tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/site-search Latest Site search content from Econsultancy 2016-07-15T12:01:00+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/68084 2016-07-15T12:01:00+01:00 2016-07-15T12:01:00+01:00 The week's news in digital (in five minutes) Ben Davis <h3>Amazon testing programmatic creative with video ads</h3> <p>Amazon has been testing personalised video ads, created automatically using graphics templates to combine imagery and text.</p> <p>Graeme Smith, MD of Amazon's software development centre in Edinburgh<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-36773409"> told the BBC</a> "...potentially anywhere you can see a video is potentially somewhere you could consider running personalised video ads, right across the internet."</p> <p>Retargeting by retailers often involves <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67516-four-video-campaigns-that-used-dynamic-creative/">slideshow style dynamic content</a> - it will be interesting to see how sophisticated these Amazon video ads are in comparison.</p> <h3>Amazon Prime Day was big</h3> <p>Prime Day on 12th July, Amazon's second annual sales event designed as summer's answer to Black Friday, was the retailer's "biggest day ever", <a href="http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/20fb0de0-4906-11e6-8d68-72e9211e86ab.html#axzz4ESpNIBCk">reports the FT</a>.</p> <p>Global orders were up 60% on last year's Prime Day. No figures were given by Amazon, though Prime Day was declared its busiest day of the year.</p> <p>Sales included 90,000 TVs and more than 215,000 rice cookers. 2015's inaugural Prime Day, you might remember, was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68058-has-amazon-prime-day-2016-made-up-for-2015-s-primedayfail/">a bit more of a mixed bag</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6939/prime_day_deals_tech.PNG" alt="prime day" width="615"></p> <h3>ASOS introduces one-hour delivery slot</h3> <p>DPD has helped ASOS offer a one-hour delivery slot. Nifty.</p> <p>With so many ecommerce businesses looking at same day delivery in the wake of Prime, this increased flexibility on a named day is another way to nail convenience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7145/DPD-Precise-Hour-Select.png" alt="one hour slot" width="200"> </p> <h3>Pokémon GO - where do we start?</h3> <p>This week has seen the augmented reality game take the press by storm.</p> <p>Daily checks are needed to understand number of downloads (7.5m in the US as of early this week) and the impact on Nintendo stock.</p> <p>On Thursday, the app was released in the UK (users no longer have to engineer a US workaround).</p> <p>Interesting developments include proposed advertising within the game, with brands able to sponsor PokeStops.</p> <p>There has been some criticism of the game, including the 'appearance' of Pokémon in inappropriate locations (e.g. Auschwitz), as well as its request to access all of a user's Google account data (since fixed).</p> <p><em>You might like:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68059-should-pokemon-go-give-marketers-hope-for-augmented-reality/">Should Pokemon GO give marketers hope for augmented reality?</a></li> <li><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68060-what-brands-can-learn-from-nintendo-s-digital-transformation-and-pokemon-go/">What brands can learn from Nintendo's digital transformation and Pokemon GO</a></li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/6955/pokemon_go-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="pokemon go" width="470" height="264"></p> <h3>Chatbots fail 'new Turing test'</h3> <p>The Winograd Schema Challenge is a new and tougher Turing test, which chatbots must ace to show they are capable of common sense understanding.</p> <p>Here's an example question from the test:</p> <p><strong>The trophy would not fit in the brown suitcase because it was too big (small). What was too big (small)?</strong></p> <ul> <li><strong>Answer 0: the trophy</strong></li> <li><strong>Answer 1: the suitcase</strong></li> </ul> <p><a href="https://www.technologyreview.com/s/601897/tougher-turing-test-exposes-chatbots-stupidity/?set=601902&amp;utm_source=MIT+TR+Newsletters&amp;utm_campaign=d3b0ca882f-The_Download_July_14_2016&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_term=0_997ed6f472-d3b0ca882f-153860737&amp;goal=0_997ed6f472-d3b0ca882f-153860737&amp;mc_cid=d3b0ca882f&amp;mc_eid=fea291110e">MIT Tech Review reports</a> that the programs entered into the challenge were only a little better than random at choosing the correct meaning of sentences.</p> <p>The best of the bunch scored 48%, with 45% possible at random. 90% accuracy is required to take home the $25k prize.</p> <p>It was notable that Google and Facebook didn't enter - perhaps there is still a little way to go?</p> <h3>Nissan launches semi-autonomous driving</h3> <p>Two weeks after a driver died in a crash <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68019-all-the-week-s-digital-news-in-five-minutes/">whilst his Tesla car was on autopilot</a>, Nissan has launched ProPILOT, a similar semi-autonomous function.</p> <p>Pushing a button on the steering wheel will keep a vehicle a fixed distance from the car in front, without any input from the driver.</p> <p>The driver is still required to have their hands on the wheel, and Nissan EVP Hideyuki Sakamoto <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-nissan-selfdriving-idUSKCN0ZT0NC">told Reuters</a> "These functions are meant to support drivers, and are not meant as self-driving capabilities".</p> <p>ProPILOThits the market next month in the Nissan Serena minivan.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/7142/148020_1_5.jpg" alt="PROPILOT" width="615"></p> <h3>Marie Claire to retail on the high street and online</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><a href="https://www.derwentlondon.com/news/article/tottenham-court-walks-flagship-store-for-new-beauty-and-wellness-brand">Marie Claire will open a beauty store</a> in London at Tottenham Court Walk.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The magazine has created a new brand, 'Fabled by Marie Claire', which will also sell online and deliver through Ocado.</p> <h3>Woz to headline Festival of Marketing</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Apple co-founder and inventor of the PC <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/68057-steve-wozniak-co-founder-of-apple-to-headline-festival-of-marketing-2016/">Steve Wozniak will headline day one</a> of the Festival of Marketing in October in London. <a href="http://www.festivalofmarketing.com/buy-a-ticket?_ga=1.123039373.762110302.1450191097">See the site for tickets</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/6957/Woz-Head-Shot-3.jpg" alt="woz" width="400"></p> <h3>EU continues to pursue Google over competition law</h3> <p>The EU Commission has launched a third anti-trust proceeding against Google.</p> <p>Critique of Google Shopping and Android is now followed by criticism of Google's third party site search product (Adsense for search), which doesn't allow ads from Google competitors. </p> <h3>Phrasee one of the first to receive VC funding post-Brexit</h3> <p>Finally, a bit of a shout out to Econsultancy blog favourite Parry Malm (see his <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/authors/parry-malm/">virally good articles about email here</a>).</p> <p><a href="https://phrasee.co/">Phrasee</a>, Parry's startup <a href="https://phrasee.co/why-we-took-on-1m-in-phrasee-funding/">closed a £1m funding</a> round this week, one of the first to do so post-Brexit vote.</p> <p>As we wait to see the impact on Britain's tech and startup scene, this is some cause for optimism at least.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67870 2016-05-24T11:19:35+01:00 2016-05-24T11:19:35+01:00 Why ASOS is still leading the online retailing pack Paul Rouke <p>The reality is the core user experience of ASOS has changed very little over the years and for good reason – it’s an exceptional example of delivering an intuitive, persuasive, streamlined browsing and buying experience.</p> <p>What continually surprises me is how many major retailers still haven’t built some of the core foundations that ASOS did years ago.</p> <p>In this article I share what I feel, in my experience, are things which not only make ASOS exceptional, but should also provide inspiration for other retailers.</p> <h3>Site-wide, immediate visibility of its USP</h3> <p>Long before most retailers realised the importance of communicating their unique selling points site-wide in a high visibility area, ASOS had featured three banners underneath its primary navigation.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5154/UVP_header.PNG" alt="" width="595" height="94"></p> <ul> <li>Ensure the messages stand out visually and attract attention.</li> <li>Make it clear there are distinct messages.</li> <li>Use colour/design touches to draw particular attention to the primary message you want to communicate at any one time.</li> <li>Make it clear if the message is clickable to find out more.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing</strong><strong>:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Use icons to provide visual clues to differentiate the messages.</li> <li>Ensure you communicate your USPs across devices – don’t hide them when you simplify your mobile UI, visitors still need to be persuaded.</li> </ul> <h3>Streamlined navigation experience</h3> <p>For as long as I can remember, ASOS has had an incredibly simple primary navigation bar.</p> <p>The reality is, it offers every visitor a simple and relevant first choice to start exploring the huge product range.</p> <p>ASOS was also one of the early retailers to provide <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65357-mega-menu-design-trends-in-ecommerce-2011-vs-2014/">a mega menu</a>, but not just <em>any</em> mega menu – it has always been tailored to suit a range of buyer types and expose a wide range of the brand areas i.e. Marketplace.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5155/Screenshot__2_.png" alt="" width="594" height="405"></p> <ul> <li>Simplify the primary navigation to reduce the choices visitors have in order to start exploring the product range.</li> <li>Provide structure and clarity of the types of navigation categories visitors have to choose from.</li> <li>If you have new-in and/or sale items, provide quick access to these areas.</li> <li>Use cookies to store which core category a visitor spends most time in, and when they come back to your homepage URL, redirect them back in to that category (this is a subtly executed spot of personalisation that ASOS provides).</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing</strong><strong>:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Repeat key USPs at the bottom or in the side of the mega menu.</li> <li>Introduce imagery to attract attention to core categories or relevant/seasonal ranges.</li> </ul> <h3>Continually communicate UVPs and USPs throughout the user journey</h3> <p>Not content with making its USP messages “pop” off the page in the header, ASOS has never been shy about repeating these message throughout the user journey.</p> <p>It’s something that another brand I admire, AO.com, also embraces, and I’ve detailed in-depth how it does this previously in my article titled: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66768-ao-com-the-best-ecommerce-experience-available-online/">AO.com: The best ecommerce experience available online?</a></p> <p>So many other retailers simply don’t do this – they feel that as they have a USP bar in their site-wide header, that is enough and they don’t want to waste precious space repeating these messages in important real estate on core shopping pages.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Explore ways of using subtle animations as visitors scroll down a page to draw attention to key messages (ASOS does this on its homepage with the flying plane).</li> <li>Consider ways to repeat a key message in a highly visible part of the product page (ASOS does this under the product price).</li> <li>Add a key message aimed at persuading visitors to purchase in the bottom of the mini-basket.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5160/UVP_in_mini_basket.PNG" alt="" width="562" height="377"></p> <ul> <li>Promote key messages in the shopping basket, whilst ensuring you don’t take the focus away from checking out.</li> <li>Utilise different visual techniques to draw attention to messages, such as simple, common iconography (remember people typically spend 99% of their time on other websites).</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5161/UVP_in_basket.PNG" alt="" width="593" height="384"></p> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Repeat key USPs at the bottom or on the side of your checkout pages.