Research has revealed key features that improve the user experience for UK consumers when buying clothing through e-commerce platforms.

The site design, the selection of images, the choice of bright colours and the clothes worn by the models were among factors analysed by digital testing specialist Unguess.

It analysed seven UK clothing e-commerce platforms through feedback from UK testers in its Tryber community which is made up of more than 40,000 real users.

UK consumers favoured “recognisable and linear design” and the use of brightly coloured images, especially when representing the brand through the selection of products.

All the UK participants showed the same search approach: regardless of the user interface of the individual websites, almost all of them started their search directly from the categories, moving on to the search bar only later when they did not find anything that piqued their interest.

The biggest stumbling block for the user concerned navigation within the categories and the complexity of the underlying categorising. Too many first-level categories created confusion which slowed down their navigation.

UK users liked to see photos of clothes worn by models but many expressed frustration about consulting a product page and discovering – only later – that it was out of stock even though it was still in the catalogue.

Users were also frustrated at being redirected to the shopping cart after selecting an item without being able to continue directly with the purchases. They also objected when they were not able to quickly delete a product from the shopping cart itself.

Some also complained that they did not like it when it turned out to be impossible to complete their purchase without having to register on the site.

Laura Morabito, user experience (UX) designer and researcher at Unguess, said: “The ease of navigation and use of the site, the identification and reduction of friction encountered by the user and the graphic component are just some of the elements that contribute to the user experience in its entirety.

“Therefore, these reflections can be taken into consideration for every context and more generally by all those who want to implement the sales capacity of their e-commerce.”