A conference room filled with about 500 people, mostly small US Internet retailers, attended the Internet Retailer 2010 Web Design & Usability Conference (IRWD 2010).
For retailers who manage their own website, this is a can't miss event. However, for those who did miss it, here is a quick recap of the main topics.
Large US retailers like Best Buy, Lord & Taylor, and the Hard Rock Cafe, to name a few, showcased their websites and discussed elements that are working and some that aren't.
Many discussions geared to remind Internet retailers about proper usages of navigation and its usability, including shopping cart clarity. This had to do with really going back to the fundamentals. These days, customers are more Internet savvy and expect a certain level of familiarity as well as functionality.
Where cost is no longer a major barrier, product reviews and videos are paramount. The benefits of implementing these types of added features are huge and improve conversion rates drastically.
Even small adjustments to components of a product page and shopping cart with continually testing have shown results of strong returns to sales growth.
Kurt Peters, Editor in Chief of Internet Retailer, said that mobile will be the future of ecommerce. Most mobile websites are still in early testing mode, but it's already evident that providing customers with information at the time they want it, no matter where they are, is of high importance and advantage.
Many presenters at the Conference talked about new features they focused on during their recent site re-designs. The process ranged on average from 10 to 12 months from beginning to end. Interesting to note is that majority of the retailers teamed with an external web design company or technology provider to help with new implementations.
Lastly addressed were our still early days of social media integrations of Internet retailers with sites like Facebook and Twitter. Some retailers are providing very timely product announcements and discounts through these social sites while others are building communities around their sites’ topics and themes.
As an owner of a website solutions company, the conference really echoed what I come across every day. Getting the core fundamentals and best practices properly implemented is key. With a sound foundation in place, the next step is to add one feature at a time while testing and monitoring its effects to website analytics and sales to guide the way.
9th sphere's ecommerce clients will be receiving a briefing of key statistics and features their categories' counterparts are undertaking.