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UX and UI, we all know them but do we know what they are for?

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Shopping experience, the relevance of E-commerce

Nowadays Shopping means many things. It is in fact tough to identify the border that exists between the physical and the digital one, which has become increasingly blurred.
If we think about it, the purchase paths provide the total interchange between the 2 options and customers want to be able to decide when and how to buy, without limitations of time, price or mode.
In this scenario, in recent years with increasing power, the world of E-commerce has emerged and plays a central role, destined to grow more and more.
Shopping online is now the everyday; if until ten years ago there was a lot of doubt or even lack of confidence in online shopping, today the scenario for so many people has completely changed.
According to the latest Ambrosetti-Amazon report published in September, online shopping in Italy is expected to increase by 13 percent by 2023, reaching a value of 54 billion euros.
In recent years, the world of E-commerce has undergone a crucial transformation, and the increase in online shopping is also due to the easy use of sites and new features and integrated technologies.
These, along with the increasing competitiveness of the industry, have made user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) essential to the success of online sales platforms.

UX and UI in E-commerce

Before looking at the evolution of UX and UI in E-commerce, it is important to understand the difference between the two concepts.
UX refers to the whole user experience during interaction with a website or application, including aspects such as ease of use, loading speed, clarity of information, and fluidity of navigation.
On the other hand, UI is about the visual appearance of the interface, including layout, colors, icons, and design elements.
UX and UI in E-commerce cannot be underestimated: online buyers expect a fast, fluid and intuitive experience, and any obstacle or difficulty could make them abandon the shopping cart. For this reason, several innovations have been made over the years.
Let's look at four notable ones.

1. Mobile-First Design
"Mobile-first design” has now become a priority: it is not simply a matter of designing E-commerce so that it best fits mobile devices, but also of understanding how to engage an audience that is increasingly connected by Smartphone.
E-commerce platforms have adapted to guarantee that the experience on smartphones and tablets is optimal, with responsive layouts and content.
Looking at statistics, smartphones represented 70% of visits to retail websites worldwide in 2021, and in the future this trend is expected to rise. Overall, M-commerce (mobile commerce) sales are expected to reach $534.18 billion, or 40.4% of E-commerce sales in 2024.

2. Advanced Customization
Customization has become essential. E-commerce sites and apps are increasingly using algorithms to analyze user behavior so they can offer relevant products and content.
There are several ways AI can be used to customize the user experience: for example, analyzing the customer's purchase path and preferences can suggest the most interesting products or show them specific product categories and pages. This makes it possible to improve the experience and increase the chances of conversion.

3. Integration of Emerging Technologies
The integration of technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) is becoming increasingly common in E-commerce. These technologies allow shoppers to "try on" products virtually before purchasing them. One example is the luxury goods E-commerce YOOX, which has developed the "Yoox Mirror" platform: a virtual fitting room where the user ( by avatar) has the opportunity to try on any clothes.

4. Navigation Improvements
Simplifying navigation is essential: intuitive menus, advanced search bars, and product filters enable users to find what they are looking for quickly and effectively. Amazon, for example, has improved its interface and user experience by introducing numerous features, including "One-Click Ordering," which allows the user to choose a predefined set of shipping and billing options to be used automatically with each new order, making the checkout process faster and more agile.

The Future of UX and UI in E-commerce

The future of UX and UI in E-commerce is even more promising. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) will be used to further personalize the experience, and virtual reality could become a common part of the shopping process, allowing shoppers to explore products in even more detail. In conclusion, UX and UI are undergoing continuous evolution in the E-commerce world, and companies that can meet customer expectations and adopt advanced technologies will have a significant competitive advantage.

Ease of use, loading speed, clarity of information, and fluidity of navigation are the main assets of User Experience.

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