Improving Findability On Your eCommerce Website For Improved Profitability
In the online world of ecommerce, the maxim that works for products and services is that if people will find it, they will buy it. So, the search feature that you provide on your store is of paramount importance. You will have experienced this phenomenon in brick and mortar stores as well. Customers visit the store in an attempt to find the product themselves, but if they cannot find the product, they ask assistance from the store keeper or the shop assistant.
However, in the case of an online store, if the customer cannot find the product there, they will simply leave without converting. This is the point where you really lose a sale and even worse, the opportunity passes on to another retailer to do business with that customer. This is something which your wouldn’t want to happen.
Thus, what you need to do is to provide is a super duper search feature wherein the success of your ecommerce website will depend upon whether your customer can find what s/he needs, and that too quickly. Thus, what makes sense to you sometimes might not make sense to others. In such circumstances, the following points will come into play:
User Centered Research
Even if you feel that you are very capable of organizing navigational elements of an ecommerce website, you might not do well to portray yourself as a representative of the end user as this just does not fit itself into the category of user centered design. Despite having a familiarity with a given site, you need a fresh perspective, which is user centered research – which is the practice of recruiting external participants that represent the audience, to be the part of the evaluation process.
In order to evaluate the taxonomy of the website, the first step is usually a content audit. This gives the user a good idea of what is existing in the website. With the help of a content audit, it is possible to catalog the content of the website manually. You can easily identify pages which are redundant, outdated, or even unnecessary.
A content inventory is the an automated aggregation of site pages. This possibly includes analytic data to display conversion rates. Creating an inventory is a step in the right direction when the website is very large and complex.
Under this method, primary as well as secondary categories are arranged within a tree. Participants are asked to go and find particular items.
Card Sorting tasks participants to organize topics in to primary categories.
Rather than implementing these steps in the development phase, it is essential that these steps are made during the discovery phase which comes much before the development phase. This will mean much less rework for the entire team.