Three Rich Ideas for Improving the Online Experience
Statistics vary on how many online shoppers bail out before completing the checkout process, but the overall message is clear: Marketers are leaving money on the table by not making it easy for customers to order online.
During a session at the ACCM show held last week in Boston, panel members Joe Chung of Allurent; Ranjana Sharma of Anthropologie/Urban Outfitters; Avinash Kaushik of Google; Stan Dolberg of n2N Commerce; and Mark Berinato of Avenue A/Razorfish discussed some of the rich media applications that are breaking down the barriers to online shopping and ordering.
Idea No. 1: Pageless shopping cart. This type of cart typically assembles important ordering information on one screen, such as bill-to/ship-to details, cart contents, merchandise sub-totals, shipping costs and more. As the customer changes different aspects of the transaction, say removing an item from the cart or selecting a different delivery method, all the checkout page components update and remain present on the “page.” This eliminates the tedious process of flipping back and forth between checkout process pages to make sure all information regarding the current order is correct, says Chung. By saving customers time and needless frustration, pageless shopping carts are designed to capture more sales and possibly improve average online order value as shopping cart adjustments become more fluid and integrated.
Idea No. 2: Co-browsing or collaborative browsing. These cutting-edge tools allow a customer service representative to help a shopper navigate the company’s Web site using software that synchronizes the rep’s browser to the shopper’s; the rep then demonstrates how to use the Web site features and the shopper can follow along. Dolberg notes that co-browsing also can be leveraged successfully by companies with field sales forces who might assist clients with any online information and ordering tools.
Idea No. 3: Pageless “picker” applications. These tools, Dolberg explained, offer online shoppers the ability to more easily analyze products all from one display without the time wasted on page loads. Without losing the context of the product, shoppers can view the product in the different color options, zoom in and out on details, see the product from different angles and even check inventory.
Women’s apparel and home furnishings marketer Anthropologie has implemented several of these rich media applications to improve its customers’ online shopping experience. Sharma, the firm’s director of e-commerce, reports that Anthropologie shoppers now spend an average of 90 minutes on the site per visit—and that’s time spent browsing merchandise, not trying to check out.