Best in Class 2018 Comparative Matrix
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Mobile Conversion Optimization Features
Used by Best-In-Class Retailers
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CategoryFeature or ConsiderationDetails/CriteriaAdidasBarney'sExpressGlasses USAGoProHayneedleJC PenneyMarshall HeadphonesNikeNordstromPatagoniaRoom & BoardShutterflySorelSperryUniqloUrban OutfittersWayfairZapposZulilyTotal YTotal NTotal NAInsights
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Mobile SiteResponsive siteIs the site set up as responsive?NYYNYYNYNYYYYYYYYNNY1460The trend now is going back towards m. sites. Separate sites can lend themselves to a better experience per device type. Responsive sites also suffer from slower page load speeds while trends in SEO are putting value back on having separate sites.
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Optimal Site SpeedDoes the site meet speed requirements from Google (above 85)?NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNYNN1190This shows how difficult it is to actually attain this. Looking at Wayfair (the only site on our list to achieve "Good" according to Google's page speed tool), you have to wonder how much site speed has meant to their success.
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Global Elements (Header/Footer/etc.)Sticky Menu/HeaderMain navigation/menu sticks to the top of the pageNNNNYYNNNNNYNNYYNNNY6140Trend is moving towards pinning at least something at the top or bottom of the site to facilitate navigation. Just be sure not to take up too much real estate with it.
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Tap to CallIs there an option to tap to call a customer service line or another phone number?NNNYNYYNNNNYNNYNNYYN7130This is often an underappreciated feature. Most eCommerce sites don't want phone calls, but any phone # on the site should be clickable (our extensive research has discovered that most people on mobile have a phone handy - LOL)
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Hamburger Menu w/Menu textDoes this site have a hamburger menu with the text "Menu" under it?NNNNNYNNNNNYNNNYNNNN3170Trending away from including text. Impact will depend on individual site demographics - less sophisticated audiences still need the text cue.
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Hamburger NavigationIs a hamburger present (no wording)?YNYYYNYYYYYNNYYYYYNY1550See above comment.
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Store Locator prominenceIs the store locator feature easily available?NYNNANNAYNYNYYNANYYYNANANA866This is important for brands with stores. For brands that just sell within other stores this becomes less important as a prominent feature, but should still be offered somewhere on the mobile site. Generally, if your analytics shows locations (relative to its presence on the site) are popular, then it should be included in the mobile header.
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Cart ItemsDo they show the number of items in cart (even if it's zero)?NNYNYYYYYYYYNYYNNYNY1370This is convention. All you need to do is look at your analytics and see that "New" visitors land and then click the cart, even when empty (because they don't know it's empty after coming from another device or browser.
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Sticky Bottom PromoSite has a promo that sticks to the bottom when scrollingNNNNNYNNNNNNNNNNYNNN2180Very few sites are doing this, and the bottom of the mobile screen has a lot of uses, but when we've had opportunity to test this has performed well.
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OrientationAestheticsLook & feel is attractive, appropriate and professional.YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY2000As expected, all our best in class sites score a yes on this one.
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SimpleNot too much text on homepage with clear direction into other pagesYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYNYYYY1910Simplicity is more important on mobile than on desktop - users tend to have less time to devote when beginning a mobile session, so they need to be able to complete their task quickly and simply. It's fitting that the only site to not be considered simple is the one that appeals to the most advanced demographic.
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HomepageShop By Category (not within the menu)Categories offered in the homepage in addition to what may be in the menu or header area. This does not include listing the category links in the site footer.YNYYYYYNYNYYYNYYYYYY1640Category navigation from the Homepage is becoming convention and has consistently tested well, particularly on mobile. It is OK for this experience on mobile to differ from the standard desktop experience. While the best in class sites all do this, it is not uncommon to see eCommerce sites overlook or underplay the power of clear category navigation.
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Show MerchandiseProducts are shown on the homepage so users can see examples.YYYYYYYYYYNYYYNYYYYY1820It used to be considered distracting to show products on the homepage, especially with mobile. However from wide testing, the conclusion is that select products on the homepage win, when displayed properly.
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PromotionsShows shipping or regular promotion on homepageNYYYNYYNNYYNYYYYYYYY1550It is conventional to show promotions on the Homepage when they exist.
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Build TrustLink to customer service, Show Phone, Offer Chat, Provide Privacy Policy, and company background information, and look professional and reliable.YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYNYYYY1910Building trust is more important on mobile than on desktop when it comes to securing a sale. Mobile users are inherently less confident about the security of their transactions and need to be reassured more so than desktop users. Trust factors do not have to be "in your face". More sites are getting this, with almost all on our list doing it this year.
