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The Definitive Guide to Effective Ecommerce Websites

By Neil Sniffen
29 minute read | Last Updated: April 23, 2016

Our effective ecommerce for brands research report lays out how to turn your brand site into a dominating player in ecommerce.

Introduction

Many a brand site is launched with the expectation that a stampede of customers will follow but are instead disappointed when the only visitors are a few stray customers who graze on their offerings and leave without buying.

That’s because few brands understand what actually makes ecommerce sites effective. At The Good, we believe it is possible for all brands to create effective ecommerce sites, if they understand and apply the same principles that have made sites such as Amazon, Zappo’s and Easton so successful.

The goal of this research report is to help you and your brand understand why the Amazon’s of the web are doing so well and how you can emulate their approach to create an ecommerce site that will attract customers who will buy, not just graze.

Executive Summary

Customer connectedness continues to increase and with that, your brand’s need for an effective ecommerce site also is increasing—exponentially. A report by Custora noted that from 2010-2014, the mobile ecommerce market grew 19-fold and mobile ecommerce sales were slated to hit $50 billion.

For your brand to capture its piece of this growing mobile pie, it must have an effective (and responsive) ecommerce site. That means your brand site must provide customers with a browsing and purchase experience that is not only simple and elegant, but also informs without jargon, inspires without being inauthentic, and is helpful without being patronizing.

To capture the attention of a fickle and discerning customer audience—to be effective—your brand’s ecommerce site must do all these things, and do them better than its competitors.

In this report we will focus on four main characteristics of the effective ecommerce website—customer goals, making shopping easy, the perfect product page, and add to cart and checkout.

Customer Goals

Before embarking on a site redesign or update, the first step should be to establish goals. What are the brand’s goals for its website? What are the brand’s customers’ goals for the website?

If you can answer both those questions, you’re ahead of most ecommerce brands.

Make Shopping Easy

The fastest way between two points is a straight line. Too many sites ask their customers to navigate switchbacks just to evaluate and purchase a product. But what if your site experience cut out the switchbacks and allowed for a straight line approach? The answer is simple, your conversions would increase at the same time as your sales.

Make shopping easy for your customer and they will reward you by purchasing products from you.

The Perfect Product Page

The content on product pages is where your customers will ultimately decide to purchase a product from you or a competitor. Great content is the knowledgeable salesperson, a friend offering a recommendation, and an in-depth spec sheet. Poor content is all marketing and no human voice and a page that sees more customers leaving than clicking to check out.

If the content you provide on your product page is useful, it will drive your sales

Add to Cart and Checkout

The abandonment rate of full carts is a cringe inducing 67.45%. This is an ecommerce crisis. Imagine if 6 out of every 10 carts at the grocery store was abandoned while waiting in the checkout line. It doesn’t happen often in store and it shouldn’t happen online, either.

To fix the broken checkout process, simplify. Ask only for information you need and fill in as much automatically to help move your customer from evaluator to purchaser quickly.

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Customer Goals

In preparing for a race, you start with the end goal and work backwards.

The same applies to ecommerce. Once you understand your brand and customer goals, it’s time to develop a plan to ensure that your brand site efficiently serves your customers.

Along the way, test to find areas where content and performance are weak and listen to Customer Service to understand your customers’ pain points with the site.

Start with Goals – Your Brand’s and Your Customers’

Understanding your goals and aligning them with your customers’, ultimately, is the quickest way to succeed in ecommerce. Site performance can always be tested and tweaked, content can be modified, and navigation can be altered, but when your brand is fully aware of its goals and the goals of your consumer, you are on the path to victory.

It’s easy to get caught up in internal politics and priorities, forgetting that the reason your site exists is to help your customers accomplish something that is important to them.

Creating a great website that serves your customers is a challenge that requires (quite often) a real shift in your organization’s thinking.

