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Following the relaunch of its ecommerce site at the end of 2013, Halfords online sales have risen 13.7% from the same time last year.
As reported in Internet Retailing last week, Halfords’ online sales represented 12.2% of its total retail sales. Conversion rates have risen by 19% and 92% of online orders were collected in store through its click and collect service.
Impressive figures that certainly position Halfords as a successful multichannel retailer, but what makes the Halfords online experience particularly conducive to improving its revenue?
Recently we’ve featured Halfords in various articles related to ecommerce - social customer service, guest checkouts click and collect - and to be honest this retailer hasn’t come out particularly well.
Jakob Nielsen has been dubbed the 'king of usability' and has been helping to make the web easier to use for more than a decade.
I had the pleasure of speaking to him yesterday, and we discussed the progress of usability, the challenges of providing a great experience across different devices, and the best methods for testing sites.
The clunk is nothing to do with being clunky.
A clunk is, as defined by Ashley Friedlein, a door clunk, a design detail within the user experience that lends a user satisfaction. It could be called a micro-interaction. The clunk is feedback, it's often skeuomorphic.
I had fun using the few apps on my iPhone 4S to find some features that embody the clunk. Some of them are pretty simple but see what you think and please add your own.
NB: I'm aware that my header image is a door closer (designed to avoid the clunk).
I've written about car manufacturers' websites before and found most to be lacklustre.
They sort of do the job but are confusing and don't look particularly elegant (see the German and Japanese big three). Volkswagen, however, has a great website - I've previously picked out its homepage for its simple messaging.
I thought I'd highlight five more features on Volkswagen's website that other car manufacturers would do well to emulate. Here goes...
Forcing users to register their details before they checkout is one of the quickest ways to lower your conversion rate.
Once a customer is ready to buy something from your store, presenting them with page after page of forms in which they need to fill out the most unnecessary of personal details is a sure fire way to litter your site with abandoned baskets and disgruntled customers.
That’s why guest checkout is a must-have feature for almost every online retail experience.
As I mentioned in my best practice guide to guest checkouts having a guest checkout doesn’t necessarily mean losing out on valuable customer data, it means adopting practices that put the customer experience first.
Using guest checkout as the default option, then offering to ‘save the customer details’ after purchase can help lower cart abandonment.
Saving customer details implies convenience, it puts customer experience as the primary focus. ‘Registering’ implies future marketing spam.
Also, if your site automatically fills in any details that the customer has already given you, such as name, address and email, all your customer needs to do is choose a password.
Boom! Conversion achieved. Customer satisfaction achieved. Data achieved. Easy.
I've looked at Japanese automotive brands online, now it's time to take on Germany.
I thought I'd take a spin through the UK websites of the German big three automotive companies. What do BMW, Audi and Mercedes' websites handle like for first timers?
Well, they might be known as the big three, but much like the Japanese roundup, there's a clear loser.
For some detail on automotive and social media, check out these posts.
Whilst compiling examples for last week’s 10 essential features for mobile travel sites I was struck by how much I enjoyed using Ryanair’s new app.
Being as I only had to room to mention it briefly in the above mentioned article, I feel it deserved a deeper analysis.
The app was launched last month and was covered by mainstream news channels nearly as much as its much needed website redesign last year.
The app continues Ryanair’s huge cultural revolution, although both the website and the app redesign haven’t been without their technical hiccups. We’ll talk about some of the reported problems with the app below.
In the meantime, let’s take a look at Ryanair’s ever-improving mobile presence…
Picking which online supermarket you prefer to park your trolley in can be based on little more than which supermarket you regularly visit in the real world.
It’s the one you’re used to, the one you’ve got a loyalty card with, it’s also probably the one that’s closest to your home.
We sometimes forget that we needn’t be beholden to such boundaries when we’re shopping online for groceries. We have the whole of the nation’s biggest food retailers to choose from and each has their own particular conveniences.
You’re decision on which ecommerce store to shop with may purely come down to which offers the cheapest products, reasonable delivery charges and the availability of a convenient delivery window.
However if all these things are moot, it may also come down to which offers the best user experience.
This post is not meant to definitively suggest which supermarket out of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose or Morrisons is the best, it’s just meant to highlight various UX features and tools that make for a great customer experience, features that other ecommerce site designers could learn from.
From an interactive value proposition to brilliant product descriptions, there's much to love at Made.com.
I was taking a look around the site and kept stumbling on things that I consider to be best practice in ecommerce from this pureplay 'direct to designer' store.
Take a look at what I found and see if you feel the same way.
Due to the popularity of the article titled, 'Ecommerce product pages: where to place 30 elements and why', a sequel has (finally) been written.
The focus now turns to the main category page, which is used in ecommerce to give shoppers access to a range of products such as 'menswear' before they drill further down to find specific items (e.g. socks, jeans).
This article will add value if you:
- Have little confidence in your current main category page layout.
- Are in the process of redesigning your website and need guidance on the main category page.
- Are bombarded with differing opinions on how the main category page should be laid out by stakeholders, vendors (designs, UX teams) and would like an unbiased opinion.
So, we've been talking about Government Digital Services (GDS) and GOV.UK quite a lot on the Econsultancy blog.
This is for two reasons. One: it's great (in the middle of open, agile transformation that starts from without). Two: Mike Bracken is speaking at the awesome Festival of Marketing in November.
Here I've rounded up 10 of the best blog posts from GOV.UK's 59 (count them!) blogs. Each post deals with user experience, service design or digital transformation.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
It’s a case of form and function.
Just as a little road-test, I’m going to check out the functionality of two UK based insurance providers in terms of online user experience.
When getting a quote for car insurance, web forms are very time consuming and require a lot of detail. It is therefore incredibly tempting to go to an aggregator in order to generate multiple quotes instead.
How do companies such as Zurich and Allianz make the journey easier for the potential customer and hopefully dissuade them from going to comparison sites for their quotes?