</li> <li>In addition to promoting USPs in the site-wide header, introduce a section within the footer which communicates core brand messages.</li> </ul> <h3>Provide a simplified, persuasive, non-committal way to begin building up your desired products</h3> <p>Wishlist functionality has been one of the out-of-box features for retailers since the late 1990s, but almost every retailer in 2016 requires visitors to register/sign-in to use it.</p> <p>For over five years, ASOS has allowed visitors to start adding items to their “saved items” without any mention or request to create an account or sign-up.</p> <p>Not only does this provide a seamless browsing experience for visitors whether they are logged in or not, but ASOS has always made “Save for Later” a core action it wants visitors to take.</p> <p>Back in 2010, James Hart (the then Ecommerce Director at ASOS) told me that the site literally sees hundreds of thousands of “saves” made every day.</p> <p>Most retailers tend to see wishlists or saved items as a nice to have but very much a low priority focus area for visitors during the browsing experience.</p> <p>ASOS is the complete opposite for good reason.</p> <p>It knows the importance of the commitment and consistency principle, which has been proven to demonstrate the increased probability of a purchase when people make a smaller initial commitment to lead up to the actual purchase.</p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5162/Screenshot__1_.png" alt="" width="595" height="451"></p> <ul> <li>Don’t force visitors to have to register or sign-up in order to use the save/love/wishlist function – use cookies initially, then encourage visitors to sign-up so they can access their list across devices.</li> <li>Don’t hide away the wishlist/saved items area – encourage visitors to use this functionality and visit this area, giving it similar prominence to your shopping bag.</li> <li>Allow visitors to save items directly from the product listing pages – don’t just provide this on the product page.</li> <li>Within the wishlist/saved items area, allow visitors to move products to their shopping bag, or scroll through individual product images without having to go to the product page.</li> <li>Integrate the wishlist/saved items area in to the shopping basket to encourage increased average order values and average order quantities.</li> <li>Make saving for later an integral part of the mobile browsing experience.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Introduce a section at the bottom of your browsing pages which promote the items in your saved items area, in addition to the typical section showing recently viewed items.</li> </ul> <h3>A focus on simplicity throughout the core user experience</h3> <p>Starting from the primary navigation but moving in to filtering product listing pages, the redesigned product page template, through to the shopping basket and checkout forms, simplicity is the name of the game.</p> <p>Why reinvent the wheel when you can just deliver the essentials really well<em>,</em> <em>then</em> adding in layers of engagement and persuasion to differentiate and keep visitors coming back?</p> <p>ASOS has embraced the approach of utilising white space to provide clarity on the core functions that visitors are looking for, with the product page being a primary example.</p> <p>The product page also provides an excellent example of encouraging visitors to browse through the available images within the big arrows.</p> <p>It sounds simple because it <em>is</em>, and it’s this simplicity that people really want in the vast majority of cases in all my years of experience.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/5164/product_page.PNG" alt="" width="596" height="560"></p> <p><strong>Lessons to learn from ASOS include:</strong></p> <ul> <li>Focus on delivering a smooth checkout process – <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64669-21-first-class-examples-of-effective-web-form-design/">form best practice</a> is your best friend, yet for many retailers, that friend is nowhere to be seen – including the often unfriendly error messages when things go wrong.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Opportunities for A/B testing above and beyond what ASOS is currently doing: </strong></p> <ul> <li>Streamline <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63444-ecommerce-best-practice-the-basket-add-what-is-it-and-how-should-it-work/">the add-to-bag experience</a> if visitors haven’t selected a size or colour, rather than displaying an error message alert box which visitors have to interact with in order to make a selection. <a href="http://www.very.co.uk">Very.co.uk</a> does this extremely well and I know that it performed significantly better when it was A/B tested against the current ASOS approach.</li> </ul> <h3>What do you think?</h3> <p>Thanks for reading and I hope it has provided ideas and opportunities which you can build in to the foundations of your ecommerce experience.</p> <p>So what are the highlights of the ASOS user experience for you? What areas do you feel it could improve upon?</p> <p>Which other retailers do what ASOS does but more intuitively or more persuasively? Please leave your thoughts in the comments.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67351 2015-12-21T14:04:00+00:00 2015-12-21T14:04:00+00:00 Top SEO tips for your international financial services websites Emily Mace <p>Templates can be an effective way to manage your website structure in multiple markets, but you do need to consider the international SEO implications.</p> <p>Read on to find out more, or for a full overview of this topic book yourself onto Econsultancy's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/international-seo-ppc-digital-marketing/">SEO, PPC and Conversion: International Strategy Training</a>.</p> <h3>Disclaimers: visibility without impact</h3> <p>One of the most important things for many financial service websites is a disclaimer about financial product performance.</p> <p>Many financial service sites like to make these visible as the footer on all pages of their sites as it’s an important statement. However, from an SEO point of view this isn’t best use of either page real estate or of wording on pages.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0218/financial_services_disclaimer.png" alt="" width="650"> </p> <p>If your site design has gone down the route of having pages which rely on image based cards to draw people into content on the site, this can skew how the search engines see the content on your pages.</p> <p>For example, having six promotional cards on the homepage and no text except the footer means that the only text the search engines can see on your page is the disclaimer. </p> <p>A solution to this is to include a link on the footer to these important messages about regulatory compliance and privacy policies.</p> <h3>Navigating your links</h3> <p>Another common factor within the financial services industry is the need to have websites targeted at different markets.</p> <p>There's a lot of difference between the needs of a financial adviser and those of a private investor, so it’s common to have a different website for each set of needs.</p> <p>If you then add in that you may have two or three websites for each local market in which you are working, this can create a large number of links to different sites, different URLs and different languages.</p> <p>Handling these correctly will help to improve the performance of your website internationally.</p> <p>However, handling these incorrectly can lead to your <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/seo-backlink-masterclass/">backlink profile</a> becoming skewed by a high percentage of links from websites within your organisation.</p> <p>Providing a language drop down box is the accepted way of allowing visitors to move between the language variations on your site, and with sub-options you can use this to make sure that your users are not only able to find the right site for their location but also their needs.</p> <p>When creating these links it is worth considering the implementation of ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63955-what-are-nofollow-tags-and-when-should-they-be-used-in-seo/">NoFollow' attributes</a>.</p> <h3>Don’t duplicate  </h3> <p>As mentioned above it is likely that you have different websites for different types of investors and financial professionals.</p> <p>However, the investment and financial products you offer are unlikely to be that different from one investor type to another. This creates an issue in terms of how you serve content to these investors without creating masses of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66981-two-examples-of-how-google-penalised-resellers-for-duplicate-content/">duplicate content</a>.  </p> <p>There’s no right answer here but it’s likely that a portion of the content will have to be different to communicate to the different investor types you are targeting with each site, this will identify the content as individual and will assist with your SEO ranking.</p> <p><em>For more on this, read Econsultancy’s post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65463-how-duplicate-content-is-damaging-rbs-and-natwest-s-seo/">how duplicate content is damaging RBS and Natwest's SEO</a>.</em> </p> <h3>English is not universal</h3> <p>It might be tempting to think that as English tends to be used as the business language around the world it’s okay to launch your website into different markets in English.</p> <p>However, if you consider that people are looking to invest with you and this necessitates a level of trust and confidence in your brand, it is definitely worth localising your content into the language of the market you targeting.</p> <p>Firstly, this contributes to the user experience but, secondly, from an SEO point of view you will likely catch more local searches by using a local language than if you only have content in English.</p> <h3>What’s in a domain name?  </h3> <p>There are three choices here, a country level domain (ccTLD), a .com domain with sub folders and a .com domain with sub domains.</p> <p>A country level code will automatically associate with the country of that code, for example, .de is a site for Germany and .se is a site for Sweden.</p> <p>This will result in lots of domains being needed but can have a positive impact on search results and from a user point of view creates a domain which looks like it’s specifically for them.</p> <p>If you are marketing in Russia and China this can often be better for the search engines in these countries (Yandex and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/baidu-search-best-practice-guide/">Baidu</a>).</p> <p><em>Burberry's .de German site</em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/0222/Screen_Shot_2015-12-21_at_12.20.58.png" alt="" width="700"></p> <p>As previously mentioned, when using this approach you will need to be careful with links to other sites in your company so that you don’t end up with lots of links from your group becoming a large percentage of your backlink profile.</p> <p>A .com domain (or other top level domains like .org) can be associated with any country and if you have sub folders on here such as yoursite.com/de/ you can target these to your chosen market.</p> <p>This aligns all of your content to the main domain and can allow for some SEO benefits, as work done on your main domain will benefit all of the sub folders.  </p> <p>A subdomain such as de.yoursite.com is also associated with your main domain name although the SEO benefits are slightly reduced compared to the sub folder approach discussed above.  </p> <p>There are pros and cons of all of the different approaches here, so the solution you choose should be right for your business and technical set up.</p> <h3>Hreflang tags: reaching the right audience wherever they are</h3> <p>'<a href="https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/189077?hl=en">Hreflang</a>' tags are a great way of letting the search engines understand which version of the site is for which market as you can target both languages and countries in these codes.  </p> <p>These tags are especially useful if you are new to a particular market, as it is likely that your original main website might outperform the new site in the search engines.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8ce9jv91beQ?wmode=transparent" width="615" height="346"></iframe></p> <p>Hreflang tags are also useful for letting the search engines know that localised content on your sites is not actually a duplicate content issue but instead content which is targeted to a specific market.</p> <p>For example, if you have a funds page in German which appears on three websites, one for Germany, one for Austria and one for Switzerland, this tag will help you to explain the different targeting to the search engines.</p> <p>It will also help to ensure that Google serves the right version of the content to each of these countries in the search results, so that your Swiss visitors don’t end up on the Austrian site.