Study: Vast Room for Improvement in Retail Site Navigation

Edgecase, a platform dedicated to creating inspiring shopping experiences, announced the results of a recent study based on an audit of 220 websites across 10 retail segments to identify benchmarks for how online shoppers are able to navigate in the digital realm. The study compared those results to existing attribute categories of current Edgecase retailers in the same categories to show the current disconnects in navigation standards.

Highlights of the report include:
  • The retail segment with the lowest average of categories was health and beauty, with only brand, price and features as the three most common attributes. Edgecase clients in the same segment offer online shoppers 17 different navigation filters including skin color, ingredients, texture and customer rating.
  • Other low performing retail segments include home furnishings, apparel and accessories with an average of only three attribute categories.
  • Online retail websites in the electronics segment offer the highest number of attribute options with an average of seven categories that, aside from price and brand, include mega-pixels, condition and features. Edgecase clients in the electronics segment, however, offer online shoppers with 28 different attribute categories that range from frames per second to storage media and image stabilization.
As a leader in adaptive navigation, the Edgecase team has found that much of the critical data that shoppers desire already exists, but it is dispersed "here and there" across a retailer’s site in the form of product pages, user guides, customer reviews, social media and videos. A "scatter-shot" approach can leave shoppers going in circles or back and forth between grid walls and product pages to get the critical information they need. The study from Edgecase shows that the rich context of the human language and how we use it to make decisions is vastly under-represented.

"The typical online shopping experience is shockingly poor, where a 5 percent conversion rate is considered fantastic and less than 60 percent cart abandonment is seen as a breakthrough. What’s missing in the online store is humanity," said Garrett Eastham, CEO, Edgecase. "In order to facilitate greater online sales conversions, retailers need to identify the gaps in shopper communication and work to create a common language between merchandisers and the individual."
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