The Role Of Design Thinking In Ecommerce

What Is Design Thinking?

Ecommerce revolves around the customer. Design thinking is adopted in this sector to make the experience of the ever-increasing user base of mobile apps and websites better by gathering and analysing their current requirements, as well as improving their future experience. Although the word “design” implies the look of an app or a website, design thinking is not limited to just improving that. This approach is also not about simply emulating the ideas and features of other similar platforms in one’s niches to ensure similar success as them. It involves getting a better understanding of customers’ special needs and expectations and designing the product according to them.

The process of design thinking mainly consists of five steps: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test.

Stages Of Design Thinking In Ecommerce

  • Empathize – Customers are at the center of design thinking. Empathizing with their needs comes at the very beginning of the design thinking process. In order to be able to design the best ecommerce apps and websites, developers need to understand why customers use similar products, what they like and don’t like about them, and what their expectations from them are.
  • Define – This stage involves analyzing the data on consumer preferences gathered at the “Empathize” stage. This helps to identify user problems and chalk out a plan to solve them. A common mistake that businesses make at this stage is to think from their own perspective and design apps/websites with the sole purpose to increase their business.
  • Ideate – After defining user problems, the next step is to come up with out-of-the-box solutions for them. At this point, teams of designers come together to discuss ideas. One way for designers to go about this can be to identify the worst-case scenarios and work backwards.
  • Prototype – This is the stage where the idea starts coming to life. Here, designers create the first version of the conceptualized product based on the solutions identified.
  • Test – The product is then tested in-house or on a small group of users to check its functionality, glitches like bugs and crashes, etc. Modifications are made to the product based on the feedback before finally launching it.


A design thinking approach to improving the user experience of ecommerce websites or mobile apps can be to reduce crashes and loading time, enable users to control what they see on them (like only seeing content that is relevant to a page and not allowing interruptions in transactions), designing their features by predicting future user actions, etc.


Design thinking is beneficial for both ecommerce businesses and their customers. The process improves a business’s understanding of its target customers. Businesses can use this understanding to create an innovative product that best resolves the issues of their customers as well as improves their user experience. Putting the product through the different stages in the process and testing it in-house and in real life ensures a flawless final result and a smooth launch for it.