tag:econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/product-pages-merchandising Latest Product pages & merchandising content from Econsultancy 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68595 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 2016-12-05T15:19:01+00:00 Three musts for online retailers to prepare for the last-minute rush Bart Mroz <p dir="ltr">So for retail brands, there’s no more important time of year. What happens in December often determines whether yearly sales goals are missed or exceeded.</p> <p dir="ltr">Whatever your product offering is, holiday ecommerce is a multi-billion dollar opportunity for retailers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Hopefully your ecommerce business has already fleshed out strategies to attract online consumers and bring in a chunk of those billions. If not, here are three absolute musts for a successful and profitable holiday season.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">1. Stress and load test your website</h3> <p dir="ltr">For an ecommerce business, few disasters are worse than a website crash. One common culprit behind website crashes (aside from the expiration of a domain or hosting subscription) is a sudden surge in visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">Given that retail traffic increases drastically during the holidays, the proper functioning of your website right now is absolutely critical.</p> <p dir="ltr">Put another way, there’s no worse time to have website problems. It literally equates to lost revenue, which could have devastating effects on your company’s bottom line at the end of the year.</p> <p dir="ltr">So, if your site is unable to handle the increased capacity, find out as soon as possible, because the holiday rush is here. It’s only a matter of time before last-minute shoppers surge online retailers once again. Take action now and preserve your end-of-year profits.</p> <p dir="ltr"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/2078/Macy_s_Christmas.png" alt="" width="800" height="625"></p> <p dir="ltr">Perform a load test to make sure that the website can withstand surges in traffic. Companies like <a href="https://www.soasta.com/">Soasta</a>, <a href="https://www.blazemeter.com/">BlazeMeter</a> and <a href="https://www.redline13.com/">RedLine13</a> offer this service, which consists of, basically, bombarding your website with simulated visitor traffic.</p> <p dir="ltr">If it fails, you’ll need to make necessary adjustments, such as putting a content delivery network into place. It’s better to find out now as opposed to in the middle of the last-minute rush.  </p> <p dir="ltr">The updates will cost you, but it’s much less than the lost revenue that would result from an untimely website crash in the week before Christmas.</p> <h3 dir="ltr">2. Optimize product descriptions and images</h3> <p dir="ltr">Your ecommerce site is only as effective as the content that’s on it, both written and visual. Every product page should feature well-written, easy-to-read descriptions of the product so that shoppers can know exactly what they’re buying.</p> <p dir="ltr">If they’re unsure, they’re likely to search for the product on another site. So do a final pass to optimize product features so that they’re thorough, clearly listed, and prominently placed on the page.</p> <p dir="ltr">Another reason to be meticulous about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> is because they can help your website appear in search engine results — important because <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-09-27/more-than-50-of-shoppers-turn-first-to-amazon-in-product-search">over a quarter</a> of consumers still begin their search for products on Google and other search engines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Make sure to use descriptive keywords early and often, and link between product pages. This improves SEO and also makes it more likely that consumers will see your other product offerings and impulsively purchase something extra.</p> <p dir="ltr">Better yet, use holiday-themed keywords (e.g. “Christmas,” “last-minute,” “present,” etc).</p> <h3 dir="ltr">3. Freeze your website code</h3> <p dir="ltr">If new page templates, new designs, or new features are being developed for your ecommerce website, that’s great. Initiatives to improve the user experience are well worth the effort.</p> <p dir="ltr">But December isn’t the time to implement such improvements. If it hasn’t been done already, ecommerce companies should do a thorough review of each page within the website (especially the product pages) to find errors in the content and the code.</p> <p dir="ltr">Double check that the design is consistent throughout and that the mobile side of your site works as well or better than the desktop version.</p> <p dir="ltr">(And yes, by this point it should go without saying that your entire website should be mobile-friendly. Mobile ecommerce currently makes up <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">29%</a> of total ecommerce, and that’s expected to rise to <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/249863/us-mobile-retail-commerce-sales-as-percentage-of-e-commerce-sales/">48%</a> by the year 2020. Google offers this <a href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/">free tool</a> to analyze how mobile-friendly a webpage is.)</p> <p dir="ltr">If you discover any bugs or other anomalies, fix them immediately and then institute a <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeze_(software_engineering)">code freeze</a> immediately. No more work should be done on the back end of the website until after the holidays.</p> <p dir="ltr">In theory, this eliminates the possibility of a developer accidentally introducing a new bug while attempting to improve some already-existing feature.</p> <p dir="ltr">If such a bug were to compromise shoppers’ ability to use the site in the week before Christmas, it could result in abandonment of purchases, which translates to possibly thousands of dollars in foregone revenue. </p> <p dir="ltr">It’s an exciting time of year for retailers, and the advent of ecommerce has lowered the barriers to entry for small businesses that are introducing new product offerings.</p> <p dir="ltr">As ecommerce retailers gain momentum and build customer bases, good planning and preparation can yield big rewards throughout the rest of this holiday season.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68557 2016-11-24T10:00:00+00:00 2016-11-24T10:00:00+00:00 How UK retailers are promoting Black Friday online Nikki Gilliland <h3>AO.com</h3> <p>AO saw <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/52679ff2-9a2e-11e4-9602-00144feabdc0" target="_blank">record sales figures from Black Friday 2015</a>, and by the looks of it, it is banking on a repeat performance this year.</p> <p>Instead of simply focusing on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday), it is selling all week-long.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1721/AO.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="436"></p> <p>By describing the deals launched before Friday as 'earlybird', it sounds as though prices will drop further or more deals will appear as the week goes on - annoyingly, this is a little unclear.</p> <p>Regardless, it is promoting pretty heavily across social media, even going so far as creating its very own 'Black Friday Survival Guide' for consumers.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1722/AO_survival_guide.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="610"></p> <p>Despite last year's success, it has been suggested that Black Friday cannibalised AO sales from Christmas and New Year.</p> <p>However, with consumers being more likely to search for larger household goods now, we doubt it's much of a concern.</p> <h3>Argos</h3> <p>Argos isn't beating around the bush this year, extending its Black Friday event to a mammoth 13 days.</p> <p>Instead of counting down to the best deals, it is using a 'buy now' price promise to reassure customers that offers won't go lower until the entire event ends.</p> <p>However, when they're gone - they're gone.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1723/Argos_Black_Friday.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="374"></p> <p>Not stopping there - it is also using the additional tactic of bonus discounts, such as 25% off when you spend a certain amount on an item.</p> <p>With feverish promotion on Twitter, and one of the longest events out of all UK retailers, Argos could be in danger of alienating uninterested followers or cannibalising those Christmas sales at reduced prices.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/AcerAspire?src=hash">#AcerAspire</a> with 4GB memory &amp; 1TB storage at our lowest price EVER this <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlackFriday?src=hash">#BlackFriday</a> <a href="https://t.co/B7EfpxEsOI">https://t.co/B7EfpxEsOI</a> <a href="https://t.co/rTIfbLayY7">pic.twitter.com/rTIfbLayY7</a></p> — Argos (@Argos_Online) <a href="https://twitter.com/Argos_Online/status/801433376720875520">November 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>House of Fraser </h3> <p>With sales up 40% last year compared to 2014, the event has traditionally been a success for House of Fraser.</p> <p>Once again it looks intent on capturing search interest around Black Friday - it has even optimised its H1 to incorporate the phrase.</p> <p><em>(Read more on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68432-black-friday-2016-how-are-uk-retailers-optimising-search-landing-pages/" target="_blank">how retailers are optimising landing pages here</a>)</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1724/House_of_Fraser_H1.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="699"></p> <p>With healthy sales figures post-Black Friday last year, the department store's strong promotion appears to be effective.