The eCommerce Catch-up – Episode 3

The eCommerce Catch-up – Episode 3

Published on 2019-07-18 by Brad Houldsworth

Are you interested to find out what is happening in the retail industry in terms of eCommerce and the overall customer experience? In June’s edition of our monthly retail news round-up, Brad Houldsworth (Strategy, Innovation & Operations) and Ben Archer (Marketing Manager) discuss this month’s outstanding topics including:

  • UK Retail Industry

  • Mary Meeker’s Internet Report

  • Bad eCommerce UX Examples

  • And more!

Check out what they had to say by either clicking on the video or reading the full transcript below!

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Brad: Hello. Welcome to the second episode of Remarkable Commerce’s 3rd eCommerce catch up, this month we welcome our Marketing Manager, Ben – how you doing?

Ben: Very good thanks

Brad: Good stuff.

Ben: So for anyone who hasn’t seen any of our previous videos, our monthly catchups are for us to chat through the latest news in the eCommerce industry. So Brad, what are we chatting about this month?

Brad: So this month we’re talking about what is going on in the UK Retailer industry, we’ve got Mary Meekers Internet Trends report to look at and some bad UX examples to show you. So let’s get into it…

Brad: Lets chat through whats going in the UK retail industry, lets run through 30 seconds of the top news. Firstly, French Connection are extending their sale through to September, must obviously be struggling with sales a little bit. Bath Store are pulling the plug and entering administration. Gear for Music reporting a loss despite some really strong sales. New Look return to profit. Carpet Right are posting reduces losses. Topshop are becoming listed in Zalando, in Germany I’m guessing. IKEA are building their first affordable housing in Worthing. Amazon Prime Day is to run over 2 days, not 1 day anymore. And Boots are scrapping all plastic bags in-store by 2020. As well as all of that stuff, Superdry are struggling a little and apparently delaying reporting their full-year business results. However, they are changing their tech quite a lot at the moment which we’ve seen recently.

Ben: Yeah it looks like they have recently integrated with Klarna, which is a popular buy-now-pay-later system, which is popular across Europe.

Brad: Yeah we’ve got a few that use them already.

Ben: Yep – Yours Clothing, Roman Originals and Moss Bros. all use Klarna and it’s been really useful.

Brad: I think one client in particular Klarna accounts for 10% of sales, which is incredible considering Klarna is quite a new payment method to enter the market. Super interesting.

Brad: As well as Klarna, Afterpay, which is an Australian payment provider, BooHoo and JD Sports have just launched buy-now-pay-later with Afterpay, which is an interesting take.

Brad: So, every year Mary Meeker from the US, who is a venture capitalise and ex-Wallstreet Journalist, releases a report (a mammoth 300-page document) talking about everything going on in the Internet world. When she talks about eCommerce, its the same old ‘offline becoming online’ but also how the adoption of commerce is built into more different digital platforms. Like Chat, Social Media platforms all starting to have eCommerce functionality built-in as standard. For example, WhatsApp business, which has been around for a little while, are looking to introduce WhatsApp pay, which is a payment gateway built into the app itself. WhatsApp business is essentially an app for customers to interact directly with stores, so introducing a payment gateway into this platform makes sense. There is obviously Instagram who have launched their own checkout a few months ago, there’s a few others as well…

Ben: Yeah few Chinese ones, there’s Webu and WeChat.

Brad: Yeah both strong and really well-used platforms, but adding in some more commerce functionality, do you think all apps will all start to have some transactional functionality?

Ben: Yeah I think it makes sense for these big social networks, mainly because they are trying to become profitable themselves. I don’t think it’s going to affect websites too much, I don’t think there will be too much canniblisation. When you go to Instagram or WeChat, you don’t think you want to buy a product.

Brad: It’s more inspirational?

Ben: Exactly, more inspirational. So, yeah I don’t think there will be much canniblisation and it will be a great new channel for marketers to use. Like Instagram at the moment is a great channel for businesses to put products on, allow customers to browse through and see what they like, making an inspirational purchase that might not have happened.

Brad: So it’s a new channel rather than it removing sales from another channel.

Ben: Yeah just a different channel, like PPC or display.

Brad: So last month we had a look at some bad UX across the eCommerce world, we had a few examples. This month we have a few more examples to show you, what have we got then?

Ben: To start off with, we have Susan Collins website, she is a well-known author and has written books such as The Hunger Games. Now, her website is fairly good and has all the relevant information and includes all the books she’s done. However, the main page is fairly lacking. We do have a navigation at the top, yet once you start scrolling down the main page, you see a lot of white areas and some images are central and some images left-aligned. When you start scrolling down the page, you see lots of plain white screen then you see some more adverts and content. So, if you were looking for a link to the Mockingjay website, the changes are you are not going to find it unless you are really engaged and happy to scroll through 3 or 4 white pages. The whole idea is to display content that is easy for users to access, which at the moment this website is not doing.

Brad: Nope, not at all.

Ben: So the second we’ve got to show you, is SimplyBe. Now, generally speaking, it’s a fairly good website and it’s certainly very popular. Yet when you get to the product pages, there are a few problems we’ve identified. First of all, we have 4 different drop-down menus here. On a regular website, you tend to only have 1 drop-down which tends to be the size. When you come to a page, you see an image, product price, then you see what sizes are available and add to your basket. However, on this page you have 4 drop-downs, 3 of which are pre-populated so you only need to update the size one, but it does get quite confusing. It seems to just change the colour of the product when you select the first, which is at odds with the second dropdown which is also colour, then the third drop-down has no further options so isn’t needed. I think importantly in UX, you don’t really want to show items listed which are not available and you want to show the important information of a page front-and-foremost, making it easy for a user to add-to-basket.

Brad: Yeah it’s horrible, you are putting 4 hurdles in-front of the customer. So instead of saying yes it’s as easy as this, you need to make 4 decisions before you can consider buying this product.

Ben: Yeah it’s very possible a customer would come to this page and decide it’s too tricky and too many options, then decide to not buy.

Ben: So that’s it for this month folks, thank you for watching. This has been our 3rd eCommerce catchup, please like or comment the video down below and subscribe if you liked the content. We’ll see you next month.

Brad: Cheers, bye!