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Retailers encouraged to optimise online shopping experience

30 June 2017 - 10:10 by Graham Miller

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Modern consumers are especially picky about where they shop, especially when it comes to the world of the web. Now a new study from Qubit has explored the areas which can have the biggest impact on the success of a site that offers shopping online.

Engaging directly with customers and delivering a personalised experience, along with bespoke marketing messages, will lead to sales increases in most instances. Analysts found that something as simple as drawing attention to products which are proving popular enough to result in limited availability of stock could coax more people to make a purchase.

Optimising the way sites work can be effective, but there are some changes that do not have an immediate positive impact on sales. For example it was found that there would be a slight dip in transactions if sites altered the layout of navigation interfaces, or entirely redesigned pages, according to Internet Retailing.

The message, then, is that while improving the customer experience can be achieved through personalisation, sometimes it is necessary to think twice before overegging optimisation by making changes unnecessarily.

The report’s authors point out that in most cases, smaller websites which choose to overhaul their digital offerings do so in order to compete with the industry’s big hitters, including Amazon. And there is little doubt that a more customisable, tailored experience is a big part of the reason that major brands remain successful.

Furthermore, it seems that aesthetic changes are less impactful in terms of conversions than previously thought, so simply updating the colour scheme of a site will not automatically convince more people to use it to carry out safe shopping online.

Web-savvy consumers tend not to be swayed by superficial changes; they instead want to see tangible benefits when they visit sites in terms of usability and convenience.