New e-commerce findings surprise nobody but e-commerce retailers

I’ve done time in the e-commerce trenches, and it amazes me that the fundamentals are still being neglected by so many retailers. Apparently, Jakob Nielsen is amazed as well. Nielsen recently conducted an in-depth e-commerce usability study, the first one he’s done in 11 years. Here’s the summary:

“Today, poor content is the main cause of user failure.”

We’ve been beating this dead horse for over a decade, and e-tailers (hate that term) still aren’t getting it? C’mon people.

What are the primary points of failure?

  • Big clear images of the product. If you provide a zoom view (of course you do), make it BIG. And high resolution. If you can’t be bothered, then why bother even selling the product?
  • Detailed product information, well-written. Hire a copywriter. Provide a lot of detail. This is not rocket science, but some retailers think copywriting is a frill they can avoid.
There are literally thousands of things you can do to improve the conversion effectiveness of your e-commerce pages, but please make sure you’ve nailed these two basics first.

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