In today’s competitive market environment, e-commerce needs to tap into the human aspect of business. Our blog post “What Is Service Design” emphasizes that design thinking requires perceiving our customers’ experience and understanding how they can best be served. Emotional design, or shaping a customer’s emotional response to your product’s benefit, is another aspect of this creative process. It takes the science of how we interact with our environment and applies it to make products more compelling for consumers.

When applied correctly, emotional design can increase the value customers perceive in your product or service. However, the art of emotional design is one that many e-commerce sites struggle with. It’s no secret that emotional attachment to brands drives customer loyalty, but it’s not always easy to pin down how a company can evoke those emotions. This article will walk you through three of the best ways to incorporate emotional design into your e-commerce store.

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Understand your customers as you connect with them


The first step in tapping into emotional design for your e-commerce website is understanding your client’s needs and desires. In the podcast episode “Building An Audience Vs. Driving Traffic”, e-commerce specialists Michael Veazey and Jason Miles explain that understanding your audience is the best way to provide value and build a relationship. This is the same principle behind emotional design—it is more than just the transaction and driving traffic to the website; it’s about building a meaningful relationship with your audience.

To go about this, you can use surveys or focus groups where customers can give feedback on their experiences and ask questions about products or services offered on the site. Engaging your audience requires connecting with them and building your website with the help of their feedback.

Use dramatic visuals to evoke emotion

An article by marketing strategist Sonia Thomson explains that delight, pride, and pain are the three emotions that can deliver a more robust customer experience. These are also the three emotions that can be translated visually into your e-commerce website. Through dramatic images, colors, textures, and lighting, you can invoke these feelings and move customers to action.

Striking visuals can help create a subconscious connection between your brand and your consumer’s emotions. Apple is one of the leading proponents of this strategy—their use of detailed photography, enormous texts, and contrasting colors is telling of their desire to appeal to their audience’s emotions. Following their practice, utilizing dramatic visuals is one of the best emotional design practices that can set up your e-commerce website for success. 

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Personalize your website

Consumers respond positively when they feel the website is designed specifically for them and created with their needs in mind. This is why successful e-commerce brands focus on making their websites as personalized as possible. By using information about each user’s previous purchases and preferences, they can create an experience that feels catered specifically to the customers.

The report “The Role of Emotions in UX/UI” on Forbes illustrates how by nuanced interfaces can be targeted. For instance, the mindfulness app Stop, Breathe & Think has utilized this emotional design strategy to its advantage. The app’s welcome screen checks in with the user, asks them how they feel, and provides a personalized guided meditation based on that initial response. Similarly, industry leaders like Amazon inject customized recommendations to make each user’s experience personal. You can also apply this principle by using your customer’s engagement patterns to tailor-fit their browsing experience and increase their chances of checking out.

Emotional design is the key to e-commerce success. It’s not just about making a website look pretty—it’s about creating an emotional connection with customers and making them feel part of the shopping experience.


Specially written for Front-Commerce.com

By: Ranae Jayleen

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