</p> <p>Running for six days, it is offering up to 50% off selected lines as well as new deals specifically for Cyber Monday.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1725/House_of_Fraser_flyer.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="447"></p> <p>The event hasn't overtaken all its current promotion either - it is still talking about Christmas and unrelated editorial content online - which means it's avoiding instilling the fear of 'buy now or never' into loyal customers.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Christmas is the all consuming season. The festive flurry is inescapable. Enjoy it. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ReadyorNot?src=hash">#ReadyorNot</a> Christmas is coming for you! <a href="https://t.co/LP3ZE0SRLf">pic.twitter.com/LP3ZE0SRLf</a></p> — House of Fraser (@houseoffraser) <a href="https://twitter.com/houseoffraser/status/794994514905669632">November 5, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Body Shop</h3> <p>The Body Shop is promoting its 'wildest Black Friday yet' with a special 'bundle' deal.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1726/Body_shop.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="369"></p> <p>It allows users to get a selection of products worth £93.50 for just £35.</p> <p>It's a surprisingly enticing deal - in just one click of a button, all products will be automatically added to your basket with the discount applied.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1727/Bundle.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="420"></p> <p>Alternatively, consumers can take advantage of the 40% off code in the run up to Friday, when an abundance of top deals are expected to land.</p> <p>A retailer that tends to rely on loyal and regular shoppers as well as seasonal gift buyers - opting in to Black Friday is likely to be a positive move, as long as it doesn't overshadow the Christmas rush.</p> <h3>River Island</h3> <p>River Island's Black Friday landing page has some confusing copy telling shoppers that they are a 'little too early' to find deals, despite the fact it does appear to be partaking in the earlybird trend (a week of 'style steals').</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1728/River_Island.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="403"></p> <p>Using daily deals in each category and the 'limited time only' tactic, it could whet customers appetites for the big day itself.</p> <p>Or, it could end up being a bit of a disappointment.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Shoe love is true love, don't miss today’s style steals! &gt; <a href="https://t.co/vgcXu4i4W3">https://t.co/vgcXu4i4W3</a> <a href="https://t.co/hO8O70FvqO">pic.twitter.com/hO8O70FvqO</a></p> — River Island (@riverisland) <a href="https://twitter.com/riverisland/status/801335674016321538">November 23, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Regardless, with Black Friday traditionally being seen as a way to get discounted technology and household items - it's interesting to see more clothing retailers take part.</p> <h3>Boots</h3> <p>Recognising that consumers are put-off shopping in-store during Black Friday madness, Boots is cleverly using an online-only tactic.</p> <p>Of course, there are in-store offers, however it is keeping a fairly hefty percentage for ecommerce orders.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1729/Boots.JPG" alt="" width="720" height="474"></p> <p>Building on the opportunity to capture online customer data - it's a good tactic for a retailer that is better known for its physical presence on the high street and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68371-why-travel-retail-is-big-business-for-beauty-brands/" target="_blank">travel retail </a>stores.</p> <p>Lastly, with excitement over its Christmas gift range generally beginning in December, it is using the sales bonanza as a nice jump off for festive-related advertising.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">Get a Christmas ready smile with <a href="https://twitter.com/Philips">@Philips</a> DiamondClean toothbrushes. Offer ends 28 November - get yours now. <a href="https://t.co/ZPQO3ciSQH">https://t.co/ZPQO3ciSQH</a> <a href="https://t.co/tdNKPXCt2r">pic.twitter.com/tdNKPXCt2r</a></p> — Boots (@BootsUK) <a href="https://twitter.com/BootsUK/status/801161597427261440">November 22, 2016</a> </blockquote> <h3>Final points</h3> <p>While they are using some of the most interesting tactics, the aforementioned examples make up a mere snapshot of the retailers partaking in Black Friday 2016.</p> <p>Of course, there are those that are choosing to opt-out, such as Next and Asda, but most do seem to be getting in on the act.</p> <p>The main question is whether customers will embrace this year's trend for extended sales, or whether it will truly be overkill.</p> <p>Similarly, with questions raised over whether Black Friday deals are <a href="https://www.internetretailer.com/2016/11/21/black-friday-deals-uk-face-criticism-over-pricing" target="_blank">actually worth buying</a>, it remains to be seen how consumers will respond.</p> <p>Let the madness commence.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68530 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 2016-11-16T11:20:00+00:00 Eight features to appreciate on Hunter’s revamped ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>And for more on this topic check out our range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/ecommerce/">ecommerce training courses</a>.</p> <h3>1. Creative curated shop</h3> <p>While <a href="http://www.hunterboots.com/">the homepage</a> for Hunter is attractive, the 'Core Concept' hub is most impressive in terms of design.</p> <p>Cleverly integrating the brand's latest campaign hashtag, #rainstartsplay, it uses integrated video and GIF features to promote its new range of weatherproof clothing and footwear.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1483/Core_concept.JPG" alt="" width="746" height="524"></p> <p>Its block colour scheme and large visuals allow for a more enjoyable browsing experience than the regular product pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1484/Explore_the_collection.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="334"></p> <p>What's more, it gives the user an overview of the entire range, instead of leaving them to search through various categories.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1485/Colour_pallette_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="470"></p> <h3>2. Editorial-style content</h3> <p>Alongside the Core Concept hub, Hunter nicely promotes its blog-style content in the 'Discover' section.</p> <p>In fact, its prominent positioning on the site makes it feel less like a brand blog, and more like an integrated magazine.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1486/Discover.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="396"></p> <p>While the content subtly shows off the Hunter products, it also includes a nice variety of features including topics like photography and sport.</p> <p>I particularly like its 'Everyday Pioneers' series.</p> <p>Using an inspirational approach based around the boot's technical engineering, it promotes the durability of the product instead of its visual style.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/kzmdNHpkWZw?list=PLVSqeLqwLyM2JAuxqHmnwqWUZRXFD17e3&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> <h3>3. High quality product imagery</h3> <p>Moving onto the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/" target="_blank">product pages</a> - the high quality imagery definitely stand out as one of the site's best features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1487/Images.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="808"></p> <p>With an average of six large images as well as a 360-degree video, it gives the user an excellent indication of how the product looks in real life.</p> <p>Since including more photography, specifically showing how far up the boots reach on calves, the site has seen<strong> a 10% increase in add-to-bags as well as a drop in returns.</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1488/Boot_scale.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="763"></p> <h3>4. Up-front estimated delivery info</h3> <p>A small but significant feature I like on the product pages is this indication of estimated delivery.</p> <p>While many retailers leave this information to the checkout or choose to highlight the price, including the estimated date gives the customer a sense of reassurance and urgency.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1489/Hunter_estimated_delivery.JPG" alt="" width="558" height="679"></p> <p>Telling the customer that they could have the boots they're currently looking at within two days acts as a great call-to-action.</p> <h3>5. Cross-selling</h3> <p>Another newly improved feature on the product pages is the inclusion of related items.</p> <p>It might be unusual for consumers to buy more than one item at a time - Hunter is a premium-priced product after all.</p> <p>However, I think the inclusion of care products is worth highlighting here.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1490/Hunter_cross_sell.JPG" alt="" width="519" height="597"></p> <p>Again, when spending on a luxury item, customers are likely to be willing to buy extra to keep them in good condition.</p> <p>Consequently, these products could do with being promoted even more prominently. </p> <h3>6. Detailed sizing info</h3> <p>I recently wrote about how <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68477-how-six-online-retailers-are-combatting-wrong-size-returns" target="_blank">retailers are attempting to reduce the amount of wrong-size returns</a>.