Missing Features in eCommerce User Experience Design

July 29, 2011 | Written by Dusty Dean

Zappos Video Product Description

Earlier this week I read an interesting post on the UX Booth blog that listed the top ten missing user experience (UX) features on top 100 eCommerce websites.

As a conversion rate optimizer and someone who is always experimenting with new Web technologies, I’m eager to analyze the latest innovations in eCommerce product pages.

The post was authored by the founder of a UX research company called Usography. Usography reviewed 100 top retail websites this summer, and created the Retailer UX Audit to present the results.

The following two missing features stood out for me in the post. One for its lack of ubiquity and the other for its sensibility.

Product Videos

A disappointing 9 out of the 100 eCommerce websites used video to promote their products. This number surprised me because A/B testing has demonstrated that videos do increase conversion rates.

Companies like Visual Website Optimizer, Unbounce and Treepodia have produced data to support the value added by product videos.

It is laborious and resource intensive to create unique product videos for your catalog. Additionally, if your company sells smaller items, such as parts or inexpensive commodities, then investing time and money into video creation isn’t practical.

One company that does an excellent job of promoting their products using video is Zappos. The opening image to this post is a screenshot from Zappos product pages. You’ll notice that the product images include a video at the end.

If you’re interested in filming some short videos to promote your eCommerce products then I highly recommend a post by Practical eCommerce called Using Video to Convert Shoppers; 8 Pointers.

Spanish Translations

Translating your website to another language in order to increase conversions is particularly interesting to me.

I didn’t expect many websites to have Spanish translations available, in fact only 4 out of 100 did, but given the impressive growth of the Hispanic community in the USA I would expect more eCommerce websites to start testing Spanish translations soon.

It shouldn’t be difficult for companies determine if they need Spanish translations. A combination of analyzing your Web analytics traffic sources, performing some voice of customer in-page surveys and beta testing select product pages will give you a clearer picture on whether or not a sitewide translation plan will deliver the return on investment you need.

It’s my hope that more companies will begin testing and experimenting with new product page features. No eCommerce company should rest on their laurels. A culture of constant measuring, testing and optimizing is needed to ensure long term success.

July 29, 2011 | Written by Dusty Dean

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