informed buying decision.

Here’s how to enhance your product information architecture structure:

  • Use visual cues, such as icons and images, to enhance product presentation and improve information accessibility.
  • Provide detailed product descriptions to help users distinguish features, relevant use cases, and comparisons.
  • Prioritize product specifications to meet user preferences.
  • Optimize search to suggest relevant products on results pages.

4. Improve the checkout process

shopping cart and a "sale" sign


The checkout process has gone through multiple iterations throughout the years. We’ve now evolved from complex, multi-step processes to simple, intuitive cart experiences that allow users to complete their buying decisions instantly. Embedded digital wallets, one-page checkouts, and pay installments are all major improvements that facilitate users’ online shopping experience.

To ensure an easy checkout process that is on par with current all-time-high consumer demands, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Reduce the number of steps required to complete a purchase. The checkout process should consist of one page where users can begin and finish their cart experience in a few easy steps.
  • Allow customers to complete their purchases without having to create an account.
  • Embedded financial services are becoming a norm, with global revenue from embedded financial services expected to surpass $183 billion by 2027. Retailers need to start providing a variety of payment methods to accommodate different customer preferences, such as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL), account-to-account payments (A2A), and digital wallets – the modern-day fintech innovations.

5. Improve visual design and consistency

Consistent branding and visual hierarchies on the website drive eCommerce engagement, trust, and conversion rates. Moreover, the right mix of brand elements and intuitive visual cues influence usability and pleasure for web users, ultimately driving business growth.

relationship between virtual design, usability, user experience, and conversion


Our recommendations to enhance visual design are:

  • Ensure consistency in branding elements such as logos, colors, and typography across all pages. Consistent branding fosters trust and recognition among consumers.
  • Maintain a clear hierarchy of buttons and elements and prioritize a clear visual hierarchy that directs users' attention to key elements on each page (such as call-to-action buttons or product images). 
  • Implement a grid-based layout for harmonious structure and pay attention to detail in design elements such as spacing, alignment, and typography.

6. Ensure mobile responsiveness

man scrolling through his phone


With over 50% of eCommerce retail sales coming from mobile devices, optimizing the shopping experience for all devices is a no-brainer. Good UX/UI design ensures the website layout adapts to various screen sizes and orientations. Some tips to improve the online shopping experience for users include:

  • Optimize images and minimize code to reduce page load times.
  • Simplify menus and navigation elements for easy access on smaller screens.
  • Design buttons and interactive elements with touch interactions in mind, ensuring they are large enough and well-spaced for comfortable use with thumbs.

7. Focus on consistent interactions and meeting user expectations

Competitors are always vying for the customer’s attention, and that means they’ll employ top neuromarketing tactics in the digital shopping experience to keep users engaged on their website. 

With the online shopping experience topping priorities for 2024 and beyond, here’s what you should consider:

  • Implement filtering and sorting options for search results.
  • Use autosuggest for data entry and form completion.
  • Adapt keyboard type based on input data for user convenience.
  • Include interactive features like Back to Top buttons for navigation.
  • Include user feedback in UX/UI Design. You can do so through pop-up forms to ask them about their online experience, chatbots, or via email campaigns.

Ready to Boost CX in Your eCommerce Business? Join Forces with Trusted Experts

two people in a meeting shaking hands


Creating exceptional online shopping experiences is within reach for your retail business. By prioritizing user needs and learning from direct feedback, such as forums, review sites, or web-type forms, or indirect feedback, such as a heatmap, you too can tap into the hidden opportunities the digital shopping experience poses.

With data on hand, start implementing UX/UI best practices to transform browsing into buying and foster long-term customer loyalty. Throughout, keep these key takeaways in mind:

  • Prioritize user research and persona development.
  • Conduct regular UX audits and usability testing.
  • Personalize and customize the shopping experience.
  • Ensure accessibility and inclusivity for both mobile users and desktop visitors.
  • Embrace iterative design processes and data-driven decision-making.
  • Address common customer concerns through strategic UX/UI enhancements.

👉 If addressing customer demands is on your checklist, give our ultimate omnichannel customer experience guide a read. You’ll learn what it takes to build unified CX across all user touchpoints and useful tips to stay ahead of your competition.

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Maria Deac