eCommerce Cultivated | Episode 028

eCommerce UX Best Practices For Luxury Brands

Ever felt like your overall customer experience could be improved?

Or how about you just wanted to take things up a notch for your customers?

In this episode, I’m going over eCommerce UX Best Practices for Luxury Brands.

Use these tips to help you elevate your online store presence so you can increase conversions.

Apple | Spotify | Stitcher

Show Resources

Want to work together?

Show Notes

Welcome. I definitely appreciate you being here. I am not a professional podcaster  or I’m still learning so much. You guys, like I learn new stuff about podcasting every single week that I’m just really shocked. Like, oh, I didn’t know that. Like, one of them was super simple and I’m almost embarrassed to even bring it up, which is probably why I won’t bring it up. But I was like, that makes complete sense. And one of the things is that when I started the podcast, I didn’t know what to do, like I guess an introductory episode or what that first episode should have been.

And so I just recorded that first episode introducing you to the podcast, a normal episode, which I think is fine. But last week I discovered that you can do trailers and trailers are kind of like little brief introductions to your podcast. So it could be a welcome trailer or it could be like a seasonal trailer. And I didn’t know that until last week. If you saw me upload my first trailer ever, that’s where that came from, because I was just made aware that you could do that.

I absolutely had no idea. So I feel kind of embarrassed saying that. But this is a new world for me. I come from the world of writing blog posts and doing SEO research for blog posts or blog content writing. And so this whole audio world and podcasting and equipment like I’m a techie at heart. So I love this aspect, like the tech and learning. I’m a big learner, like I love learning about stuff every day. It doesn’t even matter if it’s related to what I do in my business or anything.

Like I just love learning. I love figuring out, like, why things are the way they are. And so anyway, this is just all fun for me. And so I’ve been learning a lot each week. So I’m just appreciative that you are tuning in and listening to my episodes because those first few podcast episodes, well, they were rough and I knew they were going to be rough, but I decided at that time that I was going to start imperfectly.

And I think that is OK. Like, you don’t have to always start perfect. You don’t always have to start as if you’ve been in the game for ten years doing something. Yes. it might look great. But, as your business, as your goals or whatever it is that you’re focused on grows, so will you. And so will like the improvement of whatever it is that you’re advancing so you can start imperfectly and it’ll be fine.

OK, like everybody has a rough start. So any who thank you for letting me be on my soapbox for a minute, but I definitely wanted to say thank you for those that are actively listening and tuning in to each episode. I greatly appreciate it because I got the stats in from last week and I was like, oh my God! This is like the most downloads I’ve gotten. In one week, I was just super excited. So thank you. OK, so now that I’ve gotten that out the way, not out the way, but you know what I mean.

I want to talk about in this episode specifically around ecommerce UX best practices for luxury brands, because it’s important. It’s important in how your customers perceive your brand. It’s also important in how you can optimize your online store and your overall presence. And then it’s also important because it builds trust and instills credibility into your business, which are all vital for you to attain and keep your customers. So we’re going to be talking about that.

What does UX mean?

And don’t worry, I’m going to break down what you UX means because you probably saw that name or saw that little acronym. And you’re probably like, what is UX? Because it is an industry term and a lot with industry terms. If you’re not actually in our industry, you’re probably like, what does that mean? So I’ll break that down for you.

In a nutshell, UX means user experience. And it’s basically just the overall experience that users.

So anybody that’s interacting with an app or application, maybe on a mobile device or even your website, like it’s what you are experiencing while you’re going through that journey.

And so, as you can imagine, it’s pretty important to have a great user experience. We’ve all kind of landed in a spot on a website where we’re like, this does not make sense whether you couldn’t figure out why the search functionality just wasn’t working the way that you expected or the way you had to find information or products just didn’t seem right , like it didn’t flow right.

Those are all part of the user experience. And it’s also usually coupled with UI and UI stands for user interface and the user interface is anything that you’re interacting with. So, for example, you are listening to this podcast episode, either through an online experience so like maybe it’s the website. That’s the interface, like every element of that page is the interface.

Or if you’re listening to the podcast through your favorite podcast listening app, you’re interacting with that interface that could be on your mobile phone, that could be on your tablet, that could be through your television.

eCommerce UX Best Practices

That’s all part of the interactive aspect. And because both of those UX and UI have to coordinate really well together, to make sense. I’m going to break down some of the best practices you can use for eCommerce UX, so that you can optimize your site and also just improve your overall experience for customers.

So we’re going to start off with one of the most important pages on your website, and that is your homepage. And usually when people are landing on your homepage, the first place they’re going to actually use is going to be your navigation when it comes to the navigation that carries a lot of weight in how people are going to journey through your website.

