Stationery brand Ryman has launched a revamped version of its website this week, with the retailer aiming to make much more of its online presence.
The website has been completely redesigned, while an improved product management system will be used to manage and control stock across different channels.
I've been seeing how the new website looks from a user experience perspective...
Here's the old Ryman homepage, which was pretty cluttered:
And the new version, a much cleaner page with more white space and much clearer navigational links and clearer merchandising. In addition key areas, such as the search box, the shopping basket link, the free delivery offer, and the store finder are more prominently displayed.
The result is a homepage which is much easier to understand and navigate from for visitors to the site. A big improvement.
Navigation and site search
The main navigation menu has been placed on the left side of the page, and the site uses large drop-down menus to display product sub-categories.
This allows users to see all of the menu options at once without the need for scrolling, and helps to provide a shortcut to the product pages they are seeking.
Once customers arrive at category and sub-category pages, plenty of options have been provided on the right of the page for users to filter and narrow their product selections.
Providing effective and relevant filtered navigation improves the user experience, as it reduces the amount of cognitive effort required, and makes it more likely that they will find a product that suits them.
The site search function works well and returned accurate results for the terms i tried out, as well as providing the filtering and sorting options to allow customers to refine their search results.
The new product pages contain much more detail than on the previous version. Product photos, even for smaller and lower priced items, are all high quality and provide the ability to zoom in and see products from different angles.
The key information that customers will look for is all there; delivery charges and details, product specifications, stock levels etc.
While the 'add to basket' button is in a prominent position, but I think this call to action could be made to stand out more clearly with better use of colour and contrast, and perhaps a larger button. The call to action should leap out at users.
Shopping basket & checkout process
As mentioned before, the basket link is prominently positioned and catches the eye with a basket icon and a summary of the price, which drops down to provide a summary of its contents.
The basket page is clear and easy to edit, though again the call to action could be clearer:
Registration is compulsory on the site, which can be a barrier to purchase for customers. The length of the new customer registration form makes it even more of a potential roadblock for customers:
Once customers are past this point, they will find a checkout that has been well-designed and easy to use.
A clear progress indicator has been provided, a prominent phone number should provide some reassurance to those customers that need it, and the process has been enclosed with all navigation removed to avoid any distractions for customers.
There are a few improvements which could still be made, such as removing the need for customers to register before checkout. This example from Jared Spool of a major site which made $300m simply by removing the register button should make retailers think twice about this.