eCommerce companies and direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have made waves across the retail industry. Some attribute their successes to niche offerings and quirky branding. We should also credit them for developing delightful user experiences (UX).
Improving the user experience on their eCommerce website is a key priority for small fashion business owners. Analyzing site metrics can help identify issues and fine tune navigation.
Reviewing what competitors are doing on their sites can also offer additional insights on what customers are reacting positively to.
What’s Special: Subscription boxes are all the rage in the retail world. Wanderlust taps into that with their “Lucky Box,” offering a unique collection of items for about half what they would be if bought individually.
What’s Special: The company describes itself as “a collective of intergenerational artisans.” So the focus is on the brand story, emphasizing the aspects of the business that set it apart from others in the marketplace.
Borrow This: At the very top of the homepage there’s a link for “Press” that takes visitors to a page of positive reviews of the site as well as video clips including products. It’s a great way to show off some of the positive coverage the company has received.
What’s Special: By calling out the company’s factories it emphasizes its commitment to the environment, workers and other causes. Highlighting the products made in each location deepens the connection between the shopper and the brand by offering an opportunity to learn more.
Borrow This: Instead of a traditional “shopping cart,” visitors add items they’re interested in to their “bag” on the site. It’s a small difference that creates something unique about the store, especially since it’s represented by an actual bag icon.
What’s Special: There are two content sections on the site: “Travel Journal” with photos from lookbook shoots and “Friends of First Rite: highlighting someone who shares the brand’s love of travel and fashion. These extend the visual style of the site and reinforce its values and style.
Borrow This: The Lookbook on the front page isn’t linked to another part of the site but is just a clickable carousel of images. That allows visitors to just check out various products in one sitting, without the experience being interrupted by clicking through to individual pages.
What’s Special: Hackwith has a stand-alone section of the site called “The Sustain Shop” where customers can return items that don’t fit, have developed signs of wear or are no longer wanted. Those returned items earn the customer a $20 credit toward their next purchase, part of the company’s commitment to sustainability. .
Borrow This: There’s a minimalist, monochromatic look applied to the photos on the front page. They all feature models wearing simple, white pieces, with all the photos combining to add a good amount of white space to the simple page design.
What’s Special: Asos both sells its own branded fashion items and operates a Marketplace where visitors can shop for items from 750 smaller brands and boutique retailers. By acting as a showcase for other retailers, Asos gives those smaller brands a valuable showcase where they can be found by some looking for just the right items.
Borrow This: The front page of the site features at least three different prompts to choose between the Men’s and Women’s shops. Each one has its own tracking code attached to the link, so those analyzing site behavior and metrics can see which links are getting people’s attention and leading to higher conversion rates.
What’s Special: Each product page does feature reviews and ratings from previous customers, but the site also highlights the celebrity Ambassadors who endorse Uniqlo’s clothing. That’s a very different message being sent to visitors, one that relies on people being interested in recommendations from well known individuals in addition to peers.
Borrow This: Each items highlighted on the front page features a category or other label that serves as an appeal and call to action for the visitor. Some are “Limited-Time Offer,” others are “New Arrivals” or “Uniqlo Favorites” to catch shopper’s eyes and encourage clicking through.
What’s Special: Featured on the front page is a game visitors can play to win coupons good for future purchases. By creating something interactive, There’s an element of promotion baked in, with players able to get more chances to play by sharing the game on their social networks.
Borrow This: When viewing one of the product categories listed at the top of the page, certain sections are displayed in red. Those are sections Zaful specifically wants to draw people’s attention to.
What’s Special: The site’s “New In” section helps highlight the latest additions to the store in a clear and concise manner. It rewards return shoppers by offering them something new since their last visit, breaking updated items into categories consistent with the rest of the site.
Borrow This: “Search” is consistent at the top of the page throughout the site, remaining in the same spot no matter which section you’re in. As soon as you start typing it shows a list of potential terms, all of which you can click on and find what you’re looking for.
What’s Special: As you highlight one of the sections at the top of the page a new menu appears below it. That’s instead of how sites usually work, where a drop-down menu is shown.
Borrow This: The site is built using a responsive design, meaning the layout of the elements changes depending on the size of your browser window. That makes it especially friendly for visiting on mobile devices, an important factor when considering how much shopping is done via mobile.
While most all of these sites offers something unique, there are also a few consistent tactics used that can be applied to your own eCommerce business:
Some of these lessons are one you may already be applying. Some you may have evaluated previously and put aside. Others may be new to you require research to see how they might be applied.
Whatever the case, it’s worth taking a moment to see what others are doing - and doing well - to see if those tactics can grow your eCommerce business.
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