tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/checkout Latest Checkout content from Econsultancy 2016-05-24T11:19:35+01:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67870 2016-05-24T11:19:35+01:00 2016-05-24T11:19:35+01:00 Why ASOS is still leading the online retailing pack Paul Rouke <p>The reality is the core user experience of ASOS has changed very little over the years and for good reason – it’s an exceptional example of delivering an intuitive, persuasive, streamlined browsing and buying experience.</p> <p>What continually surprises me is how many major retailers still haven’t built some of the core foundations that ASOS did years ago.</p> <p>In this article I share what I feel, in my experience, are things which not only make ASOS exceptional, but should also provide inspiration for other retailers.</p> <h3>Site-wide, immediate visibility of its USP</h3> <p>Long before most retailers realised the importance of communicating their unique selling points site-wide in a high visibility area, ASOS had featured three banners underneath its primary navigation.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5154/UVP_header.PNG" alt="" width="595" height="94"></p> <ul> <li>Ensure the messages stand out visually and attract attention.</li> <li>Make it clear there are distinct messages.</li> <li>Use colour/design touches to draw particular attention to the primary message you want to communicate at any one time.</li> <li>Make it clear if the message is clickable to find out more.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing</strong><strong>:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Use icons to provide visual clues to differentiate the messages.</li> <li>Ensure you communicate your USPs across devices – don’t hide them when you simplify your mobile UI, visitors still need to be persuaded.</li> </ul> <h3>Streamlined navigation experience</h3> <p>For as long as I can remember, ASOS has had an incredibly simple primary navigation bar.</p> <p>The reality is, it offers every visitor a simple and relevant first choice to start exploring the huge product range.</p> <p>ASOS was also one of the early retailers to provide <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65357-mega-menu-design-trends-in-ecommerce-2011-vs-2014/">a mega menu</a>, but not just <em>any</em> mega menu – it has always been tailored to suit a range of buyer types and expose a wide range of the brand areas i.e. Marketplace.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5155/Screenshot__2_.png" alt="" width="594" height="405"></p> <ul> <li>Simplify the primary navigation to reduce the choices visitors have in order to start exploring the product range.</li> <li>Provide structure and clarity of the types of navigation categories visitors have to choose from.</li> <li>If you have new-in and/or sale items, provide quick access to these areas.</li> <li>Use cookies to store which core category a visitor spends most time in, and when they come back to your homepage URL, redirect them back in to that category (this is a subtly executed spot of personalisation that ASOS provides).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing</strong><strong>:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Repeat key USPs at the bottom or in the side of the mega menu.</li> <li>Introduce imagery to attract attention to core categories or relevant/seasonal ranges.</li> </ul> <h3>Continually communicate UVPs and USPs throughout the user journey</h3> <p>Not content with making its USP messages “pop” off the page in the header, ASOS has never been shy about repeating these message throughout the user journey.</p> <p>It’s something that another brand I admire, AO.com, also embraces, and I’ve detailed in-depth how it does this previously in my article titled: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/">AO.com: The best ecommerce experience available online?</a></p> <p>So many other retailers simply don’t do this – they feel that as they have a USP bar in their site-wide header, that is enough and they don’t want to waste precious space repeating these messages in important real estate on core shopping pages.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Explore ways of using subtle animations as visitors scroll down a page to draw attention to key messages (ASOS does this on its homepage with the flying plane).</li> <li>Consider ways to repeat a key message in a highly visible part of the product page (ASOS does this under the product price).</li> <li>Add a key message aimed at persuading visitors to purchase in the bottom of the mini-basket.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5160/UVP_in_mini_basket.PNG" alt="" width="562" height="377"></p> <ul> <li>Promote key messages in the shopping basket, whilst ensuring you don’t take the focus away from checking out.</li> <li>Utilise different visual techniques to draw attention to messages, such as simple, common iconography (remember people typically spend 99% of their time on other websites).</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5161/UVP_in_basket.PNG" alt="" width="593" height="384"></p> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Repeat key USPs at the bottom or on the side of your checkout pages.</li> <li>In addition to promoting USPs in the site-wide header, introduce a section within the footer which communicates core brand messages.</li> </ul> <h3>Provide a simplified, persuasive, non-committal way to begin building up your desired products</h3> <p>Wishlist functionality has been one of the out-of-box features for retailers since the late 1990s, but almost every retailer in 2016 requires visitors to register/sign-in to use it.</p> <p>For over five years, ASOS has allowed visitors to start adding items to their “saved items” without any mention or request to create an account or sign-up.</p> <p>Not only does this provide a seamless browsing experience for visitors whether they are logged in or not, but ASOS has always made “Save for Later” a core action it wants visitors to take.</p> <p>Back in 2010, James Hart (the then Ecommerce Director at ASOS) told me that the site literally sees hundreds of thousands of “saves” made every day.</p> <p>Most retailers tend to see wishlists or saved items as a nice to have but very much a low priority focus area for visitors during the browsing experience.</p> <p>ASOS is the complete opposite for good reason.</p> <p>It knows the importance of the commitment and consistency principle, which has been proven to demonstrate the increased probability of a purchase when people make a smaller initial commitment to lead up to the actual purchase.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5162/Screenshot__1_.png" alt="" width="595" height="451"></p> <ul> <li>Don’t force visitors to have to register or sign-up in order to use the save/love/wishlist function – use cookies initially, then encourage visitors to sign-up so they can access their list across devices.</li> <li>Don’t hide away the wishlist/saved items area – encourage visitors to use this functionality and visit this area, giving it similar prominence to your shopping bag.</li> <li>Allow visitors to save items directly from the product listing pages – don’t just provide this on the product page.</li> <li>Within the wishlist/saved items area, allow visitors to move products to their shopping bag, or scroll through individual product images without having to go to the product page.</li> <li>Integrate the wishlist/saved items area in to the shopping basket to encourage increased average order values and average order quantities.</li> <li>Make saving for later an integral part of the mobile browsing experience.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Introduce a section at the bottom of your browsing pages which promote the items in your saved items area, in addition to the typical section showing recently viewed items.</li> </ul> <h3>A focus on simplicity throughout the core user experience</h3> <p>Starting from the primary navigation but moving in to filtering product listing pages, the redesigned product page template, through to the shopping basket and checkout forms, simplicity is the name of the game.</p> <p>Why reinvent the wheel when you can just deliver the essentials really well<em>,</em> <em>then</em> adding in layers of engagement and persuasion to differentiate and keep visitors coming back?</p> <p>ASOS has embraced the approach of utilising white space to provide clarity on the core functions that visitors are looking for, with the product page being a primary example.</p> <p>The product page also provides an excellent example of encouraging visitors to browse through the available images within the big arrows.</p> <p>It sounds simple because it <em>is</em>, and it’s this simplicity that people really want in the vast majority of cases in all my years of experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5164/product_page.PNG" alt="" width="596" height="560"></p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Focus on delivering a smooth checkout process – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64669-21-first-class-examples-of-effective-web-form-design/">form best practice</a> is your best friend, yet for many retailers, that friend is nowhere to be seen – including the often unfriendly error messages when things go wrong.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Streamline <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63444-ecommerce-best-practice-the-basket-add-what-is-it-and-how-should-it-work/">the add-to-bag experience</a> if visitors haven’t selected a size or colour, rather than displaying an error message alert box which visitors have to interact with in order to make a selection. <a href="http://www.very.co.uk">Very.co.uk</a> does this extremely well and I know that it performed significantly better when it was A/B tested against the current ASOS approach.</li> </ul> <h3>What do you think?</h3> <p>Thanks for reading and I hope it has provided ideas and opportunities which you can build in to the foundations of your ecommerce experience.</p> <p>So what are the highlights of the ASOS user experience for you? What areas do you feel it could improve upon?</p> <p>Which other retailers do what ASOS does but more intuitively or more persuasively? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67534 2016-02-19T12:51:23+00:00 2016-02-19T12:51:23+00:00 From checkout to conversion: How to prevent basket abandonment Georges Berzgal <p style="text-align: justify;">Whether the customer is shopping in-store or online, a poor <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> is likely to result in an <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63466-nine-case-studies-and-infographics-on-cart-abandonment-and-email-retargeting/">abandoned basket</a>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">So, how can you prevent valuable online customers from straying from their shopping baskets?</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>1. Keep it clear and simple</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Many customers are time poor, easily distracted, and perhaps most notably, have a wide-range of other brands vying for their attention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A complex or lengthy checkout process could send them running to your competitor. Today’s <a href="http://www.netimperative.com/2015/12/clunky-checkouts-causing-online-retail-woes-infographic/">average checkout process is five pages long.