Easy to Use Navigation

And so you want to make sure that your navigation has some really important principles in place. First, it needs to be easy to navigate. Second, it needs to make sense. It needs to not be so overwhelming that people are having a hard time deciding what to do next. And it’s also been indicated through research that having your logo on your site, more structure towards the left of the website page is more ideal, followed by having the individual links to click through the other areas of your site.

Layout Structure

When you’re looking at your website and you’re thinking of the structure, you see like the logo in the upper left and then followed by the links to the individual areas of your website, and when customers are using your menu links, they’re usually going to click the links that’s closest to the left first and then go through the rest of the links, depending on what information those links lead to.

If you have something that’s really important that you want your customers to click on first, you need to put it closer to the left side of the site.

That way they get to that quickly and it’s just like right there in their face. So keep that in mind.

Next, we’re going to think about how. How people are viewing the page, so you need to think about the layout structure. People who are going to be scrolling down your site, what are some of the key components that they’re going to see?

They’re going to see text, right? They’re going to be reading through the text to make sure the descriptions and what they expect makes sense, making sure that it flows correctly.

They’re going to be looking at your product images and videos to see like, oh, is this something that I’m really interested in? They’re also going to be looking at your branding.

Does your branding make sense? Is it attractive to them? Is it something that they want to be engulfed in? And this is one of the reasons why you need to understand your ideal customer and what they prefer when it comes to the visuals of a business. If you don’t understand that, then it will be harder for you to capture their attention.

And so I do have some episodes that I will link in the show, notes that you can check out where we talk a little bit more about having brand clarity and having brand values and really understanding your customers so that it makes sense to them once they land on your website that this is the place for them.

The way you have the layout structured, it needs to make sense in the way of how people are going to be reading through your page, you don’t want to have too much information or too little information you want kind of like that just right balance.

So that people aren’t getting overwhelmed and not taking action, but also so that they don’t feel underwhelmed and aren’t taking action. So you need to have that healthy balance. Now that you have, like the copy, the branding in place and the visuals in terms of like your images and your video. You need to think about your call to actions. So your call to actions could be buttons, it could be a sign up to get on an email list. Whatever those call to actions are, you want to look at the structure of the wording on those and then also look at the button colors.

Are they contrasting or are they blending in too much things like that? If they are blending in too much, they could be easily, avoided or just missed. If they’re popping, but they’re popping out too much. It could be overwhelming and maybe feels like it’s screaming at your customers, which you don’t want that to happen, especially as a luxury brand. You don’t want to be screaming at your customers unless that is part of your brand personality.

If it is and it makes total sense, then you do what works for your brand. And that’s, again, another thing to keep in mind. Does this type of design, this type of structure, this type of a layout follow with my brand personality?

If my customers come to this homepage or any part of my website. Is it going to be in alignment with the type of brand personality that I have as a perception out there in the market?

Branding

So think about those things. This leads me to my next point, and that is branding. Branding is about how your store feels and it looks, its perception. Once you’ve nailed that experience, then your customers will feel more aligned to your business and it will create this type of distinction. Also your branding will inspire trust and credibility back into your business, which is all very important when you are having people trade sensitive information to buy a product from your store.

You want to always appear credible, trustworthy and secure because again, people are transferring or entering sensitive information. And you don’t want your websites to look shady and have people questioning like, oh, is this legit? Like we’ve all been on websites where we were like, I’m not entering my credit card over here, especially if you’ve ever been a victim of any type of identity theft or anything like that. Make sure that your branding is on point.

Branding is not always about the visuals. It’s a whole collective experience from the way your brand feels, from the way it speaks, how it presents itself, how it’s always showing up in the market.

Is it recognizable? The type of voice and personality that your brand has? All of those aspects are really important. And if you don’t have any brand personality or you’re just blending in with everyone else, then you’ll actually get looked over. And as a luxury brand, you don’t want that.

You want your customers, the ones that you want to attract. You want them to know that once they are on your site, once they have interacted with your brand, that you created this specifically for them and they feel like that is the reason why they are here. So make sure your branding is on point. Once you get your branding down, the next thing is you want to look at your design. Now, I love minimalism. I love minimalistic design.

Minimalistic Design

If you look at my website, you know, it’s more minimalistic. It’s not like all over the place. It’s pretty simple. And there is a lot of value to having a minimalistic design, especially when it comes to eCommerce. One, it gives you more opportunities to specifically call out important information to your customers so that they know that they’re in the right place.

A lot of white space is what you might see in a more minimalistic design, meaning that not every area of the website is occupied by something, but it is strategically coordinated in a way that leads your customers through a journey like it takes them through a path.

While they’re on that path, they’re getting all this important information to take the next step and then the next step and then the next step.