Traditionally, websites have been designed to tell the brand story. But only telling the brand story on your site is like watching TV only for the commercials. Brands should be part of the show, rather than the interruption, and they can do that by weaving the brand story into product and category descriptions, product video demos, and images of the brand’s products in use. It’s one thing to have a jacket that is great for fishing in the rain on your site. It’s another to show an image or video of your jacket, in use, fishing Kings on the Kenai in June.

By showing how your products are central to your brand story, you place the brand story directly into the narrative and ultimately help your customers move to action.

Every topic and initiative begun by your brand should be challenged with this question: “Does this help my customer accomplish his/her goal?” To win, brands must be willing to abandon all efforts in which the answer to this question is “No.”

Focusing on your customer’s goals (and aligning them with your business goals) can create dramatic results. In our experience, site conversion rates go up, sales go up 100-200%, and calls to customer service go down. Note: Aligning customer and business goals can be a challenge at first but the potential for improving business results makes working through it well worth the effort.

The Web is a Self-Service Medium

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When a visitor arrives at your site they already have a goal in mind. If the content and organization of your site doesn’t naturally support their goal, they’ll leave your site and likely never return.

Unless your site is actively designed to save people time accomplishing the things that are important to them, it is losing sales and frustrating customers.

We’ve surveyed and interviewed thousands of customers to understand what is important to them on brand websites. Through this effort, we’ve discovered that there are just two (and only two) goals customers are looking to achieve online: evaluate (research) and action (purchase).

Unfortunately, most brands see their website as the perfect platform to cover all phases of the sales cycle when their customers expect it to handle just two.

Think of Your Site Like a Store

Rather than customers walking in and asking an employee for help, your site acts as both a product display and a sales rep. Thankfully, it can effectively serve both roles with the right supporting content.

The top business goals we hear from ecommerce site owners are to increase conversions and sales. The top two goals of customers are to research and purchase products. If you deliver a site that helps customers easily find and buy the right products for their needs, your site will deliver on the higher sales numbers.

Help Your Customers Find What They’re Looking For

Brand websites play a critical research role for users, and these customers have extremely high expectations of the online shopping experience from them. Because there are countless brands with innumerable products, helping your customers easily find what they’re looking for is critical to online success.

According to the Nielsen Norman Group, about two thirds of ecommerce site visitors arrive with a predetermined goal in mind. Of those, one third of people searched for a particular type of product, without a specific product in mind. Another third looked for a specific product. The final group visited simply to see what was available.

Helping your customers easily find what they’re looking for is critical to online success.

While high search engine rankings are necessary to organically attract visitors, it’s equally important to help them quickly find what they’re looking for once they arrive. This is especially true because users who arrive through search are typically less loyal and less likely to purchase than users who arrive directly to the site.

The Nielsen Norman Group report also says that while 39 percent of customers come from search, almost 2/3 of search users abandoned their first result to make a purchase elsewhere. In contrast, 71% of visitors who navigate directly to a brand site complete a purchase on site.

It’s important to treat each visitor differently and support easy navigation through your site catalog. Consider each of these specific approaches:

  • Specific item purchase (predetermined goal, intent to buy)
  • Category research (product goal, researching with intent to buy)
  • Bargain shopping
Design for The Single Digital Experience

Customers are accessing more content from more devices more frequently than ever before.
Meanwhile, many brand websites are struggling to keep up with how their customers are accessing their site.

So how can a brand have a website that is all things on all devices? The answer is Responsive Web Design (RWD). RWD accounts for current and future browsing scenarios. It saves the expense and infrastructure required to maintain multiple versions of a site.

Google’s multi-screen use study reports that 67% of online shoppers use more than one device when shopping online. It also reported that the average person spends 7.4 hours of every day in front of screens, and 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. Savvy companies are becoming increasingly sensitive to the many ways their customers connect with their brand.

Our research shows this is especially true for customers of ecommerce brands. Customers access their favorite shopping sites from various devices and locations ranging from their living room to a retail showroom. Customers not only expect to access the same content they’re able to from their desktop computer, but they expect the exact same content (and experience) from their mobile device. Google’s own research corroborates this conclusion.

