Archive for November 2014
NOVEMBER 2014 – Mobile phone provider sites
With the Online Experience Index, we aim to identify which ecommerce sites are leading the way in providing a powerful customer experience.
In May we reviewed appliance e-commerce sites and found variation in the levels of usability between the sites, as well as identifying some recurring trends and issues.
Following on from our review of appliance retail websites using our Online Experience Index, this report reviews the websites of five mobile phone providers: Three, EE, O2, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone. Reviews were performed in the week of 4th November 2014.
In addition to the main Index, we have also included scores for accessibility, and persuasion, emotion and trust (PET) techniques, to explore a broader scope of the online experience.
- Most websites presented their brand and purpose well, although there was room for improvement in navigation around the website.
- As expected for this sector which needs personal and banking information to purchase, the checkout process was lengthy and websites varied in how well they communicated what information was needed and why.
- Filters were generally well implemented for selecting phones, featuring a comprehensive range of criteria.
- Most websites offered a search function with search suggestions but there was room for improvement in presentation of search results.
- Use of PET techniques was low, with only two websites implementing several techniques in areas of social proof and trust.
- The holy grail – engaging content which drives sales
- We discuss examples from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Winsor & Newton
The idea of combining content with commerce isn’t entirely new – almost every major high-street fashion retailer has some kind of editorial section of their site to feature the new trends. But recently, retailers have been finding more innovative ways of merging content and commerce to provide a more engaging customer experience.
At the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference, Waitrose showcased how they’re doing this. Alex Murray, Waitrose’s Web & Multichannel Development Manager said, “People don’t want to buy food – they want a nice meal.” It’s this concept that has inspired Waitrose to not only sell products to customers, but to help customers create the experience they’re looking to get through buying those products.
> Read more
Forget technologies like iBeacon and Oculus Rift, speakers at the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference were focused on more practical forms of innovation, notably around delivery and collection services. B&Q, Zalando, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Tesco and M&S all had something to say about this area.
Mark Lewis of John Lewis explained why it’s just as important as ever to be thinking about the delivery options made available to customers:
“Customers are finding that their online bit of their experience is pretty good now, but actually what happens after you leave the site or after you click the button to buy, is perhaps a bigger driver of how you feel about the overall experience.”
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“Our customers don’t think about ‘I shop at retail’, or ‘I shop online’… they just look at a brand.” – Mike Durbridge, B&Q.
“Customers no longer think about shopping in terms of multiple channels. For them, the whole shopping experience should be absolutely seamless and it should be absolutely holistic.” – Simon Belsham, Tesco.
“They shop with the brand. They don’t shop with any one channel.” – Mark Lewis, John Lewis.
We heard this idea echoed a lot at the 2014 Internet Retailing Conference, with speakers going on to talk about the user experience as ‘Multichannel’ or, more often, ‘Omnichannel’.
These terms became the buzzwords of IRC2014, but after listening to so many retailers talking about this, a few questions came to mind:
- What are the differences between the two?
- Do retailers understand the differences or are they jumping on the omni-channel bandwagon?
- Most importantly, what does this mean for the users?