</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Wiggle's checkout</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2149/wiggle_checkout.png" alt="" width="615" height="326"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Too many steps will frustrate the customer, which may result in an abandoned basket and lost revenue.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Implementing a step-indicator, which gives customers a clear view of their progress, will help manage their expectations during the entire process.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>2. Minimise queuing time</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">Bricks and mortar shops try to prevent customers from waiting in a lengthy queue to make a purchase.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The same attitude must be applied online. A ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65457-be-our-guest-a-guide-to-ecommerce-guest-checkout-best-practice/">guest checkout</a>’ option reduces processing time, enabling customers to complete the purchase without being required to register or set up an account.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A third (33%) of retailers don’t offer this, which has a direct impact on the number of sales they convert.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Of course, capturing customer data via registration is important to enable engaging communications and personalised offers in the future.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You should consider presenting both options and offer incentives for customers to complete the longer registration process.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>3. Avoid last minute, unexpected surprises</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">At this critical stage in the customer journey, you should do everything to encourage the sale, and avoid presenting the customer with any unexpected costs at the last minute.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The continued growth of promo codes, providing free shipping or money off, are <a href="http://www.retailgazette.co.uk/blog/2015/03/23041-voucher-code-use-grows-43-in-12-months">a powerful way to encourage customers to purchase.</a></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Reduce the risk of disappointment at checkout by allowing customers to apply codes early in the process. This may also create additional revenue as customers realise they can get more for their money.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><em>Mulberry's single page checkout</em></p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2151/Mulberry_s_single_page_checkout.png" alt="" width="615" height="635"></p> <p style="text-align: justify;">You also need to avoid exposing customers to sticker shock. More than a third (38%) of online retailers are guilty of this.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Hitting customers with total costs at the end of the checkout process could put them off the purchase if the price is higher than they expected.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Whilst the majority of retailers display shipping costs on the first or second page of checkout, there remain a few who still don’t reveal the rates until page five.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Display a preview of the shopping basket and associated costs, including shipping costs, as early as possible during the checkout process and provide the opportunity to adjust their preference.</p> <h3 style="text-align: justify;"><strong>4. Remind customers what they are missing</strong></h3> <p style="text-align: justify;">There are many other reasons shoppers may abandon their shopping basket, and even if you address the majority you will still face abandoned baskets.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, that does not mean the sale is lost. Commerce marketing automation makes it much easier to follow up with the customer to re-engage them.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Sending <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/">automated abandoned basket messages</a> is an effective way to recapture the customer’s interest and remind them why they visited your site in the first place.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In fact, a basket reminder strategy can recover <a href="http://www.essentialretail.com/essential-ecommerce/article/566a9cf6c983b-third-of-retailers-dont-offer-guest-checkout-leading-to-basket-abandonment">as much as 25% of abandoned revenue</a>. Yet, a surprisingly high number of retailers (59%) don’t do this at all.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A small number (22%) send only one reminder, even though experience shows that a series of messages is more effective.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you keep customers happy at checkout, and personalise the messages to those that abandon their baskets, you can go a long way toward becoming the retailer that customers come back to again and again.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66821 2015-08-18T09:30:00+01:00 2015-08-18T09:30:00+01:00 Key ecommerce statistics from Ofcom's Communication Market Report 2015 James Ellis <p>It seems the ecommerce market is still growing at a decent pace. Figures published in Royal Mail’s latest annual report estimate total parcel volume growth at approximately 4%. </p> <p>The business-to-consumer (B2C) and consumer-originated (C2X) parcel segments are estimated to be growing at a slightly faster rate, between 4.5% and 5.5%. </p> <p>In 2014, the Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG) put the value of the UK ecommerce sales at £104bn.</p> <p>This is 14% greater than the value of sales the previous year, and more than double the 2009 value.</p> <p>Online retail is accounting for an increasing proportion of total retail sales.</p> <p>Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that 11.2% of total retail sales were made online in 2014, compared to 10.4% in the previous year. </p> <p>Consumers in the UK are also shopping more on mobile devices. 40% of online retail sales at the end of 2014 were through mobile devices.</p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-2InCrO4k7YkZ5OuEoFPpNGSV8-kLcSdWtWOk9THY3a0934kRbYhKEmAopzNFCc1faBFxygwLitb1LWBCr87rNVHGh5ZXvouybzFg7VmmvoANb3qLYrgGePxR3rD3kcOrnNheiI" alt="" width="602px;" height="295px;"></p> <h3><strong>Retail becomes more mobile</strong></h3> <p>As many marketers already know, mobile has become an integral part of retail and digital commerce offerings.</p> <p>Overall, use of mobile phones for retail activities was relatively stable between 2014 and 2015.</p> <p>Around one in four mobile internet users (26%) said they used their mobile phone to purchase goods or services in the month, the same proportion who said that they had used their mobile phone to find the location of a store. </p> <p><img src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/--afs8_hM2zjxQKCqemkqkO2vcCU8-oXytEGY-P776E6K6_B_dGXspVzxiYOEt79dtvXZ8F_dW56D8o4msfhfN3rCrPBi9h0ACLbO5SetYyAJ6O18mPKmq4W7-wW91-ITntkjAQ" alt="" width="601px;" height="303px;"> </p> <p>With 4G subscriptions increasing it could be expected that these trends accelerate and more consumers will become mobile shoppers.</p> <p>While mobile payments at the Point Of Sale is relatively low, it could be expected to increase once Apple Pay gains widespread traction.</p> <h3><strong>Factors affecting purchase decisions</strong></h3> <p>One in 10 consumers consider that the operator that delivers their parcel is an important factor in choosing a retailer.</p> <p>When asked to name the most important factors when choosing a retailer, over half of UK adults (56%) said that free delivery was an important factor. </p> <p>Around half (49%) considered that quick and efficient deliveries were important and three in 10 that the offer of click-and-collect services was important. </p> <p>Just over one in 10 (11%) UK adults considered that the provider used for delivery was an important factor, suggesting that consumers have little preference who provides their deliveries, as long as it does not add an additional cost to their purchase and it is quick and efficient.  </p> <p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/lY0n-N3XygzCo2lcrSLssTSPeZWoGht2KRo9cfxlJ9Ukbc5D70UDM0HudD69FYAy8UzLKJAhbaUIEXj0FuwHjCmhR5ZkPIzMMgeqSo72b9oQKUI06Uj4TDbD3iQvh-EoQ3z5qYo" alt="" width="602px;" height="357px;"> </p> <p>A majority of consumers like to have notifications and/or tracking in place for their e-retail deliveries </p> <p>Over six in 10 (63%) of adults said that they liked to have email confirmation at each stage of delivery when awaiting deliveries from online shopping, and a similar proportion (61%) said that they liked to be able to track their parcels online.</p> <p>Features that provide more precise information about when items are likely to be delivered were cited by a significant majority of respondents. </p> <p>Around four in 10 said they wanted greater certainty of the specific delivery time: 43% said that they would like to receive texts with the exact time of delivery and 39% said they liked to have one-hour time slots for delivery. </p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/RG6xOfY5f829O8uxLJtoy_IbW8OJIobeX1nOUcymvpjptVHN4p4J3HnVRx0AF__T4uDz-vpBgkfDzGSSRNcDYLHBXt9nArXIk7RIUp-wvlMTunTnX6Hy7W1Ovwrl3cmvzOgJaL4" alt="" width="602px;" height="355px;"></p> <p>When it comes to delivery, almost seven out of 10 (68%) adults stated that delivery to the home was their preferred option.</p> <p>For delivery options away from the home, click and collect was the preferred method. 14% said that this was their preferred option.</p> <p>Preferences for other delivery methods (including parcel lockers, parcel shops and post offices) was low. None of these options were the preferred delivery point for more than 2% of respondents. </p> <p><img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/4JFFGUI4UJommS5HZxqXSPJk7DprBKFjeD4v4TZsm0z2C3Zw8HNU5qAuJKxdCK55Dx2VSyO6XlbeosTwnc7bEUpNrYMK03BIKOHfsHPeKcGtuZDf4MhaDMl9VRbWFWfGLWFzXLU" alt="" width="602px;" height="325px;"></p> <h3><strong>Amazon still leading the way for digital retail</strong></h3> <p>In March 2015, 32.1m people visited Amazon on a desktop/laptop or mobile device, equivalent to two-thirds (68%) of the digital population. This was the largest digital audience among Ofcom’s comparator online retail services.</p> <p>eBay was visited by six in 10 of the digital population (59% or 28.2m), the second highest total digital audience, followed by Argos with 14.1m (an active reach of 30%) in March 2015.</p> <p>Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, was visited by 12.7m people i.e. 27% of the active digital audience.