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1

How removing a button can make you $300,000,000 a year

In this article, Jared Spool tells a story of how his company helped an e-commerce site increase purchases by 45%.

The site lost lots of purchases because the required customer registration frustrated people. Usability tests showed that they resented having to register and repeat customers couldn't remember their account login.

The designers fixed the problem simply. They took away the Register button and made customer registration optional. With an increased sale of $300,000,000 the first year, the client was happy.

Links:

  • The $300 Million Button Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 15, 2019

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See also: Cases and Examples (28)  E-commerce (28)  Forms (30)  Cost-justification and ROI (28)  Usability testing (71) 


 

2

Account sign-in - 8 design mistakes to avoid

Jared Spool has watched users struggle with online accounts and sign-in procedures. From his observations, he has compiled a list of 8 common design mistakes:

1. Requiring users to crate an account when it really isn't necessary (e.g. when buying a product or downloading a white paper)

2. Requiring users to sign in before they are ready to do so (e.g. before they can see the products they can buy)

3. Not stating the benefits to creating an account (such as the option to change flight reservations after they are made)

4. Hiding the sign-in button

5. Not making "Create New Account" or "Forgot Your Password" a button or link

6. Not providing sign-in opportunities when people need them (e.g. at the checkout where it can save people for re-entering their billing information)

7. Asking for too much information when registering

8. Not telling users how their information will be used (e.g. not giving a reason for asking people for their phone number)

Links:

  • Account Sign-in: 8 Design Mistakes to Avoid Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - January 06, 2019

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See also: Forms (30)  Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

3

Common shopping cart mistakes

In this article, SURL revisits a study from 2002 of common e-commerce problems. They found that all of the following 2002 issues remain in 2007:

- Calling a shopping cart anything but a shopping cart or whatever is appropriate for the target users of the site's location
- Requiring users to click "Buy" instead of "Add to shopping cart"
- Giving little to no visual feedback that an item has been added to the cart
- Forcing the user to view the shopping cart every time an item is placed there
- Asking the user to buy other related items before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to register before adding an item to the cart
- Requiring a user to change the quantity to zero to remove an item from the cart
- Not making it evident how to update the items in the shopping cart
- Requiring a user to scroll to find an update cart button
- Requiring a user to check out before showing the final costs including shipping and tax

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 12, 2019

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See also: Research (130)  E-commerce (28) 


 

4

4 ways to avoid shopping cart abandonment

According to Anne Holland, research indicates shopping cart abandonment is no longer caused by users being unable to find their way through the check out. Today, it's more a marketing related problem.

She suggests four ways to avoid the problem:
- Promote return/exchange policies by placing a link in the cart reading "Returns Are Easy"
- Post reassuring security icon(s)
- Promote privacy and trust policies by placing a link reading something like "We Value Your Privacy" next to fields asking for personal data
- Remind customers of their abandoned carts by sending an e-mail after it has been abandoned and when it's about to expire

Links:

Henrik Olsen - September 21, 2019

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See also: Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

5

Checkout guidelines

Neil Turner outlines ten ways to improve the usability of the ordering process at e-commerce sites:

1. Identify users with their e-mail address
2. Break up the ordering process into bite size chunks
3. Tell users where they are and where they're going
4. Don't make the ordering process harder than it needs to be
5. Address common user queries
6. Highlight required fields
7. Make the ordering process flexible
8. Put users' minds at ease
9. Have users confirm their order before buying then provide confirmation
10. Send a confirmation e-mail

Links:

Henrik Olsen - April 10, 2019

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See also: Tips and guidelines (95) 


 

6

20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment

Bryan Eisenberg from clickz.com lists 20 different ways to reduce shopping cart abandonment.

Here's a few of his guidelines:
- Include a progress indicator on each checkout page
- Provide a link back to the product
- Add pictures inside the basket
- Provide shipping costs early in the process
- Make editing the shopping cart easy
- Provide meaningful error messages and don't blame the customer
- Make the checkout process easy for new visitors

"Some of these tips will result in dramatic improvements, others may not do much at all. Test each one that's appropriate. Improve conversion rate one step at a time."

Links:

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2019

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See also: E-commerce (28) 


 

7

The customer sieve

UIE learned that using a web site is a progressive process, where users are inadvertently filtered out at each stage, as they work to accomplish their goal. The stages act as a sieve. At the e-commerce sites studied, 66% of the purchase-ready shoppers dropped out at various stages in the process because of bad design, inadequate information, or wrong deliveries. By understanding these stages and how they work, we can learn a lot about building better sites.

Links:

  • The article The customer sieve Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 17, 2019

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See also: Navigation (63)  E-commerce (28)  Research (130) 


 

8

The Dotcom Survival Guide

The Dotcom Survival Guide from Creative Good was published in 2000 but is still relevant and revealing. The 103 pages report shows how dotcom's can survive by focusing on the customer experience, make it easy for customers to find and buy products, merchandise more effectively, and measure and improve the conversion rate.

The report includes reviews of thirty-one dotcom features, teaching by example the good and bad ways of creating the customer experience. Here you'll find good and bad examples of registration, merchandising, navigation, labeling, product comparison, size charts, search, shopping charts, checkouts, and fulfillment.

It also has a case study describing how Creative Good doubled a client's revenue by improving the customer experience.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - June 13, 2019

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See also: E-commerce (28)  Search (27) 


 

9

Where should you put common web elements?

Michael Bernard has conducted two studies, which sought to better understand users' expectations concerning the location of common objects on web sites and e-commerce sites.

Some of the findings show that people expect:
- Links back to the front page to be located top-left of a page
- Internal links to be placed along the left side and external links along the right
- Shopping cart, account and help to be located along the top-right side
- Login to be placed top-left

Links:

  • The article Developing Schemas for the Location of Common Web Objects Open link in new window
  • The article Examining User Expectations for the Location of Common E-Commerce Web Objects Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 10, 2019

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Search (27)  Navigation (63)  Web page design (41)  Links (19)  Research (130) 


 

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