Posts Tagged ‘retail’

Usability That Increases Goodwill

August 19, 2009

In my last post I reviewed the things that make diminishes goodwill. In this blog I now review the areas that increase goodwill.

***Know the main things that people want to do on your site and make them obvious and easy

***Tell people what they want to know. Don’t hide shipping costs etc. A good example is http://www.dstore.com.au that advertises a flat $6.95 anywhere in Australia as a banner ad. A poor example is http://www.dymocks.com.au where you don’t know the postage until the end of the transaction.

***Save me steps whenever you can. Examples are a tracking number for the shipment order

***Make it easy to recover from errors. Assist customers so that they don’t make errors, but if they do then make it easy to fix them rather than having to restart.

***When in doubt apologise. You may have a clunky system and you can’t change it, let customers know that your system is far from perfect and apologise for it.

Usability As Common Courtesy

August 12, 2009

In Steve Krug’s book ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ (2nd Edition) he wrote about the things that diminish goodwill on a web site:

***Hiding the information that customers want such as postage rates, customer support, phone numbers and the like. Some companies do this so that they drive down costs in their business or customer self serve. Other do this due to internal politics, departmental policies or simply trying to increase the stickiness of getting a sale! Best practice is to be open, up front and transparent to the customer. Make it easy to find all information.

***Asking the customer to format data such as putting a dash or a space in credit card fields. Best practice is to allow the customer to enter the data as they want & then write a program to convert it into your system requirement.

***Asking for information that is not relevant. Don’t ask for marketing information if it isn’t relevant. Who has got fed up trying to set up an Amazon account. Keep it quick & punchy, then as you develop the relationship ask for more information & incentivise for it.

***Too much sizzle. Get rid of the long to load flash intros, no-one wants to see it.

However, there is another golden rule…if your customers actually like flash, like long sign up processes, want to key the data in the right format or like to search for information, then DON”T CHANGE IT. If it works for you and your customers and gets the results you need, then don’t change, but if you can get a better result through a test and learn phase then make the change towards better usability.

Web Optimisation Definition for Retail

August 5, 2009

Definition of Optimisation for Retail

Retail has:

• The Product
o Price & promotions
o Range
• Service
o Fulfilment
o Support

The Web Optimisation Team manages:
• Interactivity
o Customer journey
o Flow and data entry
• Ease of Use
o Usability
o Accessibility and standards

Web optimisation is about having a plan to take practical steps to change things so that they work better. This could include your registration process, email layouts, checkout and customer service follow up. It’s about a holistic approach to optimising your site and campaigns.

Some examples of optimisation are:

• Search engine optimisation (SEO) – mainly a marketing function, but Retail can influence this based upon sales stats and analytics
• Search engine marketing (SEM) – once again mainly a marketing function but Retail can have input via analytics to say which sites work best and which landing pages give a higher sales conversion percentage
• Behavioural targeting – tailoring the marketing message, up or cross sell opportunity based on the customers profile or what we know about that segment. An example would be an Accidental Damage offer if the customer had Home Insurance already. For this to work you need a segmentation model and if possible data about each individual customer and their preferences.
• Creative and messaging pre-testing optimisations – pre-testing optimisations on a small target group or for a few clicks to see the reaction. If successful then rollout to more customers, if not then cease and try something else!
• Site optimisation – checking the site regularly to ensure that all the links work and that there is nothing that is stopping a smooth flow for your customers. This is where you need to identify where shoppers leave your site & try to understand why
• Campaign performance optimisation – review the entire marketing campaign from search through to fulfilment to ensure that it works and get the highest conversion rates possible

Returning to our Analytics model optimisation is the final phase:

Phase 1 – The raw data

Phase 2 – KPIs (conversion rate)

Phase 3 – Measures
1. Conversion by new release/older version
2. Number of customers who also bought another product
3. Conversion by promotional offer such as free shipping

Phase 4 – Analytics
1. Effect on the landing page to conversion
2. Impact of product placement (merchandising) on the page
3. Impact of customer demographic and segmentation on the rate

Phase 5 – Optimisation
1. Optimise marketing offer to segments or individuals
2. Optimise site layout to maximise conversion rates
3. Track and optimise where customers exit the site

The way to track these results is using a scorecard system to ensure that the results are returning a positive ROI.