</p> <p>The number of people accessing the comparator retailers via desktop and laptops was generally higher than those accessing these on mobile devices, although in March 2015 more people accessed Argos, Tesco and Asda on mobile devices than on desktops and laptop. </p> <p><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/JgS90s0FlF4e5FNqxmNw-bgAOL2C-QKynQp_LCBVrSJRF4f0el6nfaSdhZ8PWqhoVgswN9_iuqJfrjXbzvAuNuFFv3ocAHkVBDmEVqqvAQPp715ZtXoB1KGBCdBvlf_qC_3kPQQ" alt="" width="602px;" height="397px;"> </p> <p>As with the other topics discussed in the Ofcom Market Report, mobile’s influence is becoming more important.</p> <p>As the report points out, several of the UK’s biggest retailers saw a bigger digital audience on mobile than desktop/laptop earlier this year. Amazon’s audiences across devices are approaching parity also. </p> <h3>For lots more up-to-date statistics…                                           </h3> <p>Download Econsultancy’s <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>, a collection of the most recent statistics and market data publicly available on online marketing, ecommerce, the internet and related digital media.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66756 2015-07-28T09:46:00+01:00 2015-07-28T09:46:00+01:00 How to use persuasion throughout the ecommerce customer journey Kath Pay <h2>Our journey today</h2> <p>When creating and optimising our ecommerce customer journey, not only do we need to ensure that we have made this as frictionless and easy to use journey as possible, but also that we have made this journey as persuasive as possible. </p> <p>Working Psychology defines Persuasion as being:</p> <blockquote> <p>Persuasion attempts to win "the heart and mind" of the target. Thus persuasion must induce attitude change, which entails affective (emotion-based) change. Although persuasion is more difficult to induce, its effects last longer because the target actually accepts and internalizes the advocacy.</p> </blockquote> <p>Persuasion is powerful, and no I’m not meaning sly, dodgy tactics to sell snake oil.</p> <p>What I’m addressing today is tactics that assist the consumer in their decision making process by making the decision easier for them to make. </p> <p>Douglas van Praet: Unconcious Branding:</p> <blockquote> <p>Research shows that more than 90% of our decisions are unconscious.</p> </blockquote> <p>So this post is going to be showcasing and exploring what brands are currently doing at each step of the customer journey. We’ll look at sign up, email, landing page, product page, checkout and abandonment.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/FyHwsKZ.png" alt="" width="602" height="382"></p> <p>I’ve showcased some of the more popular persuasion tactics available and highlighted the underlying reasons as to why this persuasion tactic works.</p> <p>More often than not, most persuasion tactics can be used within multiple steps of the customer journey.</p> <h2><strong>Sign up/registration</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic<em>: reciprocity</em></strong></h3> <p>The concept of reciprocity says that people by nature feel obliged to provide either discounts or concessions to others if they’ve received favours from those others. Psychology explains this by stressing that we humans simply hate to feel indebted to other people!</p> <p>When subscribing or registering for something, reciprocity is often a principle that we call upon, even if we don’t fully recognise that we’re doing so. The below example from Dorothy Perkins is a good example of reciprocity in action.</p> <p>Firstly, note the clear benefit statement at the top: “Be the first to know about events, fashion news and exclusive events”.</p> <p>We are then offered an incentive “Sign up for our newsletter and save 10%”</p> <p>It's important to note that there are 10 form fields/questions within this form, yet only four are mandatory. </p> <p>Normally, for a newsletter sign up form, this could be considered too big a request as a form, even with the majority of the fields being optional. </p> <p>However, this is where the reciprocity factor kicks in. The fact that Dorothy Perkins is giving the new subscriber 10% off means that the subscriber now wants to reciprocate and ‘balance the books’ as such and will happily fill in all the fields – even the optional fields.</p> <p>Yes you’re right, a transaction has just occurred. Dorothy Perkins has purchased permission and data, and both parties are happy.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/xaxZY2w.png" alt="" width="450" height="675"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>cognitive ease &gt;</em> <em>explicit visual design cue</em></strong></h3> <p>There is a law named the “Principle of Least Effort”, which covers diverse fields covering topics from evolutionary biology to web design.</p> <p>It claims that animals, people, even well designed machines will naturally choose the path of least resistance or "effort". </p> <p>Many web usability studies have shown over the years that readers only skim read pages looking for relevant information as opposed to reading word by word.</p> <p>To enable conversions designers are faced with the task of providing visual cues, not just to help guide the reader to find the content they need, but also to influence them to take action.</p> <p>The example below is utilising an explicit visual design cue in the form of an arrow. Our eyes are drawn to designs that direct action such as an arrow and this is an effective use of the arrow as it draws the reader’s eyes to the objective of the overlay – which is to enter their email address and download the whitepaper.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/Q0s7Vlo.png" alt="" width="1261" height="714"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>implicit visual design cue</em></strong></h3> <p>Implicit directional cues, unlike their explicit counterparts are more subtle and use such things as positioning and line of sight to direct the readers eyes to the objective.</p> <p>In the case of the below example, the women’s eyes are looking directly at the form, which is the objective of the page. Consumer’s look to the brand for guidance on what to do next.  </p> <p>By using the line of sight using the women’s directional gaze, it is made clear to the consumer what action needs to be performed.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/egH4zz4.jpg" alt="" width="1385" height="806"></p> <h2><strong>Email </strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>anchoring</em></strong></h3> <p>Anchoring is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions.</p> <p>During decision making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgements.</p> <p>For example, the initial asking price for a retail item sets the value, so that the sale value seems even more appealing. In other words the mind is more biased by first impressions. </p> <p>In this example below from Woot!, we see Anchoring in action. Simply by having the strikethrough on the original price of $17.99, it clearly states to us, without having to do any mental gymnastics, what the value of the product is and the anchor is set. </p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/xFCChkx.png" alt="" width="864" height="629"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion principle: <em>emotion</em></strong></h3> <p>As humans, we tend to pride ourselves in thinking we consciously make decisions by carefully analyzing all the information available and then deciding what the best option is.</p> <p>However, like it or not, we subconsciously make purchasing decisions based upon our emotions and then we post-rationalise these decisions to come up with a suitable reasoning as to why we made that decision. </p> <p>In his book, Unconscious branding, Douglas van Praet said:</p> <blockquote> <p>Influence is born by appealing to the emotions while overcoming rational restraints.</p> </blockquote> <p>He also revealed that research shows that <strong>more than 90% of our decisions are unconscious</strong>.</p> <p>A lovely example below is an email from Hilton Hhonors. The copy is wonderfully persuasive – “Exclusive Travel Specials”, “escape to your paradise”, “unforgettable memories” and finally the Call-To-Action “treat yourself to the getaway you deserve”.</p> <p>This is compelling and evocative copy, hooking our emotions into finding out more about the offers available.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/YmtP8Ji.png" alt="" width="756" height="600"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasive principle: <em>scarcity &amp; loss aversion</em></strong></h3> <p>Humans have two main drivers – to avoid pain or to gain pleasure. These two drivers are key to every action we take and when we’re faced with either the fact that their availability is limited or we might lose the ability to acquire them on favourable terms, then they appear more attractive to us.</p> <p>This is why we tend to act quickly when we’re told that this is the last one, or that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64333-what-is-scarcity-marketing-and-should-you-use-it/">the special offer won’t last.</a></p> <p>Studies have proven that we’re more likely to act based upon loss (avoid pain) than gain (gain pleasure). This is because gains are fleeting and losses linger. People behave irrationally to avoid loss. So to take advantage of this, promote your product’s limited quantity. </p> <p>The below email from Banana Republic uses loss aversion three times within it. Phrases such as “cannot be missed, “It’s your last chance!” and “(Hurry it expires soon!) are all designed to tug on our ‘missing out’ emotions.</p> <p>No one likes to be the person who missed out and as a push channel, email is a perfect channel to use this tactic.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/w91Qsxv.png" alt="" width="668" height="705"></p> <h2><strong>Landing page/homepage</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasive principle: <em>social proof</em></strong></h3> <p>Robert Cialdini, the author of <em>Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion</em> states “People see an action as more appropriate when others are doing it”.</p> <p>This principle relies on the adage "safety in numbers." For example, we're more likely to work late if our colleagues are doing it, put a tip in a jar if it already contains money, or eat in a restaurant if it's busy.</p> <p>We are simply assuming that if others are doing it, then it must be OK. Ask yourself – when driving have you ever joined the long cue rather than the short cue as you felt that it was the ‘safer’ cue. This in effect similar to ‘herd mentality’ and we can harness this to our benefit.</p> <p>A test was run on Betfair’s homepage using VWO. The goal was to increase clickthrough’s to the registration page. It tested reciprocity, loss aversion and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce">social proof</a> to see which one would deliver the best results.</p> <p>The winner of this test was social proof, resulting in 7% more clickthroughs to the registration page. Not only did this test find a version that provided an immediate uplift – but it also gave insight as to what motivates the audience – obviously the adage ‘safety in numbers' resonates well with their audience.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/njzjqzz.jpg" alt="" width="634" height="362"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>cognitive ease &gt; explicit visual design cues</em></strong></h3> <p>Emaze’s homepage uses explicit visual design cues well. Using conversion-centred design principles, we can see that on the right is the main call-to-action “Start now! It’s free”.