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Scroll through Best Sellers/Featured Products/etc.Expanding on "Show Merchandise", does the mobile site make space-saving use over horizontal scrolling?YYNYNYYNNNNNYYNYYYYY1280This is trending up. Last year had 1/3 of Best In Class eCommerce sites using this and now it is more than half.
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Hero Image Auto SlideHero image automatically slides through imagesYNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNYNN2180This year's list sees only 2 sites still rotating the hero banner, down from 7 last year. This feature, long despised by CROs everywhere, is finally going away.
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Top NavAvailable through horizontal scroll or notNNNNNNNNNNNNYNNNNNYN2180A new feature this year is just starting to be tested and adopted by innovative sites. The Inflow Conversion team has tested this all year and has yet to see it NOT work.
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Classification / Navigation
Search in Header (not within menu)
Search function not hidden within the menu. Best option to have eyeglass that opens search functions when clickedYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY2000Today most sites have search in the mobile header, but in years past this was not the case. Last year, only 2 sites did not have it, and this year it is only 1. It is pretty clear that the majority of sites should do this.
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Search Field ExposedSearch field is already pre-opened so the user does not have to clickNNNNNNYNNNYNYYNNNYYN6140
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Noticable Subcategories to aid main navigation
User is offered the ability to navigate beyond top level and to other categories without clickingNNNNNNNNYYNYYYYYY890Similar to the mega menu, if your desktop site offers this level of granularity in navigation you likely should be doing it on mobile as well.
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FacetsAre facets available? (Gallery Pages)YYYYYYYNYYYNYYYYYYYN1730This year, we see the same level of adoption as last year, however we notice that the user experience has improved and more facet navigations now allow the selection of multiple facets before refreshing page, for instance.
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Sticky Filter/Sort BarYNNNYNYNYNNNYNYYNNNN7130A new trend this year, where the Filter/Sort feature is kept at the top as the user scrolls. This of course helps users filter their product results. It is such a good experience that it seems like it has always been there, but the reality is no Best in Class site did it in 2016.
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Multi-Select facet navigationAbility to select more than one filter option at a time to gain more targeted results.YYYYYYYNAYYNNAYYYYYYYN1622As mentioned above, this feature is gaining more adoption with just a couple of sites on our list not doing this...yet.
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Color Selection with Color Cue in facetsShowing the user the color rather than just the names of the colors.YYNNNYYNAYYNNAYYNYYYNN1172The best experiences actually show you color and texture rather than explaining them. Explanations leave room for confusion while colors are very clear.
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Price Selection within facetsAllowing for filtering on a price range.NNYNNYNNANYNNANNNYYNYN6122Fewer sites on our list allow filtering against price now. This is trending down as Wayfair and others have removed it in order to focus on their brand, not their cost.
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Auto Scroll (No Pagination)Presenting all products on one page rather than viewing a set number of products.NNNNYNNYYYYNYYYNNYNN9110Higher adoption on the list this year with now nearly half of best in class sites doing this now.
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"New" label on gallery pageLabeling products as new.YYNNYNYNNNNYYYYNNNNN8120This is important for sites that have a high return visitor rate or where latest trends are important. Otherwise you're better highlighting other features than how recently something was added to your site. For this reason, it is a little less common on our list than last year.
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Regular Price (or Range) on gallery pages
Posting the price on the category page.YYYYNAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYN1811This is convention, you'd have to have a very specific reason to consider not doing this.
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Swatches available on gallery pagesPresenting the colors the product is available in and allowing selection of a color to enter with to the product page. NNYYNNNYYNNNYYNYNYNN8120Due to the difficulty of doing this on mobile (fat fingering can be an issue) some sites are handling this by mentioning that there are other options.
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Swatches Click into PDPLeads to selected color from swatch selected.NANANANANANANANANANANNANANANANANANANANA0118
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Reviews on gallery pagesShowing the star ratings and the # of reviews.YNNNYYYNNNNYNYYYNYYN10100Recommend testing - we've seen removing this have a positive impact, especially when not all products have reviews or there are not a lot of reviews per product.
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Sale Price (called out) on gallery pages
Sale price is called out after regular price is crossed out.YYYYNAYYNAYYYYYYYYYYYN1712This is convention unless you have good reason to do this differently - for example, sale price is a small discount.
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Savings Amount on gallery pages
Shows in $ or % how much a user will saveNNNNNAYYNANYNNNNNNNNYY5132This is more commonly reserved for PDP in order to save space on mobile gallery pages.
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Grid on Gallery PagesMultiple items per rowYYYNYNYYYYYYYYYYYYYY1820This allows more product to be shown at once, which is generally a good thing so people see more product more easily. Recommend doing this for sites where browsing quickly is the preference, whereas if image quality and detail is important on the gallery you might go with a single column.