</p> <h3>Google search console</h3> <p>Finally, make sure you set up each version of your site in Google Search Console and you have geo-targeted these correctly so that you reach your correct audiences.</p> <p>If you are taking your global website template into international markets make sure that you keep the SEO of your sites in mind and avoid falling into any of the pitfalls mentioned here.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67084 2015-10-26T16:09:00+00:00 2015-10-26T16:09:00+00:00 What could the Google-Yahoo AdSense partnership mean for marketers? Ben Davis <h3>Reach more potential customers with AdWords</h3> <p>12.7% of US search queries go through Yahoo, according to ComScore.</p> <p>That means AdWords could reach a significantly larger audience.</p> <p>Yahoo sites will be automatically included in the Google search network, so there's nothing extra AdWords customers will have to do to target this audience.</p> <h3>Bing Advertisers should keep their ears to the ground</h3> <p>It seems Yahoo is inching out of its partnership with Bing Ads. Either party can terminate their deal as of October 21 2015.</p> <p>This proposed deal between Yahoo and Google does not specify how much of Yahoo traffic will be shown AdWords as opposed to Bing Ads.</p> <p>51% of Yahoo search traffic will still be served by Bing and its search products, but if the deal goes ahead and both ad platforms are in play at the same, Bing Advertisers will be keeping a close eye on performance, to see if specific sectors or devices suffer.</p> <h3>Some sectors may see greater opportunity with AdWords</h3> <p>Take a look at <a href="https://everything.yahoo.com/">Yahoo Everything</a> and you'll see that Yahoo has websites dedicated to a range of sectors, with particular emphasis on finance and sports.</p> <p>AdWords customers keen to tap into Yahoo Finance, MSN Money or Fantasy Football website audiences (among others) will be eager to see what impact this deal has on their campaigns, whether on CPC or conversion.</p> <p>A study by ComScore found that searchers on the Yahoo Bing network spend 6.8% more money online than those searching on Google - an encouraging statistic.</p> <p><a href="https://www.further.co.uk/blog/who-what-and-when-profiling-google-yahoo-and-bing-search-demographics/">Google Analytics data analysis from Further</a>, shown below, shows the index of interest for search engine users. As you can see, there are a variety of over-represented interests amongst Yahoo searchers, including DIY, sports and pets.</p> <p>It should be pointed out that this analysis was performed on website organic search referral traffic, aggregated from mainly B2C Google Analytics accounts, which may naturally have more accurate Google referral data.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8214/Screen_Shot_2015-10-21_at_11.38.34.png" alt="index of interest - searchers" width="615"></p> <h3>Older, female searchers are over-represented among Yahoo users</h3> <p>The two charts below are again taken from research by Further.</p> <p>They suggest that advertisers targeting women over 45 may see their AdWords campaigns perform better if such ads are indeed served via Yahoo's AdSense for search.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8215/Screen_Shot_2015-10-21_at_11.37.33.png" alt="index of age - search engine users" width="615"> </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8216/Screen_Shot_2015-10-21_at_11.37.13.png" alt="index of gender" width="615"></p> <h3>Gemini users could be affected</h3> <p>Gemini is Yahoo's current ad platform allowing the purchase of search ads within Yahoo websites.</p> <p>It has generated low CPCs due to a lack of competition and relatively engaged users compared to other channels.</p> <p>See the chart below from Shareaholic showing how Yahoo searchers compare to others for time and pages on site, as well as bounce rate.</p> <p>Although Gemini may not be as easy a platform to manage as AdWords, those marketers already successfully using it may be forgiven for being suspicious about what will happen to their campaign metrics.</p> <p>Gemini also has a range of product, image and video ads. It will be interesting to see whether these will eventually defer to AdWords.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8213/Search-Engine-Post-Click-Engagement.png" alt="post click yahoo engagement" width="575" height="460"></p> <h3>Europe is unaffected</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The service agreement applies to the US and 20 other countries but not to the EU. So, marketers focusing on Europe should pay little heed.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Anti-trust proceedings within the EU against Google seem to be the reason for the region's exclusion.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Indeed, the agreement still includes stipulation that either party can renege if EU proceedings have a material impact on this non-EU Google-Yahoo partnership.</p> <h3>The deal may not yet happen</h3> <p>Google and Yahoo tried a similar deal back in 2008 but it was rejected after a Department of Justice anti-trust ruling.</p> <p>Regulators will review the details this time around but both parties are apparently confident the service will go ahead.</p> <h3>If it does go ahead, Yahoo's revenue could be set for a timely boost</h3> <p>If half of Yahoo's search ads were served by AdSense, this could boost Yahoo search revenue by about $200-$400m a year.</p> <p>Google will "pay Yahoo a percentage of the gross revenues from AFS ads displayed on Yahoo Properties or Affiliate Sites," and Yahoo will pay fees for web and image search results displayed.</p> <p>Currently, according to Google's website, AdSense For Search publishers receive 51% of the revenue recognised by Google. It's unclear if this will be the case for Yahoo or whether they will have a separate agreement.</p> <p>With Yahoo down 6% net income in Q3, YoY, (at $946.9m), the coffers could be set for a timely boost.</p> <p>See the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/topics/search-marketing/">Econsultancy Search Marketing topic page</a> for more on the latest Google developments and best practice.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66870 2015-09-01T09:32:00+01:00 2015-09-01T09:32:00+01:00 How High Street brands can avoid errors with their store locators Philip McGuin <p>Online locator services (store or branch finders), are extremely important elements for any brand that operates over multiple locations.</p> <p>They’re found on the sites of most High Street retailers, hotel chains and any other brand that has some sort of ‘bricks and mortar’ distribution channel across one or more location.</p> <p>Store locators are also an important aid for local search.</p> <p>A significant proportion of users, particularly those that are further down the purchasing cycle, append or prefix their searches with a geographic term, such as a town, city, region or country.</p> <p>For example, a search for 'hotels' can easily expand into searches such as:</p> <ul> <li>“hotels in New York” / “New York hotels”</li> <li>“hotels in Manhattan” / “Manhattan hotels”</li> <li>“hotels in Times Square” / “Times Square hotels”</li> <li>“hotels in USA” / “USA hotels”</li> </ul> <p>This search behaviour puts the spotlight on how brands structure and deliver their location pages.</p> <p>There are many brands that are making some fundamental errors when it comes to ensuring that their location pages are able to serve these location-appended searches.</p> <h3>The store locator process</h3> <p>The structure for store location pages typically follows a relatively simple customer path.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/eucfVHq.png" alt="" width="902" height="251"></p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>The homepage is the first customer touchpoint for the location finder. It is crucial in driving traffic, SEO authority and facilitating the start of a seamless consumer experience.</p> <h3>Store search page</h3> <p>The search page allows visitors to select their criteria for a specific location. Search pages are typically broken down into two types of pages: quick search or advanced search.</p> <p>On some location finders, this could be as simple as finding the nearest location to a particular town, city or postcode. However, some brands allow users to define particular criteria, such as in-store facilities (free parking or additional services particular to that location).</p> <p>In the case of Asda, below, users can filter results based on facilities such as petrol stations, 24 hour opening, currency exchange, pharmacies and photo processing.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/oX0McLk.png" alt="" width="996" height="628"></p> <h3>Store results page</h3> <p>The results page displays a list of relevant store locations with the following information:</p> <p>⦁    Map location.<br>⦁    Store name.<br>⦁    Address details / directions.<br>⦁    Postcode proximity.</p> <h3>Store page</h3> <p>The store page is a page specifically designed for each individual store. The store page sits at the heart of the SEO strategy and is used to drive rankings on local terms and phrases.</p> <p>This is a very typical approach for a location finder service, but it is the implementation of the technical elements behind this structure that is preventing many brands from optimising their presence in localised search.</p> <h3>The SEO authority flow</h3> <p>One of the most important SEO considerations for local search is in ensuring that individual location pages are indexable. However, this shouldn’t come at the expense of user functionality or usability.</p> <p>One of the key errors that many brands make is that their store locators are often displayed in a dynamic format in an iframe or through JavaScript.</p> <p>Usually this is generated based on postcode and, as no two postcodes will generate the same result, the pages are unique to that one single user query.</p> <p>However, this format hinders SEO authority flow and indexing, with search engine algorithms unable to display these dynamically generated pages.</p> <p>To overcome this, many brands have created manual directories, with specific pages created for each and every store/branch location.</p> <p>These pages are fully indexable, ensuring that they are visible in search.</p> <p>This puts those brands in a much stronger position to rank for keyword searches that are appended with a geographic term (city, town, etc).</p> <h3>Creating indexable location pages</h3> <p>Having the correct domain strategy and URL structure is extremely important for successful indexing by Google.</p> <p>Generally, store locators should be kept on a subdirectory within the main domain, rather than on a subdomain. For example:</p> <p><strong>www.YOURURL.com/store-locator rather than http://stores.YOURURL.com </strong></p> <p>This is because in a directory structure, the maximum authority possible will be directed to the pages, whilst maintaining the site structure.</p> <p>It is also recommended that a URL structure makes use of location related phrases and terms. For example:</p> <p><strong>www.YOURURL.com/london </strong><br><strong>www.YOURURL.com/london/covent-garden </strong><br><strong>www.YOURURL.com/stores/london/ </strong><br><strong>www.YOURURL.com/stores/london/covent-garden</strong></p> <p>These approaches provide a uniformed structure and allow for multiple locations within one city or region.</p> <p>There are a number of examples where brands have successfully implemented a solid URL structure with indexable location pages. These include:</p> <p><strong>Hertz. Search Phrase = Hertz Leeds</strong></p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/7NwxjzR.png" alt="" width="936" height="139"></p> <p>In this scenario we see a multi-location, multi-national car hire provider has categorised pages firstly by country (/uk/) followed by city (leeds).</p> <p><strong>Argos. Search Phrase = Argos Headrow  </strong>     </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/RaKIJjZ.png" alt="" width="926" height="140"></p> <p>In this example, Argos has removed the city directory and instead opted to list stores by name (in this case, Leeds Headrow) under the /stores/ directory.</p> <p>Using this structure, Argos also provides a manual A-Z directory of stores.</p> <p>Not only does this allow users to search for locations manually, it also follows best practice guidance for search.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/bZZIjXP.png" alt="" width="828" height="819"></p> <p>Conversely, there are a number of prominent examples where brands have not implemented a logical and indexable location URL structure.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/pBWhTgq.png" alt="" width="893" height="195"></p> <p>In this case, the search phrase 'Homebase Leeds' provided a result that was not even indexed by Google. This has serious implications for both local search and customer experience.