These patterns provide strong evidence that ecommerce sites need to be designed so that their content can be accessed on any device. We have tracked the performance of our responsive ecommerce projects and each has shown a large impact to a brand’s bottom line.

Your customers are coming to your site right now on whatever device is convenient to them. If your site doesn’t perform on that device, they will leave and likely never come back. There is no longer any excuse for a website that doesn’t look good and perform flawlessly on every available device type.

Get Better Results

The relationship most brands have with their agency are not structured to produce and maintain websites that are constantly tested and improved. This is a huge mistake (by agencies) because with careful testing and analysis, it is possible to find, fix, and continuously improve every aspect of a brand site, from site efficiency, customer behavior on site, and customer service pain points.

Unfortunately, many agencies take the approach of redesigning a site and releasing it, without processes in place to ensure it succeeds.

Sometimes, if the product is hot and the demand is high, a mediocre site will succeed in spite of itself.

More often, however it melts into the morass of underperforming and mediocre ecommerce sites on the web. The irony is that site underperformance drives many brands back to an agency within months looking for a new solution—which often involves the development of yet another new site.

Testing the effectiveness of a design after launch is a relatively rare occurrence but it is central to a sound digital product (and central to The Good’s process).

If you want to look at your brand site more critically (and challenge your agency to up their game) here are a few of the best testing and analysis methods you can use, methods, that by the way, should be baked into your overall web strategy.

Test Efficiently

When you have established a baseline for your site, (i.e., a site design that hasn’t changed in months), then you can compare different versions of an interface, copy, images, navigation, etc. against your baseline to see what performs best.

Historically this has been done by comparing a single design against the baseline, known as A/B testing. However, this concept has been improved on by a technique called Multi-arm Bandit testing, which is the ability to test multiple designs against each other. Multi-arm Bandit testing has largely replaced A/B testing because it is faster and more efficient.

Uncover Customer Behavior Through Analytics

When looking at your site analytics it’s important to remember that hits and visitors aren’t just statistics, they’re real people in the potential or returning customer category. Segmenting this data intelligently will help you improve site content, structure, search results, and conversion rates.

Some of the most actionable insights come from segments and custom reports include:

  • Mobile
  • Desktop
  • Visits with conversions and transactions
  • Visits with search
    • Pages where search occurs
    • Search result quality vs conversion rate
    • Time on site
    • Pages viewed after search

When analyzing data to make changes on your site, pay attention to the top 20% of popular content, products, and search terms. This is where the biggest positive impact can be made.

While working with a client, The Good discovered that 25% of their inventory accounted for less than 1% of their online revenue. Upon hearing this, the brand was elated that they could consider not supporting those products online saving them time, warehouse space, and money.

Open The Customer Service Feedback Loop

Customer Service departments are an underutilized resource in improving ecommerce for most brands.

As a department, they are tasked with understanding customer frustrations before and after a purchase.

With more and more purchases happening online, Customer Service has the most readily available data about where your website and content is preventing customers from accomplishing tasks.

The five most common digital failures that Customer Service departments continually address, and are most often deflected with a FAQ page, include:

  1. Technical jargon disguised as marketing copy
  2. Confusion caused by email failures
  3. Lack of useful sizing and fitting tools
  4. Complicated account registration or login requirements
  5. Poor warranty, replacement parts, and shipment tracking information

To help open the Customer Service feedback loop, initiate dialogue between your Customer Service, Sales, and Marketing departments with a call log. Ideally this dialogue would lead to informed content changes on the website.

The call log should capture the following information from each caller to Customer Service:

  • Customer segment
  • Product categories of interest
  • Key issues prompting customer to call for help (e.g., purchasing, product info, sizing, warranty, return, shipment tracking, account log in, team purchase, etc)
  • Open text box to summarize key issues and any related note

Understanding and aligning the goals (customer and business) of your brand’s site is the first step. Next, focus on making the experience easy and delightful.