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Quick Add to Cart CTAOn the gallery page, does it allow you to add to cart while bypassing the PDP?NNNNYNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN1190Only suitable for sites where product details are clear from the main gallery page. Works well when there are only a few products sold.
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Quick View on gallery pagesDo they have a quick view feature?NNNNYNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN1190This is a desktop feature that can bleed over to mobile and typically shouldn't.
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CompareOn Gallery PagesCan users select products they would like to compare from the Gallery pages?NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN0200Compare features is difficult to implement on Mobile and really is not a good place for the concept in general.
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On Product PagesCan users add and compare products from the product pages?NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN0200See above comment.
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Separate Page?Does the site take the user to a new, dedicated compare page?NANANANAYNNNANANNN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AYN255N/A
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Product ImagesPinch to ZoomUser uses fingers to zoom in. Site uses tooltip to show pinch to zoomYYNNNYYYYYYYYYYYYNNY1550Last year only 5 best in class sites did this, while this year, only 5 don't. This is no longer an emerging trend, but rather an emerging convention people are growing to expect.
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View Larger Image/Enlarge ImageYYYYNNYYNYYYNNYYYYYN1460Despite Pinch to Zoom becoming more popular, not many on our list have given up the larger image.
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Video on PDPIn the thumbnails, does the product have video?YNNNYYYNNNNNNNNNNNNN4160Video was practically non-existent a year ago on this list, while this year, it has 4 sites doing it, and doing it well. This is an emerging trend.
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Thumb Scroll of ProductSite allows user to scroll through imagesYYNYYYYNYYYYNYYYYYYY1730Being able to thumb through images is convention now and customers expect it.
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360 Degree View on PDPDoes the product have a 360 degree view (not just multiple images)NNNNNNYNNNNNYNNNNNNN2180360 is a rare effort retailers put in. It will never be a norm due to the time and cost to do it, but when it adds real value, it converts.
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PDPAccordion StyleDescription, reviews, etc. in an accordian style settingNYNNNYYNYNNYNYYYYYNN10100This is the most common way to handle large amounts of information on a PDP. Another option is anchor tags to scroll users down to the appropriate section. People are used to this now, however a store should not assume it is the best format for them.
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PricePresents Discount Messaging on PDPPresents Discount MessagingYYYYNAYYN/AYYYYYYYYYYYY1801We recommend testing pricing display on PDPs.
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States Saving of Sales on PDPAs a percentage or actual amount.NNYNNAYYNNYNNNNNNNYYY7121This is something every eCommerce site should test. Try showing whichever is larger - dollar difference or % difference.
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States previous price of Sale Item on PDPStates previous price of Sale Item, or MSRP. YYYYNAYYNYYNYYYNYYYYY1631This is the convention today. Do, and then test not doing it.
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TrustTrust Seals: Security, Customer Service, MBGHighly visible on the site. NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNYN1190The overwhelming majority of best in class sites do not expose trust factor is a highly visible way such as with trust seals, but they do have them, and are using them more and more frequently where it makes sense.
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Unfamiliar Trust SealShow a trust seal outside of well established trust marks like Norton, McAfee, Google Trusted Stores.NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN0200Make sure seals are recognizable to the user. If the user does not know a "trust seal", they do not trust it. In fact, they may distrust it.
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Reviews on PDPDoes the PDP have reviews?YNYYYYYYYYYYNYYYYYNN1640Reviews are convention, just make sure you have enough of them to help drive a sale, otherwise this can be seen as a distrust factor. If you don't have enough reviews, get better at it, they are that important.
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PromotionalPromote at top of Gallery PagesHaving a dedicated area at the top of the product results.YYNYYYYNYNNNYYYYYNNY1370This is common but not a convention. If you are running sitewide or even department specific sales this is a good way to keep that information front and center.
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In Navigation PromotionPromotional banner within the navigationNYNYNYYYNNNNYNNYYNNY9110Emerging trend. Last you only 1 site on this list did this.
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Global Promotion ElementsPlaced persistently on every page of the site, or at least every navigation page.NNYNNNNYYNYNNNYNNYNN6140Be careful when doing this to keep your promotions small - screen real estate is valuable!
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On Sale/Clearance AreaYYYYNYYNYYYYYYYYYYYY1820This is a business decision more than it is a mobile site consideration
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Promote Online ShoppingFor Brick & Mortar Stores - promoting buying onlineYNNNANNAYNYYNYNANNNYNANANA686This is a business decision - some companies with brick & mortar locations want feet in the door, while others are wanting more online sales. In either case, what the customer wants should be put first.