</p> <p>This search phrase would be indicative of a consumer that is strongly considering a purchase in-store, and the website is failing to fulfil that request due to some basic URL structuring problems.</p> <p>Whilst the Google search result for this page does return data from Google My Business, there is no page on the Homebase website with the store’s information.</p> <p>However, Argos does rank for the phrase “Homebase Leeds” due to Argos’ concession within that Homebase branch.</p> <p>This highlights the relative weakness of Homebase’s URL structure and local search strategy.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/uEZuo39.png" alt="" width="1007" height="652"></p> <p>BHS provides another example of a poorly considered store locator directory.</p> <p>In a search for “BHS Bristol”, the first result delivered directs users to BHS' home page and it's not until the second result where we see information in organic search that actually pertains to Bristol. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/ApSf7n6.jpg" alt="" width="568" height="364"></p> <p>We can see that the URL structure contains a string of numbers which appear to relate to a particular city or region.</p> <p>This results in an extremely inconsistent user experience and this is reflected in organic search results.</p> <h3>Best practice for location search placement</h3> <p>Placement of the store locator is also a very important factor in providing a positive customer experience.</p> <p>Generally, a user looking for a store locator should be considered as an engaged user, in the sense that enough interest has been generated for the customer to be interested in finding out more about the product or brand, or to make a purchase in store.</p> <p>Therefore, it is important to make the store locator prominent.</p> <p>Many brands still place their location finders at the footer of a website, where it is often difficult to find.</p> <p>This poor practice has been phased out somewhat, as brands become more sophisticated at integrating online and offline (through initiatives such as click and collect), but it is still in use.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/6705/image001.png" alt="" width="775" height="181"></p> <p>Typically, store locators are found at the top of a page, but there are a number of different approaches being adopted.</p> <p>One such approach is a ‘rollover’ or ‘hover’ store finder. This provides a postcode search, but only when the user moves their mouse cursor to the store finder.</p> <p><strong>Marks and Spencer</strong></p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/PtVBVVT.png" alt="" width="974" height="239"><br><strong>Superdrug</strong></p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/VMlEWHi.png" alt="" width="580" height="277"></p> <p>This approach has the advantage that it is not intrusive on the design, and it provides easy access to the search facility.</p> <p>However, it is typically limited on the number of filter options available and it also passes limited authority through to the locator pages, which has SEO implications.</p> <p>One way around the latter is to create a rollover option that contains a static link to the main store locator. This approach is adopted by Greggs.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/3R9udQI.png" alt="" width="924" height="553"></p> <h3>The anatomy of a good store page</h3> <p>Ensuring that users can find a location is one part of the challenge, but providing them with the content that they need is the ultimate aim.</p> <p>Many users may just be looking for a store telephone number of opening hours, whilst others may be looking for more detailed information.</p> <p>Of course, with search engines also rewarding the latter, it is important to optimise your location pages to provide a quality user experience.</p> <p>Hertz is one example of a brand that optimises its location pages well.</p> <p>The car hire sector is one where geographic search is extremely important, and locations are a key customer touchpoint (ultimately, this is where the transaction is completed), so quality location pages are a key part of Hertz’s search strategy. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/4sj0xfG.png" alt="" width="1084" height="571"></p> <p>Hertz provides a number of user-friendly elements that aid the customer experience and support conversion. These include details of specific services offered at that location, USPs, optimised local content, interactive maps and social integration.</p> <p>We see similar strategies adopted by Asda, another brand to which the location is a significant customer touchpoint and, in most cases, the point at which the transaction is completed.</p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/xMUqI1P.png" alt="" width="939" height="510"></p> <p>We see similar levels of localised content, although in this case it is much more focused around the local community.</p> <p>We also see specific services, opening times and an embedded map appear prominently.</p> <h2>Takeaways</h2> <p>Location pages are an important component of the customer journey for any multi-location brand, but many are still failing to ensure that they are delivering the experience and the results that their users expect.</p> <p>We have written up a guide for optimising store location pages <a href="http://www.stickyeyes.com/intelligence/download-your-free-store-locator-optimisation-guide/" target="_blank">on our website</a>, but our key findings are:</p> <h3>Ensure that your URL structure is logical and consistent</h3> <p>Adopt a logical and consistent directory structure for your pages and, where possible, avoid dynamic URLs.</p> <p>These cannot be indexed by search engines and this potentially hampers your search marketing strategy.</p> <h3>Make your store locator easy to find</h3> <p>Your store locator is a way to easily serve an audience that is already engaged with the brand or product, so why hide it?</p> <p>We’ve gone well past the point where online and offline were competing sales channels so make it easy for your online visitors to visit you offline.</p> <p>Don’t hide your store locator in the footer. Make it prominent.</p> <h3>Make your location page useful</h3> <p>Your location page isn’t just about delivering directions and opening times. Try to add useful content to really engage your users.</p> <p>For many brands, the store or branch is the key sales touchpoint, so sell your store as much as you sell your brand or product.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66658 2015-07-06T14:15:00+01:00 2015-07-06T14:15:00+01:00 24 best practice tips for ecommerce site search Graham Charlton <h2>Search boxes and functionality</h2> <p>There's more to search box and site search functionality than you may think.</p> <p>The placement and design of search boxes can make a difference to usage, while the addition of certain features makes for a better search experience. </p> <h3>Make the search box easy to spot</h3> <p>The prominence of the search box on the page can influence the user's decision to make use of it to find products. </p> <p>Therefore, if site search is important to your site, the prominence and visibility of the search field should reflect this. </p> <p>Some sites, perhaps to maintain the clean design, tend to make their search boxes harder to spot, as in this example from Zara. </p> <p>It's very subtle and could easily be overlooked. The only mitigating factor is that it is not crowded out by other navigational elements at the top of the page. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4767/Zara_site_search.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>It's also a very interesting and unusual search function, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66182-how-effective-is-zara-s-unique-on-site-search-tool">as we explored in this article</a>.</p> <p>By contrast John Lewis, which places much importance on site search, makes its search box impossible to miss. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4768/John_Lewis_search_box.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Make the search box big enough for typical queries</h3> <p>The need for this will vary from site to site, depending on the types of product stocked, but it's important that search boxes are big enough to fit most queries. </p> <p>For example, searches for things like electrical products which have long product codes can be harder when the text starts to disappear.</p> <p>This means that users are less able to review the search term for mistakes as they type and makes it harder to edit it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4769/small_search_box.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>By contrast Amazon can handle the same lengthy product description with space to spare. Vital for a retailer with such a wide product range. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4770/Amazon_search_box.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Use autocomplete for site search</h3> <p>This is a very useful feature which improves the search experience by reducing the work that users need to do. </p> <p>As users type, products are suggested. If sites are smart enough, then these suggestions will reflect site search data and serve the most likely products first. </p> <p>The use of images provides a visual appeal but also allows the user to check the products very quickly. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4774/autocomplete.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>Autocomplete also helps when users may be unsure of spellings. This ensures that users find the product they need. </p> <p>In this case, if you're not sure how to spell the name of the Russian author of The Gulag Archipelago, help is at hand. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4775/autocomplete.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>This is also very useful on travel sites for the same reason. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4776/autocomplet.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Use auto-complete for merchandising</h3> <p>Auto-complete is very useful to help customers find the search term they want, and to avoid issues like misspellings, but it also offers opportunities for merchandising. </p> <p>Here, as the site search sees that I'm looking for a wine gift basket, it starts to recommend products, complete with price, image and a snippet of text. </p> <p>Site search data can be used to identify which products are most likely to appeal to searchers. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/7054/auto-complete_merchandising-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="607"></p> <h3>Allow users to search within a particular department</h3> <p>This helps users to narrow their search from the very beginning, making it more likely they'll find what they need quickly. </p> <p>It's a great idea for sites with lots of products, like Newegg: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4777/Search_within_department.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Place text in search box to encourage searches</h3> <p>The text prompts the users to search and also suggests the kinds of things they may look for. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4779/Hof_search.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>As suggested by <a href="https://conversionxl.com/microcopy/" target="_self">ConversionXL,</a> sites can tie up these product suggestions with analytics data showing high performing products.  </p> <p>You can also use text which appeals to your userbase, as Spencer's does here with 'wut r u lkn 4?'</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4778/Spencers_search_box_text.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Make the text disappear</h3> <p>Retailers should also use JavaScript to ensure that the default text in the box disappears as users click to enter their own search term.</p> <p>Don’t force them to delete the text before they can begin, as this is incredibly annoying. </p> <h3>Place a site search box on each page of the site</h3> <p>Having a search box on each page makes it easy for customers to get back to a product search from any point, and also provides an alternative method of navigation for users that arrive at product pages. </p> <p>However, placing a site search box within the checkout process can provide a distraction for customers when they should be concentrating on making a purchase, so this is one area that doesn’t need one. </p> <h3>Allow users to search using product codes</h3> <p>This is a good option for retailers with magazines and catalogues, and these searches imply a real intent to purchase. </p> <p>Here, if you search Argos with a code...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4780/argos_code_.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>...you're taken straight to the relevant product page: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4791/argos_code.