On e-commerce UX practices

I am a freelance designer, with over 10 years of experience working with great clients and agencies. I am specialised in UX and UI but I also have knowledge of print design and a bit of frontend development. I have spent about 8 years of my career working permanently with clients in-house or with agencies and since 2017 I moved to Berlin, Germany and started my own freelance business. Since then I have specialised in remote work and design consultancy. Enjoy your stay.

Quick thoughts on buying a product online, from a UX perspective
Researching design patterns and best practices for online shopping, I have gathered some interesting ideas. Some of them might apply only if you are using a multi-product shop if you are using a cart, while others are more broad, more general notions and ideas.
A general purchase funnel looks like this:
From this wireframes, some interesting problems and questions arise.

1.  The need for trust marks on the checkout page. This means that if people see things like logos for the supported cards or reassuring statements about the security of the process, it is more likely they will buy from you.

2.  A picture of the product you are buying, on the checkout page, will help with the completion of the transaction.

3.  People use product reviews, a lot. Even a simple rating system is better than nothing. Everyone wants the best, so using a rating or review system, or even better, using them both, will help the user make an informed purchase. 

3.  Multiple payment options. Some websites like UXPin used to have  PayPal as the only payment option. No hassle, no bureaucracy, sounds amazing.  They were losing about 20% of the potential customers on the last page of the payment process because of this.

4.  Should you be able to buy without being logged in? Faster and smoother buy funnel, but no means to tackle shopping cart abandonment.
Reasons why people abandon the shopping cart:
- High price: if you sell the same product as the competition communicate your unique value, else price will matter
- If you charge for shipping in 2018… STOP
- The checkout funnel is too complicated, too many data asked or forcing a guest to register.
- Not convinced about the return policy.
- No convenient payment method.
- Address uncertainty. Help the user feel safe while making a purchase.

5. Should you be able to pay later, at least for digital products? This can be a very good way to demo your product but needs very delicate communication. Here is where a good branding can make a difference.

6. Can you make a video of the product in use?
7. Can you customize the product for each user?
8. Can you pay as you go?