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Adding ecommerce into an existing solution

Ceres Organics manufacture their own brand of organic food ingredients and distribute carefully selected brands around New Zealand and Australia. Their products occupy shelf space within many supermarkets, organic and health food stores and speciality stores, but customer access to their full product range is usually limited to their two stores in Auckland.

The brief was to create an ecommerce solution that would give consumers throughout New Zealand access to a wider range of products. The online store needed to sit alongside an existing informational website developed elsewhere so that customers could easily move from the website to the online shop and back again. Full mobile support was required so that a customer is able to easily find products and complete their order regardless of whether they were using a desktop, mobile or tablet to access the online shop.

The online shop follows the design of the informational website so that customers are provided with a consistent experience regardless of which site they enter from.

Searching within a category stops mobile site abandonments

Mobile ecommerce usability testing has shown that greater than 50% of customers expect a mobile search field to return results from the category that they are currently viewing. Interestingly however is the statistic that 94% of mobile online shops don't offer this as a feature and instead perform a site-wide search. Not returning the search results a customer expects has been shown to be a direct cause of site abandonment as a customer can quickly feel overwhelmed by the number of search results which are being returned.

We have provided the choice for online shoppers who are able to easily choose to filter their search results against the current parent category or from the entire shop catalogue. This feature allows a customer to redirect their search onto another product they are interested in without having to go back to the main product listing. This cuts down on the number of steps required to locate a product on a mobile device and helps to speed up their purchase.

A simple to use option gives the customer the power to choose where their search results will come from. This helps to eliminate feelings of being overwhelmed by the search results and leads to less site abandonments.

Mobile navigation enables customers to start shopping sooner

The goal of every online shop is to make sales so that profits can grow. Therefore it's imperative that customers are able to access available products as quickly as possible. Many mobile ecommerce solutions appear to forget that this is the goal and instead provide so many menu options to their customers that confusion sets in the moment the menu is accessed.

We have provided a solution where all of the menu items which are not relevant to finding products are located underneath a 'site menu' option. This provides less visual clutter and allows customers to instantly start browsing through their category of choice. Once inside a category a customer has the ability to further refine their results through the selection of sub-categories or they have the option to view the products available based on their selections.

Menu simplification is of immense benefit to customers who are  using a mobile device as available space is limited and they often reach feelings of frustrated much faster than those using a desktop.

Extra information removes any customer confusion

An area of potential confusion for customers is when they can expect to receive their order. Many ecommerce stores provide the answer on a shipping page which is usually found somewhere in the footer at the bottom of the page, but this can be easily missed by their customers. Depending on delivery timeframes this can lead to customers unnecessarily having to contact customer services causing additional work for your staff, or they fret about their order and wonder if they've been scammed.

Providing this information before taking payment from a customer clearly sets an expectation around your normal delivery times. This information can also be updated to reflect your current turnaround, for instance it can provide information on Christmas close-down periods or if there is a reason for an order to be potentially delayed.

Providing clear information on when a customer can expect their order to be delivered helps to build trust and eliminates any potential worry.