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h2>Search results</h2> <p>The quality of search results is all-important.</p> <p>They should be accurate and relevant to the user's query, while the presentation of those results can have an influence on whether the visitor decides to buy </p> <h3>Accuracy</h3> <p>This depends on product labelling and metadata, but users will lose faith if results are a bit wonky. </p> <p>Here, I search for blue shirts and this is exactly what I get. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4785/hof_search.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Avoid zero results pages</h3> <p>This can be avoided easily by using autocomplete, which ensures that customers enter a relevant search to begin with. </p> <p>If no autocomplete is present, <strong>the aim should be to avoid a dead end for users. </strong></p> <p>House of Fraser achieves this by showing results for almost every search. It also retains the search term and search boxes so users can easily amend the search or start again. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4784/hof_search.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Throw in some social proof</h3> <p><a href="http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/62602-11-great-ways-to-use-social-proof-in-ecommerce">Social proof</a> can work very well, so why not use it within search results?  </p> <p>On Booking.com I'm given review scores while the top result tells me there's just one room left and that 21 people are looking at this hotel.   </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7054/booking.com_site_search-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="363"> </p> <h3>Show non-product results </h3> <p>People aren't always searching for products. They may be looking for customer services, or perhaps buyer's and how-to guides. </p> <p>Here, Boden shows results from the help sections as well as style and fit guides. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7055/boden_site_search-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="427"></p> <h3>Allow users to choose the way results are displayed</h3> <p>Allowing the user to select different views of results allows them to tailor their own search results.</p> <p>Here's an example from Kohl's: </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/9999/kohl_s-blog-full.jpg" alt="" width="615" height="341"></p> <p>Searching for 'returns' on Three serves results that customers are most likely to want. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7068/three_site_search-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="405"></p> <h3>Use reviews as filters </h3> <p>Very useful. Reviews are powerful on product pages, so <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64881-11-inventive-ways-to-use-reviews-beyond-the-product-page/">why not use them in other ways</a>? </p> <p>Here, users can filter by review score: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4773/customer_review_filter.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>This is a great example from Abes of Maine. As well as filtering by reviews, users can choose best uses and features to narrow the search. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7072/abesofmaine_search_results-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="429"></p> <h3>Filtering options</h3> <p>An absolute essential. Users need to be able to narrow down their searches using a variety of means to filter the product selection. </p> <p>These include: </p> <ul> <li>Product category.</li> <li>Price range.</li> <li>Size.</li> <li>Brand.</li> <li>Colour. </li> <li>User ratings. </li> </ul> <p>In general, the more filtering options the better, though this will depend on the size of the product range.</p> <p>Here, AO.com has a comprehensive set of filters which help the user to narrow their search. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7070/ao.com_search_results-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="447"></p> <h3>Sorting options</h3> <p>Sorting options allow the user to change the order of search results so they can view the most relevant results first.  </p> <p>This may be by price, showing the cheapest or more expensive first, or ordering results by relevance to the search query. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4800/sort.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Handle common misspellings</h3> <p>John Lewis handles my typo on iPod well, serving results as if the mistake didn't happen: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4783/ipdo.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>Here, House of Fraser serves this for the misspelling 'siut'. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4782/hof_search.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Make it easy for users to find products with synonyms</h3> <p>This is something that site search, and 'no results found' searches can tell you. Perhaps there is a common misspelling, or users are searching for a brand you don't stock. </p> <p>If so, rather than showing no results at all, serve up results that are related to the search term. </p> <p>In this example, users searching for 'Esky' (a brand of cooler boxes) are shown similar products from different brands: </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/7JVdjTF.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>Show results in colour</h3> <p>Perhaps you have products in multiple colours. If a customer searches in this way, show it in that colour. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/ZWvT5Cv.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <h3>Show the search query on the results page</h3> <p>Showing the search term provides an instant reminder to the customer, but also allows them to append or remove words from the search in order to produce more accurate results. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/4795/search_term_on_results_page.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <h3>Provide quick view options</h3> <p>Site search users often have a clear intent to purchase, and are more likely to convert than the average visitor. </p> <p>The key here is to remove as many obstacles as possible from the purchase journey.</p> <p>Quick view allows users to see a mini version of the product page and an add to basket button without having to load the page. </p> <p>Here's an example from Dune: </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7130/dune_search_results-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="387"></p> <p>Selecting quick view allows shoppers to open up a mini-product page where they can view more details, select size and colour and add items to their basket. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7131/dune_quick_view-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="386"> </p> <h3>Show different product images on mouseover</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63361-10-useful-examples-of-mouseover-effects-for-ecommerce-sites">Mouseover effects on results pages</a> can be useful to show products in context or from different angles.</p> <p>On Bottica, hovering over product images on results pages triggers multiple product views, so shoppers can gain a better idea of the product with little extra effort. </p> <p><a href="http://boticca.com/browse/bags-leather/c-10_a-24/"><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/7496/bottica_hover-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="447"></a></p> <h3>Show technical detail </h3> <p>In the case of laptops, showing the specs in search results enables users to quickly compare features without having to visit product pages. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/7059/newegg_search_results-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="337"></p> <p><strong><em>Are there any site search tips you'd like to share? Also, which features will improve ecommerce site search in future? </em></strong></p> <p><strong><em>Let me know in the comments...</em></strong></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66500 2015-05-27T09:48:00+01:00 2015-05-27T09:48:00+01:00 Mobilegeddon one month on: five rules of thumb Rob Thurner <p>Google’s April 21st roll out of a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66449-is-google-being-too-easy-on-mobile-sites-with-desktop-pages">new algorithm for mobile searches</a> had many fearing the worst for their painstakingly crafted SEO.</p> <p>If the headlines were to be believed, Mobilegeddon would bring ruin to businesses without a mobile-optimised site - perhaps waiting to see if this whole smart phone thing would really catch on - despite Google’s claims that 50% of all online searches now take place on a mobile device. </p> <p>Google’s Zineb Ait Bahajji fanned businesses’ fears by claiming the new algorithm’s impact on traffic would be even bigger than previous updates Penguin and Panda.</p> <p>That’s no small potatoes given Panda affected 12% of all Google queries made in English, as <a href="http://www.ubisan.com/is-your-site-mobile-friendly-it-should-be/">Ubisan's Colin Hardie observed</a>. <a href="http://www.ubisan.com/is-your-site-mobile-friendly-it-should-be/"><br></a></p> <p>One month on, were all the dramatics warranted?  Has the internet changed for the greater good? Does your current website get a big thumbs up from Google’s mobile bods?  If not, how do you get it over the line with minimal fuss?</p> <h3><strong>Websites sent to mobile Coventry</strong></h3> <p>Despite Google giving the <a href="http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/finding-more-mobile-friendly-search.html" target="_blank">internet a polite heads-up in February</a> that the new algorithm was on its way, an estimated <strong>10% of the world’s most visited websites failed the search engine’s mobile-friendly test post-April 21.</strong></p> <p>According to <a href="http://tfmainsights.com/wikipedia-bbc-reddit-among-worlds-highest-traffic-sites-fail-mobilegeddon/?cid=newsletter" target="_blank">TFM&amp;A’s Lara Doyle</a>, Wikipedia, Reddit, and the BBC were amongst those deemed not mobile friendly. Outside of the top 100, other surprising fails included easyJet, MOZ and Magento.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3460/Mobilegeddon_Infographic.png" alt="" width="800" height="1223"></p> <p>Some 44% of Fortune 500 companies’ websites also missed the mark, <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/04/12/are-the-fortune-500-ready-for-mobile-search/" target="_blank">TechCrunch reported</a> shortly before the Mobilegeddon deadline.</p> <p>But that’s nothing compared to the smaller fish in the business pond: a 2014 study by local directory and advertising provider Hibu found that fewer than 10% of SMBs had a mobile-optimised website.</p> <p>The week after D-Day, Searchmetrics named the biggest Stateside winners and losers in the mobile rankings game.</p> <p>Reddit.com, NBCSports.com, and Youngmoney.com’s mobile SEO visibility dived 27%, 28% and 76% respectively.</p> <p>At the other end of the scale, TVtropes.org, Foreignaffairs.com, and GQ.com gained mobile SEO visibility to the tune of 420%, 771% and 67% respectively.</p> <h3><strong>Why mobile search matters to businesses</strong></h3> <p>More than two-thirds of UK adults are smartphone owners. The device’s staggering adoption is transforming the way we consume content and shop online. </p> <p>Websites that didn’t attempt to improve their mobile friendliness before April 21 are likely to have seen a drop in mobile-specific rankings. This in turn will lead to a decline in traffic which is ultimately bad news for revenue.</p> <p>Then there’s user experience. As a rule, responsive web design creates an optimal cross-device viewing experience. Google is a fan because it’s straightforward to implement and compatible with ‘search spiders’ eager to index your content.</p> <p>Is your business’ marketing mix increasingly weighted towards social media?  People using these platforms to access information typically do so on mobile devices, not desktop computers. </p> <p>Ecommerce businesses take note: consumers searching via a mobile device are also more results- focused than those on a desktop computer, which can mean quicker purchase decisions.</p> <p>In fact, <a href="http://www.iacquire.com/blog/mobile-behavior-big-game-seating-a-study-with-surveymonkey" target="_blank">a recent study by iAquire and SurveyMonkey</a> found that 70% of mobile searches lead to action on websites within one hour. </p> <p>The same study showed that 40% of people will choose another website if yours isn’t mobile-friendly.</p> <h3><strong>Making your site mobile friendly</strong></h3> <p>First things first, is your current website deemed by the great Google to be mobile-friendly? <a href="https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/" target="_blank">Take the test here</a>.