Do not bore your users to death – 11 examples of memorable user experiences in e-commerce

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If I move through the e-commerce landscape, so I can quickly and easily carry out my orders on the way through the online stores almost anywhere. The differences between the individual stores are slightly to recognize in areas such as loading speed, shipping costs, payment methods and return time. But effective distinguishing characteristics that lead me directly back to the shop for my next purchase, are not existing.
One thing have many online shops definitely in common: using them is often not very funny. There is no joy and even if this topic is generally very emotional. The shopping is more like a task that needs to be processed and only if you have the package in your hands and everything is in correct, you can be delighted.

Economic opportunities of a good user experience

To inspire the user for the product and offer him an exceptional user experience is not really new. Nevertheless, many shop owners don’t really dare to deal with the subject.

A good user experience is often equated with a good usability (usability) of the page. Does the slider on the front page work well? Does the user pass the checkout well? These are all basic factors which have to be fulfilled. But with these basic factors you can’t create a enthusiasm feature and therefore it does not stand out from the competition.


Only when you leave the lower level of the underlying factors, you can get to the exciting part that leaves a lasting impression on the user. If you stand out through a good user experience from the competition, you will have in many ways  new economic opportunities. If the user has fun while shopping, it is also easier to sell the product. The positive user experience remains sustainable in memory and can provide enhanced customer loyalty in the future.

You cannot bore people into buying.– David Ogilvy

That’s all very well, but how can you create user experiences that remain in the user memory?


The main rule to create an exceptional user experience is definitly to remain always authentic. If you desperately try to be funny, no one will find it funny. At the same time the user experience must also fit to the brand and it does not seem false. For this reason it has to be clear what your brand actually stands for and what feelings should be transported.
A good example of this is the airline “Virgin America”. From the former plate shipment to a record label right up to a conglomerate with airlines, space flights and a F1 Racing Team. But one thing connects each sector of the virgin brand in any case – and that’s fun. So why not transfer this feeling to the site and let the user participate in this?
The booking form by Virgin America has been completely redesigned to provide the user a unique easy operation. In addition, small details have been incorporated, which may not be very important for the process, but bring the user closer to the brand feeling “fun”. In the seat reservation for example, the user has the possibility to choose an avatar for his seat reservation. The avatars are funny and individually. Occupied seats can be detected because these are already occupied by an avatar. In open spaces the seat number is still displayed.

virgin america avatar

It is important to the avatar selection, that it is entirely voluntary. An avatar is already selected and if the user don’t want to join this fun, he can skip this step easy and don’t has any extra effort.
The avatar selection is a nice detail that fits perfectly with the Virgin brand. It is authentic. But could you imagine this also with Lufthansa?

lufthansa avatar fake


Although one might think that especially the behavior of the elements on the site and the design plays the biggest role concerning a good user experience, the tonality and the address of the user has a significant influence. Here slumbers still a lot of potential to differentiate themselves from competitors. Because if I look at the address in e-commerce, I find a conformist, technically-looking adress. “Login”, “Sign up for the newsletter” or “compatible to” are typical phrases that are found in quite a few online stores and emit no tangible personality.
A prime example of how to create a memorable (along with viral) user experience in a rather delicate situation,  shows a detail of the support chat from Netflix. A user confronts the support with a problem. The support immediately deals with the problem and tries to help. But here, the support formulates his questions and answers as if he were a captain of the Star Trek universe of the spaceship “Netflix”. The customer does the same and the negative experience with Netflix (problem while looking a series) is translated into an unforgettable positive experience. But it is important that the speech was authentic. Netflix is ​​a streaming service for movies and series. So that a support person is a Star Trek fan, is not far-fetched.

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More examples:

Photojojo (Chat)

photojojo - chat joke

In the support chat from Photojojo you can find the direct question, “Wanna hear a joke“. If you answer that you want to hear a joke, you will really get told a joke. So the hurdle to use the chat is already much lower, and a really negative point (problem with the shop), what is probably the reason why you use the chat,  is firstly converted to a positive experience at the entrance (joke).

