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Creating an Ideal Online Grocery Store Interface: 15 Key Rules for an Exceptional User Experience

The main goal of designing an online grocery store is to convert visitors into customers. To prevent customers from switching to competitors, it’s essential to plan the user journey from the website’s main page to the final order completion, finding a balance between creativity and usability.

Efficient design should be intuitive, with smooth product navigation, clear categories and filters, and easy ordering. Our UX/UI designer, Sergei Rogov, provided insights on the essential aspects of interface development for an online grocery store that require special consideration.

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1. Utilize Home Page Banners

Banners serve as a pivotal tool for boosting website conversion rates. On the main page, they can showcase promotions, products of the day, new recipes, or curated product selections. The key is to ensure that they are conspicuous without causing visual clutter. Notably, approximately 84% of users engage solely with the first image in a carousel, underscoring the importance of dynamically changing banners to captivate attention.

Amazon Fresh uses dynamically changing banners
Amazon Fresh uses dynamically changing banners on the home page to report promotions, product selections, blog articles, and more

2. Implement Intelligent Search

The smart search feature should be prominently displayed in a familiar location for users. Enhancing the search bar graphically ensures maximum visibility to attract buyers’ attention effectively. Modern online store search functionalities should include auto-suggestion, typo correction, and synonym-based search capabilities.

Weee shows not only search recommendations, but also photos of products
Weee shows not only search recommendations, but also photos of products

Try CS-Cart Live Search add-on. Through this tool, you can personalize the look, establish specific search parameters, incorporate auto-suggestions, and more. This effectively eradicates customer loss stemming from a convoluted search process and irrelevant search outcomes.

3. Include an Extra Menu Featuring Thematic Catalog Sections

To provide buyers with rapid access to popular products and selections, these items can be housed within a distinct menu. Typically located at the top of the page, this placement ensures immediate visibility to the user.

Extra Menu on Weee
Extra Menu on Weee

4. Utilize High-Quality Images

Compelling food photos can effectively convey the qualities of your product, even without the ability to taste it. Uploading high-quality product images is vital for boosting sales.

Product pictures should be enticing and presented in a uniform style. It’s advisable to engage the services of food photographers for this purpose. When capturing images, natural light, a minimalistic backdrop, varied angles, and appetite-inducing elements should be incorporated. Additionally, the packaging details and product texture should be clearly visible in the photographs.

Farm To People product pictures: appetite-inducing, high-quality and uniform
Farm To People product pictures: appetite-inducing, high-quality and uniform

5. Incorporate an Infographic

Consumers often make product choices based on various attributes, but some individuals prefer not to spend time examining all available options. This typically involves navigating to the product card, locating the specifications tab, and reading through the details. By presenting essential information prominently, customers can make purchasing decisions more quickly and easily. Product features can be displayed as infographics alongside the main product photo or as supplementary images on the product card.

Walmart Infographic on product page
Walmart Infographic on product page

6. Craft an In-depth Product Description

In the product description, include details from the packaging such as composition, calorie content, storage guidelines, and manufacturer’s identity. This practice aids buyers in making well-informed purchasing choices. Additionally, highlight specific labels like “contains allergens”, “suitable for individuals with diabetes”, “vegetarian”, and “suitable for fasting”. If your products possess distinctive attributes or competitive advantages, such as the creation of gluten-free cookies, be sure to emphasize these aspects in the description.

Detailed product information on Hive
Detailed product information on Hive

7. Streamline the Ordering Process

Reducing the number of steps required for customers to place an order enhances the likelihood of completing a purchase. Simplifying this process boosts conversions and draws in more customers. Providing the option to swiftly review products and proceed to checkout expeditiously prevents buyers from reconsidering their decision.

A pop-up window on any page of Weee
The information about the contents of the cart opens in a pop-up window on any page of Weee

Shorten the customer’s path by enabling guest orders, allowing clients to place orders without the need for registration. However, this may lead to administrative challenges, as orders are not associated with specific online store users. This issue can be resolved by automatically generating a user account after a successful order, and an add-on for this functionality is available in CS-Cart.