 

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Make Shopping Easy

The easier your site is for your customers to navigate from landing page to checkout page, the higher your conversion rate will be.

It’s tempting to put up persistent links to everything on your site. Exposing every kind and category of content to users in one place seems like a great way to save people time. The problem is, most sites don’t have the right content in the right places in the first place.

More content means more to navigate through, more to search, more to manage, and more to keep current. This quickly becomes overwhelming from a content maintenance perspective, and quality content is spread thin throughout a site. Product descriptions and imagery become stale, videos lose relevance if they exist at all, nobody replies to questions, and sales drop as a result.

To avoid this, a consistent effort is needed to generally reduce the amount and types of content that are accessible online in the first place.

A consistent effort is needed to generally reduce the amount and types of content that are accessible online in the first place.

For example, during a site redesign, The Good discovered that the top 50% of its client’s products accounted for 80% of their revenue (the bottom 25% of products accounted less than 5% of total revenue). By focusing their content efforts on those products, the client was able to reduce their workload, streamline their content, and increase overall traffic and sales on their new site.

Even with a reduction in the quantity of content a brand site has, the site must still make the sale. To do this your customers needs to find the right products and they must be able to intelligently assess their choices.

Here are the best practices for helping your brand site make the sale:

Navigation

Sites with clear navigation are naturally accessible; they guide customers through their landing pages to product detail pages that provide exceptional information to checkout.

Navigation is always a site’s biggest challenge, often because the industry has a backwards, brand-first way of thinking about content production.

Typically content producers are more concerned with volume than quality in the constant quest for relevant conversation. Meanwhile this content ages quickly and doesn’t help customers make a purchase decision.

Spending time improving site content will show up in higher conversion rates.

Search engines assess the value of page content when ranking their search results. They take into account how many people find your content useful in completing what they set out to do. This alone should be enough to convince managers that spending time improving their content will show up in their conversion rates.

Sites with clear navigation are naturally accessible; they guide customers through their landing pages to product detail pages that provide exceptional information.

It’s important to give prominent placement to popular content on landing pages, especially the home page.

Key Landing Page Content

  • Links to top selling products
  • Featured product videos
  • Descriptively named product categories, prioritized by popularity
  • Product search bar
  • Store locator
  • Customer service contact information
  • Link to shopping cart

More content equals more complexity. Complexity stands in the way of people completing the evaluation or action they set out to do. It frustrates managers and customers alike. Therefore, the simpler the path to complete a task, the better. Quick fixes like adding product filtering can increase revenue by 76% while sticky navigation is 22% faster than scrolling to a menu at the top of a page.

Site Search

A site’s search will play different roles for different ecommerce sites. Generally, the bigger the inventory, the more important search will become. Unfortunately, if there is one area where sites consistently fail their customers, it is in their site search.

Customers who know exactly what they are looking for often turn to the site search with the expectation that this will get them what they are looking for faster than navigating through the site. Search terms customers use range from exact product names down to product SKUs (for ecommerce).

An excellent site search engine will:

  • Return accurate and expected results
  • Auto-suggest relevant keywords
  • Account for:
    • Plural case
    • Singular case
    • Unique branded spellings
    • Category search (return product category listing page)
    • Common misspellings
  • Offer helpful suggestions and top links on pages that return no results
  • Provide visual results

If you have tracking for site search through Google Analytics, try this quick analysis.

  1. Login to Analytics and navigate to: Content > Site Search > Top Queries > Export top 50 queries
  2. Go through and test each query by taking the top query first
  3. Evaluate the quality of the results you find. To get started, categorize the search results into four main groups: Excellent, Good, Poor, Zero Results, Irrelevant
  4. Measure the how each of these search results compare to see how your site search is performing. Make sure to consider quality by search volume, prioritizing higher ranked searches.