Eventually leading them to the checkout, which is what you want. You want the journey to be seamless. And with a minimalistic design, you can do that. You can call out attention to really important aspects, whether that is product information, whether it’s a video, whether it’s a photo or whatever it is that you want to call attention to.

You can do that very well with minimalistic design. And also minimalistic design is not overwhelming to your customer. It’s very clear on what it is that you want them to do, what they should be doing next.

So have some sort of a minimalistic design aspect into your e-commerce business and it will help you with a better UX or user experience presentation.

So we are more of a digital society now, and with that comes the ability to view and have experiences from different devices.

Mobile Friendly & Responsive

That leads me into my next point. Your mobile friendliness and responsiveness of your design. You want to make sure that your design, your experience is mobile friendly and responsive, because people are accessing your site at different points in their day. They could be on their phone, they could be on their tablet, or they could just be on some sort of different device. And you want to make sure that that experience that they have on that device is the same as when they’re on the actual website.

And that also helps support more of an omni-channel experience, which is just making sure that once the customer is on one specific channel of your business, it’s translated seamlessly into the next channel of your business without feeling like there is this disconnect.

For example, when customers go to your website and they order a product and then you give them the option to do in-store pickup or curbside pickup, that is kind of like an omni-channel experience for existing store owners.

I would recommend that you look at your analytics to see how much of your customer base is actually visiting and interacting with your store from the mobile aspect versus more of the desktop aspect.

Then also look at where your sales are coming from. Are you pulling in more sales from your mobile customers versus your desktop customers?Or is there like a slight difference? Really pay attention to that, because if you have a lot of mobile customers, then maybe there are opportunities for you to optimize that experience.

Which could lead to higher conversions, especially if you’re noticing that maybe the mobile customers are having a higher abandoned cart rate percentage versus your desktop customers.

If that is the case and definitely do some deep analysis to see if there are any opportunities for the mobile friendliness of your store.

Multiple Methods to Get In Touch

So now that we’ve talked about mobile friendliness and the importance of that, I want to talk about making sure that you have multiple touch points for people to get in touch with you about questions regarding products that they’re ordering. Of course, you have your contact page that people can click through to actually contact you and use all your information there, whether that is a customer service phone number or contact form, whichever case that is.

Make sure that you have that in place. But also think about utilizing some sort of live chat feature so that when customers on different parts of your website. If a question comes up, they can easily click that little chat icon in the lower corner to start a conversation, to ask a question and whoever is in charge of responding to customers through the live chat.

Just make sure that they are educated about important aspects of the products, about the business, that way they can answer those questions and if they are answering, what the customer is looking for and they have great customer service and great, people skills that can lead to increased sales because that customer does not have to click off your website.

Think about it and ask a whole bunch of people if you have that live chat option available, then you have somebody who’s already familiar with the business who can answer for them and just help them continue on that journey of getting to the checkout and becoming a customer of your business.

I will link in the show notes, and I think it’s an episode that I did about live chat or chat benefits. And so I’ll link that in the show notes. So definitely go ahead and listen to that one.

And I’ll also link another post that I did about the benefits of having a live chat option on your e-commerce website.

Check those out after you’ve listened to this episode.

Product Reviews

This one you might not have imagined would be part of a great user experience, but it actually is, and that is product reviews.

Product reviews can really help your customers who are coming to your website make a decision, because those are real people that have had real experiences with your products, not that you can’t vouch for your own products.

But when you have other people coming in and supporting what your products are about, it really just helps instill more trust and credibility.

You want to make sure that you enable product reviews. Now, I know I’ve had some store owners that are like, I don’t want my website to have a whole bunch of product reviews and just look like everyone else.

There is a way that you can design and structure your product reviews to be helpful but not overbearing on your website. So don’t worry about that. You want to think about what it is that your customers need the most to help them make that buying decision.

And product reviews are very helpful. I still will look at product reviews if a site has them enabled. I’m looking at the positive reviews. I’m looking at what people are saying, people that really love it. And I’m also looking at what people are saying that maybe they didn’t give it a five out of five, but maybe they gave it a three out of five or four out of five. And a lot of times people are like, oh, I don’t want to display like the product reviews that aren’t so great.

I think those are helpful to display because sometimes people don’t want to give you a five out of five not because they didn’t have a great experience or anything like that. Some people just don’t give five out of five. For whatever that case may be, that is what they’re about. But it does not mean that the product was horrible or anything like that. So I like to look at every angle and then use the information that I have presented in front of me to make the best decision.

And I’ve bought products that kind of have mixed reviews and they’ve been perfectly fine for me. So, I mean, like give your customers that opportunity to make a decision for themselves and just trust that they will trust your business and take that next step. So enable those product reviews. That is very good for your UX experiences. 

And this is a final one, which is very important.