</p> <p>Hunter also appears to be focused on this, nicely including a comprehensive size guide on each product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1491/Size_Guide.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="602"></p> <p>The FAQ section is pleasingly comprehensive, too - it highlights the fact that sizes differ and urges the customer to check.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1492/Hunter_FAQ.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="418"></p> <h3>7. Guest checkout</h3> <p>Hunter's previous checkout option was a little misleading, making customers think they needed to create an account in order to checkout.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1493/Previous_checkout.jpg" alt="" width="556" height="296"></p> <p>Now, it has been tweaked to be clearer, removing the previous step asking if the customer has a password.</p> <p>It's still not entirely clear-cut that a guest checkout is possible - however the site has since seen <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67120-12-ways-to-reduce-basket-abandonment-on-your-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">basket abandonment</a> reduce from 15% to 9%.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1494/Email_Checkout.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="505"></p> <p>The friendly copy is also a nice touch, with the 'if you wish' sign-off reflecting a sense of flexibility.</p> <h3>8. Email reminders</h3> <p>Lastly, while it is not a feature on the ecommerce site itself, Hunter's dedication to reducing basket abandoment <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them/" target="_blank">also extends to its email strategy</a>.</p> <p>After my visit to Hunter boots, I received an email the same evening reminding me that there was something in my basket.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1495/Hunter_email.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <p>With an increasing number of shoppers browsing around before they commit to buy, this is a nice little nudge to return and make the final purchase.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1496/Hunter_email_2.png" alt="" width="400" height="710"></p> <h3>Final points</h3> <p>Hunter's newly improved site offers an enjoyable user experience overall. But there could still be improvements. </p> <p>Though the press release said the updated site had customer reviews, I failed to find any. Similarly, the checkout process could be made even simpler.</p> <p>However, with its bold design and great attention to detail, it is generally quite impressive.</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68468 2016-11-10T15:27:27+00:00 2016-11-10T15:27:27+00:00 Nike vs. Adidas vs. Under Armour: Which has the best product pages? Ben Davis <h3>Imagery</h3> <h4>Nike - Product imagery</h4> <p>Nike has the best composed product imagery of the three brands.</p> <p>It is notable how well the clothing is photographed to ensure it looks its best. For example, items are only shown in full if they are on a model.</p> <p>If a product is seen on its own, this is only done to show smart details (see below), and the item is crisply folded to ensure it maintains a premium look.</p> <p>Compare this approach with Adidas (further below), for example, where items are photographed off a model, in full, and appear slightly limp and lifeless.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0937/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.26.35.png" alt="nike product page" width="615" height="539"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0943/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.10.21.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="339"></p> <p>Nike's product imagery is a good size (620 x 620), and I only have to hover over each thumbnail for it to appear in the larger pane.</p> <p>There's a fairly standard click-to-zoom function which works with zero latency.</p> <p>Back to composition - there are some particularly creative images designed to show off the best features of each product. <strong>This can be seen below</strong> in the example of a trainer photographed in the dark to highlight its reflective strip.</p> <p>There's only one place where Nike can improve its product imagery and that's adding model height and item size where appropriate, so that users can get a relative impression of fit.</p> <p>However, I don't think that's enough to stop Nike earning full points here.</p> <h4>Score: 5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0938/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.26.59.png" alt="nike product page" width="615" height="338"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product imagery</h4> <p>At first glance, Adidas has similar product imagery to Nike.</p> <p>However, as we have already pointed out above, products are not quite displayed with the same exacting standards (i.e. limp shirts).</p> <p>But that doesn't mean that product detail isn't very well represented. Below you can see a nice detail of a trainer's sole.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0939/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.31.22.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="336"></p> <p>There are, however, a couple of small UX issues. Firstly, at 500 x 500, I didn't find the product images to be big enough. They didn't have the immediate salience of the Nike and Under Armour images.</p> <p>Additionally, the user has to click each thumbnail to view it, rather than simply hovering over them (as one does on the Nike and Under Armour sites).</p> <p>The zoom feature though is, again, standard and very efficient. And, unlike Nike, model height and item size is detailed on relevant images (see below).</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0940/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.36.11.png" alt="adidas product image" width="615" height="621"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product imagery</h4> <p>Under Armour's notable point of difference is that the camera has zoomed in a little closer on the products in question, which almost fill the viewing pane. This is necessary, because the product page lacks a zoom function.</p> <p>Image sizes are good but there aren't as many offered as on the Nike and Adidas pages.</p> <p>For example, the trainer below has five images, instead of six or seven (the head-on view is missing).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0942/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.57.29.png" alt="under armour product page" width="615" height="306"></p> <p>Like Adidas, some good detail is provided showing model height and clothing size. And, similar to the Nike website, users only have to hover over thumbnails, rather than clicking them.</p> <p>Products are presented well, but again not quite as nicely as Nike's.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0941/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_09.42.36.png" alt="under armour product page" width="615" height="470"></p> <h3>Product description</h3> <h4>Nike - Product description</h4> <p>It may seem a little paradoxical, but the thing I like most about Nike's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67052-a-copywriter-s-template-for-excellent-product-page-descriptions/">product descriptions</a> are their images.</p> <p>Each description is formatted next to a product image, and it makes the copy a lot more impactful. The image makes me more likely to read and buy into the superlative description.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0986/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.50.54.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="363"></p> <p>When it comes to the copy itself, it can only be described as authoritative and inventive.</p> <p>The above example shows how subheaders can drive home product USPs, and the description header acts much like a product slogan (see below for an effective example).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0981/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.53.54.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="290"></p> <p>On the downside, not every product description has been written with as much care. The screenshot below shows just one subheader - 'benefits' - which doesn't do as much for the imagination.</p> <p>There could also be some more technical detail (weight, dimensions etc), but Nike is selling the product here, not answering FAQs.</p> <p>More functional detail such as 'fit tips' and a sizing chart lives further up the page, next to main product imagery.</p> <p>The score has to be high because I believe these product descriptions help sell the product, and that's the goal.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0978/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.51.24.png" alt="nike product description" width="615" height="234"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product description</h4> <p>Adidas has product descriptions that aren't dissimilar to Nike's.</p> <p>In fact, they are stronger on style-/heritage-led copy (which befits the brand image) and use one bold subheader to greater effect.</p> <p>However, note how the lack of an accompanying thumbnail pic makes the copy less inviting.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0982/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.56.31.png" alt="adidas product description" width="615" height="220"></p> <p>There is probably slightly more vanilla product detail, too, as opposed to Nike's more technology flavoured copy.</p> <p>As there's not much between the two, Adidas gets the same score.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0983/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.57.25.png" alt="adidas product description" width="615" height="228"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product description</h4> <p>Yet again, there's a clear difference when it comes to Under Armour and its product descriptions.