IVentures Consulting, a management and electronic business consultancy, published its yearly eShopper Index on March 18, 2015. The report examines the online shopping experience that 111 well-known ecommerce websites provide before, during, and after a purchase. For all the online shops, which included Amazon, Zappos, Macy’s, Target, Nike, and similar, iVentures places several orders, interacts with client support, and finally returns the goods it purchased.
For its latest indicator, iVentures made purchases from September to December 2014.
At every step for your purchase and return procedure, iVentures subjectively steps the customer experience and finally scores how well it considers each of the 111 websites in view performed.
With the analysis, the consultancy seeks to identify trends. Given that the firms the survey screens are among the industry’s leaders, these tendencies may represent general adjustments to ecommerce business practices or regions of opportunity wherein merchants can get a competitive advantage. Therefore, these tendencies could eventually impact even little online vendors.
Perhaps the best chance that iVentures identified was personalization. The notion of presenting personalized content or offers is popular. It seems almost obvious that using behavioral information to reveal shoppers the products they’re most likely to purchase will boost sales. And some online sellers have reported massive increases in earnings thanks to personalization.
For instance, American Apparel, which was contained in the iVentures study, reported in 2013 that its onsite personalization had contributed to some 59-percent increase in earnings from 2011 to 2012.
Regardless of the promise of increasing earnings, just 13 percent of the 111 sites researched personalized page content based on client browsing history or customer purchase history, based on iVentures. Even fewer online sellers utilized personalization in their email campaigns (only 8 percent) or on mobile (just 4 percent).
The difference between what personalization is capable of and its usage may represent an opportunity for small and mid-market retailers.
While personalization may represent an chance to get ahead of competitors, content promotion is now something online vendors have to do in order to keep up.
The eShopper Index found that 65 percent of the websites reviewed used lifestyle photography beyond just product images — believe lookbooks, as an illustration; 61 percent had an internet magazine or a site; and 50 percent provided some kind of editorial content such as useful tips.
Harrods was a pioneer in its use of articles promotion, such as using fashion shoots to market products.
For instance, Harrods utilizes style shoots or lookbooks to flaunt new styles and participate shoppers. The website also has several editorial features, such as fashion news, fashion show comment, fashion trends, interviews, a regular top five feature, and a whole lot more, all gathered under the website’s Style Insider segment .
Video on Product Detail Pages
The sites reviewed for iVentures’ study often shared at least five common features on product detail pages:
- Good photography,
- A meta description,
- A list of qualitative specifications,
- Detailed product alternatives,
- An ability to talk on social networking.
Furthermore, product videos appeared frequently. Some 32 percent of those websites now include product demonstration videos on at least some of the product detail pages.
For instance, Saks Fifth Avenue has a play-pause button just under the primary product image on a lot of its product detail pages. Clicking”play” swaps out the primary image with a movie showing off the product. The movie will also play every time a shopper initially arrives on the product detail page.
Saks Fifth Avenue’s site includes product demonstration videos on several product detail pages.
Do not be surprised if small online retailers pick up with this trend and begin to include product demonstration videos on website.
Much Quicker Delivery Options
Many online sellers offer quick one- or two-day delivery solutions. Some even provide these services at no cost. But still, delivery choices are getting quicker.
Amazon offers one-hour delivery in nyc and complimentary, two-day delivery elsewhere on the U.S. on thousands of things for Amazon Prime members. Everline, a clothing-seller, provides a similar, one-hour delivery service in San Francisco and New York City for select products.
Everlane will delivery pick products in new york in an hour.
French vendor Hermès offers three-hour delivery in Paris. And lots of brick-and-click retailers are providing a click-and-collect service that puts products in a customer’s hands in little over an hour.
It might not be long before very rapid delivery is the norm.
Mobile commerce, according to the iVentures’ findings, may be another place wherein not offering something sets a merchant at a disadvantage.
By way of instance, 91 percent of the sites reviewed were mobile optimized, meaning that using a mobile version of your website — rather a reactive one — is vital.
Some 91 percent of the sites surveyed were mobile optimized. Additionally, half of the sites offered an iOS app and over a third offered an Android app.
Mobile apps were also common. Half of the internet websites iVentures reviewed provided an iOS mobile app and 37 percent provided an Android app.
Online sellers, it would seem, should be prepared to do business on mobile devices, particularly if those vendors compete with brick-and-click shops.
Merchants that sell both from physical stores and online are creating something of a comeback. In accordance with iVentures, 65 percent of the top 20 best performing websites are brick-and-click companies, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Harrods, Macy’s, and Target.
These shops are successfully incorporating online and in-store shopping adventures. Often this includes offering click-and-collect or reserve-and-collect possibilities, showing in-store availability online, and offering in-store mobile providers or kiosks that enable shoppers to access additional products.
This one might not be a fast growing trend, but omnichannel selling and its associated services may result in some pure-play ecommerce retailers to examine ways of showcasing products in the physical world.