E-Commerce: Design It Right
Despite a challenging economy, online commerce remains a primary driver of growth for businesses. While improved Web site performance is an obvious target for most retailers, the path to achieve this goal is less clear. Online advertising, if successful, will drive qualified visitors, but traffic is only half the battle. The Web site must quickly establish high relevance to user needs, direct users to desired products and provide value and information to support the sale.
Optimizing Cross-Channel User Experience
Today's Web customer lives in a multichannel world where Web, catalog and store experiences overlap. This cross-channel experience is important to consider to ensure the Web site meets consumer needs and enhances brand experience. Leveraging cross-channel experience pays off: Online product research for expensive items can convert to large-ticket purchases offline while low-margin, everyday products can produce higher margins if sales are shifted to the Web. To the customer, it is one brand experience that is either positive or negative.
Multiple Entry Points
Web design must consider a growing number of Web site entry points, each with unique opportunities for merchandising. Growing Web page counts can lead to a reliance on non-dynamic, sometimes "generic" feeling user experiences. To promote higher conversion rates, each main entry point should be evaluated for product display, copy and promotional opportunities. Web data provides the insight needed to anticipate the user mind-set upon arriving at a page: How did they arrive at this page? Is the experience relevant, quickly engaging and encouraging the user to move further in the buying process?
The homepage is designed to be viewed by many people. Different users have different needs that must be quickly addressed with options presented through Web site navigation. In addition to helping users find their way "to" a product, navigation must make it easy to find their way back to where they came "from."