Online Retail Insights: Apparel Retailers Need to Evolve
The holiday season is right around the corner, meaning most e-retailers are in the thick of finalizing promotional campaigns and optimizing websites in the hopes of increasing traffic and avoiding conversion roadblocks. However, before launching their email, social and traditional advertising campaigns, many online retailers would be well served to take the time to re-evaluate the overall digital experience they're delivering to visitors.
User experience (UX), the digital side of customer experience (CX), is an admittedly harder metric to quantify than response time and related technical web performance metrics. However, its impact on a business has been increasingly recognized by the web performance community as the key online competitive differentiator. That's not to say that response and DOM load times no longer matter, but optimizing for these metrics eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. The UX doesn't revolve solely around how quickly your website renders. The content being rendered, and the way it's delivered to your audience, is just as important — probably more so for online clothing brands.
Last year, apparel was the most popular purchase category on Cyber Monday. This is a good category to delve into with respect to UX, especially when you consider that most people still prefer to buy their clothes in-store. When talking about delivering an ideal UX in the context of e-commerce, the goal is to reduce friction and provide visitors with an experience that feels less like a list of tasks that need to executed to procure an item, and more like a seamless interaction between what brought the user to the page and the content being delivered. This means providing a plethora of relevant information in the form of images, videos and concise, helpful copy — all while delivering it in a way that doesn't require the visitor to think about what's being presented on the page.