Ted Baker

Unfortunately, the next positive example has fallen victim to a recent redesign. Ted Baker shows until recently that one does not have to be welcomed by a dry “Login”. The customer was very warm welcomed with a “How lovely to see you! Sign in .


Loving details

Often not the big things make all the difference in a good user experience, but little details that show the user that someone here has made serious thoughts and has put passion into product. This gives the user a feeling of security. For a shop that pays attention to such details and thereby shows passion, this shop places the users at the center and shows that the users are not a mass products, which can be milked like cows.


Toca Boca

The shop Toca Boca has bulit in some small details in the shop, which are individually and show the users that the heart and soul is in the shop and the topic “Children and Gamesis lived.
It already starts with the navigation. The rectangles are not all simple rigid in rank and file. If you move over with the mouse they are slightly tilted and also the selected item steps out of line.
The icons for the benefits are not simple 0815 icons which you can find in every shop, but individually designed icons that match to the brand and still convey the contents well.


Another loving detail is the displayed mouseover of the products. If you move the mouse over the item “Read morea laughing smiley is formed by the points and the font. If you leave the product with the mouse again, a sad smiley shows up for a short time.


The surprise effect

Hannah Donovan, formerly Head of Creative at the music platform,  mentioned in her presentation “Interface Magic” in 2009 that the ingredients for a magic user experience are a handful of familiar and a pinch of the unexpected.
The user should be able to operate the site easy and should not be overwhelmed with unusual behavior. However, if you freeze up on that you do not have the opportunity to stand out from other stores and to offer an individual user experience. Even small hidden surprises can indicate the user that a lot of passion was put in here to give the user a positive feeling.


Photojojo (Footer)

Scrolling through Photojojo at the end of the page appears suddenly a sweet Godzilla who shoots a photo. A small effect that surprises and can put on a smile on the face of the user.


There has to be a little fun

The examples of Virgin, Netflix and Photojojo already show that the user experience need not always be dry and serious. Sure, there are target groups and topics in which a certain seriousness is required, but also beyond that shops work relatively little with exhilarating, funny elements, although this would fit with the brand.




If the user adds an item to the cart at Threadless, first a cart-layer appears. Until now, nothing unusual. At the beginning of the layer, however, the shopping cart comments on  the purchases made and it has a new saying after every purchase.

Warenkorb Overlay - Threadless


Facts, complex or new processes do not need necessarily be represented complicated and dry so that no one wants to deal with it. They can also be packaged in an interesting story and be told clearly on the website. Stories catch the users attention and can also keep it. But what is even more important, they help the user to understand relationships better.



BoldKing, a sender of razor blades and accessories for wet shaving, wants to offer an alternative to the expensive razor blades from the supermarket. For this reason, they explain clearly how the razor finds its way from production to the users own vanity cabinet, for being then recycled in an environmentally conscious way again. Through this process, enormous costs can be saved compared to the traditional distribution, which can be passed to customers of Bold King. This is also clearly illustrated.

boldking - story


When talking about individuality, people could first think of mass customization or product configurators. Putting the product together individually according to your own needs is obviously a very high form of individuality, but can also be very complex  concerning the implementation. But it must not be necessarily always so complex. Even a simple adaptation of content according to the needs of users can already make a good impression.



The bugaboo bee buggy manufacturer offers a well-to-use configurator for his buggies. The interaction stands out strongly in comparision to other configurators without overwhelming the user.

bugaboo konfigurator


On the landing page “Slim your walletbellroy wants to represent the benefits of its wallets to his users. In order to achieve this, a commercial purse is compared to bellroy’s purse. The user can state with a slider, how many cards he carries along. When you move the slider, additional cards are added and the user is shown how shallow the purse of bellroy is compared to a normal one. A simple way to communicate the advantages tailored to the user.

bellroy - slim your wallet


Buying online does not have to be boring. On the contrary with boredom, no one was convinced of a purchase. A certain entertainment factor does not need to be necessarily complex. Also with small details, the user experience of a shop can be increased and can bring a smile on the faces of the users. It is important, however, to remain always authentic.

by Manuel Ressel