How UX Design Solves Online Marketplace Issues

Inessa
Inessa Ischenko
UX/UI Designer
Kateryna davydova
Kate Davydova
Content Writer

Do you want to increase the number of visitors and transactions on your marketplace? Maybe, it is time to think about improving your UX design. Quite often, this step may help solve marketplaces issues.

High-quality UX will not only improve your online marketplace interface. With a simple and smooth design, you can easily gain your customers’ trust, make their journey on the website simple and convenient, without any additional clicks and time wasting.

We have gathered the most common marketplace issues and described how high-quality UX design helps to solve them.

UX and its role in marketplace design

Building an online marketplace is rather challenging, and most marketplaces face the same problems. Here’s where user experience (UX) can help us.

UX is all about a customer’s positive feelings and emotions when interacting with a product. It is a wide term that contains a lot of factors, including usability, accessibility, aesthetics, marketing, etc.

UX-design-elements

So, why is UX crucial for marketplace performance and conversions?

UX can help you build the user journey on the website, ensuring the best experience and increasing customer satisfaction.

Forget about the innovative web design, people really need useful data and easy navigation. Remember Amazon interface? For many years, they have had the same design. The world’s largest online marketplace proves that basic UX principles work.

Intuitive interaction with users drives them to come back. Thus, a marketplace website needs to be well-organized and easy-to-navigate. Let your visitors find the required information and make a purchase with no effort.

Summing up, below are the main goals of a marketplace UX:

  1. Increase conversion rate.
  2. Simplify user flow on the platform.
  3. Improve the safeness and reliability of your online marketplace.

These goals lead to gaining more vendors and buyers, therefore, boosting sales and profit.

Now let’s take a closer look at the problems marketplaces can experience and the ways to solve them with the help of UX.

Problem: Low user engagement

The power of a marketplace is not about an eye-catching and trendy UI design. It is about the number of purchases completed. If your marketplace doesn’t sell, this is a reason to analyse your platform and look at options to improve it.

Let’s take a look at possible solutions to this problem.

Solution: Make your marketplace idea clear

First of all, make it obvious what goods and services your platform sells, and highlight why it is better than competitors. Users don’t like solving puzzles. Your marketplace idea and benefits should be very clear for any platform visitor from the very first seconds they spend on the website.

Build the marketplace with customers in mind and make sure they know what your website is about, and what to do next at each stage of the purchase. Show the main product offerings, so that users could start shopping immediately, without hesitation.

Make your site faster, simpler, and smoother in use. Remember that small details matter and may influence conversion.

Try not to overload the home page with information: fewer ads, more products’ photos. Don’t forget to stick to the point, as Amazon and eBay do.

Marketplaces-Newegg-homepage

When visiting Newegg website, you surely know what this online platform is about. Everything is arranged perfectly, so you can seamlessly reach the data needed.

Solution: Take care of the user's journey on the site

Customer journey through the marketplace website should be easy and effective. Give your consumers what they expect and satisfy their needs at each stage of the purchase process.

For high-quality user experience, create a Customer Journey Map. It helps you to understand the audience experience, the problems they face, and the goods they want to buy.

Find as much information about your potential customers as possible. Gender, age, geographical location – everything matters.

Before you go further, understand the users’ goals and motives and think about how you can meet their expectations. Learn how they feel about your platform and what they want to get. Evoke positive emotions at each stage of the customer journey.

Starbucks-Customer-Journey-Map

Of course, Starbucks is not a marketplace. However, it is a very good example of a Customer Journey Map.

Also, keep visual hierarchy in mind and arrange the content on a page naturally and effectively.

Points to consider:

  • Pay special attention to the size of each object. Remember that larger elements draw more attention.
  • Use visual elements efficiently. Apply bright and contrast colours as they catch the users’ eye.
  • F and Z patterns also work. They can be helpful to understand how a consumer moves around the site and what he pays attention to.

