December 24, 2014
By Rory Dennis
The holiday season is in full force, and while that means fun, food and family time, it also marks the year’s busiest time for retailers.
Studies show that this year consumers are increasingly interested in using online outlets including smartphones and tablets to shop for their holiday gifts. What does this mean for retailers? It is time to focus on making the online and mobile shopping experiences as easy and enjoyable for consumers as possible.
The better the online experience for the user, the more profitable the online channel will be for the retailers. So how can this be achieved? Read on for a few tips to help make this season a merry one for all.
Make it rich
To bring joy to today’s ecommerce shoppers, the omnichannel experience has to be as in-depth as possible.
For the consumer, this means movement and rich media. Online shoppers miss out on the luxury of being able to feel, touch and truly see the product – a given for in-store shopping.
Zoom, 360-degree views and video content can add tremendous value to the online experience by allowing customers to become more acquainted with the products.
Small details such as stitching and fabric texture help demonstrate the quality of a product, so having the ability to zoom in and see all angles adds a whole new dimension of viewing that can help shoppers make decisions.
Similarly, videos showing users interacting with products can help customers visualize themselves with the item.
Video is especially useful for clothes shopping, as it lets users see how fabric falls and moves, insight they cannot get from static imagery.
These online luxuries are the next best thing to being in-store and they vastly improve the online experience, thus giving shoppers more confidence to press that buy button.
Keep it simple
Fast delivery of high-quality content is essential during the busy holiday season. The simplest way to do this is by giving the consumer quick access to purchase the products that they desire.
It is easy to get lost in a blizzard of content pages and never find the items you are looking to buy.
The grid page is a simple solution. This page allows the customer to quickly browse through a selection of products that fall into the exact category in which they are looking.
Organized grid pages help streamline the purchasing process and allow quick and easy finds for everyone.
The addition of attention-grabbing roundels to indicate new items or promotions helps make this page user-friendlier.
Another way to merchandise product pages is by providing color swatches beneath products to show all available colors. This helps Webpages look clean, while also showing customers that there are numerous color options available, which means a higher chance that they will find what they searching.
Providing the ability to easily purchase at the point of inspiration is also incredibly helpful.
Navigating through numerous checkout pages could complicate the purchase, in some cases causing the user to abandon his or her cart.
The ability to buy directly from the product page greatly simplifies the checkout process, improving the overall shopping experience as well as the sales conversion rate.
Take it anywhere
Mobile shopping is more popular than ever before. It is a trend that is not going away, so retailers must act now to get their piece of the pie.
Instead of building mobile sites or relying on applications, retailers should consider using adaptive media.
Adaptive design combined with dynamic imaging technology will resize content in a quick and streamlined process so that it fits any screen – laptop, desktop, mobile or tablet – and adapts to the experience.
For example, desktop users have 10 fingers and 15 inches of screen at their disposal. Mobile viewers generally use their thumbs to navigate a much smaller screen.
Adaptive media accounts for these usage changes, adjusting content to not only fit any screen, but also to cater to how the device is used. It helps retailers deliver a top-notch experience, no matter how their customers choose to engage with the brand.
IT IS NO surprise that ecommerce is changing, but retailers can embrace and capitalize on the trend with the help of a few key tools.
Rich media content helps deliver an experience as close to in-store as possible, and adaptive media allows shoppers to take that experience anywhere and access it from the palm of their hands.
These technology advancements make online shopping easier than ever before, delivering a seamless and blissful holiday for shoppers and a profitable season for retailers.
Rory Dennis is chief marketing officer of Amplience, New York. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.