If you do not have site search set up in your analytics program, you can usually get the same data by identifying the first parameter when a search is made. If this is the case:

  1. Go to your site and perform a search
  2. Look at the URL in the address bar and identify the search parameter (such as /search?q=)
  3. Go into your Analytics program and navigate to Content > Site Content > All Pages > Search for your unique parameter
  4. This will list all the pages that include this parameter in the URL
  5. Export this data
  6. Clean the data by removing all parameters and substituting dashes for spaces, etc. Once the data is clean, you are ready to evaluate the search quality
Product Comparison

In our experience conducting user tests and interviews, we’ve found that users want to compare products side by side to figure out which one will work best for them. After narrowing their choices to two or three options, they’ll compare every last detail right down to user reviews.

Over half the customers we’ve conducted tests with abandoned their session because they couldn’t find enough information about a particular product to make a confident purchase. Detailed product information can’t be compared if it’s not there in the first place.

Over half of customers abandoned their session because they couldn’t find enough information about a particular product.

The best way to promote useful product comparison is to provide easily comparable information about similar products. Without this kind of information, differentiating your products from each other requires wading through a sea of marketing jargon.

Typically when users do try to compare products side by side, they’ll open links in multiple tabs and jump between them. We’ve even seen people put together extensive spreadsheets in an attempt to determine the best product, cataloging the smallest details. Some sites offer a product comparison tool, but comparable information is often not available even within these tools.

An excellent product compare tool:

  • Provides the same kind of information about similar products
  • Contains detailed technical specs
  • Offers sizing tips based on performance need
  • Describes the best use case for each product
  • Helps customers choose between similar products within a series (basic, standard, pro, pro xl, etc.)
  • Has prominent links for:
    • Removal or addition of items for comparison
    • Returning to a product detail page
    • Adding items to the shopping cart
Store Locator

No matter how good an online shopping experience may be, there will always be customers who feel more comfortable completing their transactions in a retail store. This makes easily findable store locators a necessary component to any ecommerce site, especially since 90% of customers who search for a store nearby take action within 24 hours.

Based on a Nielsen Group study, 96% of users found a location near them, but 32% reported that they had difficulty in the process. Many users couldn’t easily find the store locator feature, and 73% used a search engine to find a nearby store instead.

If a store locator fails, it typically fails in one of these key areas:

  • Identifying where to start searching
  • Using the store locator feature
  • Getting directions
  • Bad data – the store information is out of date or the store doesn’t carry the product (or brand)

A successful store locator:

  • Is easy to find in the main menu and on product pages
  • Is easy to use and includes key contact information for each store
  • Provides directions from any starting point to a store’s location
  • Radio Shack saw it’s mobile locator increase in-store traffic from 40%-60% by improving it’s store locator.
  • 73% of users went to a search engine (mainly Google) when asked to find a nearby location for a specific company. Only 13% went straight to that company’s own website, while the remaining 13% went to a dedicated mapping service.

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The Perfect Product Page

The perfect product page is like the perfect play in basketball. It’s simple, easy to execute, and results in a basket every time.

Useful Content Drives Sales

Customers depend on web content to make purchase decisions. The importance of useful product content cannot be overstated. If the quality or the delivery of your content is poor, customers will let you know by not buying your products.

Great content acts as a stand-in for a knowledgeable salesperson. It is a way for customers to guide themselves through your products. It allows them to compare benefits across product lines and between brands, and to confidently choose the right product for them.

Great content acts as a stand-in for a knowledgeable salesperson.

A clear outline of the performance-based differences between products, supporting video content and user reviews will make it much easier for users to sort through your products. This kind of content allows customers to find something they feel confident purchasing directly from a brand website.

People won’t buy from you if they can’t get all the information they’re looking for at a glance. Nobody wants to call for price. Success in online sales only comes when the right type of product information is available to allow the customer to sell themselves on your products.

Content Quality Checklist

Quality content leads to a confident purchase. If customers can decide through video (64%-85% of shopping customers who watch product videos will search and buy), photos, reviews, and guarantees that they should buy from you online, they will.

The following checklist provides a comprehensive framework for moving customers from evaluation to action.