</p> <p>In the 'Product DNA' section, creative copy is in short supply, to the detriment of the description, but there is some added detail that is helpful to the consumer (e.g. weight and even UPF factor).</p> <p>A static embedded sizing chart is presented alongside product descriptions, rather than the link to a dynamic tool that Nike and Adidas use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0985/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_14.59.50.png" alt="under armour product descriptions" width="450"></p> <p>Below the product DNA, Under Armour includes 'featured technology', which is a much more attractive and convincing section that should arguably be placed above the product DNA.</p> <p>Imagery and technical USPs are employed to good effect (see below).</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1009/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.58.05.png" alt="under armour product descriptions" width="615" height="343"></p> <h3>Recommendations</h3> <h4>Nike - Recommendations</h4> <p>Nike's recommendations are simple but classily done. Just four recommended products, with good detail (colours, price, title, category).</p> <h3>Score: 3/5</h3> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1010/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.54.21.png" alt="nike recommendations" width="615" height="254"></p> <h4>Adidas - Recommendations</h4> <p>Adidas lays it on thicker, with two lots of recommendations (with scrollable product carousel), as well as 'recently viewed items'.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1011/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.56.01.png" alt="adidas recommendations" width="615" height="276"></p> <p>What's nice is that the 'others also bought' feature allows Adidas to surface popular products in addition to related products.</p> <p>These two features are staggered on the page (one beneath the product description and one above the footer), so it doesn't feel like overkill.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1012/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_15.56.31.png" alt="adidas recommendations" width="615" height="281"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Recommendations</h4> <p>Just the one set of recommendations from Under Armour, but a scrolling carousel allows more products to be showcased than Nike's recommendations.</p> <p>The product thumbnails though aren't quite as appealing and the feature lacks impact. Detail is only shown on rollover, so price isn't immediately obvious either.</p> <h4>Score: 2.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1014/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.03.05.png" alt="under armour recommendations" width="615" height="283"> </p> <h3>Reviews</h3> <h4>Nike - Product reviews</h4> <p>Nike's product reviews are fairly sophisticated.</p> <p>First, there's a breakdown of the average product rating, alongside a percentage figure for those that would recommend the product, and also average scores for size, comfort, fit and durability.</p> <p>There is also a filter allowing users to filter the individual reviews (newest, highest rated etc.).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0962/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.59.15.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="389"></p> <p>The individual reviews themselves have some pleasing details.</p> <p>Each reviewer (see below), in this case of a basketball shoe, is asked to state their basketball position and skill level, so that purchasers can give greater credence to reviews that match their intended usage. The same goes for running shoes (mileage and ability).</p> <p>Reviews can be upvoted or downvoted, though I'm not entirely sure what the point is, given that you can't filter by these upvotes and they don't appear to affect the order reviews are displayed. These upvotes function much as Facebook Likes do.</p> <p>Users can also flag or comment on reviews. I didn't find any comments during my browsing but it's a useful functionality to give power-users the ability to answer queries.</p> <p>As you can see from the screenshot below, reviewers not only fill in a text field but are given the ability to rate various qualities of the product.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0963/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.03.07.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="219"></p> <p>What was particularly encouraging to see was Nike responses to reviews, such as the one below, which is a balanced and helpful response to a piece of constructive criticism.</p> <p>Though I didn't browse each website for hours on end, Nike's was the only site on which I saw customer service responses to critical reviews. Adidas had responded to some reviews, but seemingly only positive ones.</p> <p>In summary, Nike has a good review system, with little room for improvement.</p> <h4>Score: 4.5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0961/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_10.57.46.png" alt="nike review" width="615" height="565"></p> <h4>Adidas - Product reviews</h4> <p>Adidas makes a virtue of its reviews more than the other two sites, with a more noticable star rating and call-to-action next to each product image.</p> <p>Full marks for transparency. Nike uses a dull orange, with no call to action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0968/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.09.05.png" alt="adidas review" width="615" height="341"></p> <p>The review system itself is not dissimilar to Nike's. Filters, ratings for four product qualities, and the ability to comment or deem the review helpful or otherwise.</p> <p>All of this functionality is very clearly laid out, as you can see below.</p> <p>There are a couple of points where Adidas doesn't score as highly as Nike, though. Firstly, reviewers are listed as 'verified purchasers', but there is no information akin to Nike's reviewer use history (e.g. basketball position, weekly running mileage etc.).</p> <p>Furthermore, I could only find responses to positive reviews, and (if I'm being pedantic) each brand response seemed to encourage the user to do something else (e.g. submit a photo on social or sign up for an email newsletter), rather than focus on the review/product in question.</p> <p>I'm being a bit picky, but Adidas could certainly reply to more negative/critical reviews. For example, there are several reviews of its Gazelle shoes that refer to colours on the website not looking exactly accurate - surely Adidas could help by making a comment here?</p> <p>The last minor improvement that could be made is to show each reviewer's ratings for size, width, comfort and quality. The average scores for these ratings are displayed, but not each individual's.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0969/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.15.54.png" alt="adidas review" width="615" height="506"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Product reviews</h4> <p>Under Armour's product reviews aren't quite as slick as its two competitors'.</p> <p>Some of the functionality is lacking - crucially, there are no average scores, and strangely no ability to flag, upvote or comment on reviews, apart from a select and seemingly random few.</p> <p>On the plus side, reviews can be sorted by a large number of criteria, and the information given on each reviewer is good (height, age, gender, size purchased etc.).</p> <p>An average-to-good review system.</p> <h4>Score: 3/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0971/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.20.55.png" alt="under armour review" width="615" height="216"></p> <h3>Mobile</h3> <p>Though many retailers are seeing the majority of their traffic arriving on mobile devices, this article has concentrated mainly on desktop (where the majority of conversions occur).</p> <p>Of course, mobile is still important, so I whipped through a few product pages on my smaller device.</p> <h4>Nike - Mobile</h4> <p>What stands out here is how enjoyable it is to swipe through product imagery and through colour options, which also sit in a carousel, rather than a dropdown or matrix.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1041/nikemob1.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1042/nike_mob2.png" alt="nike mobile" width="300" height="533"></p> <p>The impact of product imagery is maintained on the smaller device.</p> <p>Product description and reviews are tucked away, whereas customisation and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64255-why-do-online-retailers-need-live-chat/">live chat</a> are more prominent than on desktop. Usability is good, the site if fluid and quick.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1043/nike_mob_3.png" alt="nike mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1044/nike_mob4.png" alt="nike mobile" width="250"></p> <h4>Adidas - Mobile</h4> <p>Adidas notably has a bolder product title and price. Thumbnail product images are maintained, beneath the swipeable carousel.</p> <p>All features seen on desktop are maintained on mobile, with product descriptions abridged and the option to reveal more.</p> <p>I found Adidas's rich product pages slower to load and navigate than Nike's. But, as Adidas uses a responsive site rather than an 'm.', I'm going to give it the same score as Nike.</p> <h4>Score: 4/5 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1045/adimob1.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1046/adimob2.png" alt="adidas mobile" width="250"></p> <h4>Under Armour - Mobile</h4> <p>I was impressed with Under Armour's product pages on mobile. Features that appeared to lack design finesse on desktop were, conversely, chunky and easy to use on mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1047/ua1.