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11

Segmenting online customers by behaviour

According to the authors of this article, the most effective segmentation scheme for online consumers is to group them by their online behaviour.

They have defined seven segments:

- Quickies (8%): Short visits to a few familiar sites.
- Just the Facts (15%): Search for specific information from known sites.
- Single Mission (7%): Information gathering or completion of a certain task at an unfamiliar site.
- Do It Again (14%): Visits to favourite sites.
- Loitering (16%): Longer leisure visits to familiar sites.
- Information, Please (17%): In-depth information gathering from a range of unfamiliar sites.
- Surfing (23%): Short visits to a lot of mostly unfamiliar sites.

The authors claim that by decoding the type of behaviour users are engaged in, online marketers will raise the odds of communicating with their target consumers at the time they are most likely to pay attention to and be influenced by offers.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - February 07, 2005

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See also: Persuasive design (10)  Requirement Analysis (11)  E-commerce (21)  Research (83) 


 

12

Form layout

Luke Wroblewski explores the pros and cons of vertical and horizontal alignment of form elements and their labels. He also takes a look at how we can separate primary and secondary submit buttons visually in order to minimize the risk for potential errors.

Links:

  • The article Web Application Form Design

Henrik Olsen - January 31, 2005

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See also: Tips and guidelines (61)  Web applications (2)  Forms (11) 


 

13

Accessible doesn't equal usable for people with disabilities

The Communication Technologies Branch of the United States National Cancer Institute has been conduction usability testing with blind people to learn how they work with web-sites and what that means for designers and developers. They conclude that meeting the required accessibility standards doesn't necessarily mean that a web-site is usable for people with disabilities.

The authors describe how blind users work with their screen readers and present 31 guidelines based on their findings.

Links:

  • The article Guidelines for Accessible and Usable Web Sites

Henrik Olsen - January 17, 2005

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See also: Research (83)  Accessibility (10) 


 

14

Is your site ready for Christmas?

If you are in Christmas mood, 37signal have a lot of ideas for improving the online holiday customer experience. Here's a few:

- State the cutoff date for holiday delivery
- Offer gift finder categories directly on the home page
- Offer a "Shop By Interest" option
- Offer a "Shop By Price Range" option
- Offer links to gifts specifically for certain age groups
- Offer links to gifts specifically for men or women
- Lure value-conscious customers in by emphasizing low cost items on the home page
- Let people buy gift cards via the usual checkout process
- Give customers a sneak preview of your wrap
- Offer pre-wrapped gifts

Links:

  • 37signal's ideas for improving the holiday customer experience

Henrik Olsen - November 29, 2004

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See also: E-commerce (21)  Tips and guidelines (61) 


 

15

Big, bold, and colourful doesn't make things noticeable

The fact that people tend to ignore big, flashy, and colourful banners at the top of web pages suggest that screaming out loud doesn't guaranty that something will be noticed.

According to Don Norman, this has to do with conventions. People guide their search using previous knowledge about websites and direct their attention directly to the location most likely to contain information of interest, such as lists of blue underlined links.

Don's moral: "...if you want something to be salient, follow conventions. Violate the conceptual model, even if the violation seems perfectly sensible, and you are apt to discover that readers miss critical information."

Links:

  • The article Banner Blindness, Human Cognition and Web Design

Henrik Olsen - November 22, 2004

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See also: Ads (6)  Visual design (11)  Web page design (22)  Tips and guidelines (61) 


 

16

Jeff Bezos on Amazon.com's customer-centric approach to online business

From Amazon.com's early days, founder Jeff Bezos' vision was to create the world's most customer-centric company. He is driven by the belief that what's good for the customer will ultimately turn out to be good for the company. This is the reason why you can find negative customers' reviews on products at Amazon - something that would be inconceivable in most other companies. Bezos is convinced that Amazon will sell more if they help people make purchasing decisions.

One of the keys to the success of Amazon.com lies in their fact-based approach. Some ideas are too complex to try out in small-scale tests, but Amazon will make an extraordinary effort to study customer behaviour rather than rely on their best instincts and judgments.

Links:

  • The article Insinde the Mind of Jeff Bezos

Henrik Olsen - November 14, 2004

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See also: E-commerce (21)  Interviews (9) 


 

17

How to harvest offline customers using the internet

Since many customers research online and buy offline, there's big money in using the internet to harvest leads for offline sales. According to Bryan Eisenberg, retail sites should account for the different needs that customers have in the buying decision cycle to qualify, persuade, and eventually turn them into offline buyers.

Links:

  • The article Optimize Your Site for Lead Generation

Henrik Olsen - October 23, 2004

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See also: Persuasive design (10)  E-commerce (21) 


 

18

Customers research online and buy offline

According to a survey, 65% of online US consumers come in to a retailer already knowing exactly what they want because they've done their product research online. The phenomenon, called cross-channel shopping, shows how important online merchandising is.

Additional findings from the survey:
- 51% of cross-channel customers are active shoppers who made at least one purchase in the past three months
- Cross-channel shoppers are comprised of wealthier, younger and more experienced online customers
- When cross-channel shoppers go to the offline retail, 47% end up spending more for additional products ($154 in average)
- 48% noted that the reason for buying offline is that they want to see the item before purchasing it
- 16% noted that the reason for buying offline was the need to talk with a salesperson before buying

The survey is based on 8,000 online customers and was conducted in 2004.

Links:

  • The article Majority of US Consumers Research Online, Buy Offline

Henrik Olsen - October 18, 2004

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See also: E-commerce (21)  Research (83) 


 

19

Accessible pop-ups

Pop-up windows are prohibited by the WCAG accessibility standards. To quote:

"Until user agents allow users to turn off spawned windows, do not cause pop-ups or other windows to appear…"

Also, Javascript, which is often used to open pop-ups, is forbidden: Quote:

"Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off or not supported…"

If you for some reason are forced to use pop-ups, the least you can do is to make sure they are accessible for people without Javascript. Caio Chassot shows you how.

Links:

  • The article Accessible Pop-up Links

Henrik Olsen - June 15, 2004

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See also: Accessibility (10)  Javascript (3) 


 

20

How to make a faceted classification and put it on the web

Faceted classifications are increasingly common on the web, especially on commercial web sites. In this article Willian Denton suggests a seven-step model for the creation of a faceted classification, and gives advice on when to use one, how to make it, how to store it on a computer, and how to design the web interface.

Links:

  • How to Make a Faceted Classification and Put It On the Web

Henrik Olsen - March 20, 2004

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See also: Information architecture (10) 


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