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Ecommerce UX: best practices for your site

ecommerce us, best practices and design

The success of your online store doesn’t just boil down to the products you offer; your eCommerce site’s user experience (UX) also matters. 

From the moment a customer lands on your homepage to when they complete a purchase, every part of the shopping journey is shaped by UX design. Good eCommerce UX considers your customer’s needs, preferences and shopping habits. It goes beyond the aesthetics of your site and involves guiding shoppers down the right path, helping them find what they need as easily as they would when shopping in a physical store. 

Keep reading to learn what eCommerce UX is and how to implement it throughout your site. 

Ready to start selling? Use an eCommerce platform like Wix.

The importance of UI and UX in eCommerce

Two main elements define a shopper’s experience on your eCommerce site: the user interface (UI) and the user experience (UX). While these terms are often used interchangeably, they refer to different aspects of web design.

  • UI is about the actual elements that you interact with on the site. Think: buttons, images, text and other visual items. It's akin to the layout and decor of a physical store; it needs to be visually appealing and functional.

  • UX is more holistic. It encompasses all aspects of a person’s end-to-end interaction with an eCommerce site. It's not just about how things look but how they work. Good UX results in an intuitive, efficient and satisfying shopping experience.

UI and UX work together to create a seamless shopping experience. A beautiful UI can attract customers. However, without a solid UX to back it up, customers may leave your site out of frustration or confusion. Conversely, great eCommerce UX can keep customers engaged even if the UI isn't cutting-edge.

10 essential steps for improving eCommerce UX

When it comes to improving the UX of an existing site, it can be hard to know where to start. However, a structured approach can help. Consider these 10 steps for getting started. 

01. Research your audience

Knowing your audience inside and out is key to standing out. It's like throwing a party—you want to make sure you've got the right music, food and vibe for the people you're inviting onto your property. 

By digging into who your customers are, what they like and what frustrates them, you can design a site that feels just right for them. This means chatting with them through surveys, diving into your site's analytics and maybe even doing a few user interviews. The insights you get from this research can help you identify areas of your site that need adjusting or map out new ways to engage shoppers. 

ecommerce ux: research your audience

02. Analyze your current eCommerce UX

Take a close look at your existing eCommerce site. Use analytics, like Wix Analytics, to see where users drop off or spend the most time. Tools like heatmaps can show you exactly where people are clicking and scrolling, revealing hot spots and dead zones. 

Don't forget to ask for feedback directly from your users; sometimes, their insights can be the most revealing. Conduct usability tests where real users complete tasks on your site and watch where they struggle or succeed. 

03. Set clear objectives for your eCommerce UX plan

Define what you want to achieve with your UX redesign. Are you aiming to reduce cart abandonment, speed up the checkout process or simply make the site more visually appealing? 

Be specific with your goals. For example, "Increase the checkout completion rate by 20% in the next six months" is much clearer than saying "Improve the checkout process." Having these clear objectives can keep your team focused and aligned. 

It will also make it easier for you to measure your progress and see if your changes are making a difference. Regularly check in on your goals and be ready to tweak them if needed. 

04. Create user personas

User personas can help you visualize your customers as real people with specific needs, behaviors and goals—then help you tailor your site accordingly. 

Start by gathering data from your audience research, such as demographics, purchasing habits and feedback. Then, build personas that represent different segments of your user base. 

For instance, you might create "Budget-Conscious Brenda," a thrifty shopper always on the lookout for deals, or "Tech-Savvy Tom," who loves the latest gadgets and smooth, fast online experiences. 

These personas help to keep your users at the forefront when designing and refining your site. Every decision, from layout tweaks to new feature rollouts, can be guided by asking, "How would this improve Brenda's or Tom's experience?" This personalized approach will ensure that your UX enhancements are relevant and impactful, making your site more user-friendly and enjoyable for everyone.

05. Map the user journey on your eCommerce site

Outline the path customers take from landing on your site to completing a purchase. Doing so will help you chart out every stop your customers make, including key touchpoints and potential friction points. 