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1048/ua2.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250"></p> <p>Buttons are big, text is big, and the site is quick (and responsive).</p> <h4>Score: 5/5</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1049/ua3.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1050/ua4.png" alt="under armour mobile" width="250"></p> <h3>Bonus points?</h3> <h4>Nike - Bonus points for live chat</h4> <p>Though the 'chat with an expert' function isn't picked out and is easily missed, the fact that you can chat to someone about your running gear, for example, could be a good tool for customer service and sales.</p> <h4>Bonus points: 1 </h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1016/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.12.53.png" alt="nike chat" width="450"></p> <h4>Adidas - Bonus points for Design your own, UGC &amp; <strong>embedded video</strong> </h4> <p>There isn't much video used on product pages by any of the three brands in question. Nike does have small video thumbnails on some product pages to explain particular lines (e.g. Nike Free, Nike Flyknit), but they are not prominent.</p> <p>Adidas, however, does include some large embedded YouTube videos, such as the one below showing some of the design team discussing the product.</p> <p>This is a nice addition.</p> <p><strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyOlNZQ34Wc"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1018/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.37.30.png" alt="adidas video" width="615" height="335"></a></strong></p> <p>Adidas is also better than Nike at integrated customisation options in to product pages.</p> <p>Whereas Nike iD is simply a colour option, Adidas's customisable products have a large 'design your own' call-to-action and sometimes a dynamic tool allowing users to type in a 'quick customisation' field, with the text appearing in the product image pane.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/1017/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_16.14.18.png" alt="adidas product page" width="615" height="361"></p> <p>Lastly user-generated content (UGC) is a definite area where Adidas trumps its rivals. Its most popular products come with a nice gallery of user photos.</p> <p>These are particularly effective examples of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65722-18-highly-effective-examples-of-social-proof-in-ecommerce/">social proof</a>, especially for bolder looks such as the Gazelle (see below).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0974/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.43.28.png" alt="adidas ugc" width="615" height="364"></p> <p>Some newer product pages are still encouraging people to send in their pics, as you can see below.</p> <h4>Bonus points: 3</h4> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0973/Screen_Shot_2016-10-31_at_11.43.52.png" alt="adidas ugc" width="615" height="242"></p> <h3>Final scores</h3> <p>Totting up the scores, it's pretty much a shared win for Adidas and Nike on the criteria we looked at. Both have very effective product pages, with Nike perhaps edging Adidas on style, and Adidas including a bit more functionality.</p> <p>Under Armour is a little off the pace but only needs a few tweaks to close the gap.</p> <ul> <li> <strong>Nike:</strong> 21.5/25+</li> <li> <strong>Adidas:</strong> 22/25+</li> <li> <strong>Under Armour:</strong> 18.5/25+ </li> </ul> <p><em>For more on this topic, see:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63462-ecommerce-product-pages-where-to-place-30-elements-and-why/"><em>Ecommerce product pages: where to place 30 elements and why</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67941-10-nudge-tastic-examples-of-persuasive-copywriting-from-charities/"><em>10 nudge-tastic examples of persuasive copywriting from charities</em></a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65365-how-seven-ecommerce-brands-use-highly-persuasive-copywriting/"><em>How seven ecommerce brands use highly persuasive copywriting</em></a></li> </ul> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68477 2016-11-03T14:16:08+00:00 2016-11-03T14:16:08+00:00 How six online retailers are combatting wrong-size returns Nikki Gilliland <p>However, this behaviour is not usually due to indecision, but rather the confusion over variations in size and fit.</p> <p>It's been suggested that online retailers should request the personal measurements of consumers, and in a recent survey on the subject, 60% said they would be willing to provide this information if it meant they'd be guaranteed the perfect fit first time.</p> <p>While it’s unlikely that this practice will be implemented any time soon, there are some exisiting ways retailers can help to prevent the problem from happening quite so much. </p> <p>Apparently, shoppers are more likely to buy a garment if the <a href="http://www.quillcontent.com/2016/08/12/create-product-descriptions-convert/" target="_blank">product description describes the cut and fit.</a> What’s more, 90% are more likely to buy an item if it includes specific dimensions and measurements.</p> <p>To my mind, this would surely help to reduce the amount of returns, too.</p> <p>Likewise, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">product reviews</a> and on-site videos are two additional features that can give consumers a clearer picture of the size and fit of an item.</p> <p>I had a recent look online to see which fashion retailers are setting the bar. Here are seven of the best examples I've come across.</p> <h3>Selfridges</h3> <p>As well as a handy size guide, Selfridges includes lots of detailed information on its product pages.</p> <p>The copy is surprisingly in-depth, alluding to the cut and fit of the dress in the main description. Most sites just have a basic summary.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0949/Selfridges.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="676"></p> <p>Even better, it has three separate sections with greater detail on the measurements and sizing.</p> <p>By including the model's height and size, consumers are able to imagine how the dress might look on their own frame.</p> <p>Finally, instead of leaving it to consumer feedback, there is even advice about going up a size.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0951/Selfridges_2.JPG" alt="" width="760" height="473"></p> <h3>Macy’s</h3> <p>Macy's uses 'True Fit' technology - an integrated algorithm that helps consumers find the correct size.</p> <p>Found on each product page, it requires the user to enter specific details about their size and shape.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0952/Macy_s.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="883"></p> <p>It then tells you how the item in question will fit (e.g. 'loose' or 'true to size') - as well as the best size to buy.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0953/Macy_s_True_Fit_size.JPG" alt="" width="418" height="465"></p> <p>This technology certainly sounds like it would prevent consumers from buying the wrong size.</p> <p>The only problem is whether or not people will commit to actually using the system, or if they'll miss it or be put-off by having to enter in this information.</p> <p>Luckily, Macy's also implements a very good review section with a prominent section on sizing.</p> <p>Providing helpful information at a glance - it's a great alternative (and back up) for the 'True Fit' feature.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0954/Macy_s_Reviews.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="505"></p> <h3>Rent the Runway</h3> <p>Rent the Runway helps consumers find the right fit by including an option to filter by 'body type'.</p> <p><em>(Read about more great <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68070-eight-examples-of-fashion-ecommerce-product-filters-good-bad/" target="_blank">examples of filters on fashion ecommerce sites</a>.)</em></p> <p>As we all know, differences in shape play a huge part in whether or not an item will fit, so being able to search based on this specific detail sounds very useful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0957/Rent_the_runway.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="539"></p> <p>The site also uses <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66569-five-ways-to-use-social-proof-online/" target="_blank">social proof</a>, allowing consumers to upload photos alongside their reviews.</p> <p>While reading a description of someone else's body type is helpful, this visual element gives potential customers a far better indication of how the item fits in real life.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0958/Rent_the_runway_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="519"></p> <h3>ModCloth</h3> <p>ModCloth is well-known for its colourful <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67268-how-to-achieve-the-right-tone-of-voice-for-your-brand/" target="_blank">tone of voice</a>.</p> <p>Its product descriptions are particularly clever, managing to combine inspirational language and informative details.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0959/ModCloth.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="775"></p> <p>This extends to its reviews section, whereby users are encouraged to include detail on size as well as upload photos of themselves wearing the item.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0960/ModCloth_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="590"></p> <p>Lastly, ModCloth includes a video outlining further information on the item's size and fit.</p> <p>Although catwalk videos on ecommerce sites are now fairly standard, the amount of detail provided by this retailer is quite impressive.