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/3463/Mobile_test.png" alt="" width="900"></p> <p>If indeed it turns out that certain pages within your website don’t make Google happy, here’s what you need to do:</p> <ol> <li> <strong>Think user-friendly, not just eye-catching</strong>. A common mistake many businesses make is to think their job’s done once website pages fit on different devices.  <p>In reality, Google wants to make mobile websites easier to use, not just more attractive.</p> </li> <li> <strong>Be generous with your tap areas</strong>. Those of us with sausage fingers implore you, please don’t be stingy with any tap-to-navigate buttons.  <p>Remember that many of your users are navigating your website with one hand, making zooming and scrolling tricky.  </p> <p>Many savvy retailers are using the double tap feature to expand product shots. Smashed together buttons are also a Google pet peeve. </p> <p> <img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/4058/tesco-blog-third.png" alt="" width="200" height="333"></p> </li> <li> <strong>Search and email boxes should be easy to type in</strong>. Completing a form, inputting a search, or entering your mobile address via mobile shouldn’t leave you feeling like you’ve gone ten rounds with a champion thumb wrestler.  <p>Opt for generous space both inside and around input areas.</p> </li> <li> <strong>Give your links room to breathe</strong>. Are you seeing a reccurring theme here? Google is also trying to stamp out crammed-together links.<p>Fixing the issue should take just a few lines of CSS code.</p> </li> <li> <strong>Double-check your blocked assets in Robots.txt</strong>. If you’re blocking primary CSS files, like your stylesheet, and any critical JavaScript files, Google’s not going to like it one bit.  <p>A general rule of thumb is to only block things in Robot.txt that are known to cause issues.</p> </li> </ol> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66111 2015-02-20T09:59:00+00:00 2015-02-20T09:59:00+00:00 Site review: Shop Direct targets the luxury market with VeryExclusive David Moth <p>The site stocks 150 ‘accessible and high street luxury brands’ including Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld, Reiss, Karen Millen and Vivienne Westwood Anglomania.</p> <p>We’ve previously been underwhelmed with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/10810-17-luxury-brands-with-poor-web-user-experience/">the poor UX offered by luxury ecommerce brands</a>, so can <a href="http://www.veryexclusive.co.uk/">VeryExclusive.co.uk</a> buck the trend?</p> <p>Read on to find out, and for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65997-how-are-luxury-online-retailers-handling-fulfilment/">how luxury online retailers are handling fulfilment</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65106-the-multichannel-challenge-how-luxury-retailers-can-get-it-right/">multichannel experiences</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>Luxury brands often opt for quirky, unique site design to highlight the fact that they are different from your average retailer.</p> <p>UX is side-lined on the assumption that if people are going to splash out £2,000 on a handbag then they’ll be willing to do battle with difficult navigation.</p> <p>It’s refreshing that VeryExclusive hasn’t gone down this route and has instead used a fairly standard homepage design.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it has opted for <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/61995-carousels-on-ecommerce-sites-are-they-worth-bothering-with/">two carousels</a>, which have the potential to cause a big headache if you look at them more than a few seconds.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9918/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_12.28.23.png" alt="" width="1027" height="1000"></p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>The primary options in the top nav are ‘New In’ and ‘Designers’, which underlines the fact that VeryExclusive wants to be about new trends and premium brands.</p> <p>The rest of the options are quite self-explanatory, with the ‘Inspiration’ tab housing the limited amount of content that the site has so far produced.</p> <p>Looking at the ‘Clothing’ category page, the layout is again what one would expect from an ecommerce store, which is by no means a criticism.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9920/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_16.54.21.png" alt="" width="994" height="975"></p> <p>The simple design means customers will easily be able to browse the different items and use the filters to drill down to find what they’re looking for.</p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">Filter options</a> include type of clothing, designer, colour, size and price range. Interestingly that latter filter offers a selection of predetermined price ranges rather than the sliding scale commonly used on ecommerce sites.</p> <p>One criticism would be that the colour scheme is a bit drab, though this is really a branding issue rather than anything to do with the UX.</p> <p>While the use of white and grey design features works to showcase the clothes it also means that none of the filters or other navigation options really stand out.</p> <h3>Search tool</h3> <p>A quick word on the search tool, which is an ecommerce feature we’ve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66082-how-john-lewis-m-s-and-debenhams-handle-on-site-search/">analysed in some depth in other posts</a>.</p> <p>The search box itself is quite small but it’s prominently positioned at the top of the page.</p> <p>It returns results extremely quickly, has a decent range of filter options and autocorrects misspellings (e.g. ‘pink dres’ returns results for ‘pink dress’).</p> <p>Predictive search kicks in after three characters, which is useful when shoppers might be attempting to spell the name of a designer.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9916/pink_dress_mispelling.png" alt="" width="668" height="47"></p> <p>One odd thing that turned up during my random searches was the quality of the brands included on the VeryExclusive site.</p> <p>Personally I wouldn’t consider Converse, Puma or Superga to be at the luxury end of the market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9915/converse.png" alt="" width="824" height="306"></p> <h3>On-site content</h3> <p>As is common with most new fashion sites, VeryExclusive has a section of the site dedicated to articles and advice on the latest trends.</p> <p>It’s quite thin at the moment, but then it is a new site after all.</p> <p>The articles are image-heavy pages that include loads of product suggestions. </p> <p><strong><em>Click to enlarge</em></strong></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9910/content_page.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9910/content_page.png" alt="" width="211" height="283"></a></p> <p>Weirdly, some of the tabs within the content section (e.g. ‘World of Karl Lagerfeld’, ‘Diesel Black Gold’) just link directly to product category pages.</p> <h3>Product pages</h3> <p>The product pages have a minimalist design and tick off most of the basics, but there are a few important features missing.</p> <p>If we take this space age jacket as an example, there’s a good range of images, a hover-to-zoom function, detailed <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62713-six-things-to-consider-when-writing-product-descriptions/">product description</a>, a big ‘Add to basket’ CTA and the ability to leave reviews.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9913/very_product_page.png" alt="" width="1036" height="839"></p> <p>However there’s no mention of delivery or returns information, which is hugely important for avoiding nasty surprises that can lead <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/11182-basket-abandonment-case-studies-and-tips-to-help-improve-your-conversion-rates/">to basket abandonment</a>.</p> <p>Nor do the product pages show stock availability, but that’s presumably because it’s a new site so everything is in stock.</p> <p>Even so, if items are scarce then listing the exact stock levels can <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65348-how-to-increase-conversions-by-creating-buyer-urgency-fear-of-loss/">increase buyer urgency</a>.</p> <p>Another issue is the lack of cross-selling or product recommendations, which is such a glaring omission that I can only assume it will be added soon.</p> <h3>Checkout design</h3> <p>When users add an item to their basket this popup appears:</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9914/Add_to_basket_CTA.png" alt="" width="546" height="285"></p> <p>This is a useful feature as it means shoppers know the CTA has worked and also nudges them towards the checkout.</p> <p>Once in the checkout process shoppers are forced to either login or register an account. </p> <p>This is another barrier to purchase that might cause basket abandonment, though allowing people to use their existing Very.co.uk login makes it slightly less painful.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9912/checkout_design.png" alt="" width="995" height="574"></p> <p>On the first page of the checkout shoppers are also subtly notified of the whopping £5.95 delivery charge, though there’s still no indication of when it might arrive.</p> <p>However much of what it does would be considered best practice:</p> <ul> <li>The checkout is enclosed to reduce distractions.</li> <li>It uses a progress bar.</li> <li>There’s a persistent basket summary.</li> <li>Use of a postcode lookup tool.</li> <li>When you click on a new field instructions appear to make sure users know what is expected.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9917/Screen_Shot_2015-02-19_at_15.05.29.png" alt="" width="788" height="369"></p> <p>At the next stage shoppers are given two options – either pay for their item with a bankcard or sign up for a VeryExclusive account.</p> <p>The latter option has been key to the company’s success with Very.co.uk as shoppers are able to spread out the cost for items over several months and pay via an invoice.</p> <p>Shoppers basically have to sign up for a loan, meaning they have to share their household income.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9911/loan.png" alt="" width="979" height="822"></p> <p>If you choose the debit card option things are much simpler. The £5.95 charge is for next day or allocated delivery, which makes it slightly easier to stomach.</p> <p>Shoppers can also choose a free Collect+ option.</p> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>Without wishing to come across as a snob, VeryExclusive does feel like a high street brand’s interpretation of luxury retail.</p> <p>The site design is quite basic and straightforward, which is no bad thing in terms of the UX, but does mean it lacks the wow factor that one would expect when buying premium clothing.</p> <p>If pureplay ecommerce stores are going to compete in the luxury market they have to ensure the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a> exceeds expectations, including the site design and also fulfilment.</p> <p>Net-A-Porter understands this more than most and ensures people are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63580-digital-transformation-what-it-is-and-how-to-get-there/">wowed by its packaging</a>.</p> <p>In comparison, VeryExclusive offers a free delivery service via Collect+. When ordering a £1,000 jacket do people really want to collect it from their local newsagent?</p> <p>Though we might assume the answer to this question is 'no', this type of service is probably perfect for Very’s target audience.</p> <p>The company launched this site to cater to existing Very.co.uk customers who want to shop high-end brands, so they expect a <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click-and-collect delivery option</a> and the ability to pay for goods in instalments.</p> <p>So although VeryExclusive may not fit the luxury ecommerce template, that’s no bad thing considering its target audience.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/66076 2015-02-12T18:17:12+00:00 2015-02-12T18:17:12+00:00 Ocado vs. Sainsbury's: customer journey comparison David Moth <p>I noted in a previous post on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62888-what-do-sainsbury-s-tesco-asda-and-ocado-have-in-common-poor-online-checkouts/">ecommerce grocery checkouts</a> that standards were low across the industry.</p> <p>Ahead of most of the pack was Ocado. As a pureplay online retailer its website is its main customer touchpoint so it really has to provide a superior UX.</p> <p>At the other end of the scale was Sainsbury’s which is relying on a very out-dated and frustrating website.</p> <p>Here’s a look at the customer journey from start to finish on both websites.