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Author: Paul Rouke
Paul started PRWD - a specialist Conversion Optimisation agency - over 10 years ago, after spending seven years working in usability and customer experience at the UK's largest home shopping business, Shop Direct Group.
Paul is regarded as one of the UK’s leading experts on conversion optimisation, regularly writing and contributing to a number of digital marketing publications including Econsultancy, as well as keynoting at a range of conferences worldwide.
His passion for delivering significant growth improvements for businesses means he still maintains a hands-on role in delivering client projects with recent clients including Moss Bros, Games Workshop, Lovehoney, Schuh, Harveys, Moneysupermarket & MBS.
More and more of our time is spent helping our clients not only make their online experiences more usable but developing a persuasion strategy that will run through their online customer journey.
In order for us to be able to develop these persuasive strategies, the majority of our time is spent one-to-one with consumers, understanding what motivates them, observing their online behaviour and understanding how they are influenced to buy online with one retailer over another.
With all this in mind, as a follow up to my previous article, Nine women x nine hours = nine usability insights, this article details an up-to-date list of nine of the most influential persuasive techniques, in no particular order, that retailers are using to encourage visitors to buy in 2012.
Now and again you see a website so different to the norm that you can’t help but be intrigued. Lings Cars reverses perfectly in to that space.
The easy option here would be for me give the site a good going over with a usability stick, but I wouldn’t be the first to do that and quite frankly I don’t want to have Ling Valentine breathing now my neck and boxing me into submission....
Instead, what I want to hopefully do in this article is identify a wide range of persuasive, psychologically rooted design techniques that this website uses to a) build trust and then b) encourage you to hire.
Stay with me on this, I know when you first see the site you may well have a WTF moment and wonder how anyone would/could find their way around the site, but if you don’t know already Ling shifts quite a few cars over the course of the year: £35m in 2010 in fact.
As a follow-up to my earlier article, Shopping basket best practice from ASOS, I’ve taken a look at the updated ASOS checkout experience. It includes one change which has reduced their checkout abandonment rate by 50%.
The updated checkout continues this trend, as the earlier version certainly didn’t fit in well with their highly tuned shopping experience up to checkout.
This article will recap on what ASOS is doing well on its shopping basket, look at how it is handling new customer checkout, and the variety of persuasive checkout lessons we can take from them as well as identifying a few areas of improvement.
Persuasive design is something that has been around for many many years, not least in the way high street stores and supermarkets lay out their stores to encourage and entice customers to buy as they arrive and walk around.
In the online world, PET (persuasion, emotion, trust) is an approach that was pioneered by Human Factors International, and alongside usability and user experience, designing with persuasion in mind is an extremely powerful approach to positively impact on conversion rates.
In my experience, one site which has persuasion rooted in its design, content and layout is Booking.com.
In this article I provide a breakdown of some of the key persuasive elements that booking.com deliver.
From experience, usability testing is THE most enlightening and powerful activity that brands can carry out to answer an extensive range of questions which can be crucial to how their website performs.
As well as providing genuine evidence of what people are doing on websites, usability testing provides compelling insights as to WHY people are doing what they are doing. OK, stay with me on this, I know I’m not enlightening anyone so far with this statement…
The problem (or opportunity) is the term usability testing, or user testing, whichever you prefer to use. Testing is much more than just testing the ‘usability’ of a website, much more than just testing how affective a website is in achieving its goals.
article I was specifically looking at the checkout processes of a variety
of retailers, and in particular whether or not they have enclosed (or in other words
removed site wide elements and distractions to focus the user) the process.
In this article I have revisited the retailers who featured in this
article to see which of the retailers who didn’t enclose their checkouts then are now using this approach .
Enclosing the checkout is an approach I almost always
recommend my retail clients adopt as a primary way of improving their
checkout funnel conversion rate.
What constitutes usability best practice for e-commerce? In fact, what makes something/anything 'best practice'?
I’m the first one to say that I regularly refer to ‘usability best practice’ and best practice is certainly a phrase used often enough by Econsultancy. I thought it would be worth starting a discussion on what you think when they hear this term, and what you feel justifies having the label ‘best practice’.
Or perhaps you feel it should just be banished from our industry!
No matter how many times I am involved in user testing sessions, I never stop learning about people's browsing habits and the different aspects of a company’s proposition that affect how people respond to a given website.
Recently we have carried out two days of user testing for a high street retailer, and although these aren’t groundbreaking, what follows are nine key online shopping insights that all nine women (there should have been 10 but we had a late no-show) who took part provided during the test sessions.
Shopping baskets (or shopping carts) are a key part of the customer journey when shopping online. They are a gateway for visitors into your checkout process.
Retailers can choose to provide visitors with a wide range of information, links and other potential distractions, or alternatively they can keep their shopping basket minimal to focus purely on checking out.
Based upon my experience of working with a range of blue chip retailers over the last 10 years, there are a variety of best practice techniques and types of information to display in order to encourage visitors to proceed from the shopping basket to the checkout process.
In addition, retailers should look at answering as many customer questions as possible before they enter the checkout process, paving the way for a simple checkout that is a formality for most visitors.
In an ideal world most, if not all, retailers would like their new customers to register when they place their first order, thus opening up the potential of a building a more meaningful long-term relationship with the customer.
Unfortunately most new customers want to avoid registering and just checkout as quickly as possible, so how can retailers encourage more registrations without deterring customers?