Problem: Small amount of mobile transactions

Why should you care about mobile traffic at all?

To begin with, let’s take a look at numbers. According to Statista, sales from mobile phones will increase up to 44.7% of total US sales in 2019.

US-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-2017-2021

It is clear that the convenience of mobile commerce should not be ignored - you obviously don’t want to lose this huge number of visitors.

First of all, it is more comfortable than the desktop, as it offers advanced portability over computers. Secondly, it’s 2019 now, and we often make purchases via social networks, e.g. Instagram.

Solution: Make mobile optimisation a priority

More and more people are searching for goods and services on mobile phones and tablets, increasing the conversion rates in such a way. Therefore, take these factors into account when developing the marketplace for mobile buyers.

Marketplaces-Mobile-friendly

Create user-friendly mobile designs, so that customers can buy products from their smartphone, thus making the purchase process extremely smooth and fast.

Points to consider:

  • Make sure your website is easy-to-navigate from all mobile devices.
  • Add digital wallets to your marketplace, including ApplePay, AndroidPay, and others.
  • Make a checkout process easier, breaking it into steps.
  • If you already have a website, create an adaptive version to make a purchase more convenient.

Problem: Lack of trust in your marketplace

Your marketplace is here to engage customers and make them believe you offer a reliable platform to sell and buy goods and services on. They want to have confidence in you before clicking the “Buy Now” button.

Try not to overload pages with tons of information. However, users are not ready to travel from one page to another to learn more about the item they are interested in. So, find the right balance between the product information given on your platform.

Solution: Trustworthy photos of products

It all starts with high-quality images of items sold. Therefore, it is a must-have. Give your customers photos of products with more details visible. Let them explore.

Imagine that you are viewing goods from all sides in a real store. The same happens in an online marketplace. Try to be even more progressive and user-oriented – give vendors the possibility to implement video which shows the product in a real environment: a dishwasher in the kitchen, shoes on a girl's feet, etc.

Marketplaces-Asos-product-photo

On Asos website, you can find both high-quality photos and videos. They help visitors to smoothly move through the designed customer journey.

Solution: Full product description

Give sellers the possibility to provide as much data about the product as possible: from “where it is made” to “how eco-friendly it is”. Let them arrange the basic information next to the main photo and place a secondary description below the picture. It helps customers to understand whether this item meets their expectations or not.

Marketplaces-AO-product-description

AO pays special attention to product descriptions and their place on the site. They help the customers to make informed decisions when purchasing an item.

Solution: System of ratings and reviews

Ratings and reviews are surely one of the key features to make your online marketplace trusted. They help to understand the quality of a product and answer questions. If customers approve they have already ordered this item, new users think they should try, too. Everyone reads the reviews before buying, so this section is a must on an e-commerce website. Do not forget about a seller rating system as well.

Marketplaces-Etsy-reviews

Etsy cares about their customers’ positive experience. You can view both seller and product ratings before making a decision and buying the desired handcrafted item.

Solution: Secure purchase and refund policy

Users want to be sure they receive a product they paid for and know the conditions they can return it if they do not like the item. Otherwise, they do not feel safe buying the seller’s goods.

Besides, it is always a perfect idea to add a one-click-to-buy button to make purchasing smoother and faster.

Marketplaces-Amazon-Policy

Amazon is a customer-oriented online marketplace, and they make shopping secure and risk-free, providing strong return & refund policy.

Summing up

The main point here is that UX design is not about creating beautiful interfaces. It is about the efficient use of visual elements, convenience, gaining a new audience, helping users to buy the desired products, thus increasing sales. Showing your caring attitude to the customers, brilliant UX helps your marketplace website to stand out from the others.

You deliver the products via the marketplace platform interface. So, make sure that the items presented meet customers’ demands and are easy to find.

What is the bottom line? Value your customers, design the e-commerce platform with your users in mind, and never underestimate the power of good UX.

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