January 14th, 2009
In today’s UIEtips, I tell a story about a client who found a way to dramatically increase their e-commerce site’s revenues with a couple of simple changes. While the story is interesting, the story-behind-the-story is just as interesting.
The client had hired us because they were concerned about checkout-process abandonment. Their analytics were showing a 13% drop off in sales, which, based on the average value of the abandoned shopping carts, was worth about $1.2 million a year in additional revenue.
Checkout-process abandonment is common in e-commerce sites and something that you can easily detect with your site’s usage logs. You just look at the number of people who get to the first screen and then the number of people who actually complete the transaction. Everyone who doesn’t make it is an abandonment.
When the team contacted us, they’d already pretty much decided what the problem was and how they were going to fix it, even though they had never watched any shoppers make purchases. And they were dead wrong. Not only was their fix not going to help, our research showed that it was going to increase abandonment.
Two weeks of usability testing on the live site (and on competitors’ sites), followed by two weeks of iterative paper prototype testing produced a streamlined checkout process, which, once implemented, showed a dramatic increase in revenues. It’s amazing what you’ll learn when you actually watch your users.
Today’s article, The $300 Million Button, talks about the bulk of that increase — how a simple change to a common screen produced $300,000,000 of additional revenue over the next year. I’m sure you’ll find it interesting.
Improving forms, like a checkout process, can show immediate results in your design’s user experience. We’re fortunate that at this year’s UIE Web App Summit, we have Luke Wroblewski repeating last year’s top-rated Web Application Form Design full-day seminar. If your site has forms (and what site doesn’t these days), this is a must-take course!
Have you seen results from changes to your forms? We’d love to hear your experiences. Share them with us below.Tweet