Product names, smarter sorts and mobile screens: getting ready for the holiday season

I’m not a fan of downloading an app for every brand and online store, plus, not every brand sees a need to create an app, and frankly, that’s a good thing. Most are content with creating a mobile-browser friendly site. So far so good.

That said, I’ve encountered a two mistakes on mobile friendly sites so often, it makes sense to point two of them out before the holiday season. After all, the goal is to reduce friction and to help customers find the products they want as fast as possible.

The naming of shoes is a difficult matter, It isn't just one of your holiday games; -- TS Eliot

The naming of shoes is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
— TS Eliot

First, product listings. One of the most common layout is the grid which includes an image of the product, its name, and price. Here’s a tip: when naming products with this kind of layout, keep them short or at least put their differentiating model number up front. Otherwise you get a product listing that makes no sense. See, for example, the Reebok shoes in the screen grab on the right: all of the shoes are named “Reebok CrossFit Lifte…” but prices are different, so what’s the difference between the models? Upon clicking to the product page it turns out that the cheaper one is the Reebok CrossFit Lifter 2.0 and the more expensive one is the Reebok CrossFit Lifter Plus 2.0. Now, I’m still not sure what that “plus” means but my point is to make sure the difference appears in the product listings, not just on the individual product pages. Put as much descriptive and differentiating information in the preview. don’t make customers click for the minimum necessary information because they won’t.

Standard sort options. Be creative.

Standard sort options. 

Second up: sort options. So very often I see product listings of over 100 products in a given category. On the page on the left, on the Crate & Barrel Site, how about creating some sorting options that are unique to your site and the category, such as size (for table linens, wall art, bedding, etc) or by material (cotton, polyester, nylon, etc) for clothes? Or even by heel size for shoes? Be creative, match the category, give enough options so that the customer has ways to find the product they want faster.

Recent studies show that “20 percent to 25 percent of online sales will come from mobile devices.” Online sales are estimated to be “10 percent of all retail holiday spending” so we’re talking about 2.5% of sales. It may sound like a small portion, but it’s a very large pie: holiday spending is estimated to exceed exceed $70 billion this year. Ignore mobile shoppers at your peril.

 

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