</p> <h3>StyleBop</h3> <p>StyleBop is another site which places a lot of emphasis on buying the right size.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0964/StyleBop.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="676"></p> <p>This mainly comes in the form of its 'Size &amp; Fit' guide, which includes a comprehensive list of product measurements in both centimetres and inches.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0965/StyleBop_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="634"></p> <p>It also highlights the fact that returns are free if an item doesn't fit.</p> <p>Interestingly, by encouraging a more blasé attitude, this might actually lead to <em>more</em> returns rather than reduce the amount. Slightly misjudged, perhaps?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0966/StyleBop_3.JPG" alt="" width="700" height="349"></p> <h3>Nordstrom</h3> <p>Finally, Nordstrom includes a general feature on how to dress for your body type.</p> <p>While it's less informative than other examples - and isn't directly related to a product - it still helps to point consumers in the right direction.</p> <p> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0970/Nordstrom.JPG" alt="" width="600" height="710"></p> <p>Nordstrom also includes a lot of similar content on its YouTube channel.</p> <p>As well as helping consumers to shop the right fit (without the need for a tape measure), it is also a good example of relevant and valuable brand content.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZGAX2U8Z2M0?list=PL6F12137C721744CC&amp;wmode=transparent" width="854" height="480"></iframe></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68465 2016-10-31T12:13:14+00:00 2016-10-31T12:13:14+00:00 Eight features to appreciate on Fat Face’s new ecommerce site Nikki Gilliland <p>On an initial browse, apart from being an improvement on the old site, nothing majorly impressive stands out.</p> <p>However, there are a few features that are worth a mention, which certainly contribute to a winning user experience overall.</p> <p>Here’s a roundup of the new site’s best bits.</p> <h3>Seamlessly integrated video</h3> <p>The decision to include such a large video on the homepage is a bold move.</p> <p>However, seamlessly integrated into the page, it does not feel intrusive. In fact it could easily be mistaken for another image.</p> <p>Thankfully, it's also very fast, taking zero time to load.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0840/Video.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="648"></p> <h3>Predictive search</h3> <p>Fat Face's former site had a massive problem with its search function, often returning irrelevant and frustrating results.</p> <p><em>(For more on this topic, read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66658-24-best-practice-tips-for-ecommerce-site-search/" target="_blank">24 best practice tips for ecommerce site search</a>)<br></em></p> <p>Now, it is predictive and fast, providing users with both identical matches and related items.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0841/Predictive_search.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="693"></p> <h3>Visible availability of products</h3> <p>It might seem like a small feature, but the ability to see how many items there are in a category can be very helpful in aiding the customer journey.</p> <p>The fact that this is visible at a glance and as part of each filter option is even better.</p> <p><em>(Read up on best practice for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68222-ecommerce-product-filters-best-practice-tips-for-a-great-ux/" target="_blank">ecommerce product filters here</a>).</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0842/Drop_down_filter.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="452"></p> <h3>Imagery &amp; zoom</h3> <p>The product pages include a large selection of images, with thumbnails on the left hand side.</p> <p>The most pleasing part is that these automatically move up as you click through, meaning you don't have to move your mouse.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0843/Side_imagery.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="484"></p> <p>Another thing I really like is that the images also pop out (by clicking the cross at the top right of an image).</p> <p>What's more, you can zoom in even futher.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0844/Double_tap_to_zoom.JPG" alt="" width="428" height="247"></p> <p>This helps to give the user a real sense of how the product looks and feels in real life - which is still one of the biggest drawbacks of the online shopping experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0845/Zoom_feature.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="472"></p> <h3>Prominent and helpful reviews</h3> <p>As well as being prominently displayed, the reviews section includes a decent star rating system to give customers greater insight.</p> <p><em>(You can read more on why you need consumer reviews <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9366-ecommerce-consumer-reviews-why-you-need-them-and-how-to-use-them/" target="_blank">in this article</a>)</em></p> <p>Likewise, the extra 'true-to-size' feature is a nice touch.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0846/Prominent_reviews.JPG" alt="" width="775" height="582"></p> <h3>Product descriptions using images</h3> <p>Fat Face now includes illustrative designs on the product pages for its coats and jackets.</p> <p>Nicely combining visual elements with helpful product descriptions, this draws the user's attention to the item's best features.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0848/Product_descriptions_design.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="415"></p> <p>It's a shame the retailer hasn't made more of this.</p> <p>This section feels a little hidden - and it could definitely be included across other categories, too.</p> <p>As well as being helpful for customers, these images could create more consistency and greater brand identity across the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0849/Product_descriptions_design_2.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="433"></p> <h3>Free delivery prompt</h3> <p>The checkout process on Fat Face is fairly standard, however one thing that stands out is this nice prompt for free delivery.</p> <p>'Wait!' creates a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/">sense of urgency</a>, and the amount needed to qualify encourages the customer to keep shopping.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0851/Free_delivery_prompt.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="551"></p> <h3>Nearest store search</h3> <p>Lastly, the store finder is very easy to use, instantly bringing up results based on area or postcode.</p> <p>Including comprehensive store details, such as maps and store services - this feature could also do with being promoted more prominently elsewhere on the site.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0852/Find_a_store.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="596"></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68432 2016-10-20T10:53:00+01:00 2016-10-20T10:53:00+01:00 Black Friday 2016: How are UK retailers optimising search landing pages? Nikki Gilliland <p>Here’s a closer look at the opportunity it presents, as well as how retailers can best capture consumer interest through organic search.</p> <h3>What happened last year?</h3> <p>Despite murmurings that consumers are becoming fed up of Black Friday madness – and some retailers like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67109-rei-opts-out-of-black-friday-sort-of/" target="_blank">Rei even taking a stance against</a> it - last year’s figures speak for themselves. </p> <p>While online searches in the UK were down, overall sales during the Black Friday period increased by an impressive 62%.</p> <p>Likewise, overall sales in the US increased by 14.3%, and ecommerce sales are predicted to grow by 17% this year.</p> <p>So, we can certainly see that Black Friday still presents a mammoth opportunity for retailers – the key is knowing how to seize it.</p> <h3>Identifying opportunities for organic search</h3> <p>The below chart, taken from a Black Friday report by <a href="https://www.pi-datametrics.com/insights/black-friday-2016-market-performance-report/" target="_blank">PI Datametrics</a>, highlights the most valuable search terms from November 2015.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0504/UK_organic_search.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="492"></p> <p>While ‘Black Friday’ has the biggest search volume, it is only the fourth most valuable in the list in terms of 'Organic Value'.</p> <p>Organic value is a benchmark created by Pi Datametrics. It's worked out as 'search volume X CPC X PPC competition' of a search term or group of search terms</p> <p>On the other hand, we can see phrases that include the word ‘deals’ have greater potential for conversion, proving that it is worth optimising keywords based on this trend.</p> <p>In fact, November is now the primary month for searches around ‘deals’, even overtaking words like ‘cheap’ when used in conjunction with products.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0505/Cheap_and_Deal_searches.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="485"></p> <h3>A missed opportunity for the UK</h3> <p>Interestingly, PI Datametrics has reported how US brands are dominating UK search results, showing how UK retailers are failing to optimise as well as their American counterparts.</p> <p>For the term ‘Black Friday’, five out of the top 10 sites in Google UK are US-based, with Target appearing for a variety of terms including ‘best black Friday deals’ and ‘black Friday bargains’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0543/UK_black_friday_search_results.png" alt="" width="800" height="435"></p> <p>Again, this points to a need for greater optimisation, with many UK retailers failing to research crucial trends and keywords to give themselves an edge.