Pay attention to different paths that users might take. Use tools like journey maps to visualize these steps, highlighting the emotional highs and lows your shoppers experience along the way. Are people prone to get distracted while navigating through your site? Do they get overwhelmed by too many choices? Are you using eCommerce merchandising strategies that can keep shoppers on your site longer and guide them toward a purchase? Conversely, do you notice higher purchase rates on pages where product reviews are prominent and positive? Keep an eye out for key motivators at each stage. 

06. Design with empathy

Put yourself in your customers' shoes and design for their convenience and comfort. Make navigation intuitive and information easily accessible.

Think about accessibility, too. In other words, design for users of all abilities. When you approach UX with empathy, you're not just making changes for the sake of it; you're considering your customers’ emotional journey and creating an experience that feels personal and caring. This thoughtful approach leads to a more intuitive site, happier customers—and ultimately, better business results.

07. Implement a mobile-friendly design

Design your site with a mobile-first mindset, i.e., declutter your pages and make sure your layout is easy to navigate on smaller screens. If you use a website builder like Wix, you should be able to easily customize the mobile version of your site. Hide non-essential elements from view and make sure buttons, plus navigational menus, are easy to click with a thumb. 

Test your site on various devices and screen sizes to catch any issues as you build out your design. 

ecommerce ux, mobile friendly

08. Conduct user testing

Before finalizing any changes, test them with real users to gather feedback and make necessary adjustments. Recruit a diverse group of real users who match your customer personas. Then, ask them to complete key tasks, like finding a product, adding it to the cart and checking out. 

Observe where users struggle, what confuses them and where they sail through with ease. Encourage them to think out loud so you can get insights into their thought process. 

Use a mix of methods, like in-person sessions, remote testing and A/B testing, to gather a broad range of feedback. Afterward, you should be able to analyze results and identify common pain points. 

09. Iterate based on feedback

Use the insights from user testing to refine your UX design continuously. Start with the most critical issues that are causing frustration and/or hurting sales, and make those adjustments first. 

Then, roll out these changes and keep a close eye on how users respond. Continue using your analytics, heatmaps and follow-up user tests to see if the tweaks are hitting the mark. Don’t be afraid to go through multiple iterations; each round of feedback brings you closer to a smoother, more intuitive site. Remember, this is an ongoing process. As user needs and behaviors evolve, continue to gather feedback and make adjustments

10. Stay updated with training

The world of UX is always evolving, with new trends, tools and best practices emerging all the time. To stay ahead, regularly invest in training and professional development. 

Take online courses and attend webinars. Follow industry blogs or join UX communities to learn from experts and peers. Experiment with new techniques to see how they can enhance your site.

Top eCommerce UX best practices

If you want your eCommerce site to truly shine, it's important to follow some proven design tips. Here are some key suggestions to help you out:

  • Create intuitive product pages: Make sure your product pages are beefed up with all the essential information—such as high-quality product photos, commonly requested product information and shipping information (among others). Avoid using fluffy language on these pages and instead, seek to inform.

Did you know? When designing a product page on Wix, you can enlist the help of AI-powered writing tools that take UX best practices into consideration.

  • Simplify the checkout process: Reduce cart abandonment by streamlining the checkout process. Minimize the number of steps and ask only for essential information, plus accept multiple payment methods via solutions like Wix Payments

  • Use clear call-to-action (CTA) buttons: Place your CTAs where users are most likely to see them and take action. This often means placing them above the fold, near product descriptions or at key points in the user journey. Keep them simple, using direct language that tells users exactly what you want them to do.

  • Offer easy navigation: Ensure that your site's navigation is straightforward and logical. Use clear categories and filters to help users find products quickly. Additionally, incorporate breadcrumbs that show users their current location within the site hierarchy and allow them to easily backtrack. This is especially useful for sites with a lot of categories.

  • Provide accessible customer support: Make it easy for customers to get help when they need it by offering accessible customer support options like live chat or a comprehensive FAQ section.

Examples of websites with strong UX

Sometimes the best way to learn is by mimicking the experts. Below are three iconic examples of websites with strong eCommerce UX. 


Amazon sets a high standard for intuitive design with its simple navigation, personalized recommendations and one-click purchasing option—all of which contribute to a seamless shopping experience.


Zappos excels in customer service with its easy returns policy and helpful product reviews, making the online shoe-buying process as user-friendly as possible.


ASOS provides an excellent case study in eCommerce UX with its use of high-quality imagery, detailed product information and a mobile app that mirrors the functionality of its website.

