I’ve worked with many clients (and on my own sites) where avoidable structural/data problems add unnecessary complexity to website management.
I say avoidable because they’re usually a result of not asking the right questions upfront before the site is built. It’s a tough task to cover all bases for an ecommerce platform because there are so many factors in play that can affect elements like on-site UX, business reporting, data flows and SEO.
In my experience, it’s a continuous learning curve, picking up insight from specialists along the way to build a (hopefully) thorough knowledge base of what information you need to effectively build a website, what format the data needs to be in and what it needs to do e.g. data field X in the CMS drives site search results.
Which ecommerce sites are setting a great example for others to follow?
I've been asking the Econsultancy blog team, as well as a few ecommerce experts, for their suggestions of great ecommerce sites.
I've picked the rest, some because they offer an excellent all round experience, others aren't perfect, but were chosen for specific aspects which others can copy/learn from....
Marriot International has come top in a usability report that includes eight of the world’s top hotel brands.
The report also looks at the onsite effectiveness and brand awareness of Holiday Inn, Radisson, Hilton Hotels, Best Western, Choice Hotels, Accor Hotels and Starwood Hotels.
As mentioned, Marriott International was the top performing hotel with an average score of 83%. Hilton came second with 81% while Accor came third with 78%. The overall average among all eight hotels was 64%.
Effective site search functionality on a company’s website is an increasingly important component of a successful digital strategy.
Companies are typically increasing their investment in site search because they recognise the range of benefits that effective technology can bring to their businesses.
Terms that consumers type into a company’s site search box can give a company huge insight into the users’ behaviour and give the company invaluable data to be learned from.
Used successfully, this information can increase conversions and improve customer retention.
During a recent Econsultancy roundtable with site search experts, interesting advice was given with regards to improving the site search experience for users and increase conversions.
This advice compliments trends found by Econsultancy through company research to provide a diverse range of key takeaways.
An effective site search tool is hugely important tool for ecommerce as it’s a common way for shoppers to navigate sites and find products.
In fact up to 30% of visitors will use the site search tool and these tend to be highly motivated shoppers who know exactly what they’re looking for.
The speed in which results are returned is very important, but there are also many other factors that influence the overall user experience and could be the difference between making a sale or losing a potential customer.
Outdoor clothing retailer Fat Face recently relaunched its ecommerce site. Thanks to some interesting design features, I thought the site was worth reviewing.
These features include persistent filtered navigation, a novel idea, and light boxes for product pages.
So will these features work for Fat Face? Let's take a closer look....
The terms that customers type into your site search box represent a wealth of valuable data that can be used to learn about your users’ behaviour. They are essentially telling the retailer what they want in their own words.
This data can be used in a number of ways: to improve the site search functionality, to optimise results pages for common searches, and to improve merchandising.
Here, I look at 10 ways to improve merchandising with smart use of site search data, with thanks to some examples from SLI Systems.
Travel websites are very search-orientated, and are understandably keen to encourage visitors to key in their preferences and start their holiday search.
So, a user-friendly search interface is vital for travel sites to maximise searches and therefore bookings.
Here I look at examples from 25 popular travel websites, as well as some best practice tips for travel search.
Only a small proportion of shoppers will arrive at an ecommerce site knowing the exact product they’re looking for, while most will prefer to browse and consider different options.
As such sites need to give shoppers tools to search their product range and strip out the items they’re not interested in.
An effective site search function is obviously a key element, but product filters are also necessary if you want to deliver a decent user experience.
In fact kilt retailer buyakilt.com saw a 26% increase in conversions and a whopping 76.1% boost in revenue after implementing a product filter which gave visitors an option to shop by kilt type and kilt pattern.
Jaeger has relaunched its ecommerce site for the second time in 12 months.
It's slightly unusual for a brand to do that: relaunching is a big, complicated, risky, time-consuming task, so most retailers tend only to relaunch every few years (often less, sometimes never).
Here's a quick 5,000-word overview of the current status of the site, and the opportunities to optimise results based on Jaeger's new foundation.