What Does Great Ecommerce Look Like in 2022?

Our goal is always to make your brand shine; dedicating time to your ecomm strategy will ensure your business withstands volatility and whims of changing trends. So while we tailor our approach to each client we work with, there are a couple tenets of good retail practice that we think can have great impacts on your business.

Great ecommerce, to us, looks like a win-win-win. We want features that serve your customers and make their shopping experience feel frictionless, personalized, and memorable. Those features should also serve you and your business – how can we help the customer and increase AOV?

Finally, we want to be building smart, not non-stop. How can we drill down into the motivations behind feature requests, to craft the most efficient, streamlined version of your online retail experience on the first try?

Here are a couple areas to consider.

Brands we love: Mishmash does an excellent job curating their assortment above the proverbial “fold” – allowing customers to get a sense of the offering as soon as they land on the site.

Curation is Key

If you’re a moderately successful ecommerce business today, your site is likely the amalgamation of a few competing priorities – merchandising, storytelling, performance, customer experience and more. But does anyone truly own your site and guide those decisions?

As a leader, you’re likely trying to understand what’s going to move the needle – your CFO wants to prioritize markdowns, your digital ad partner is telling you it’s time to increase your ad spend, and you’re experimenting with discount codes to try to increase your conversion rate.

Instead of thinking in departmental silos, consider the end-to-end customer experience – and hire a person who can deftly weave those business objectives into a seamless, exceptional journey for your customers.

Investing in a team like Pact (or a Head of Ecommerce) can help you take a step back to understand the assortment, organize it in the right way, and tell the most compelling, differentiated story to customers. Then, the conversion takes care of itself.

All you need is a fresh pair of eyes, ready to look at things from your customer’s point of view.

Brands We Love: Italic is a masterclass in multi-category curation. Take notes!

Size (and Speed) Matters

Bold, beautiful imagery has become standard practice for a variety of sites – and is especially important for an online retailer. A picture is worth a thousand words, and can be a helpful tool in contextualizing your products.

That said, images and videos are prime suspects in slowing down your site – lightning fast speed won’t guarantee conversion, but a slow site is sure to make people bounce.

Our client, Hill House Home, prides itself on large, immersive imagery and video content for their launches. We keep files light by employing the techniques below.

Site speed is low-hanging fruit and one of the easiest wins you can implement today. Keep the following guidelines in mind and watch your metrics improve:

  • Check page speed from PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix
  • Keep file sizes light
  • Use a tool like ImageOptim to preserve image quality and reduce size
  • Prioritize videos over gifs
  • Implement “lazy loading” for off-screen images; this prevents un-loaded assets from slowing down page load

Brands We Love: Sunnies Face balances product chips with big, bold contextual imagery that allows customers to see the lipstick colors in-situ. This is about as close as you'll get to trying before you buy online.

Be Discerning with Discounts

One of the most common mistakes I see brands making today is leading with discounts and offers. In a competitive market, an offer code seems like it may be an easy way to help seal the deal with a customer who is on the fence about a purchase.

The challenge with this line of thinking is that the offer/discount codes are usually positioned as a pop-up as soon as the customer hits the site. If they are visiting for the first time, they haven’t yet had the chance to learn about your product or your brand. At worst, it’s a signal that you don’t stand behind the prices you set.

Our client, Year & Day, simplifies their robust offering by showcasing how their products can mix and match to build a tablescape that's all your own. Productizing or merchandising your offering allows customers to make a split-second decision without poring over countless products and eliminates decision fatigue.

In many ways, people consider D2C the new frontier of retail, but it pays dividends to reflect upon our own experiences in retail environments. When customers visit your site and are greeted with an aggressive offer modal, it’s akin to going to a store and being tailed by a salesperson who is looking to make a quick commission. You’re more likely to feel pressured and leave than you are to buy a product – discount offer pop-ups leave your customers with a similar feeling.

If discounts are part of your long-term strategy, consider placing offer messaging after a customer is further in their purchasing journey. Remember, emotion drives purchasing decisions and repeat visits more than a one-time offer code.

We helped our client, Year & Day, provide a visual index of all of their products to orient customers into their offering.

Sell More by Simplifying

We’ve all bounced between Netflix, HBO Max, Disney+ and Prime only to find nothing to watch. Too many choices lead to decision fatigue, so make it easy on your customer by cutting the number of choices in the customer experience.

Present your assortment in a thoughtful way. Here are a few helpful tips:

  • Give adequate thought and consideration to your nav – This is your first point-of-contact for customers, so ensure it’s clearly defined and highlights the categories or attributes your customers care about. Eliminate anything that doesn’t get clicked or could otherwise be filterable.
  • Invest in landing pages – These can be used to showcase specific collections or how like-products can be mixed and matched. However, it’s even better if you can…
  • Bundle commonly purchased items together – This cuts down on decision-fatigue while maximizing AOV. Remember, quality is more important than quantity here and it’s important to consider relevancy to the customer when thinking through bundling.
  • Go beyond the cross-sell – Every website has a standard “You May Also Like” grid, but consider adding a “pairs well with feature” or up-sell in your cart to clarify options for customers.

We prioritized strategic upsell in cart for our client, Hill House Home.

Ready to Supercharge your Store?

We’re here to help. Feel free to book a bite-sized consulting call so we can provide tactical improvements to your site and help you supercharge your store.

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