Challenges in eCommerce UX to be aware of

Creating a top-notch eCommerce user experience comes with its own set of challenges. From navigation issues to mobile optimization, here are some common obstacles you may face and tips on how to overcome them, when building an eCommerce site:

  • Dealing with a diverse user base: Your customers will have varying levels of tech-savviness and preferences. To cater to this diversity, use clear navigation, simple language and helpful tooltips to guide users of all experience levels through your site.

  • Balancing aesthetics with functionality: While a visually stunning website can attract users, functionality should never be compromised. As you’re building your website, make sure that its design helps with usability rather than detracting from it.

  • Optimizing for speed: Slow loading times can frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates. Some ways to combat this: optimize images (Wix automatically compresses images to Webp), work with a reliable website builder and minimize the use of heavy scripts.

  • Ensuring consistency across platforms: Users expect a consistent experience, whether they're shopping on a desktop, tablet or smartphone. Maintain uniformity in design and functionality across all platforms.

  • Securing user data: With increasing concerns about data privacy, it’s wise to study the website security behind your site. Check that any user data is protected against breaches, especially when you’re collecting online payments. 

  • Gathering actionable user feedback: Collecting feedback is one thing; translating it into meaningful improvements is another. Use surveys, user testing sessions and analytics to gather actionable insights.

The future of eCommerce UX

The UX landscape is always changing. In eCommerce specifically, there are several trends that you should keep your eye on. 

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

AI and machine learning are becoming integral to personalizing the shopping experience. They can predict user preferences, provide tailored recommendations and automate customer service through chatbots. 

“The AI breakthroughs we’ve witnessed over the last year are just beginning,” says Oren Inditzky, Wix’s VP & GM of Online Stores. “Right now we’re seeing generative AI dominate headlines and become mainstream.”

“Pretty soon, though, we’ll see the democratization of advanced machine learning (ML) algorithms. Capabilities that were once limited to eCommerce giants will be accessible to any and every online seller.”- Oren Inditzky, Wix VP & GM of Online Stores

Augmented reality (AR)

AR technology allows users to visualize products in their own environment before buying. Brands like IKEA and Warby Parker have already paved the way in this realm. But as technology advances and becomes more accessible, AR is expected to become a standard feature on eCommerce sites.

Voice commerce

As voice-activated devices gain popularity, voice commerce is set to become a significant channel for online shopping. 

“We still have a ways to go, but soon, voice search will be far more prevalent than it is today,” says Giorgia Foscarini, team lead of international blogs at Wix. “We already see people using virtual assistants every day, whether through their phones, smart TVs or smart watches.”

“Optimize your content for voice search by addressing conversational queries,” she advises. “Think about how people would actually speak into their devices, and tailor your writing accordingly.” 

Sustainability and ethical practices

Nearly 90% of global consumers have changed their shopping habits to be more eco-friendly, according to Capital One Shopping, and 80% of these consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly products. 

Think of ways to incorporate sustainable practices into your operations. However, avoid “greenwashing” (that is, making misleading claims about the environmental benefits of your product, service or company practices to appear more eco-friendly than they actually are).  

Wix’s eCommerce UX design capabilities

Looking for a website platform that points you down the right path? Wix offers several advantages to help with eCommerce UX:

  • Drag-and-drop, AI-powered builder: Wix's intuitive drag-and-drop interface allows you to design your online store without needing to code. Wix even offers an AI website creator, making the process accessible to everyone.

  • Customizable templates: With a wide selection of eCommerce-specific templates, Wix allows you to choose a design that aligns with your brand and customize it to fit your unique needs.

  • Mobile optimization: All Wix websites are automatically optimized for mobile devices but you can tweak the mobile site however you want through the Editor.

  • App market: Extend the functionality of your online store with apps from the Wix App Market, including tools for marketing, analytics, shipping and more.

  • SEO tools: Wix provides built-in SEO tools to help improve your online store's visibility and attract more traffic.

  • Secure payment solutions: Offer customers secure payment options with Wix Payments, which supports a variety of popular payment methods.

If you're ready to take your eCommerce UX to the next level, explore Wix's eCommerce solutions and discover how you can enhance your online presence.

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