"Blocking and Tackling" - A quick take a some eCommerce
eCommerce can be VERY complex. To offer a world class customer
experience, retailers must incorporate technologies and
functionality that exceeds rising customer expectations.
On the flip side however, site fundamentals still play a very
large role in converting visitors into customers. Many retailers
surprisingly lose sight of these site basics and leave
significant sales on the table. This brief examines 4 quick
"fundamentals" every eCommerce manager cannot afford to lose
Speed has become less of a problem due to the penetration of
broadband, but don't forget that a significant number of people
still shop by a dialup connection. When creating a site
framework, designers and e-commerce teams should ensure that the
site is developed with pages loading in less than 9 seconds
(over a dial-up connection).
Our recommended page size is within 60-70k in bytes. At that
amount, sites will likely load within the maximum wait time of 9
seconds. Online retailers should avoid flash at all costs within
their transactional site. Flash's artistic aspects may help you
establish a brand presence - but it will likely lose potential
customers before they have even searched within your store.
Image is important
Images are a very important aspect of selling online and are
often neglected. All product images should be of the highest
resolution possible, be much larger than the product
original, and have
multiple views. Dynamic imaging capabilities can improve the
user experience to an even higher level by increasing
interactivity (zoom & rotate). At a minimum - retailers should
have at least two additional views outside of the product page
image to help build emotion.
Be my guest
Shoppers do not like being forced to do anything, especially
when they are ready to open their wallets. Forcing a shopper to
register on your site before purchasing is a sure way to drive a
portion of your traffic to your competitors. Too often, shoppers
do not have the time or the inclination to fill out a lengthy
form explaining what types of information they desire.
Always offer the ability to checkout as a guest. You will see
less customer leakage within the checkout process and can still
offer the option to register when the sale is completed.
Make sure it's "above the fold"
Your homepage is the most important page within your eCommerce
store. It sets the initial tone for the shopping experience and
offers your best promotions and products to your visitors. Users
typically visually scan a web page from top to bottom and then
from left to right. All critical content and navigation options
should be obvious to the shopper without having to scroll down.
If you have your best promotions "below the fold" - you can bet
that a large percentage of browsers are not scrolling down to
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