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Shopping basket/cart links and icons need to catch the attention of shoppers, and should help them to find the link to review the contents and make a purchase.
There are a number of ways of displaying the basket link, from a simple text link to permanent basket icon showing the contents and total value. I've been looking at a few examples from a selection of UK etailers...
Reducing the number of buttons on shopping basket pages can provide an instant boost to conversion rates, according to the results of an A/B test.
By simply removing the 'update shopping bag' button and replacing it with a slighlty less visible link, Laura Ashley managed to increase conversion results by 18.87%, an impressive result, which shows what the kind of effect a slight tweak here and there can make.
US book retailer Barnes & Noble has just launched an iPhone app which allows users to shop from their mobiles, as well as using the camera to search for products.
Fashion etailer Net-a-Porter launched a mobile commerce app for the iPhone last week, allowing customers to browse and buy on the move.
The iPhone app displays what seems to be a limited range of stock, showcasing new arrivals and the retailer's magazine. I've been finding out how easy it is to browse and buy from the Net-a-Porter app.
Asda.com was the third biggest supermarket online in terms of traffic in the most recent Hitwise Hot 100 list, but its site has been looking dated for a while and in need of a revamp.
However, the supermarket has recently launched a new version of Asda.com, and has revamped its grocery, financial and Asda Direct sections.
Having pointed out ten things that Asda could do better online last year, including navigation issues, and the way the site's different sections linked up, I've been looking at the new site to see if it has fixed some of these flaws...
Having seemingly taken its time to get its online strategy together, shoe retailer Clarks finally launched its first transactional website at the end of last year.
I had previously highlighted Clarks as an example of a company that was failing to make to most of the web by not offering its product range online, so I've been having a look at the new site from a user experience perspective...
Now with our economy firmly in a recession, most retailers no longer have the types of budgets available to replatform. Instead, 2009 will be a year for improving their existing platforms, trying to increase conversion rates, average order values and returning visitor numbers.
So with this primary drive to improve performance, are retailers doing all that they can? Are retailers following best practice to help more visitors complete the buying process, and are retailers removing usability barriers to ensure that in such competitive times visitors aren’t encouraged to find reasons why they shouldn’t complete their purchase?
I've been booking some train tickets through thetrainline.com, and aside from the steep £2.50 charge for using a credit card, I was disappointed to find myself on a pop-up page offering me a cashback voucher and other rewards.
The offer comes from a company called Webloyalty under the name of Shoppersdiscounts, which has come in for flak before from customers who feel they have been duped, so should thetrainline and other e-commerce sites risk their reputations by using such schemes?
Making customers register before reaching the checkout is something that a lot of e-commerce websites are still doing, though some are beginning to remove this obstacle to purchase now.
In a blog post this week, Jared Spool has a great example of why this usability mistake should be avoided; a 'major e-commerce site' that added $300m to its annual revenues simply by removing the register button.
Checkout processes are supposed to be made as easy as possible for customers to complete. Of course, a certain amount of detail is required to complete a transaction, but this should be made relatively painless for the user.
The checkout and purchase process should be smooth and easy to understand, distractions should be removed, while the amount of information required and the number of steps should be kept to a minimum to make it as quick as possible. This is not the case on VistaPrint though, which has one of the most complicated checkouts I have seen.
Travel operator Thomas Cook introduced a number of improvements before Christmas, including an improved holiday search function, and the addition of more multimedia content.
Since I had written a post last year listing ten different problems with the Thomas Cook website which were affecting the user experience, it seems only fair to give credit for some of the improvements that have been made since then.
US clothing retailer Gap.com launched a nice new e-commerce site in June last year, but it seems the decision to integrate its four brands into one checkout function hasn't worked as well as it hoped.
The retailer has designed its site so that users can shop from Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Piperlime, as well as Gap itself, and checkout at the same time, but this has had the unintential effect of undermining perception of the brand, according to Foresee Results.