</p> <p>And helping us along the way is an explicit visual design cue – an arrow, pointing us in the right direction to help us achieve our objective and provide advice of what to do next. </p> <p>Speaking of advice, if however, you aren’t ready for taking the leap into a free trial, but require some nurturing instead then they’ve got an arrow for that too! “learn more”.</p> <p>I love it. Emaze is directing visitors into the most appropriate action according to their lifestage and using explicit visual cues in the form of arrows to do this – and all of these directions are taking place above the fold.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/805caRh.jpg" alt="" width="1356" height="734"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>Hicks law/paradox of choice</em></strong></h3> <p>Hick’s Law is a common principle of design, and is the design consequence that the time it takes to make a decision increases as the number of alternatives increase.</p> <p>The law itself is used to estimate the time it will take someone to make a decision when presented with multiple options. Essentially it refers to the finding that too much choice leads to being overwhelmed to the point of indecision – leading to ‘Decision Paralysis”. It also can be known as The Paradox of Choice.</p> <p>Optimisation experts Unbounce are strong believers in the philosophy of ‘less is more’ in regards to landing pages. So much so, it was put to the test. On the control version other content was offered in addition to the whitepaper while the variant only offered the whitepaper as available content. The variant increased downloads by 31%.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/pkNqYRJ.png" alt="" width="1142" height="505"></p> <h2><strong>Solutions/product page</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasion principle: <em>von Restorff Effect</em></strong></h3> <p>Also called the isolation effect, this predicts that an item that “stands out like a sore thumb” is more likely to be remembered than other items. For example, if a person examines a shopping list with one item highlighted in bright green, they will be more likely to remember the highlighted item than any of the others.  </p> <p>A very obvious, simple yet extremely effective way to take advantage of this is to apply this to your calls-to-action.</p> <p>Think of your call-to-action as the task that you want them to perform. If it’s hidden and is difficult to see, then it will be difficult to action – so make it punchy and persuasive, as seen in this great example from ASOS.</p> <p>Not only is the call-to-action punchy and eye-catching, but it is positioned in alignment with the journey flow on this page as well as having an applicable and yet persuasive and assuring copy.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/fJpckcq.png" alt="" width="1015" height="597"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion Principle: <em>anchoring</em></strong></h3> <p>In this great example from Joanna Wiebe of Copybloggers, the Anchor tactic was used to great effect by simply reversing the order of the pricing packages. The original order started with cheapest package on the left and increasing in pricing as you go right.  </p> <p>However, when the most expensive pricing was moved to the left and was used as the anchor, there was an uplift of 500% in clickthroughs. By having the more expensive pricing as the first price, it has set our value of the product as being this price and anything less than this price is very good value.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/woUOeeS.png" alt="" width="650" height="585"></p> <h2><strong>Checkout</strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasion principle: <em>Hicks Law/paradox of choice</em></strong></h3> <p>Theoretically what this checkout login page is trying to do is to ensure they have an option for everyone – which is no bad thing.</p> <p>However, in reality, the page is messy and confusing and results in many prospective customers abandoning at this point. The problem? There are too many choices.</p> <p>This step in the process is disruptive in itself – the consumer has happily added items to their basket and now want to pay for them and have them delivered – yet, this page is what stands in their way from continuing the happy shopping experience.</p> <p>It is demanding that the consumer stop and think and this act in itself often halts an enjoyable shopping journey prematurely in its tracks. Too many choices and too busy.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/p6jvYnC.png" alt="" width="707" height="400"></p> <p>As an alternative, this checkout login page from Wren Bathrooms has taken the non-disruptive route and ensured it is a smooth and continuous journey for the customer – answer two simple questions and you can continue on your journey.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/SaFk0Km.png" alt="" width="1052" height="711"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion principle: c<em>ommitment &amp; consistency</em></strong></h3> <p>The principle of commitment &amp; consensus declares that we human beings have a deep need to be seen as consistent.</p> <p>As such, once we have publicly committed to something or someone, then we are so much more likely to go through and deliver on that commitment…hence consistency. This can be explained, from a psychological perspective, by the fact that people have established that commitment as being in line with their self-image.</p> <p>This picks up from the above simple checkout page where a first-time customer has continued through to purchase and after purchase they are asked to provide a password to create an account.</p> <p>This process uses Cialdini’s commitment and consistency principle by calling upon the fact that after having added all the necessary details to create an account during the purchase process, all they had to do was provide one more detail and they would then be advantaged when they shop next time.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/TA8Ys7x.png" alt="" width="678" height="623"></p> <h2><strong>Abandonment </strong></h2> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: <em>cognitive ease &gt; implicit visual cue</em></strong></h3> <p>Subtle but very effective, this overlay is calling upon the direction that the model is facing to ensure that the customer’s eyes are drawn towards the call-to-action and not away from it.</p> <p>It helps to contain the task and offer within the overlay and very simply and nicely supports the call-to-action. </p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/tVkN2yl.png" alt="" width="1356" height="734"></p> <h3><strong>Persuasion tactic: s<em>carcity &amp;</em> l<em>oss aversion</em></strong></h3> <p>Nothing communicates scarcity and triggers loss aversion so effectively as a live countdown clock.</p> <p>In the below cart abandonment email from Wowcher, the Anchor principleis used, while the email is also triggering the need to act soon by using a real-time countdown clock.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/jzC5TDu.jpg" alt="" width="650" height="875"> </p> <p>So, why not review your current ecommerce customer journey and see if you identify any potential opportunities to leverage these effective persuasion tactics? </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66653 2015-07-03T10:36:00+01:00 2015-07-03T10:36:00+01:00 How to achieve better results from your website Mark Patron <p>However for three years in a row, A/B testing has remained the most used method for improving conversion rates, with over half of companies surveyed by us saying they use it.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/2308/improving-blog-full.jpg" alt=""></p> <p>So with this in mind, here is a simple way to improve prioritisation of tests to get better results.</p> <h3>Use a spreadsheet to filter and prioritise your tests</h3> <p>The spreadsheet should list the main facets of each test. Is it a copy, page layout, image or navigation test? </p> <p>List where the test is, does it test the checkout process, landing pages or call to action buttons? Is the test for different user segments?</p> <h3>Once tests are finished record the results</h3> <p>As test results build up you can see what types of test generate the best results. Use the spreadsheet to better predict what future tests may yield. </p> <p>It will become clear if there are areas you are not testing enough. You may well find that your tests are skewed towards easy to test things such as copy and lay-out, whereas more difficult areas to test such as the checkout process generate better results. </p> <h3>Prioritise tests by expected lift and difficulty</h3> <p>This approach makes the testing process more objective helping to minimise the HIPPO (highest paid person's opinion) factor. </p> <p>It gives you an easy to use record of what tests have been done and helps drive a structured approach to testing and conversion rate optimisation. This is something Econsultancy's research has shown to be key to generating better results. </p> <h3>Regularly review the spreadsheet criteria you use</h3> <p>For example, a retailer may find that optimising the product selection process yields good results so it is worth adding to the spreadsheet. </p> <p>In the roundtable we also discussed the challenges of management and structure. Centralised responsibility for testing is in danger of becoming a bottleneck. Testing is a little bit like web analytics was ten years ago. Then analytics was centralised whereas today it is much more accessible. </p> <p>A similar pattern may emerge with website testing over the next 10 years.</p> <p><em>For a deeper look at the types of conversion strategies and tactics organisations are using, in addition to the tools and processes employed for improving conversion rates, download our latest <a href="http://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report">Conversion Rate Optimisation Report</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66174 2015-03-13T11:03:00+00:00 2015-03-13T11:03:00+00:00 Converting mobile browsers into buyers Philip Rooke <p>This trend lead us to rethink our checkout system last year and launch a single-page process. As a result <strong>we saw mobile orders double in the run-up to Christmas. </strong></p> <p>Conversions via mobile phones doubled in December and basket-size went up five-fold.  </p> <p>The stand-out trend in our Christmas sales data was the rise of conversions via mobile phones. We were not expecting our December 2014 mobile trading figures to show global purchases over a phone at 58% (up from 47% for Christmas 2013), whereas the tablet share is 42%.</p> <p>We expected the tablet to be the most appropriate device for shopping, especially with our create-your-own t-shirt offering. Even in Europe however, where tablet sales were 53% of our December mobile orders, phone sales are on the rise, up to 47% from 35% in 2013.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0904/Spreadshirt_checkout.png" alt="One page checkout" width="500"></p> <p>If the global figures for shopping via a mobile phone surprised us, we think there may be other retailers who are also looking to see how best they can optimise this new(ish) market.