#UX tales from my laptop this holiday season

In the time I’ve been working in digital experience, my online shopping has probably increased by at least 600%. Honestly I have the numbers to prove it. “It’s all in the name of research!” I say. So with a good eye for retail browsing and a strong passion for appealing content, I’ve been thinking about some ways that digital retailers can shine through this year’s holiday season:

Beat the abandoned cart

We battle the eternal question of why are shopping carts being abandoned? Well I can tell you why I think they’re being abandoned – it’s all about that sum total you see popping up. Panic! Denial! Shut down laptop! Abort mission! You know what would be nice? Understand that my budget is limited and I’m way over it. Help me. Ping me an email and ASK me how much I want to spend and then suggest to adapt my shopping cart accordingly. And automatically put the items that I have to forgo in my saved items list so I can come back to them later. The truth is I’ve provided – unknowingly – so much data about myself over the years that I suspect in the future companies are going to be able to predict this type of thing and adjust my potential spend to meet my needs. And, according to Forrester 2017 Predictions, with investments in AI predicted to triple in 2017 as firms work to convert customer data into personalized experiences, I’m confident these days are closer than we think.

Bring the images to life

Product pages. Can we talk for a moment about those little images? I really need to see what that top looks like ON a model. I’ve been flipping through a few retail sites lately and maybe I’m speaking for myself – but I’m significantly more likely to convert if I can see a variety of images of my chosen product. On a real person. If its ankle boots I want to see how high they go up the leg. A cross body bag? I want to see how its sits ON the body. Asos.com does something really neat and has little videos actually showing the product on a model moving around in it. That’s a game changer for me, and because of it, it’s become my go to site for online retail fashion. By the way this is true not only for clothes – every item online needs to be displayed in its environment (show me tents WITH people inside, a cooler with the cans of drinks etc…)

Notice the “catwalk” button on the left – you can even see a pair of ankle boots in motion

Payment options that I feel comfortable with

Most of my online shopping takes place on the go (I’ve purchased an entire winter wardrobe for my son just on my walk to the office) so I’m most likely to convert when the entire process is quick and easy. This especially relates to my payment options. For example, I favor PayPal, which by the way, if your audience is younger, and especially if you’re selling to Millennials, it’s a must to include PayPal as a payment option. 32% use it for purchasing online and of those, nearly half are using it on their smartphone. However, others may argue that PayPal is simply redirecting visitors away from their checkout and why would you want to do that?

The secret lies in offering a bunch of payment options that match your target audience’s preferred paying methods. We know that for many, cart abandonment is related to payment options (especially during the impulsive buying of the holiday season), and studies show that young people avoid online shopping because they don’t find their preferred (and safe) payment method in the checkout. Offering the right type of payment methods is key – besides credit and debit payment, mobile users may also be using Google wallet or some other form of digital wallet to complete their digital transaction. According to a study, supporting all major and in-trend payment methods increase conversion rate on smartphones by 15%.

Finally, the forms are the biggest drag. Nothing like putting a bummer on the whole shopping experience. It’s the last stop before checkout and you want it to be painless and quick. Here you can find insights into what leads customers to abandon forms and tips on how to make the whole process easier, more reassuring, and less frustrating.

Happy holiday shopping to all!

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