 

Descriptions
  • Plain english, jargon-free, unique to product
  • Sell benefits not features
  • Tell brand story with product focus
  • Offer clear product differentiation:
  • Explain what a product is best for
  • Explain differences between products within a line
  • Use Read More… for longer product descriptions
Images
  • Multiple high resolution angles
  • Detail level close-ups
  • Product-in-use & lifestyle shots
Video
  • Close up product views
  • Voiceover explains how to best determine size & fit
  • Highlight unique product benefits, explaining choices within a product line
  • Show people wearing and using the product – how do you wear, fit, apply, etc. the product.
  • Product-in-use & lifestyle video
Sizing & Fit
  • Detailed charts for correct sizing
  • Photos and videos of people wearing the product
  • Sizing preferences based on performance need
  • Will a different size provide better grip or protection?
  • Is this product sized differently than most?
  • What size should be ordered for comfort, sport application, etc.?
  • How warm is the product?
  • What features does this product have (stability, compactness, lighteight, etc.)?
Pricing & Availability
  • Always show pricing, even if MSRP
  • Expected shipping & delivery times
    • Offer free shipping if possible and display this offering prominently
  • If a product isn’t in stock, direct customers to a nearby store
User Reviews

90 percent of buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. Incentivizing the submission of user reviews after purchase will build brand value and customer community as they share their experiences with products, making it more likely that others will buy online in the future.

Effective user reviews contain:

  • Star ratings
    • Overall rating
    • Specific to product features
  • Description of reviewer
    • Qualifications:
      • Age Range
      • Are you a: (player, coach, parent, trainer, athlete, etc)
      • Skill Level: (beginner, recreational, competitive, etc)
      • Favorite Type of Activity
      • Number of Times You Play per Week or Month
  • Description of pros & cons or likes & dislikes
  • Explanations of how the equipment has performed for them personally
Athlete Endorsements
  • Video format
    • Athlete testimonial
    • Performance footage
    • Educational or inspirational content
  • Athlete shares preferences around product, explains why they choose brand and product in particular
  • Authentic athlete voice, free of branded copywriting
Tech Specs
  • Complete for each product on the site
  • Comparable between products, especially within the same product line (make sure specs and descriptions are unique for each product)
  • Appropriate level of detail for ease of understanding
  • Helpful to customers researching products across brands
Warranty information & registration
  • Provide top level warranty information
  • Offer easy access to product registration
Social integration
  • Don’t rely on social share buttons, focus on creating excellent content and it will be shared
    • Social media users know how to share content
    • Social share buttons often slow site load times and reduce content trust if share counts are low
    • Social share buttons with a counter for the number of times a page has been Liked acts as a deterrent (especially when no one Likes the page/product)

 

 

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Add to Cart and Checkout

Helping your customers cross the finish line begins and ends with getting out their way. Reduce the number of steps they need to accomplish their purchase and watch your conversions and profits increase.

Checking Out (shouldn’t) Be So Hard To Do

Sales and conversions can’t be improved without improving the checkout process. Your site can be full of excellent content and still lose the sale at checkout.

The more fields a form has, the lower its conversion rate. Removing just two fields can improve a form’s conversion rate by 20%. Customers need to see that their information will be sent securely. They don’t want to enter the same information more than once or create an account with you. A lot has to go right, it all has to be easy.

A major ecommerce site found that by removing the register button (thus allowing for guest checkout) earned them an additional $300 million per year. Checkout techniques and technologies are always changing, making constant attention and improvement a requirement for online success.

A Seamless Checkout Process

If it’s difficult to buy something from your site, people simply won’t (or they’ll go to Amazon). Some of the most frequent problems that we see on brand sites could be easily prevented, especially at checkout.

