The Internet Retail Web Design conference this year took place in Florida.
When it comes to staying abreast of the latest web store trends and technology, this is the leading event internationally. Internet Retail Web Design is the major conference focused on retail web store design and usability—how shoppers use e-commerce sites, how retail web stores must operate to fit those usage patterns and how web stores must be designed to satisfy the needs, browser behaviour and steadily rising expectations of on-line shoppers.
New Zealand’s Ashley Schroder, who leads e-commerce software development for World Wide Access, used several World Wide Access web stores as examples and case studies during conference sessions and workshops. Ashley’s findings from the conference confirm that Internet retail technology and sophistication is moving ahead apace, and that companies aspiring to offer customers a world-class on-line retail experience must work hard to stay ahead.
The features and capabilities that separate excellence from also-ran web are often of a subtlety that belies their importance. There were plenty of gems of insight amongst the many topics discussed at the conference. A few of them were:
- For each product, show a guaranteed delivery date so that customers know when they could expect to receive a product if they choose to purchase. Show this when customers are browsing products, not just when they’re completing their order.
- Keep the customer up to date with email notifications at every stage of the delivery process, not just when their order is placed or their order is dispatched (or not at all).
- Web store product category pages shouldn’t just be a gallery of product images; they should describe the category itself and function as a relevant ‘first impression’ page for customers who land there from a search.
For an insider’s look at what might be coming through the World Wide Access web store development pipeline, read Ashley’s blog.