</p> <p>If mobile is going to become a full shopping channel, online retailers will need to make it easy for people to buy via their phones or other mobile devices.</p> <p>Too often it’s not just the checkout function which is too complicated. Consumers are failing to get through to the final click for a variety of reasons, which we identified as: optimisation, payments, usability and security.</p> <h3>1. Optimisation  </h3> <p>Despite the recent growth and significant potential in mobile commerce lots of sites are still poorly optimised.</p> <p><strong>The mobile shopping experience must be even more intuitive than on the desktop</strong>, so the first step is creating a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64823-the-five-golden-rules-of-responsive-web-design/">responsive design</a> for the entire shop. Consumers now expect their mobile experience to be as good as a desktop.</p> <p>This may mean adjusting the shape of the site or making sure images are mobile friendly. Websites that fail to function on a mobile device or deliver a less-than-perfect experience will see diminishing returns. </p> <h3>2. Usability </h3> <p>Too many companies optimise their mobile presence, without checking usability and whether the result really has added value for the customer; can they easily find what their looking for by scrolling or is there a lot of clicking through?</p> <p>Poor usability leads to customer dissatisfaction, leading to loss of customers and ultimately to the loss of sales.</p> <p>We addressed this by taking a look at the user-interface and our mobile marketplaces’ search facility. Both been now simplified, so they have less text, more symbols and a stronger focus on design.  </p> <h3>3. Security</h3> <p>There is still strong skepticism regarding data security in mobile commerce, so payment processes should be transparent.</p> <p>Mobile shopping requires confidence in the corresponding payment systems (PayPal, SEPA, credit card) and clear ordering processes.</p> <p>These issues result in a low conversion rate for tablets and smartphones compared to the value of traditional PCs. </p> <h3>4. Payments</h3> <p>Having made the investment in mobile-optimised store fronts and brought in the browsers, retailers need to get them to the final click. Too often the ordering and payment processes are overly complicated and time-consuming when they need to be quick &amp; easy.</p> <p>As Graham Charlton suggests, the payment process needs to be pared down. Abandoned baskets are often the result of several pages of payment information, from confirmation, address, selecting the payment method and inputting of payment information.</p> <p>We stripped much of this process out, preparing each product for viewing on a mobile devices and the streamlining the payment process on a single page.</p> <h3>In summary</h3> <p>Consumer expectations develop almost in line with the technology and there is a constant demand for improvements.</p> <p>Retailers can keep up by addressing measures around responsive design, improving functionality and streamlining the payment process. Bringing your buyers in is one art, getting them to the final click is another. </p> <p>We set out to make 2014 our year of the mobile experience, and we think these numbers prove that we got something right! During the year we discovered that the key to converting mobile visitors into buyers includes four things; optimisation, payments, usability and security.</p> <p>So our strategy of optimising the platform for mobile use in 2014 meant that we were able to start turning mobile visitors into mobile buyers by the end of the year. It’s early days for 2015, but we’re keen to see how our Q1 figures will look as the mobile phone becomes a purchasing device. </p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66175 2015-03-10T14:21:36+00:00 2015-03-10T14:21:36+00:00 Louis Vuitton: analysis of the luxury online customer journey David Moth <p>To see whether times have changed I’ve decided to take a closer look several luxury brands, beginning with Louis Vuitton.</p> <p>And for more on this topic, read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65997-how-are-luxury-online-retailers-handling-fulfilment/">how luxury online retailers are handling fulfilment</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65759-how-selfridges-uses-digital-to-create-extraordinary-multichannel-experiences/">how Selfridges uses digital to create extraordinary multichannel experiences</a>.</p> <h3>Louis Vuitton</h3> <p>On the homepage, the focus is on content ahead of product selection.</p> <p>Built using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66081-responsive-web-design-15-of-the-best-sites-from-2014/">responsive design</a>, the tiled layout gives prominence to Louis Vuitton’s upcoming fashion show, with further links to its Instagram account as well as a few product ranges.</p> <p>The top nav also prioritises content discovery, with links to ‘News’ and ‘World of Louis Vuitton’ ahead of the product categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0668/Screen_Shot_2015-03-06_at_16.41.03.png" alt="" width="1394" height="691"></p> <h3>Content pages</h3> <p>Though the fashion show page currently just displays a massive countdown clock, the World of LV section hosts a fantastic range of rich media content.</p> <p>It relates to various aspects of the LV brand, including product lines, the company foundation and its work in art and travel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0669/Screen_Shot_2015-03-06_at_16.54.16.png" alt="" width="960" height="572"></p> <p>Much of the content is presented as full screen videos that look fantastic, or as large hi-res imagery.</p> <p>You can delve deeper into some of the content, looking at slideshows or images from the catwalk shows.</p> <p>However there are no social sharing buttons or integration with the ecommerce site, so the content exists in isolation.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0670/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_03.52.53.png" alt="" width="2552" height="1240"></p> <p>This is a missed opportunity as it means there’s no natural user journey from the content to a conversion.</p> <p>On luxury retail site Net-a-Porter, for example, all the fashion content is shoppable so customers can use the videos and articles for inspiration before making a purchase.</p> <p>Shoppers can even leave their email address to register interest in catwalk products that are not yet available.</p> <p><em><strong>Example of Net-A-Porter's content</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0671/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_04.21.32.png" alt="" width="1762" height="1196"></strong></em></p> <p>Obviously it’s unlikely that many people will watch a catwalk show online and then immediately spend £1,000 on a dress, but it’s still important to draw a line between content and commerce so people can easily research items they are interested in.</p> <h3>Search tool</h3> <p>The search tool isn’t particularly prominent, positioned as a tiny magnifying glass in the top nav.</p> <p>However when clicked it alludes to the fact that users can expect to find more than just product suggestions, which is a useful feature:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0681/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_10.31.03.png" alt="" width="2148" height="258"></p> <p>It doesn’t employ <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10407-site-search-for-e-commerce-13-best-practice-tips/">predictive search</a>, but it does come back with suggested products for obvious misspellings.</p> <p>For example, ‘hanbag’ returned these results, which included 431 products, two stores and five services:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0692/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_10.32.54.png" alt="" width="2140" height="884"></p> <p>Unfortunately the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">product filters</a> are extremely poor, with the only options being ‘male’ or ‘female’. </p> <p>That’s not going to make it easy for users to drill down to find what they’re looking for.</p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>I found the ecommerce pages to be quite confusing as there is almost no consistency in the navigation or UI.</p> <p>It’s almost as if the UI for each product category was designed in isolation.</p> <p>So for example, if you go to ‘Women &gt; Accessories &gt; Fashion Jewellery’ you are shown a category page with all the available products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0684/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_04.32.06.png" alt="" width="2530" height="1028"></p> <p>Clicking an item then takes you to a fairly standard product page.</p> <p>However these lack several important features, such as a range of product imagery or <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62713-six-things-to-consider-when-writing-product-descriptions/">a detailed product description</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0683/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_04.33.12.png" alt="" width="2130" height="1186"></p> <p>If we now look at ‘Women &gt; Ready To Wear &gt; Spring 2015 Campaign’, the initial landing page provides links to videos by famous photographers.</p> <p>You then have to click a ‘Discover the Series 2 Campaign’ CTA before browsing a shoppable online magazine. This eventually gives you access to product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0687/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_04.37.20.png" alt="" width="2066" height="1058"></p> <p>There are even inconsistencies in the navigation within product categories.</p> <p>Within the ‘Women &gt; Jewellery &amp; Timepieces’ section the 'Fine Jewellery' and 'Timepieces' options lead to traditional category pages.</p> <p>In comparison, the 'High Jewellery' section allows users to scroll through the collections and zoom in on different items, but there’s hardly any information on the different products or CTAs offering shoppers the chance to find out more.</p> <p>I presume these items are so expensive you have to go in-store to register an interest.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0689/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_04.46.05.png" alt="" width="2132" height="1120"></p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>Louis Vuitton offers a guest checkout option, which is usually considered best practice though I’m not sure it matters as much with luxury goods.</p> <p>If you’re spending a lot of money you might prefer the additional security and reassurance of having registered an account with the retailer.</p> <p>The checkout has a simple, clean layout, though I’m not sure why it has included the links on the right of the page. Does anyone need to read the mother’s Day information at this stage?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0693/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_10.39.15.png" alt="" width="2064" height="1050"></p> <p>If opting for home delivery, shoppers need only enter their name, address, a contact number and an email address before proceeding to the next stage.