Glasgow based clothing retailer Quiz starting selling online in 2005, and has recently launched a completely redesigned version of its website.
According to Lost Ferret, the company behind the redesign, results are promising so far, with a doubling of conversion rates over the past month.
I've been having a closer look at the Quiz website from a user experience perspective...
Homepage / navigation
The homepage is nice and clear, and relatively uncluttered and well laid out, while things like the latest trends, footwear and jewellery ranges are given prominent promotion.
Navigation options are clear, you can head straight into the various product ranges by choosing from the menu heading at the top, or through the site search function, though the site search box could perhaps be made a little clearer, as it tends to blend in a little with the background.
One nice touch is the ability to search for all items by colour from the homepage:
Product search / filtering
Whether you choose the colour selector, search by keyword, or browse through the site, you will have the same filtered navigation options to help users narrow down their product selection.
The ability to filter by size, category, colour and price is enough to narrow most searches down to a manageable level, and the fact the number of products in each filter is shown helps users to avoid returning no results at all:
The site search works well enough too, and seemed to pick up on most misspellings I tested, suggesting sensible alternatives. The key is to avoid returning no results and leaving shoppers at a dead end, but this only happens if you enter random letters.
A nice touch on the product results is the 'quick look' option which allows you to click on a particular item and zoom in for more information about the item, which also includes the ability to select size and add to basket. This means that shoppers can view more items without having to visit each product page.
These are clear and manage to get across all the information that customers will want to see before they decide on a purchase; product description, size information, returns policies etc. My only major criticism is that the photos could be better, showing clothes from more angles for instance.
It gives shoppers a push by making it clear that they can have next day delivery if they order within a certain number of hours, always a good idea to appeal to people who want the item as soon as possible.
Elsewhere, further useful information, such as a size guide, and detailed delivery charges are presented on pop outs:
Basket / checkout
The shopping basket page is pretty good, laying out selected products and total charges clearly, while also providing all the necessary information on payment options, site security, while a clear contact number and the offer of assistance should customers need it is a great idea at this stage.
It even provides a basket reference number so customers can get straight to the point if they do decide to call customer services.
This clear contact number, along with the Verisign sybol, and privacy information, all serve to reassure customers and help them to trust the site with their payment details.
I also like the fact that PayPal is offered alongside the usual card payment methods (I'm told that Google Checkout will also be added shortly). Surveys have suggested that customers want alternative payment options, and it certainly makes sense for retailers to make it easy for as many customers as possible to shop on the site.
Like The Book Depository, Quiz clothing has gone for a one page checkout process, making the progression from shopping basket to the confirm order button as smooth as possible.
If shoppers use the postcode lookup tool, they will have the minimum of data to input before making the purchase, which makes a lot of sense.
As with the basket page, reassurance is provide in the form of a clear contact number, as well as a useful summary of the order on the right of the page, while the process is enclosed to concentrate users' minds.
Quiz takes an interesting approach to the issue of registration, not even giving customers the option to register before checkout, thus removing a potential obstacle.
There is some debate over the best way to handle registration on e-commerce sites, but this seems like a good way to do it, and users have the option of registering simply by entering a password before they confirm the order:
According to Lost Ferret, less than 50% of shoppers have chosen to register so far, so perhaps it is something that most users prefer not to do. There is the point that registration can make repeat purchases easier by avoiding the need to re-enter address details, but when the process is as smooth as it is here, this may not be a problem.
There are some great examples of e-commerce best practice in the Quiz redesign, things like the display of a clear contact number throughout the site and delivery details can do a lot to reassure customers about shopping with a particular retailer.
The checkout process is impressive, and with the removal of compulsory registration and a one-page checkout, couldn't be much smoother. It would be interesting to know what effect this has on conversion rates.