 

If you need a place to start to improve your site, start here:

  • Prioritize guest checkout
    • Offer an unobtrusive account login option
    • Provide an optional account registration after purchase is complete
  • Preserve user-entered information
    • Recycle and pre-fill information submitted by customers whenever possible
    • Prevent information loss after a page refresh, validation or navigation error
  • Request information efficiently
    • Auto-fill as much information as possible
    • Use geolocation to intelligently select defaults
    • Request zip code, auto-populate city & state
  • Use billing address as default shipping address
  • Clearly denote required versus optional fields
  • Provide persistent form labels
  • Display errors in-line, with descriptive text to help correct the error quickly
  • Organize form fields in a linear vertical flow
  • Provide clear calls to action
    • Focus completely on the checkout process, remove other calls to action that don’t advance a customer through the process
  • Offer Customer Service contact information prominently throughout checkout
  • Provide warranty and return policy information
  • Leave opt-in fields (newsletter, social follow) unchecked by default
  • Break the checkout process into logical steps and clearly indicate progress. For example:
    • Order summary
    • Shipping information
    • Payment information
      • Ensure all tax and shipping costs are accurately calculated
    • Order confirmation
  • Offer multiple payment options
    • Prominently display security information, especially near payment entry fields

 

 

Follow Up After Purchase

Every customer wants to know that their order has gone through properly and when they should be expecting their new purchase to arrive. This also provides another convenient touch point where you can recommend other products, offer newsletter sign-up, and provide an incentive for their response.

To keep your customers informed without overwhelming them, we suggest the following email contact structure:

  • Account confirmation (if created)
  • Product stock notification (if requested, when available)
  • Purchase confirmation
  • Shipping confirmation
  • Post-arrival setup & usage help
  • Post arrival review request (1-2 weeks after arrival)

 


Never Stop Improving

The web and the ways we interact with it change along with technology. It may seem daunting to keep up, but quality content will always be at the foundation of sites that sell. Improving conversions begins by identifying with your customer and the experiences they have on your site.

Champion the perspective of your customer within your company, support them in every way you can. Fight for better content, fewer features, less clutter. Pay attention to the way people are interacting, the things they’re searching for, the pages they leave from. Use every bit of data you can find to improve your customer’s digital shopping experience.

Staying relevant isn’t just about participating in a social media conversation, it’s about making your products and content approachable to your customers online.

Focus just as much effort on improving current content as you do creating new content. Your sales numbers will reflect the effort.


 

About The Good

The Good is an ecommerce and lead conversion advisory who delivers more revenues, customers, and leads. We are conversion rate experts.

The Good has helped brands like Nike, Xerox, Easton, MasterCraft and Klean Kanteen drive sales and ensure proper revenue realization from their ecommerce and lead generation efforts.

The Good’s team speaks and writes frequently on how brands can best serve the ecommerce and B2B consumer, leading to increased revenues. We also conduct research and publish Insights on the state of ecommerce, conversion optimization, lead conversions, and digital marketing. The firm is headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Contact The Good: hello@thegood.com or 503 488 5935

This report is provided under the Creative Commons Public License (Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND). This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to The Good (The Good Group, Inc). This report is protected by copyright and/or other applicable law. Any use of the work other than as authorized under this license or copyright law is prohibited. Complete license can be found at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/legalcode

 

Methodology

We interviewed athletes, parents, coaches, trainers, and customer service representatives by phone, asking a series of open-ended questions designed to help us understand as much as possible about their experiences on ecommerce websites.

In addition to telephone interviews, we gathered survey data, site analytics, and ran usability tests to provide a holistic picture of the effectiveness of brand websites in meeting visitor expectations.

Data Sources

Customer interviews

  • Telephone interviews with 50+ customers of ecommerce brands

Customer surveys

  • Online surveys receiving more than 13,000 total responses from athletes, trainers, coaches and parents

Customer Service interviews

  • Telephone interviews with customer service representatives from 42 major brands
  • User feedback submitted through brand sites

Online user testing

  • Video and audio recordings of male and female site testers asked to complete specific or open-ended tasks

Google Site Analytics

  • 5 year of active data for 15 major brand sites surveyed

Stats and findings from respected industry studies