Paul Boag, Dir Headscape
Tidbit of information: Brits do not care about the royal wedding!
A Case Study:
Headscape increased ecommerce for a company over 10k% in 5 years – from a reasonable base. Where is the catch?
The company sells frozen meals to elderly people (average age in 80’s). The average cost of a meal is $5-8. Wiltshire Farms
Two Lesson Areas
Business & Design
A successful ecommerce site is based on great business and great design. You have to have a great client and a great designer (you need both). They must work together.
Business (why the client is crucial in the process) @mattycurry
You are unique if you are involved in an ecommerce site. You are NOT Amazon. Even if Amazon is doing it all right, they are doing it right for them and not for you. You can’t just copy other people (even people in your own sector).
Why are you unique in frozen food industry? The age of the audience. What makes your target audience unique? The problem with Wiltshire Farms had was their audience kept dying on them.
New Users: Getting started guide shows up very large on the home page for new users (only the first time they visit the website).
Care Workers: There is a section explaining things to people buying meals for someone else.
A Franchise Model: There was no consistent pricing. You had to put in your postal code to enter the site.
Don’t be seduced by sexy
Don’t test out new stuff on your audience. Sexy isn’t always right for your website. Are you going to generate the return to make it worthwhile?
Visit Users in their Homes:
Usability testing – they realized that their audience never used a mouse before. They found out that everyone used laptops. Go into their homes and find out how they live and get a sense of their character.
Test & Iterate
A small ongoing investment on a regular basis is better than one big investment in many cases. Rocket Surgery Made Easy by Steve Krug, talks about monthly usability testing.
Multi-variance Testing: You discover things that work and don’t work very quickly. (Google Website Optomizer)
A Right Relationship
You have to have a good relationship with your client. Take them out and get them drunk. You need to be able to argue and be comfortable.
Again, you are NOT Amazon. The list of meals to choose from and cut it down (added a "see more options"). If you can remove it, do it. If you can’t remove it, hide it. If you can’t hide it, shrink it. Ask yourself what you can remove, what you can hide and what you can shrink.
Product shots are everything. Add great shots to sell your product.
Make Buttons & Links Obvious
Make links look like links and buttons look like buttons. The links are bright blue with big underlines, and the buttons look like they are buttons. Make it obvious and bold. It’s not about design, it’s about increasing sales. On pop-up dialogs describe what the buttons are going to do.
Always Provide Help
Find out what the major questions are and float them to the top of the help. FAQ’s suck, prioritize the questions.
Handle Errors Gracefully
"Oh dear, we have a problem. Let’s fix it together." Be nice with your error messages. Give them real practical advice.
Communicate the Value Added
Show and demonstrate the added value that you provide over your competitors. A large part of the home page is dedicated to value added. Why are you different? Why are you unique. Take some space on the homepage to add that – not just products, products, products.