Seamless Checkout

It is to make sure that you have a seamless checkout. Have you ever gotten to the checkout page? You were so excited because maybe you’ve cruised the website for a while, putting your cart together, mixing and matching. Sometimes I’ve had to mix and match because I was like, I want to get this free shipping. And so I’m like, what? What else can I add into my cart to get this free shipping? So you can end up spending a lot of time on the website and the last thing you want to do is get to the checkout.

And it’s asking you a whole bunch of questions right. Like I just want to check out, let me give you my money so I can get my shipping notification and go on about my day. So when people get to that checkout page, make it seamless. Don’t ask them for, you know, their first born. And all this stuff, enable some guest check out.

You can use other methods to get more information about your customers later in your funnel, which you could possibly do through Klaviyo, through email marketing program, which I recommend Klaviyo because it helps ecommerce businesses scale even further and things like that.

So enable guests to check out and ask customers the least amount of information to help them take that next step to finish the transaction. You don’t want to get super creative on the checkout page like it is meant to do one thing.

It is meant to get people to complete that transaction and so enable that guest check out and be mindful of the type of questions that you’re asking your customers, because if you’re asking a whole bunch, they’re going to ditch your site and they’re going to be like, nope, that’s it.

I don’t care if you’re giving free shipping. I don’t care if you’re giving an extra bonus on something. Just make that final checkout seamless. It will make a difference. And so even if you noticed an uptick in abandoned carts, because maybe you changed something on that page, go back, reevaluate and see if it’s necessary.

Because it’s really important to make sure that that is simple. It’s seamless, it works. So test out your buttons to make sure that your processing works correctly and all of those things because they are vital to the overall experience.

All right. To quickly recap, we talked about making sure that when it comes to e-commerce, UX best practices for your luxury brand, that you have some of these elements in place and that is…

Easy to use navigation so that people know where to go to first and make sure that it’s easy to use. And then you want to look at your layout structure of your most prominent pages. So like your home page or product page and all of those vital pages that your customers are viewing every time they land on your website, you also want to take in consideration your branding.

Does it align with the perception that your customers have of your business? If it doesn’t, you might need to rebrand. So really just validate and check that your branding is on point.

The next one is minimalistic design, minimalistic design, convert’s. It’s not overwhelming. It gives your customers a clear call to action, a clear way to navigate your website, and make sure that your design is not overwhelming. Also very important because people are accessing your store from various options that it’s mobile friendly and your design is responsive.

And then next, give people multiple ways to get in touch with you so that if they have questions, they can easily get in contact with somebody in your business without having to click off your site and then come back later, because most likely they won’t if that is the case.

And then next is to make sure that you enable product reviews, product reviews are going to be vital in helping people make that next best decision so that they can get to that checkout page.

Which leads me to my last point, a seamless checkout.

You want to give your customers that opportunity to have a guest checkout experience where they aren’t getting asked a whole bunch of questions, but they’re just getting asked the vital information to get their products to them, which is their name, their address, email and all that stuff. So don’t ask them about their first born, their birthday,  where they want to travel to, all of that stuff.

You’ll have an opportunity in your relationship to ask them those questions, if you set up those funnels correctly. So that is the quick recap.

If you have additional questions about this definitely get in contact with me, of course, you know where to find me. I’m over at The May Creative. But yeah, having a great UX experience is vital. And hopefully this episode gave you some insights of why UX is important, UX and UI.

A lot of times people know that their website has an opportunity because their conversions are very, very low or just not at a level where they’re happy and excited about it.

So if that is the case, it could be because your UX and your UI are not in alignment. When you partner those things together, a whole bunch of other elements have to be brought together for it to make sense. So your website copy, the photos, the images, everything that encompasses your brand needs to flow in order for it to make sense for your customers.

So when you’re looking to build that presence, expand your online presence, you have to think about the overall experience.

So when you go to my website, you will hear me say or you will read it. A lot of the information on my website is about an experience and what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the whole entire encompassing element of your business. So once a person gets into your brand, they start to learn more about your business.

It’s not just about the visuals. It’s about the experience from how that brand speaks to them, from their interactions with the brand customer service and so much more.

So if you have questions, definitely let me know. And thank you so much for listening to today’s episode.

karen-founder-tmc 3

Thank you for listening! I'm Karen the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help growing eCommerce brands who sell luxury goods craft an elevated Shopify experience. So they can take their store to the next level. You can learn more about the signature service, called the Elevated Shop Experience. Or stay for a while and check out the other episodes below or dive into some insightful eCommerce articles.

Karen

You'll also enjoy with some wine:

  • How to Establish Brand Clarity Within Your Luxury Brand
  • Ep 018: Is It Time to Redesign/Rebrand Your Online Store Website?
  • Why Your Luxury Products Need A Luxury Experience

Join the conversation