Your shopping cart is full, you’re nearly ready to hit the submit button but want to check on one last detail before you finalize the purchase… but you can’t figure out how to get back to the product page. The anxiety mounts, what if it came in a better color?… what if you got the wrong size? Panic sets in and the only safe way out is to hit the x on the browser tab.
Did you just have a bad user experience (the inability to find the product page) or a bad customer experience (panic about your purchase)?
In fact, it was both.
In ecommerce there is very little daylight between user experience and customer experience. This is hugely important for ecommerce providers because customers make no distinction between the technology and the vendor – they are one and the same.
Following best practices for user experience in a web environment means giving your customers the best opportunity to make a purchase and leave your online store feeling positive about their choice in your brand.
But what IS good user experience on an ecommerce site?
Simply put, a good user experience is one where the user’s needs are anticipated and fulfilled. Those needs are driven by habit, custom, and personal preference. Although it is difficult to design for personal preference, online shopping habits and customs are easier to anticipate. In a nutshell, customers expect: flexibility (easy to make changes), consistency (standardized shopping experience across all stores), and autonomy (ability to make informed decisions).
Good customer experience fulfills all those expectations AND follows through on the brand promise once the decision to buy is made. Good user experience isn’t just a nice-to-have that can be compensated for with a delightful product and fast shipping – it is the foundation for a customer experience that will win brand loyalty.
Curious to learn more? Check out our deep dive on UX/CX and all the important ecommerce business permutations of each in this video chat between Earthlings Bekee Gibson, Eric Landmann, and Erin Courtenay