</p> <p>And for more on this topic read our posts on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66049-customer-acquisition-among-online-grocers-what-s-on-offer/">customer acquisition among online grocers</a> and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64841-how-seo-helps-tesco-to-dominate-the-online-grocery-market/">what Tesco is doing right in terms of SEO</a>.</p> <h3>Homepage</h3> <p>Despite my many years experience of ecommerce, I’ve still never actually bought groceries online.</p> <p>I’m used to buying fashion, books and electronics online, where you go straight to the product you want and make a purchase.</p> <p>With grocery shopping it’s different as you’ll likely have a long shopping list, so I’m slightly unsure of where to start.</p> <p>Basically, what I want is a big ‘Start shopping’ CTA to walk me through the process (Admittedly this is probably just my personal preference and most other people can cope with just getting on and doing their shopping).</p> <p>Ocado does have this button but it plays second fiddle to the eye-catching carousel.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9457/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.25.29.png" alt="" width="1462" height="559"></p> <p>Over on Sainsbury’s homepage there are offers galore, but it’s not immediately obvious how to start shopping.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9458/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.26.48.png" alt="" width="1453" height="751"></p> <h3>Getting started</h3> <p>Ocado has taken several steps to reassure new shoppers that they’ve chosen the right online grocer.</p> <p>As well giving me £10 off there’s a positive quote from another shopper, an award from The Grocer Magazine for being the world’s best online retailer, and a list of four reasons to shop with Ocado.</p> <p>Click the ‘start shopping’ CTA and you’re taken to a category page where you can begin adding items to your basket.</p> <p><em><strong>Click to enlarge</strong></em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9459/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.43.22.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9459/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_10.43.22.png" alt="" width="276" height="349"></a></p> <p>With Sainsbury’s I assume you just go ahead and start looking for things you want using the top nav.</p> <h3>Navigation</h3> <p>Navigating the Sainsbury’s site requires a lot of clicking as each product category has several subcategories, some of which then have their own subcategories.</p> <p>These are all click-to-open and load in a new page, whereas Ocado uses hover-to-open menus in the sidebar and from the ‘Browse shop’ option in the top nav.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9460/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.00.06.png" alt="" width="911" height="449"></p> <p>I think Ocado’s approach is more user-friendly as it means shoppers don’t have to keep going backwards and forwards to find the products they’re looking for.</p> <p>If one menu doesn’t hold what you wanted then you can open a different one just by hovering your mouse over a different category.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9461/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.04.13.png" alt="" width="1457" height="729"></p> <p>Ocado also aids navigation by grouping products into different ‘shops’. These contain products that are related to one another but might not fit within the same shopping aisle in a supermarket.</p> <p>So for example, there are shops for different world foods (halal, Swedish, French), brands, dietary requirements, or personal preferences such as the ‘sensitive shop’ which has products for people with sensitive skin.</p> <p>However one criticism here would be that both columns in the pop out navigation menus are labelled ‘selected shops’, which might cause some confusion.</p> <h3>Offers</h3> <p>Both sites have pages for special offers, which are hugely important for keeping customers happy and driving up the basket size.</p> <p>In terms of the aesthetics, Ocado puts a greater emphasis on the product images, which means the actual offers aren’t immediately apparent.</p> <p>Overall though it’s pleasing on the eye and easy to navigate.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9462/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.26.08.png" alt="" width="1159" height="857"></p> <p>In comparison, the Sainsbury’s offer page is a wall of orange text where every offer begins with the same word (‘Only’).</p> <p>The result is that nothing stands out and the offers are difficult to decipher.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9463/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.26.18.png" alt="" width="1147" height="919"></p> <h3>Search tool and results</h3> <p>Both sites use <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/1040">predictive search</a>, though these screenshots should illustrate which offers the superior user experience.</p> <p><em><strong>Ocado vs. Sainsbury’s</strong></em></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9464/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.30.13.png" alt="" width="250">    <img style="vertical-align: top;" src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9465/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.30.21.png" alt="" width="151" height="81"></p> <p>In the end I performed a broad search for ‘chicken’.</p> <p>On Ocado the results page includes:</p> <ul> <li>Product and meal categories at the top (e.g. roast dinner, breast fillets).</li> <li>A side nav with related product categories.</li> <li>Filters on brands and dietary/lifestyle.</li> </ul> <p>It also uses endless scroll so new products loads automatically as users navigate down the page.</p> <p>There’s certainly a lot to choose from, but then this is a vague search term.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9466/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.34.09.png" alt="" width="1454" height="896"></p> <p>Over at Sainsbury’s, the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">product filters</a> are at the very top of the page which is good for the UX, but there are no category options so it’s more difficult to narrow down the options.</p> <p>Also, though cross-selling is an important sales tool it’s a bad idea to make a bottle of white wine the first result in a search for ‘chicken’.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9468/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_11.47.27.png" alt="" width="1155" height="1127"></p> <h3>Product information</h3> <p>I’m going to go out on a limb and say that people probably don’t often visit product pages on online grocery stores.</p> <p>My reasoning is that shopping for a pint of milk or some frozen hamburgers doesn’t require the same purchase consideration as buying clothes or electronics.</p> <p>Assuming I’m not totally wrong, it would mean that online grocers need to provide all the relevant information on the category and search results pages.</p> <p>As a random example, let’s look at the category pages for ‘lamb’.</p> <p>Ocado prioritises items that are on offer, so the top two rows are all available at a discount.</p> <p>Each listing has the product name, an image, details of the special offer, star rating and product detail icons (e.g. frozen, organic).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9470/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.11.43.png" alt="" width="1152" height="424"></p> <p>Users can also click on the item to reveal a ‘quick view’ popup that includes more detailed information and a zoom feature to get a closer look at the product.</p> <p>Both views include a small yellow ‘Add’ CTA.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9471/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.15.55.png" alt="" width="950" height="553"></p> <p>Sainsbury’s offers the same information and an almost identical CTA. The only things missing are the product detail icons.</p> <p>It also fails to offer the ‘quick view’ feature, so if you want any extra information then your only option is to go to the product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9472/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.25.51.png" alt="" width="1089" height="368"></p> <h3>Adding an item</h3> <p>If you aren’t logged in to the Sainsbury’s site and you attempt to add an item to your basket, you’ll be directed to the ‘new customer’ page to register an account.</p> <p>Ordinarily this would be a huge barrier to purchase, but it’s more excusable for grocery retailers as they need to make sure they deliver to your area before you waste 30 minutes filling your basket.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9473/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.30.04.png" alt="" width="725" height="394"></p> <p>In comparison, Ocado allows shoppers to fill their basket before registering, but does attempt to prompt users to login using a popup window.</p> <h3>Registration and checkout</h3> <p><strong>Sainsbury’s</strong></p> <p>After inputting your postcode on the Sainsbury’s website it gives five reasons why you should use its home delivery service.</p> <p>This is a good way of spelling out the basic benefits and criteria upfront. Shoppers then have to choose their delivery time. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9474/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.38.39.png" alt="" width="1157" height="505"></p> <p>It feels back-to-front choosing your delivery slot before having the chance to add any items to your basket, but presumably the logic is that it’s better to make sure people are happy with the fulfilment costs and timings before they begin shopping.</p> <p>This page is quite confusing, however. The costs presented in the grid are only relevant if you spend between £40 and £100.</p> <p>Orders for £25-£40 are charged a flat delivery fee of £6.95, while orders for more than £100 are delivered for free.</p> <p>Shoppers are supposed to work all this out based on the tiny text box on the right of the screen.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9475/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.46.01.png" alt="" width="1465" height="787"></p> <p>Full registration isn’t required until you enter the checkout process, which you can’t begin until you reach a minimum spend of £25 (this isn’t actually mentioned anywhere though).</p> <p>The ‘checkout’ CTA is a tiny yellow button on the right-hand side of the screen, which looks incredibly dated.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9476/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_12.55.23.png" alt="" width="1444" height="925"></p> <p>The checkout itself hasn’t been updated much in the two years since I last reviewed it so suffers from all the same problems:</p> <ul> <li>The CTAs are tiny so don’t stand out or create any sense of urgency.</li> <li>It asks how you first heard about Sainsbury’s – surely nobody can remember that?</li> <li>No fields are identified as compulsory, but nearly all of them are.</li> <li>It casually adds a £6.95 delivery charge even though I selected a £4 delivery slot at the beginning of the purchase journey.</li> </ul> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9477/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.06.28.png" alt="" width="677" height="187"></p> <ul> <li>The basket summary is displayed only on the last page of the checkout.</li> <li>There are no basic UX or CRO features, such as an enclosed checkout or progress bar.</li> <li>The final CTA is ‘send order’, which doesn’t mean anything to customers.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Ocado</strong></p> <p>Ocado really wants customers to register with Facebook. At every turn it’s the most prominent checkout option.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9478/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.10.04.png" alt="" width="809" height="372"></p> <p>As an obedient shopper that’s the option I went for, though I had to subsequently register my details anyway so in hindsight there was no point in using the Facebook login.</p> <p>The amount of form filling is roughly the same as with Sainsbury’s but it appears shorter simply because the design is more up-to-date.</p> <p>Also, as shoppers choose the delivery slot at the end of the process they know exactly what the cost will be.</p> <p>There’s also the option of using <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63815-15-stats-that-show-why-click-and-collect-is-so-important-for-retailers/">click &amp; collect</a>, which is available from a select number of locations around the UK such as car parks and tube stations.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/9481/Screen_Shot_2015-02-11_at_13.18.50.png" alt="" width="1459" height="621"></p> <p>Unfortunately there is a weird disconnect at this stage of the customer journey.</p> <p>Having chosen the delivery slot the only available CTA instructed me to ‘continue shopping’ rather than ‘checkout’.