2014 was a challenging year for ecommerce. There was a general trend towards making websites more responsive and making more content available. There were some successful brands, and others that failed to thrive, as well as sites that were difficult to navigate and outdated.
Here’s a list of some of the worst and best user experiences on the internet in 2014.
Top 5 Best Breeds
1. Anthropologie’s website is beautiful and offers a seamless commerce experience. Their brand is extremely well-developed. They not only know their customers well but also themselves. The Omni channel approach of Anthropologie makes shopping seamless online and in-store. Beautiful site. The shoppable lookbook makes it easy to shop directly from the content.
2. 2.SkullcandyWebsite is visual overload in the best possible way. This site shows how loud, clear, and amazing their headphones and other products can be. Each page features stimulating graphics, audio downloads for free, and new artist features that make you want more. This page is an excellent example of commerce integration and stellar content. It clearly defines the brand through every interaction on-site. It features responsive design, scroll-over information, beautiful product photos, and video on the product pages.
3.Abercrombie and FitchTheir site is more traditional and has clean lines. However, their homepage is stunning and the content integration is amazing. Customers can browse and shop on the same page, without having to navigate away. Wanelo integration is another trend that we are starting to see on commerce sites. Abercrombie can now interact with their target audience via a social media channel.
4.SucculentLush has created an online experience that’s not only about commerce but also about content. Lush took the in-store experience and created an engaging online version. It is unique in its structure, which features large blocks of bold content and allows you to shop right from the homepage. It is clear that the line between browsing and purchasing does not exist on this site. This feels like an insight into the future of online shopping.
5. The CoachWebsite draws you in with a full screen, seasonal video on their landing page. This sets the tone for your entire site browsing experience. Every page tells the brand story, especially on the product pages where Coach showcases their craftsmanship and quality. It is easy to use and provides a seamless experience for both content and commerce.
Five Opportunities Missed
1.Brooks BrothersIt has a rich history and a unique vision. While they are great at telling their story in their stores, online, the brand is lost. Although the site is primarily designed for commerce, little thought is given to maintaining the brand experience across sites. The site is almost devoid of engaging content, so users don’t get a story with their shopping experience. This creates a brand that is very one-dimensional. However, the truth is that this brand has many dimensions. They just aren’t coming through in an effective way.
2. Under ArmourIt is a well-known company with a lot of enthusiasm for its products. Recently, they made headlines when they partnered with Misty Copeland (star ballerina), and also worked with other athletes. Unfortunately, their commerce website does not contain any of these stories, so customers and fans are not able to interact online. Customers would be able to interact with the stories and really get involved. This would make it a more powerful and memorable experience.
3.Kay JewelersThis is an example of a site that has not changed much in the last few years. It is a little outdated in layout and graphics, and it is mostly static. This makes for a frustrating browsing experience. Kay is a household name, and this is evident in the store and on television commercials. The website does not reflect Kay’s ‘Every kiss starts with Kay’ tagline and associated smiling faces. The story they have to tell is not being told online.
4.BrookstoneBrookstone is well-known for their innovative and out-of-the-box consumer products. Brookstone stores offer a variety of products, including a massage chair, sand and memory foam pillows. Online, however, you will only see a static website that is difficult to navigate. It’s overwhelming to see all the products and information they offer online. Is there the engagement we love and have come to love?
5. GivenchyA luxury product should be accompanied with a luxury experience. The website is designed to be in line with their brand and shows off everything they stand for. However, clicking through to the “E-Store tab will not allow you to shop their website. Their products are only available through iPad and iPhone apps, which is a huge loss for them.
What does this all mean?
Commerce is changing and for the better. However, brands must ensure that their message is heard across all channels. It is crucial to maintain a consistent message across all customer touch points in order to improve customer experience and ultimately increase sales.
Mobile Buyers Are Changing the Web: How Can Your Business Adapt?
More than 60% of Americans own smartphones. In emerging countries like India, Brazil and China, sales of smartphones with advanced capabilities are growing at an alarming rate. This is a significant development because it opens up new possibilities for businesses due to increasing Internet adoption.
Phones are becoming a necessity, which is one reason why they have become so ubiquitous. The convenience of internet access via these and other technologies has made the Internet a necessity, on par with phones. This has led to a lower barrier of entry for the Internet, which means that there is a lot of potential for new customers online.
Ecommerce is also becoming more popular with Internet users. Ecommerce is also something that brick-and-mortar store owners should consider. Brick and mortar retail is still very popular. A strong web presence can make a store stand out from the rest. The benefits outweigh any costs. Stores can reach new audiences and physical stores will see more customers because of the increased potential to create interest through a website presence. Even stores can use the internet to improve their day-to-day business operations. These suggestions can help stores with a strong online presence to attract more customers.
You Need a Mobile Website Presence. Nowadays, everyone has a website and social media accounts. You must also be prepared to serve mobile customers. Your website must be mobile-friendly and optimized for mobile use. Websites as young as two years old may not be compatible with the latest smartphones and tablets. Create responsive websites that can be used on all devices. You don’t have to be lost if you need help. This is a worthwhile expense.
Use location-based apps: Location is a key difference between mobile and traditional internet. Mobile phones are constantly moving, and can be tracked. There are many ways to find out where someone is at any particular time and provide relevant and useful services. Search engines can be clever enough to display nearby Chinese restaurants if the user searches for Chinese restaurants using a smartphone. If you own a restaurant and wish to be found, you will need to do some hard work to get your address noticed. Google Location allows you to specify your exact location in the search. You can also claim your location using mobile location apps like Foursquare.
Organise Mobile-Only Events Mobile can also be used to host sweepstakes, contests, and other small events. Mobile capabilities, such as the camera, can be used to organize photo contests. Then people will visit your shop to claim their prizes. You should ensure that your business is well represented on mobile-only social media networks like Instagram, Snapchat, Vine, and others. These opportunities are your best chance to succeed.
Create Integrated Services: It’s a smart idea to connect both the online and offline worlds. This is especially useful for foods and beverages that require fresh consumption. Even if the items are not required to be fresh, there are still ways that the customers can be lured into the store. For those who come in person, you can offer additional services such as expert guidance or counseling. People who check in via mobile apps can receive small discounts or benefits. This will encourage more people and provide easy publicity as the activities are visible to their friends.
Enhance the In-Store Experience. Basic Ecommerce offers convenience. Brick and mortar stores will eventually need to improve the in-store experience to attract new customers. Your potential customers should use the same mobile devices that you do. Some restaurants use tablets to automate their ordering process. Customers can browse the menu on tablets that are custom-made and place orders which go directly to the chef. Mobile payments can be made using net banking or cards. This allows for faster payments. These innovations will allow your store to seamlessly integrate with mobile-dominated Internet.
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