</p> <p>But if using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click-and-collect</a> it’s just a case of picking from one of the six available stores before inputting an email address.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/0694/Screen_Shot_2015-03-09_at_10.44.51.png" alt="" width="2102" height="1042"></p> <p>Payment can then either be made by credit card or via bank transfer. For the latter option Louis Vuitton has to email the details over separately.</p> <p>Overall the checkout process is very quick and convenient.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>It seems that ecommerce is a secondary priority for Louis Vuitton.</p> <p>Judging by the way the site is designed the emphasis appears to be on content and promoting a luxury lifestyle rather than flogging handbags.</p> <p>The quality of the content certainly befits a luxury brand, with gorgeous videos and impressive imagery.</p> <p>Plus it’s all very aspirational and the messaging is quite vague, which is what I expect from luxury retail.</p> <p>However the ecommerce side doesn’t live up to expectations.</p> <p>I understand that luxury retailers might want to avoid creating a site that copies standard ecommerce templates, but it should still have a user-friendly interface.</p> <p>With Louis Vuitton there’s little consistency between the product categories and where product pages are actually available they offer very little detail.</p> <p>Shoppers get no more than a couple of sentences outlining the product details, which isn’t enough when asking people to potentially spend thousands of pounds.</p> <p>Why not incorporate some of the existing content into the product pages? Or at least add in a few extra images and a video so people can see what they’re buying.</p> <p>But perhaps ecommerce isn’t important enough for Louis Vuitton. Its products are available elsewhere online, and the prices are so high that people understandably prefer the in-store experience.</p> <p>Therefore <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/conversion-rate-optimization-report/">conversion rate optimisation</a> falls by the wayside as budgets are better spend elsewhere.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66111 2015-02-20T09:59:00+00:00 2015-02-20T09:59:00+00:00 Site review: Shop Direct targets the luxury market with VeryExclusive David Moth <p>The site stocks 150 ‘accessible and high street luxury brands’ including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Reiss, Karen Millen and Vivienne Westwood Anglomania.</p> <p>We’ve previously been underwhelmed with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10810-17-luxury-brands-with-poor-web-user-experience/">the poor UX offered by luxury ecommerce brands</a>, so can <a href="http://www.veryexclusive.co.uk/">VeryExclusive.co.uk</a> buck the trend?</p> <p>Read on to find out, and for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65997-how-are-luxury-online-retailers-handling-fulfilment/">how luxury online retailers are handling fulfilment</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65106-the-multichannel-challenge-how-luxury-retailers-can-get-it-right/">multichannel experiences</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>Luxury brands often opt for quirky, unique site design to highlight the fact that they are different from your average retailer.</p> <p>UX is side-lined on the assumption that if people are going to splash out £2,000 on a handbag then they’ll be willing to do battle with difficult navigation.</p> <p>It’s refreshing that VeryExclusive hasn’t gone down this route and has instead used a fairly standard homepage design.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it has opted for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61995-carousels-on-ecommerce-sites-are-they-worth-bothering-with/">two carousels</a>, which have the potential to cause a big headache if you look at them more than a few seconds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9918/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_12.28.23.png" alt="" width="1027" height="1000"></p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>The primary options in the top nav are ‘New In’ and ‘Designers’, which underlines the fact that VeryExclusive wants to be about new trends and premium brands.</p> <p>The rest of the options are quite self-explanatory, with the ‘Inspiration’ tab housing the limited amount of content that the site has so far produced.</p> <p>Looking at the ‘Clothing’ category page, the layout is again what one would expect from an ecommerce store, which is by no means a criticism.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9920/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_16.54.21.png" alt="" width="994" height="975"></p> <p>The simple design means customers will easily be able to browse the different items and use the filters to drill down to find what they’re looking for.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">Filter options</a> include type of clothing, designer, colour, size and price range. Interestingly that latter filter offers a selection of predetermined price ranges rather than the sliding scale commonly used on ecommerce sites.</p> <p>One criticism would be that the colour scheme is a bit drab, though this is really a branding issue rather than anything to do with the UX.</p> <p>While the use of white and grey design features works to showcase the clothes it also means that none of the filters or other navigation options really stand out.</p> <h3>Search tool</h3> <p>A quick word on the search tool, which is an ecommerce feature we’ve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66082-how-john-lewis-m-s-and-debenhams-handle-on-site-search/">analysed in some depth in other posts</a>.</p> <p>The search box itself is quite small but it’s prominently positioned at the top of the page.</p> <p>It returns results extremely quickly, has a decent range of filter options and autocorrects misspellings (e.g. ‘pink dres’ returns results for ‘pink dress’).</p> <p>Predictive search kicks in after three characters, which is useful when shoppers might be attempting to spell the name of a designer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9916/pink_dress_mispelling.png" alt="" width="668" height="47"></p> <p>One odd thing that turned up during my random searches was the quality of the brands included on the VeryExclusive site.</p> <p>Personally I wouldn’t consider Converse, Puma or Superga to be at the luxury end of the market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9915/converse.png" alt="" width="824" height="306"></p> <h3>On-site content</h3> <p>As is common with most new fashion sites, VeryExclusive has a section of the site dedicated to articles and advice on the latest trends.</p> <p>It’s quite thin at the moment, but then it is a new site after all.</p> <p>The articles are image-heavy pages that include loads of product suggestions. </p> <p><strong><em>Click to enlarge</em></strong></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9910/content_page.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9910/content_page.png" alt="" width="211" height="283"></a></p> <p>Weirdly, some of the tabs within the content section (e.g. ‘World of Karl Lagerfeld’, ‘Diesel Black Gold’) just link directly to product category pages.</p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a minimalist design and tick off most of the basics, but there are a few important features missing.</p> <p>If we take this space age jacket as an example, there’s a good range of images, a hover-to-zoom function, detailed <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62713-six-things-to-consider-when-writing-product-descriptions/">product description</a>, a big ‘Add to basket’ CTA and the ability to leave reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9913/very_product_page.png" alt="" width="1036" height="839"></p> <p>However there’s no mention of delivery or returns information, which is hugely important for avoiding nasty surprises that can lead <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates/">to basket abandonment</a>.</p> <p>Nor do the product pages show stock availability, but that’s presumably because it’s a new site so everything is in stock.</p> <p>Even so, if items are scarce then listing the exact stock levels can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/">increase buyer urgency</a>.</p> <p>Another issue is the lack of cross-selling or product recommendations, which is such a glaring omission that I can only assume it will be added soon.</p> <h3>Checkout design</h3> <p>When users add an item to their basket this popup appears:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9914/Add_to_basket_CTA.png" alt="" width="546" height="285"></p> <p>This is a useful feature as it means shoppers know the CTA has worked and also nudges them towards the checkout.</p> <p>Once in the checkout process shoppers are forced to either login or register an account. </p> <p>This is another barrier to purchase that might cause basket abandonment, though allowing people to use their existing Very.co.uk login makes it slightly less painful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9912/checkout_design.png" alt="" width="995" height="574"></p> <p>On the first page of the checkout shoppers are also subtly notified of the whopping £5.95 delivery charge, though there’s still no indication of when it might arrive.</p> <p>However much of what it does would be considered best practice:</p> <ul> <li>The checkout is enclosed to reduce distractions.</li> <li>It uses a progress bar.</li> <li>There’s a persistent basket summary.</li> <li>Use of a postcode lookup tool.</li> <li>When you click on a new field instructions appear to make sure users know what is expected.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9917/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_15.05.29.png" alt="" width="788" height="369"></p> <p>At the next stage shoppers are given two options – either pay for their item with a bankcard or sign up for a VeryExclusive account.</p> <p>The latter option has been key to the company’s success with Very.co.uk as shoppers are able to spread out the cost for items over several months and pay via an invoice.</p> <p>Shoppers basically have to sign up for a loan, meaning they have to share their household income.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9911/loan.png" alt="" width="979" height="822"></p> <p>If you choose the debit card option things are much simpler. The £5.95 charge is for next day or allocated delivery, which makes it slightly easier to stomach.</p> <p>Shoppers can also choose a free Collect+ option.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Without wishing to come across as a snob, VeryExclusive does feel like a high street brand’s interpretation of luxury retail.</p> <p>The site design is quite basic and straightforward, which is no bad thing in terms of the UX, but does mean it lacks the wow factor that one would expect when buying premium clothing.</p> <p>If pureplay ecommerce stores are going to compete in the luxury market they have to ensure the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> exceeds expectations, including the site design and also fulfilment.