</p> <p>The next page confirmed my delivery slot and weirdly said ‘welcome to Ocado’, even though I’d already been on the site for half an hour by now.</p> <p>I then had to select the checkout button in the corner of the screen for the second time.</p> <p>So, having already booked my delivery slot I now have to go through about five other pages of product options and flash sales before getting to the payment screen.</p> <p>Also: </p> <ul> <li>The ‘Continue’ button appears in a pop-up at the bottom of the screen so it’s easy to miss.</li> <li>The checkout isn’t quarantined so shoppers might be distracted by all the other options. </li> <li>And the progress bar counts seven separate stages in the checkout process.</li> </ul> <h3>In conclusion...</h3> <p>The UX problems with these websites are quite astonishing.</p> <p>With so much up for grabs in the online grocery market I would have thought these two brands would be trying to ensure they offered a first class <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a>.</p> <p>But as far as I can tell neither Ocado nor Sainsbury’s has made any major modifications in the past two or three years.</p> <p>Sainsbury’s website is incredibly dated and throws up so many barriers to purchase that it must put off a huge proportion of potential customers.</p> <p>As a pureplay online retailer Ocado really has to get the UX right, and though it performs well in the early stages of the customer journey it is let down by a baffling registration process and a poor checkout.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/65964 2015-01-13T15:00:00+00:00 2015-01-13T15:00:00+00:00 Why do people abandon online travel bookings? Graham Charlton <h3>Why do people abandon? </h3> <p>SaleCycle used a mixture of abandonment data from its clients in 2014 and a survey of 1,000 consumers asking why they abandoned travel purchases. </p> <p>These were the reasons given for abandoning purchases: </p> <ul> <li>39% were<strong> just looking</strong> and had more research to do. </li> <li>37% abandoned due to<strong> high prices and wanted to compare prices elsewhere. </strong> </li> <li>21% needed to <strong>check with other travellers before booking. </strong> </li> <li>13% felt the <strong>booking process was too long or the checkout too complicated. </strong> </li> <li>9% experienced <strong>technical issues. </strong> </li> <li>7% had<strong> issues with payments</strong> or the option they wanted was unavailable. </li> </ul> <p>For some of these reasons, there is relatively little that online travel sites can do to reduce abandonment. </p> <p>A holiday is one of the biggest purchases of the year for most people, so they will spend time researching and visiting multiple sites before making a decision. </p> <p>According to Millward Brown stats,<strong> users booking holidays take up to 45 days and visit as many as 38 travel sites. </strong></p> <p>There are a lot of similar studies around with different numbers, but the central point is that <strong>people take time over travel purchases and like to compare sites. </strong></p> <p>So, for 'just looking' consumers, sites will find it hard to prevent abandonment as they just want to see what's available and are unlikely to commit before shopping around. </p> <p>However, there's plenty sites can do about the other reasons, which we'll explore later in this article. </p> <h3>Where do customers abandon? </h3> <p>53% duck out when shown the total price. This suggests a fair amount of comparison shopping, but also a realisation amongst consumers that travel sites have a nasty habit of adding fees and charges during the booking process. </p> <p>They may be heading far enough down the funnel to find the 'real' price, or some could be deterred by extra charges being applied along the way. </p> <p>The other two reasons - being asked for personal or payment details - may just be the logical point to exit for comparison shoppers, but may also indicate problems with form design, or a lack of preferred payment options. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8099/Where_do_people_abandon_travel_purchases__.png" alt="" width="728" height="280"></p> <h3>What can sites do to reduce abandonment?</h3> <p>Given that customers like to spend time visiting different sites and researching purchases, travel sites can't deal with all these abandonment reasons.</p> <p>However, there's much they can do to deal with the obvious reasons, help customers research more effectively, and encourage them to return to book in the end.</p> <p>Here are some suggestions...</p> <h3>Provide greater clarity on pricing and charges</h3> <p>Travel sites have a challenge here, as the final price can depend on many variables - time of flight chosen, extras like insurance and baggage allowance, and so on. </p> <p>So, the price displayed here for a week in Italy will not be the final one. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8100/TC_travel_booking.png" alt="" width="650"></p> <p>However, Thomas Cook expects people to invest time and effort entering the details of everyone travelling without confirming the total price.</p> <p>It still says 'from £2727.03', suggesting that more charges may follow. As it turned out, that was the total price, but the language used is confusing for customers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8101/TC_booking_info.png" alt="" width="650"></p> <p>There may be no hidden charges, but customers have grown used to them, and will therefore be suspicious if sites aren't clear about this. </p> <p>Ryanair has improved from the time when pre-ticked boxes with extra fees were the norm when booking online, but there's still room for improvement. </p> <p>Here, I can't move forward in the booking process without making a decision over insurance by actively selecting either my country or 'don't insure me' from a drop-down. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8103/insurance_fees_ryanair.png" alt="" width="732" height="450"></p> <p>Now, a radio button or tick box would be easier for users, as would the assumption that, unless they select it, users don't need insurance. </p> <p>This suggests that Ryanair doesn't mind if users select insurance accidentally. </p> <p>After all, if it wanted to make it easy for customers to opt out, why use a drop down and place the option down the list between Denmark and Finland? </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8104/Ryanair_insurance.png" alt="" width="741" height="501"></p> <p>In this example, easyJet is clear about its pricing throughout the customer journey. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7864/easyjet_01.png" alt="" width="644" height="404"></p> <p>The use of the phrase 'final price' is a great way to reassure customers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7865/easyjet_02.png" alt="" width="302" height="495"></p> <h3>Aid the research process</h3> <p>People are going to research, so make it easy for them. This means things like more flexible search options, content which supports the research process, and options which help customers to save preferences. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63123-25-examples-of-search-tools-from-travel-websites">Search tools on travel sites</a> can help this. Options like searching across a flexible date range, all airports within a chosen country, or not making customers narrow options like departure airports too early can help. </p> <p>Not everyone has a clear idea of dates and destinations when they begin to search for holidays, and these customers should be catered for. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/public/imgur/tacFGRU.png" alt="" width="615"></p> <p>Search results can help too. The 'month view' from Jet2.com is very useful if you're flexible on dates and just want the cheapest option.</p> <p>At a glance you can see which days offer the cheapest flights. There's a fair bit of variation and therefore savings to be made.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/5272/jet2_search_results_2-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="387"></p> <p>Content can support the research process too. Give them information about their destinations, maps to show them the proximity of the hotel to the beach, things to do, and so on. </p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65149-nine-user-experience-lessons-travel-sites-can-learn-from-airbnb/">AirBnB provides a great example</a>, with city and neighbourhood guides. </p> <p>Take this overview of New York. The locals' pros and cons, and the 'known for' information gives people a quick idea of what the city is about, before exploring and finding which neighbourhood will suit them. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/0362/airbnb_neighbourhood_guides-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="442"></p> <p>Reviews provide valuable context too, and can be very persuasive for potential bookers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/7856/hotel_com.png" alt="" width="770" height="893"></p> <h3>Booking and payment processes</h3> <p>There's a lot that can go wrong here, so sites need to make form filling and payment as painless as possible. </p> <p>Of course, it has to be complicated to a certain extent. There may be multiple passenger details to enter, hotels and flight times to choose, and so on. </p> <p>This means <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64669-21-first-class-examples-of-effective-web-form-design">optimising web forms</a> is even more important. Little details, like this mobile optimised calendar from Kayak, can make the difference, </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0004/6787/kayak2-blog-full.png" alt="" width="400"></p> <p>It's also important to avoid barriers to booking. Here, Ryanair's registration screen seems even more of an interruption since it's presented as a pop up, blacking out the rest of the screen. </p> <p>This is unneccesary, as users are busy filling in details anyway, so why not just add <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64385-how-to-attract-registrations-without-creating-a-barrier-to-checkout/">registration</a> as an extra optional field rather then interrupting the flow?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0005/8105/Registration_ry.png" alt="" width="887" height="597"></p> <p>The AirBnB checkout provides a better example. It displays the total price early in the process and provides a constant reminder for customers. </p> <p>The form is well designed overall, and data entry is easy enough. No unnecessary form fields or conventions on things like postcode formats make it more likely that people will complete the process. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0005/0369/airbnb_checkout-blog-full.png" alt="" width="615" height="434"></p> <h3>Make it mobile</h3> <p>A quick point, but as more people <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62958-17-of-searches-for-flights-are-mobile-but-are-the-travel-sites/">use mobile for travel bookings</a>, the sites need to adapt and make it as easy as possible for customers to research and book on mobile. </p> <p>It's a hygeine factor as much as anything. This optimised site from lastminute.com tells users that they can search easily. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/4662/photo__22_-blog-half.png" alt="" width="300" height="450"></p> <p>This, from fly.co.uk, will deter customers straight away. </p> <p><img src="http://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0003/4670/photo__29_-blog-half.png" alt="" width="300" height="450"></p> <p>Mobile optimisation is the first step, but travel sites also need to understand how customers use mobile in the context of researching and buying travel products and cater for this behaviour. </p> <h3><strong>Make it easy for customers to return</strong></h3> <p>Travel sites need to accept that they are part of the research process, and that customers will use their site for price and product comparison on a regular basis. </p> <p>The key is to tempt them back when they are further along the purchase process. </p> <p>Now, if someone wants the cheapest possible option, not every site can compete with Ryanair and Jet2.</p> <p>However, they can make it easy for customers to research, provide content that complements the products, features like reviews, and generally <strong>provide an excellent customer experience that leaves a favourable impression.</strong></p> <p>Also, they can remember customers' previous selections and preferences for future visits to make it easier, as well as prompting users with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64167-basket-abandonment-emails-why-you-should-be-sending-them">abandoned basket emails</a>.</p> <p><img src="http://basketabandonment.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/millennium1.png" alt="Millennium Hotels" width="615"> </p> <p><strong><em>What do you think? How can travel websites reduce abandonment? Or is this a natural part of the research process? Let me know below... </em></strong></p>