</p> <p>Meanwhile, US brands also appear to be making the most of data to re-target bargain-hungry consumers all year round.</p> <h3>The best UK perfomers</h3> <p>So, which brands are performing the best in terms of visibility in the UK?</p> <p>Undoubtedly, Argos is head and shoulders above the rest, with a 53% share of the most valuable search terms across positions 1 to 10. </p> <p>Likewise, it is also a consistent performer, ranking on page one for the term ‘Black Friday Deals’ all year round as opposed to during seasonal times only.</p> <p>One of the main reasons for this is that it has a well-optimised long-term landing page, enabling it to capitalise on search interest before and after the event.</p> <p>Moreover, this also allows it to build authority and consumer trust over time.</p> <p>Here’s a closer look at Argos, as well as a few other examples of good (and mediocre) landing pages.</p> <h4>Argos</h4> <p>With its long-term page, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67422-how-argos-models-ppc-on-tv-weather-seasonality/" target="_blank">Argos is a great example</a> of how to optimise for a seasonal event. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0496/Argos_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="599"></p> <p>As well as a prominent header, it also includes the repetiton of keywords combined with natural copy and useful information based around the event.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0498/Argos_black_friday_2.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <h4>Debenhams</h4> <p>Debenhams is another good example, capitalising on interest in this year's event as early as possible.</p> <p>While it's not the most attractive, it includes repetition of the core phrase, as well as keywords relating to Cyber Monday and Christmas.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0500/Debenhams_Black_Friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="745"></p> <h4>Amazon</h4> <p>Amazon's landing page aims to take advantage of the user's interest in Black Friday by promoting current deals and discounts.</p> <p>It's a fairly dull page compared to the others on this list, but it includes similar information about why Black Friday and Cyber Monday exist.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0502/Black_Friday_Amazon.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="404"></p> <h4>Very</h4> <p>Very's landing page has a great design, and includes a few impressive stats from 2015. Will consumers find this data particularly interesting though?</p> <p>It could perhaps do with a more prominent mention of Black Friday 2016 to reassure customers that more deals are just round the corner.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0499/Very_black_friday.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="759"></p> <h3>John Lewis</h3> <p>Finally, John Lewis raises the question of whether Black Friday should be based around big ticket items only.</p> <p>It is a well-optimised page, including informative content and regular mentions of Black Friday search terms.</p> <p>However, the URL comes under the 'electricals' category, meaning it shuts out interest relating to clothing and homeware.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0008/0503/Black_Friday_John_Lewis.JPG" alt="" width="750" height="807"></p> <p>John Lewis traditionally puts a big focus on Christmas retail, and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67161-is-john-lewis-playing-with-fire-with-its-annual-christmas-advert/">its festive TV ads are always much-anticipated</a>.</p> <p>Equally slashing prices wouldn’t really fit with its brand image, so it could be that the retailer prefers to take a low key approach to Black Friday.</p> <h3>Key points</h3> <p>Brands that want to make the most of the organic search opportunity in the lead up to Black Friday should follow a few simple rules:</p> <ul> <li>Create an ever-green landing page and keep it updated.</li> <li>Focus on a variation of keywords including 'deals' and 'bargains' to capture year-round interest.</li> <li>Black Friday isn't prime time for every retailer - consider whether it is worth investing more in other seasonal events like Christmas or Halloween.</li> </ul> <p><em>To learn more on this topic, check out Econsultancy's range of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/topics/search-marketing/">search marketing training courses</a>.</em></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68329 2016-09-27T11:39:10+01:00 2016-09-27T11:39:10+01:00 Farfetch’s CMO: Why we’re more than just a shopping platform Nikki Gilliland <p>Here is what she had to say.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9547/stephanie_horton.JPG" alt="" width="464" height="299"></p> <h3>Farfetch describes itself as “for fashion lovers, not followers” – can you talk a bit about the general branding strategy of the company?</h3> <p>It’s interesting how the brand has actually evolved a lot since that statement.</p> <p>When we first started out we were definitely a fashion site for people who wanted to find that special item – but since then the brand itself has really expanded into more than just a shopping platform.</p> <p>We now have Black and White, which is a new division we launched last year, that lends our technology to retailers and brands.</p> <p>So where before we focused on putting boutiques on the site, we’re now looking at ourselves as more of a platform for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67731-think-affiliate-marketing-doesn-t-work-for-luxury-brands-think-again/" target="_blank">luxury</a>.</p> <h3>What is Farfetch’s USP in relation to other luxury retailers like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68219-four-things-brands-can-learn-about-content-marketing-from-net-a-porter" target="_blank">Net-a-Porter</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68293-a-review-of-style-com-conde-nast-s-new-ecommerce-site/" target="_blank">Style.com</a>?</h3> <p>It’s mainly breadth and selection, because we have over 500 boutiques around the world contributing to the site as well as over 200 brands.</p> <p>We have more product, sometimes even more than a brand’s own website, and we have more variety of product.</p> <p>For example, you’ll have a buyer in Toyko, a buyer in Paris and a buyer in New York – all from the same brand – so instead of having maybe six or seven selections, you might have 30 or 40.</p> <p>For a consumer it is amazing because they can actually shop and style a certain brand or designer, rather than having a limited number of pieces. </p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/GLhdJoqSLdc?wmode=transparent" width="909" height="472"></iframe></p> <h3>What is the value for boutiques selling on Farfetch?</h3> <p>The site started because a lot of the smaller boutiques and brands didn’t have the ability to do ecommerce – for them it’s a very expensive and time-consuming proposition.</p> <p>They simply didn’t have the resources to do it.</p> <p>By using Farfetch, they are able to gain a global audience and gain all the infrastructure needed to become a real player in the ecommerce world.</p> <p>That includes things like customer service, payment... all those factors they would have had to figure out for themselves.</p> <h3>Last year, it was announced that Farfetch had acquired the Browns store in London – does this signal a move into physical branded stores?</h3> <p>I think Farfetch has always been really focused on the physical experience.</p> <p>One thing José, our founder, always says is that fashion is not downloadable. So it’ll never be the case that customers will only ever buy online – stores will always be an important part of the process.</p> <p>Browns allows us to have that incubator, a sort of lab to test new things and the technology to make the retail experience even better.</p> <p>For us it was just a way to really expand, do more things, and be able to roll more things out to our boutique and retail partners at large.</p> <h3>How do you ensure the experience of ‘luxury’ is replicated in digital?</h3> <p>I think every site has a point of view, and you just have to take that and really make sure that it is coming through in all aspects - from the quality of the editorial to the look and feel and how you’re presenting things.</p> <p>It’s important to read reviews, and make sure that the consumer experience is up to scratch.</p> <p>It’s also recognising that luxury requires certain things online that it might not in physical stores.</p> <p>Everything from the quality of customer service to the quality of delivery and how easy it is to return – making sure that all of those things stand up and that they are of a premium standard.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/9546/farfetch_boutiques.JPG" alt="" width="780" height="242"></p> <h3>Lastly, what will you be speaking about at the Festival of Marketing?</h3> <p>I’ll be speaking about international marketing – so what we look for when going into a new market as well as what we know about our customers.</p> <p>There will be a focus on how Farfetch has been able to expand globally, the key leverages for us and the biggest challenges throughout the process.</p> <p><strong><em>The <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/welcome?utm_source=econsultancy&amp;utm_medium=blog&amp;utm_campaign=econ%20blog" target="_blank">Festival of Marketing</a> takes place in London on October 5-6.</em><br></strong></p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68222 2016-08-30T10:34:00+01:00 2016-08-30T10:34:00+01:00 Ecommerce product filters: Best practice tips for a great UX Greg Randall <p>There are best practice guidelines to the use of filters that retailers should consider following. This is the purpose of this article.  </p> <p>It will address issues and present the best methods to construct filter behaviour in the context of enhancing online experiences. </p> <p>Due to the size of this topic which must span the various screen sizes, this article only focuses on desktop screens (and makes some references to tablet screens).</p> <p>For retailers who have large product ranges, filters are an essential part of improving online experiences.  </p> <p>If retailers can present and treat filters in the right manner, it enables consumers to quickly refine a large product range by the product attributes he/she deems important and aligned to his/her intent.  </p> <p>Some would call this act of<strong> empowering consumers with the means to manipulate content by their own hand, a personalised experience.</strong></p> <p>In order for filters to add value to a consumer’s journey, there are a core set of “filtering characteristics” to consider:   </p> <ol> <li> <strong>Filter placement:</strong> Where should filters be located on a page?</li> <li> <strong>Presenting relevant filters by product range:</strong> Different products with different attributes demand different filter options.</li> <li> <strong>Presenting the filtering options:</strong> How should a long list of filter options display as a default? </li> <li> <strong>Visually validating selected filters:</strong> When consumers select a filter, how should this be presented to provide consumers the confidence the site has reacted to this request?</li> </ol> <p>This narrative is based on the assumption that the integrity of a retailer’s product master data is to a high standard.  </p> <p>If not, this becomes the first challenge the business must overcome.  </p> <p>Some recommendations in this article are reliant on this business function.</p> <h3>Filter Placement </h3> <p><a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/horizontal-attention-leans-left/" target="_blank">NN Group’s eye-tracking study back in 2010</a> found 69% of consumers spend most of their time focusing on the left hand side of the page.</p> <p>There is no shortage of examples of well-known retailers placing their filters on the left hand side of the page, one of which is ASOS:</p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8402/asos_filter-blog-flyer.png" alt="asos" width="470" height="516"></p> <p>From the perspective of filter placement on a page, most retailers are doing a great job.  </p> <p>This is the easy part done. </p> <h3>Presenting relevant filters by product range</h3> <p>Filters have the potential to become an enabling ingredient for consumers to shop in their own individualised way based on their unique personal needs and preferences.  </p> <p>For retailers to make the most of this opportunity there is a need to deliver relevant and unique filtering options for each category.  </p> <p>This requires retailers to have a good understanding of how consumers want to buy from them. There is an increased need for <a href="http://www.fastcompany.com/3052337/why-genuine-empathy-is-good-for-business">consumer empathy.</a>  </p> <p>One good example of relevant filtering per category is Sephora which has provided a number of different refinement options for consumers interested in Moisturisers.</p> <p>Within the Sephora Moisturiser category consumers can filter by:</p> <ol> <li>A consumer’s age (something consumers might not be comfortable discussing in a physical retail setting).</li> <li>Brand.</li> <li>Concerns (another topic some consumers might not be comfortable discussing).</li> <li>Ingredient preferences.</li> <li>Size of the product (travel vs value). Some consumers may want this product to remain in their purse/handbag while others may want to purchase something larger to save money.</li> <li>Skin type.</li> <li>Sun protection.</li> <li>Price Range.</li> </ol> <p>Notice how <a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8404/sephora_moisturiser_filter.png">price range is the last of the filters in presentation</a>. This is done intentionally.  </p> <p>If the consumer finds a product perfectly matching her needs, does price matter?</p> <p>Though there are over 450 moisturiser products to choose from, but with the comprehensive filter options on offer this range could grow in size and consumers would still have a good experience. </p> <h3>The Presentation of Filters </h3> <p>The majority of retailers <a href="https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/04/the-current-state-of-e-commerce-filtering/" target="_blank">present filters in four different ways</a>.  </p> <p>They are: </p> <ol> <li>Displaying all filters at once.</li> <li>Applying scrolling capability within each filter type.</li> <li>Presenting filter titles with no filter options to select.</li> <li>Truncate filters (abbreviate the presentation by displaying a sub set of the filters and provide a “See more” or “See all” hyperlink to present all other filter options).</li> </ol> <h3>Displaying All Filters</h3> <p>When displaying all filters the list becomes too busy for the consumer’s eye, making it difficult to identify and absorb all options presented. </p> <p>An example of this in action is Gamestop.com.</p> <p>While the filters are styled blue to indicate they are hyperlinks, the list is long, the font is small and the spacing is tight.  </p> <p>This style of filter presentation also makes for difficult finger targets when this is translated to tablet screens.</p> <p><em>Click to see the full list of filters</em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8405/gamestop.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8492/gamestop_small.png" alt="" width="179" height="395"></a></p> <h3>Apply scrolling capability for filters </h3> <p>A good example of filters with scrolling capability is found at Sephora.com.</p> <p><em>Click to see the full list of filters</em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8404/sephora_moisturiser_filter.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8494/sephora_moisturiser.png" alt="" width="179"></a></p> <p>The issue with this approach is the scroll bar itself.  </p> <p><a href="https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/04/the-current-state-of-e-commerce-filtering/" target="_blank">Usability research completed</a> on this type of filter presentation found the following issues:</p> <ol> <li>The fixed height of the filter frame will only ever present four to five options for selection.</li> <li>Small finger target on tablet screens.</li> <li>“Scroll Hi-jacking”. This is a term used to describe the consumer’s need to be <a href="https://www.smasbhingmagazine.com/2015/04/the-current-state-of-e-commerce-filtering/" target="_blank">constantly aware of his/her mouse</a> when using the scroll bars. </li> <li>Slow page load speed.  </li> </ol> <h3>Only presenting filter titles </h3> <p>Presenting only filter titles and not showing any options may sound like a good idea for retailers with many filter types, but it comes with issues.  </p> <p>For example, Staples.com does this across its entire site, below is what you see when you select the Laser Printer sub category. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8495/staples_filter.png" alt="" width="179"></p> <p>The issues with this approach:</p> <ol> <li>Sometimes the naming of the filter may not be intuitive and the filter options help to explain what it means. </li> <li>The display of filters can prompt consumers to make a selection.</li> <li>Hiding filter types increases the <a href="https://www.nngroup.com/articles/interaction-cost-definition/" target="_blank">physical effort</a> of a consumer in making a selection (more clicking is required).   </li> </ol> <h3>Truncating filters</h3> <p>“Truncating filters” is a fancy term for partially displaying a selection of filtering options for each filter type with a clear “See/Show More” hyperlink prompting that action if necessary.  </p> <p>This filter presentation option has the most benefits, but there are conditions to this approach in order for it to be effective.</p> <ol> <li>Retailers will know what brands are the most popular and should display these first. Once a user selects “See More” the list of filters would then present in alphabetical order.</li> <li>“See More” or “See All” hyperlinks are clear and obvious.</li> <li>In order to manage interaction cost there needs to be clear and obvious visual cues so users know their filter selection has been honoured. It is also important to present intuitive methods to deselect filters.  </li> </ol> <p>Macy’s has the right idea by providing visual cues to the selected filters, and repeats the selected filters at the top of the page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/8500/macys_filter_large.png" alt="" width="750" height="996"></p> <p>One of the better examples of visual filter validation in action is Newegg.com.  </p> <p>The selected filters are repeated and presented at the top of the page, they are visually strong, and simple to deselect.  </p> <p><img style="vertical-align: middle;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/8411/new_egg_filter-blog-flyer.png" alt="" width="470" height="294"> </p> <h3>The end...</h3> <p>That wraps up our quick tour of filters on desktop.  </p> <p>I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed creating it!</p> tag:econsultancy.com,2008:TrainingDate/3044 2016-08-12T17:24:24+01:00 2016-08-12T17:24:24+01:00 Online Merchandising <p>As e-commerce matures and customers are trained by your competitors to expect more, marketing and commercial professionals must be able to satisfy customers whilst also increasing profits.</p> <p>James Gurd, a thought-leader in e-commerce, heads up this course examining online merchandising. This course takes a whole-business approach to the art of selling online, from promises made to customers, right through to post-purchase selling.</p>