</p> <p>Net-A-Porter understands this more than most and ensures people are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63580-digital-transformation-what-it-is-and-how-to-get-there/">wowed by its packaging</a>.</p> <p>In comparison, VeryExclusive offers a free delivery service via Collect+. When ordering a £1,000 jacket do people really want to collect it from their local newsagent?</p> <p>Though we might assume the answer to this question is 'no', this type of service is probably perfect for Very’s target audience.</p> <p>The company launched this site to cater to existing Very.co.uk customers who want to shop high-end brands, so they expect a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click-and-collect delivery option</a> and the ability to pay for goods in instalments.</p> <p>So although VeryExclusive may not fit the luxury ecommerce template, that’s no bad thing considering its target audience.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66076 2015-02-12T18:17:12+00:00 2015-02-12T18:17:12+00:00 Ocado vs. Sainsbury's: customer journey comparison David Moth <p>I noted in a previous post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62888-what-do-sainsbury-s-tesco-asda-and-ocado-have-in-common-poor-online-checkouts/">ecommerce grocery checkouts</a> that standards were low across the industry.</p> <p>Ahead of most of the pack was Ocado. As a pureplay online retailer its website is its main customer touchpoint so it really has to provide a superior UX.</p> <p>At the other end of the scale was Sainsbury’s which is relying on a very out-dated and frustrating website.</p> <p>Here’s a look at the customer journey from start to finish on both websites.</p> <p>And for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66049-customer-acquisition-among-online-grocers-what-s-on-offer/">customer acquisition among online grocers</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64841-how-seo-helps-tesco-to-dominate-the-online-grocery-market/">what Tesco is doing right in terms of SEO</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>Despite my many years experience of ecommerce, I’ve still never actually bought groceries online.</p> <p>I’m used to buying fashion, books and electronics online, where you go straight to the product you want and make a purchase.</p> <p>With grocery shopping it’s different as you’ll likely have a long shopping list, so I’m slightly unsure of where to start.</p> <p>Basically, what I want is a big ‘Start shopping’ CTA to walk me through the process (Admittedly this is probably just my personal preference and most other people can cope with just getting on and doing their shopping).</p> <p>Ocado does have this button but it plays second fiddle to the eye-catching carousel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9457/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.25.29.png" alt="" width="1462" height="559"></p> <p>Over on Sainsbury’s homepage there are offers galore, but it’s not immediately obvious how to start shopping.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9458/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.26.48.png" alt="" width="1453" height="751"></p> <h3>Getting started</h3> <p>Ocado has taken several steps to reassure new shoppers that they’ve chosen the right online grocer.</p> <p>As well giving me £10 off there’s a positive quote from another shopper, an award from The Grocer Magazine for being the world’s best online retailer, and a list of four reasons to shop with Ocado.</p> <p>Click the ‘start shopping’ CTA and you’re taken to a category page where you can begin adding items to your basket.</p> <p><em><strong>Click to enlarge</strong></em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9459/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.43.22.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9459/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.43.22.png" alt="" width="276" height="349"></a></p> <p>With Sainsbury’s I assume you just go ahead and start looking for things you want using the top nav.</p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>Navigating the Sainsbury’s site requires a lot of clicking as each product category has several subcategories, some of which then have their own subcategories.</p> <p>These are all click-to-open and load in a new page, whereas Ocado uses hover-to-open menus in the sidebar and from the ‘Browse shop’ option in the top nav.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9460/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.00.06.png" alt="" width="911" height="449"></p> <p>I think Ocado’s approach is more user-friendly as it means shoppers don’t have to keep going backwards and forwards to find the products they’re looking for.</p> <p>If one menu doesn’t hold what you wanted then you can open a different one just by hovering your mouse over a different category.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9461/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.04.13.png" alt="" width="1457" height="729"></p> <p>Ocado also aids navigation by grouping products into different ‘shops’. These contain products that are related to one another but might not fit within the same shopping aisle in a supermarket.</p> <p>So for example, there are shops for different world foods (halal, Swedish, French), brands, dietary requirements, or personal preferences such as the ‘sensitive shop’ which has products for people with sensitive skin.</p> <p>However one criticism here would be that both columns in the pop out navigation menus are labelled ‘selected shops’, which might cause some confusion.</p> <h3>Offers</h3> <p>Both sites have pages for special offers, which are hugely important for keeping customers happy and driving up the basket size.</p> <p>In terms of the aesthetics, Ocado puts a greater emphasis on the product images, which means the actual offers aren’t immediately apparent.</p> <p>Overall though it’s pleasing on the eye and easy to navigate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9462/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.26.08.png" alt="" width="1159" height="857"></p> <p>In comparison, the Sainsbury’s offer page is a wall of orange text where every offer begins with the same word (‘Only’).</p> <p>The result is that nothing stands out and the offers are difficult to decipher.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9463/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.26.18.png" alt="" width="1147" height="919"></p> <h3>Search tool and results</h3> <p>Both sites use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/1040">predictive search</a>, though these screenshots should illustrate which offers the superior user experience.</p> <p><em><strong>Ocado vs. Sainsbury’s</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9464/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.30.13.png" alt="" width="250">    <img style="vertical-align: top;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9465/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.30.21.png" alt="" width="151" height="81"></p> <p>In the end I performed a broad search for ‘chicken’.</p> <p>On Ocado the results page includes:</p> <ul> <li>Product and meal categories at the top (e.g. roast dinner, breast fillets).</li> <li>A side nav with related product categories.</li> <li>Filters on brands and dietary/lifestyle.</li> </ul> <p>It also uses endless scroll so new products loads automatically as users navigate down the page.</p> <p>There’s certainly a lot to choose from, but then this is a vague search term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9466/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.34.09.png" alt="" width="1454" height="896"></p> <p>Over at Sainsbury’s, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">product filters</a> are at the very top of the page which is good for the UX, but there are no category options so it’s more difficult to narrow down the options.</p> <p>Also, though cross-selling is an important sales tool it’s a bad idea to make a bottle of white wine the first result in a search for ‘chicken’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9468/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.47.27.png" alt="" width="1155" height="1127"></p> <h3>Product information</h3> <p>I’m going to go out on a limb and say that people probably don’t often visit product pages on online grocery stores.</p> <p>My reasoning is that shopping for a pint of milk or some frozen hamburgers doesn’t require the same purchase consideration as buying clothes or electronics.</p> <p>Assuming I’m not totally wrong, it would mean that online grocers need to provide all the relevant information on the category and search results pages.</p> <p>As a random example, let’s look at the category pages for ‘lamb’.</p> <p>Ocado prioritises items that are on offer, so the top two rows are all available at a discount.</p> <p>Each listing has the product name, an image, details of the special offer, star rating and product detail icons (e.g. frozen, organic).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9470/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.11.43.png" alt="" width="1152" height="424"></p> <p>Users can also click on the item to reveal a ‘quick view’ popup that includes more detailed information and a zoom feature to get a closer look at the product.</p> <p>Both views include a small yellow ‘Add’ CTA.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9471/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.15.55.png" alt="" width="950" height="553"></p> <p>Sainsbury’s offers the same information and an almost identical CTA. The only things missing are the product detail icons.</p> <p>It also fails to offer the ‘quick view’ feature, so if you want any extra information then your only option is to go to the product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9472/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.25.51.png" alt="" width="1089" height="368"></p> <h3>Adding an item</h3> <p>If you aren’t logged in to the Sainsbury’s site and you attempt to add an item to your basket, you’ll be directed to the ‘new customer’ page to register an account.</p> <p>Ordinarily this would be a huge barrier to purchase, but it’s more excusable for grocery retailers as they need to make sure they deliver to your area before you waste 30 minutes filling your basket.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9473/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.30.04.png" alt="" width="725" height="394"></p> <p>In comparison, Ocado allows shoppers to fill their basket before registering, but does attempt to prompt users to login using a popup window.</p> <h3>Registration and checkout</h3> <p><strong>Sainsbury’s</strong></p> <p>After inputting your postcode on the Sainsbury’s website it gives five reasons why you should use its home delivery service.</p> <p>This is a good way of spelling out the basic benefits and criteria upfront. Shoppers then have to choose their delivery time. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9474/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.38.39.png" alt="" width="1157" height="505"></p> <p>It feels back-to-front choosing your delivery slot before having the chance to add any items to your basket, but presumably the logic is that it’s better to make sure people are happy with the fulfilment costs and timings before they begin shopping.