Having cut my teeth in the rapidly evolving Ecommerce world and working through the ranks at Superdry, I began to realise what I did and didn’t like when using online retailers. I was aware of what a site could be capable of and would often get frustrated when some retails were going so wrong with clunky user journeys.
Ever been in a highstreet store and couldn’t find what you’re looking for, didn’t have your size, or the sales assistants were rude and the queues for the tills were too long? Well believe it or not, you can have a similarly poor experience online and it’s not hard to improve both these types of experience.
First key points to remember when operating an online store is to always keep in mind customer expectations. These key areas can start with, but not limited to, the following:
Site speed is so crucial now in today’s impatient world. Most of the brands we look after have a really laid back customer base, but it’s still really important in order to maintain a low bounce rate and for SEO in order for Google to rank your page highly. Google’s PageSpeed insights tool is great and easy/free to use but you might have to understand a bit of the dev language to make sense of its recommendations. 47% of users expect your web page to load under two seconds, and 57% of users will abandon a page if its load time is three seconds or longer. This pressure is even greater on mobile when most users are in a hurry to find information quickly, whilst on the move and in this ever changing digital world, you’d usually find 60% of your users will be on mobile devices. Which is why we always keep a mobile first mindset.
It’s quite normal to expect your online order to be on your doorstep within 2-3 working days – anything longer than that and you’d expect your customer to be looking elsewhere to get a similar product. With online shopping, you can understand that you don’t have the physical product in front of you so you’ll need to know immediately when you will be able to have it. “Will this dress be delivered by this weekend’s party or have I left it too late!?” So you need to be upfront and honest on the price of shipping, whether there is a free shipping threshold (which can increase AOV) and estimated time for delivery depended on geo-location. If it takes you an age to find out this information, before checkout, users can grow skeptical and began to question the authority and credibility of the site. This can therefore increase abandoned checkout rates.
Not only do I struggle with dyslexia, I have the joys of auto correct to completely destroy my hopes of a good outcome using onsite search. People who use site search are more likely to purchase compared to those who use standard navigation, as they are shopping with intent, so it is imperative to navigate these customers to either exactly what they want, or direct them to something similar (and to have a decent room for spelling errors or autocorrection). For example, a clothing retailer may see searches for ‘jumper’, ‘pullover’, ‘sweater’ etc. which may not all yield any or the right set of results. Any decent site search tool will cater for synonyms, such as with synonym lists.
A site like ASOS for instance will pick up on trend lend search terms that won’t be in their product names like ‘western’, ‘90s’ or even event based queries like ‘occasion wear’ or ‘holiday’. Then these search results have to yield something worth the customers time. Setting a rule in place with products that are selling well, have 80% or above size availability and are obviously most relevant to their search term.