8. Add Product Options to a Product Card

Instead of inundating the catalog with numerous similar products, it is more effective to consolidate all available product options onto a single product card. This approach, commonly employed by pizzerias, allows for the convenient inclusion of buttons to select parameters such as diameter, type of dough, and spiciness directly on the product card. Additionally, as options are selected, the price should adjust automatically for a seamless user experience.

PizzaDominos product options on the product page
PizzaDominos product options on the product page

It’s essential that when a specific option is chosen, the product image also updates. This feature stimulates cravings and assists the buyer in feeling confident about their selection. To enable the uploading of an extensive range of images for options in CS-Cart, there is a dedicated Additional Option Images add-on.

9. Implement the Recommended Products Block

When a visitor is in a purchasing mindset, it’s relatively easy to encourage them to make additional purchases. Incorporate sections such as Similar Products and Additional products onto the product card to effectively promote cross-selling. This approach is particularly effective in suggesting complementary items, such as offering candy or chocolate when a store visitor adds ground coffee to their cart. Additionally, when providing ready-made meals, relevant suggestions for additional products, such as toppings and souses, can enhance the customer’s options, ultimately increasing profits.

These additional sections can be strategically placed both on the product card and in the cart, positively impacting the overall user experience. The placement of Similar Products and Additional products sections should be tailored to the specific characteristics of the online store.

Amazon Fresh additional sections on the product page
Amazon Fresh additional sections on the product page
PizzaDominos additional section in the cart
PizzaDominos additional section in the cart

10. Add Ratings and Reviews

Incorporate product ratings and reviews to address pre-purchase quality concerns. Ensure that customers can easily access reviews and ratings directly from the product page, eliminating the need to navigate to external sites. Optimizing the visibility and accessibility of these sections will enhance customer confidence in the product. Moreover, ratings and reviews serve as social proof, boosting trust and stimulating interest in purchasing a product with higher ratings.

Detailed ratings and reviews on Amazon Fresh
Detailed ratings and reviews on Amazon Fresh

11. Offer Adaptable Cart Management Options

Ensuring user convenience involves not only effortless addition of products to the cart but also the ability to manage them as per the buyer’s preference. This includes the capability to remove a product if the buyer changes their mind, adjust the quantity, and more. Additionally, selected products should be retained even after the browser window is closed for a seamless shopping experience.

Weee cart management options
Weee cart management options

12. Save Information in Customer’s Account

A user-friendly personal account should allow users to track order statuses, view purchase history, and easily reorder items with just one click.

13. Create Informative Pages to Address Customer Inquiries

Every online store seeks to distinguish itself from competitors and persuade customers that their products are the ones to purchase. Emphasizing the production features, raw materials, and suppliers is particularly crucial for local farms or highly specialized stores.

To prevent product cards from becoming overloaded with excessive information, it’s advisable to present intriguing facts and competitive advantages on a separate “About Us” or “Frequently Asked Questions” page.

Farm to People website
On the Farm to People website, each product section features the manufacturer's mission and history

14. Leverage Your Blog for Organic Product Promotion

Recipes on websites or social networks are one of the drivers of growth in purchases in the e-grocery segment. Post them on your blog to advertise your products natively. Provide easy navigation so that the visitor can add products to the cart directly from the recipe page. In CS-Cart you can link recipes to products using the Power Blog add-on.

Walmart website
On the Walmart website, a recipe is presented with a dedicated "Ingredients" tab allowing users to add the required products to their cart with a single click

15. Evaluate Adaptability and Enhance the Application

The majority of users prefer ordering groceries and food delivery via smartphones. Ensure that they can effortlessly navigate the interface, easily access the required information without excessive clicking and scrolling, and that the visuals are well-suited to the screen width.

Consider investing in the development of a mobile application, as this can provide a competitive edge and streamline the purchasing process for customers. However, it’s crucial to prioritize simplicity and clarity in the application’s primary function. The application should leverage smartphone benefits such as rapid access to instant messengers, form auto-fill features, registration via social networks, and mobile payment capabilities.

When engaging Cart-Power for UX/UI design, the focus extends beyond aesthetic appeal. The emphasis is on developing online stores and food services that effectively address user needs across various interaction scenarios, ultimately leading to increased sales.

From organic forms to augmented reality, the future of web design is already here. Find out which trends will be the main ones this year!

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Ksenia Cheburova , Cart-Power Editor
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