</p> <p>This page is quite confusing, however. The costs presented in the grid are only relevant if you spend between £40 and £100.</p> <p>Orders for £25-£40 are charged a flat delivery fee of £6.95, while orders for more than £100 are delivered for free.</p> <p>Shoppers are supposed to work all this out based on the tiny text box on the right of the screen.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9475/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.46.01.png" alt="" width="1465" height="787"></p> <p>Full registration isn’t required until you enter the checkout process, which you can’t begin until you reach a minimum spend of £25 (this isn’t actually mentioned anywhere though).</p> <p>The ‘checkout’ CTA is a tiny yellow button on the right-hand side of the screen, which looks incredibly dated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9476/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.55.23.png" alt="" width="1444" height="925"></p> <p>The checkout itself hasn’t been updated much in the two years since I last reviewed it so suffers from all the same problems:</p> <ul> <li>The CTAs are tiny so don’t stand out or create any sense of urgency.</li> <li>It asks how you first heard about Sainsbury’s – surely nobody can remember that?</li> <li>No fields are identified as compulsory, but nearly all of them are.</li> <li>It casually adds a £6.95 delivery charge even though I selected a £4 delivery slot at the beginning of the purchase journey.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9477/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.06.28.png" alt="" width="677" height="187"></p> <ul> <li>The basket summary is displayed only on the last page of the checkout.</li> <li>There are no basic UX or CRO features, such as an enclosed checkout or progress bar.</li> <li>The final CTA is ‘send order’, which doesn’t mean anything to customers.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Ocado</strong></p> <p>Ocado really wants customers to register with Facebook. At every turn it’s the most prominent checkout option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9478/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.10.04.png" alt="" width="809" height="372"></p> <p>As an obedient shopper that’s the option I went for, though I had to subsequently register my details anyway so in hindsight there was no point in using the Facebook login.</p> <p>The amount of form filling is roughly the same as with Sainsbury’s but it appears shorter simply because the design is more up-to-date.</p> <p>Also, as shoppers choose the delivery slot at the end of the process they know exactly what the cost will be.</p> <p>There’s also the option of using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click &amp; collect</a>, which is available from a select number of locations around the UK such as car parks and tube stations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9481/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.18.50.png" alt="" width="1459" height="621"></p> <p>Unfortunately there is a weird disconnect at this stage of the customer journey.</p> <p>Having chosen the delivery slot the only available CTA instructed me to ‘continue shopping’ rather than ‘checkout’.</p> <p>The next page confirmed my delivery slot and weirdly said ‘welcome to Ocado’, even though I’d already been on the site for half an hour by now.</p> <p>I then had to select the checkout button in the corner of the screen for the second time.</p> <p>So, having already booked my delivery slot I now have to go through about five other pages of product options and flash sales before getting to the payment screen.</p> <p>Also: </p> <ul> <li>The ‘Continue’ button appears in a pop-up at the bottom of the screen so it’s easy to miss.</li> <li>The checkout isn’t quarantined so shoppers might be distracted by all the other options. </li> <li>And the progress bar counts seven separate stages in the checkout process.</li> </ul> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The UX problems with these websites are quite astonishing.</p> <p>With so much up for grabs in the online grocery market I would have thought these two brands would be trying to ensure they offered a first class <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a>.</p> <p>But as far as I can tell neither Ocado nor Sainsbury’s has made any major modifications in the past two or three years.</p> <p>Sainsbury’s website is incredibly dated and throws up so many barriers to purchase that it must put off a huge proportion of potential customers.</p> <p>As a pureplay online retailer Ocado really has to get the UX right, and though it performs well in the early stages of the customer journey it is let down by a baffling registration process and a poor checkout.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66020 2015-01-28T09:58:12+00:00 2015-01-28T09:58:12+00:00 Very.co.uk seeks to boost m-commerce sales with new iPhone app David Moth <p>Mobile is now its largest sales channel, accounting for 58% of online sales at Very.co.uk over Christmas.</p> <p>The app allows users to browse the full product range and also includes an image recognition search tool.</p> <p>Read on to find out what I thought of the app, or for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65663-house-of-fraser-unveils-new-android-app-with-real-time-stock-checker/">House of Fraser’s new mobile app</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62312-how-shop-direct-group-used-its-content-strategy-to-improve-search-rankings/">Shop Direct’s content strategy</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage and navigation</h3> <p>The app has a fairly standard design, which is absolutely no bad thing.</p> <p>The homepage has links to different features and full navigation options are hosted in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65511-hamburger-menus-for-mobile-navigation-do-they-work/">a hamburger menu</a>.</p> <p>It’s very simple and means users should have no problem finding their way around.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/8d3Hjst.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://i.imgur.com/3rUn9fz.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a neat uncluttered design that has been achieved by stripping out a couple of the features found on desktop.</p> <p>It still includes customer reviews, several images, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61817-six-retailers-that-used-product-videos-to-improve-conversion-rates/">product videos</a> (which loaded extremely quickly), and a detailed description.</p> <p>But gone are the three different ‘suggested product’ tabs and the zoom tool. </p> <p>As an aside, I also noticed there’s no obvious way of finding out the delivery cost either on desktop or mobile.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/D99G6RQ.png" alt="" width="200">     <img src="http://i.imgur.com/FXuAj2U.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>When you click the ‘Add to basket’ CTA the app encourages users to head straight to the checkout, which increases the chance that a mobile user will actually buy something.</p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>All Very.co.uk users are forced to register an account before they checkout, which isn’t ideal as it’s a major friction point.</p> <p>Even so, many brands choose to keep a login as it means they can track customers more effectively.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/8U67RYC.png" alt="" width="200">     <img src="http://i.imgur.com/3XDly1j.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>However Very.co.uk makes the situation worse by not providing a facility for new users to create an account within the app.</p> <p>In order to get to the checkout I had to first go onto the desktop site to register an account, then go back onto the app.</p> <p>In reality I doubt any new customers would bother with this process, but then would new customers download the app?</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/XHMlOwO.png" alt="" width="200"></p> <p>The checkout itself is very quick and easy because Very already has most of my details. </p> <p>Standard delivery costs £3.95 which seems rather steep compared to other fashion retailers.</p> <p>Weirdly I would have been able to submit the order before entering my credit card details. I’m not sure how this works, but I assume it has something to do with Very’s obsession with making customers create an account with them.</p> <p>This allows customers to receive a monthly invoice and pay for their orders in instalments.</p> <p>It’s a system that has worked extremely well for Next as people like the convenience of doing all their shopping from a single store and delaying the payment.</p> <h3>Account functionality</h3> <p>I couldn’t test this myself as I don’t have an account with Very.co.uk, but it enables people to check and manage their account details.</p> <p>Customers can track their orders, check their balance and available funds, and pay their statement.</p> <p>I can imagine this would be extremely useful for loyal customers and will also help to convert some casual users into more regular buyers.</p> <p>That APR looks very reasonable...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/8744/myaccount-hi-res-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>Image recognition</h3> <p>One of the app’s most publicised features is an image recognition search tool that allows shoppers to search for similar items on Very.co.uk just by taking a photo.</p> <p>‘Snap Style’ is mentioned on the app homepage and also features in the hamburger menu dropdown.</p> <p>Image recognition isn’t exactly new technology, which is why it’s surprising that the tool has a few bugs.</p> <p>For example, when you take a photo using Snap Style the resulting image is a massively zoomed-in version, so you can’t actually see the object you initially photographed.</p> <p>And for some reason I wasn’t able to pinch and zoom to make the image smaller.</p> <p>These pictures show what I mean. On the left is the shot I lined up, on the right is the resulting photo.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/R9SZZ1A.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://i.imgur.com/574HZXR.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <p>The quality of the search results can also be quite variable.</p> <p>If you scan a block colour then the results tend to be very good. </p> <p>But say I wanted something to match a simple black and white pattern. The image I searched with is on the left, while the right-hand screenshot shows one of the product suggestions. Not exactly what I was expecting.</p> <p><img src="http://i.imgur.com/xg5HT29.png" alt="" width="220">     <img src="http://i.imgur.com/HcJ3wKQ.png" alt="" width="220"></p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Very.co.uk has produced a useful app that offers a decent UX and simple navigation.</p> <p>The problems that I found were mainly to do with its business model (forcing people to register), though the much-heralded image recognition also needs a bit of tweaking.</p> <p>Overall though the app is a good addition to Very’s mobile commerce offering and should help to further increase its revenues through this channel.</p>