New Web Sites for Online Retailers

According to Internet Retailer's recent monthly survey, retailers are creating interactive page treatments and adding video, customer reviews and other advanced features. Merchants also are making site optimization a top priority and redesigning their web sites to achieve speedier navigation and faster performance.

The survey finds retailers updating their web sites, with 49.9% of merchants having rolled out a new design in the past year, including:

  • 26.6% in the last six months
  • 13.3% within 90 days

Improved site optimization is the top priority for 72.9% of merchants, followed by:

  • Clearly organized home, category and product pages at 62.4%
  • Better navigation at 49.4%
  • Improved site search at 47.1%
  • Faster checkout at 40%

With a more business-oriented approach to web site design, 81.7% of merchants also expect their latest redesign to attract a higher number of visitors and shoppers, while:

  • 76.7% anticipate higher sales,
  • 66.7% a higher sales conversion,
  • 50% improved customer service and
  • 48.3% better multi-channel sales.

David Wertheimer, director of strategy for Alexander Interactive Inc., notes "The fact that retailers are listing site optimization as their top design objective... says they want to create images and write text that do a better job of making them stand out on... major search engines."

The Internet Retailer survey finds that 43.3% of merchants will update their e-commerce sites with video this year, followed by 40% with personalized product recommendations, 36.7% with customer reviews and ratings, and 35% with product configuration tools.

"... Retailers... need to select and implement page treatments and advanced features that deliver a truly unique customer experience." Continued Wertheimer.

The survey finds that

  • 40% of retailers will do their next major redesign in-house
  • 20% will use a combination of internal staff and their incumbent design firm
  • 15% will give the job to their current agency
  • Of the retailers that do their own design work, 80% employ three or fewer full-time designers and web developers

61.2% of participants in the survey say limited personalization, or advanced features and functions that let shoppers see related items, store their preferences and update their personal information, are the biggest drawback to their current design, compared with 49.4% with outdated home, category and product pages, 45.9% that have no interactive applications, and 41.2% that only have limited advanced features or functions.

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