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11

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 Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - October 18, 2004

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See also: Research (103) 


 

12

Product lists' impact on sales

A study conducted by the usability consultancy UIE has show that the design of product lists at e-commerce sites can have great impact on sales.

UIE found that when product lists provided enough information for the test participants to make informed product selections they where five times more likely to add items to their shopping carts, than when they had to click back and forth between product lists and product description pages - a behaviour named pogo-sticking by UIE. Also, the participants who didn't find enough information in the product lists where one-third more likely to quit shopping and had lower opinions of the site.

They study was conducted with 30 people who were given money to spend on products they wanted to buy.

Links:

  • The article Are the Product Lists on Your Site Reducing Sales? (registration required) Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - September 27, 2003

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See also: Navigation (56)  Research (103) 


 

13

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:

  • Part 1 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window
  • Part 2 of 20 Tips to Minimize Shopping Cart Abandonment Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - August 24, 2003

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See also: Shopping Carts (7) 


 

14

The Internet has become a mainstream information tool

Pew Internet & American Life Project have done a survey on how Americans engage online with government, health care providers, the news media, and commercial enterprises. The study shows that Americans have high expectation about the information and services available online. For many Internet users, the web is the first place to which they turn, when they need key information.

Some interesting findings:
- 70% of all American internet users said that they mostly find what they want when they look for information online
- 63% say they expect to find information at a store's Web site about a product they may want to purchase
- If a store provides information online, even if it doesn't sell products at its Web site, 46% said this would make them more likely to go to the physical store to buy the product
- 85% of those who have ever bought products online say that they always (29%) or most of the time (56%) are able to find and buy the products they seek

Links:

  • The report Counting on the Internet Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - March 10, 2003

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See also: Research (103) 


 

15

Guide on monitoring web visitor behaviour

Winning on the Web: The Executive Pocket Guide to SMARTER Marketing is a guide on analyzing web visitor behaviour in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a site's navigation, content and marketing campaigns.

Though it's published by NetIQ, which produces the web analytics tool WebTrends, the methods described applies equally to other tools.

Links:

Henrik Olsen - February 02, 2003

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See also: Web traffic analysis (11) 


 

16

The key to Amazon.com's success

According to Maryam Mohit, Amazon.com's V.P. of Site Development, the key to Amazon.com's success is a strong focus on customer experience, which is infused throughout all levels of the company and includes all aspects of the buying process.

"And it's not just the people you'd think, like designers and usability specialists. Our engineers are really strong about thinking about customer experience, and our operations team, the people who run the back-end operations. Are the boxes easy to open, what packing material do we use, how much packing material is in the box, is it recyclable?"

Monitoring the customer experience is also important to Amazon.com.

"Metrics are super important. It's not just measuring, but measuring the right stuff and understanding it."

"…we correlate our measurements with changes we've made on the site, to see what's driving what, how to position things on pages, and which features to delete."

Links:

  • An interview with Maryam Mohit, Amazon.com Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 23, 2002

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See also: Interviews (16) 


 

17

Selling and merchandising online

ClickZ columnist Bryan Eisenberg has written a wealth of interesting articles about how to sell and merchandise online. In Beyond Usability he describes what seems to be the guiding principle in his articles about web marketing:

"…usability is not the end; it's simply a big step in the right direction. Usability by itself only reduces your customers' frustration level. That's important, of course, but still a far cry from guiding your customers into doing what they want to do and you want them to do: buying."

His articles covers a wide range of e-business related issues such as sales, marketing, measuring ROI, web analytics, copywriting, usability, and customer psychology.

Links:

  • The article Beyond Usability Open link in new window
  • Bryan Eisenberg's column ROI Marketing at ClickZ Open link in new window
  • Bryan Eisenberg's newsletter archive at grokdotcom Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - November 01, 2002

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See also: Persuasive design (14) 


 

18

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, 2002

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See also: Navigation (56)  Shopping Carts (7)  Research (103) 


 

19

E-commerce sites are improving, but non-US sites are lagging behind

A follow-up on an analysis of e-commerce sites conducted by the NN/g has shown that over the last 1.5 year, the average compliance with the NN/g Guidelines for E-commerce Sites has increased by 4%.

NN/g also found that non-US e-commerce sites are lagging behind. A sampling of six non-US e-commerce sites followed only 40% of the guidelines – compared to a 49% score for the U.S. sites. Taking the current rate of usability improvements into account, non-US sites are about three years behind the U.S. on usability.

According to Jakob Nielsen the reason for this lag might be that the U.S. has a grater maturity in terms of management's emphasis on usability and that U.S. websites have a larger customer base and thus more resources for improving usability.

Links:

  • The article Improving Usability Guideline Compliance Open link in new window

Henrik Olsen - June 24, 2002

Permanent link Comments (1)

See also: Research (103) 


 

20

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, 2002

Permanent link Comments (0)

See also: Shopping Carts (7)  Search (24) 


 
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