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Entry OfferDoes site offer have pushup or pushdown?NYNYNYYNNYYNYNYNYNNY10100Google is going to penalize pop-up entry offers on mobile moving forward. Be sure to use a push up or push down instead of a pop-up. On this list, the number of sites offering push-down or push-up has doubled over the year.
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PersonalizationPeople who VIEWED also...NNNNNNNNNNYNNYNNNYNN3170See line 65
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People who BOUGHT also...YNNNNNYNNNNNNNNNNYNN3170When accessories are required, this is a must. Best done after the user adds to cart.
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Recently viewedYYNYNYNNNNNNNNYNNNYY7130See line 65
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OTHER SUGGESTIONSi.e "You might also like", "May we suggest", "Complete the Look", "More items in the Collection"YYYYNYYNYNYYNNYYYNYY1460This is becoming the convention for recommendations. Generally requires a recommendation engine of some sort, normally 3rd party rather than curated.
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From the Same Brand...Cross-selling products from the same designer or brand.YNYNYNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN3170This is not common and has not been shown to drive sales with Inflow's testing.
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Customer SupportTap to ChatChat on the Mobile site. NNNYNNYNNNNNNNYNNYYN5150Users prefer tap to call on mobile. This is neither trending up or down and should be tested.
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Shipping /ReturnsFree Shipping, No Minimum OfferedOn all products and orders.YNNYYYNNYNNNNNNYNNNN6140Business decision.
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Minimum Order Size Free ShippingFree shipping over a certain dollar threshold (i.e. over $75).NNYNNNYYNYYNNYYNYNYN9110Business decision.
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Free Returns (Return Shipping Paid)On all ordersYYNYYNNNYYYYNNYNYNYY1280Free returns doubled on this list since last year, and it is definitely a selling point for users. If your business doesn't have high shipping costs, this should drive enough sales to cover an added expense from the free returns. If you have a storefront, offer free in store returns which reduces cost while still providing that same benefit.
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Social MediaPromotionCall to "Follow Us" and/or take part in Contest.NNNYNNYNNNNYYNNNYNYY7130Social engagement is not a focus for many of these sites. Determine whether to focus here or not based on business model and target demographic.
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Social Proofi.e. 457 people like this page.NNNYNNNNNNNNNYNNNNYY4160Social proof is not needed as much on well branded sites, but should be tested on any emerging brands.
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Social SharingAllow people to Share the products of the site.NYNYNYNNNYNYNYYYYYYY1280Allowing users to share specific products is generally more impactful than sharing the overall site. Friends don't get excited about a site the way they do about a product they love. This has more potential to drive engagement.
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Social Sign InAllow people to sign in to site features using Facebook or other.YNYYYNNNNNNNYNNNNNYY7130eCommerce has been a late adopter of this feature, with none of last year's best in class sites doing it. This year, it is clearly an emerging trend.
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Email MarketingNewsletter Universal ElementEmail capture mechanism, or link to email capture page in header/footerYYNAYYYNYNYYYNYYYYYYY1631This is convention and is a key part of building your recurring revenue streams. This reflects how powerful email still is.
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Pop up on site entryIs there an offer to capture email on entry?NYNAYNNNNNYNNNNYNNNNY5141We recommend capturing emails on entry or exit, just make sure you're not using pop-ups to avoid Google penalties. Use push up or push down modules instead.
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Q & AQ & ACan users ask previous customers about the product?NNNNNYYNNNNNNNNNNYYN4160This is slowly growing as more eCommerce give it an honest effort.
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PDP Add to CartBag or Pop-inDoes the site keep the user on the page and notify the user with either a pop-in box or drop-down "bag"?YYNNNYNYYYYYNNNYYYNY1280Convention is to keep users shopping rather than taking them to checkout unless purchasing more than one item is unlikely.
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Uses BagDrop down bag style cart info layer.NNNANAYNNANYYYNNAYNNNNNAY695This is the most common choice for displaying the shopping bag, and offers the most flexibility in terms of what is displayed.
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Uses Slide-InElement of confirmation is presented and slides other elements aside. Not a slide down bag.NNNANANNNANNNNNNANNNNNNAN0155Not being used by any site on the list, but has tested mostly neutral.
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Uses Bottom Ribbon A persistent Ribbon Strip is used for the CartNNNANANNNANNNNNNANYNNNNAN1145Ribbons are easy to miss. When triggering an action based on user activity you want to make sure it's noticeable.
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Uses Pop-inLight-box takes over page as layer.NYNANANYNAYNNNNNANNYNYNAN5105Emerging trend, consider testing this against your current bag experience.
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PersistsThe bag stays open (includes Slide-Ins)NNNANANNNAYYYNYNANYYNNNAY785This is ideal on mobile due to significant variation in connection speeds - give users an easy way to close or to move forward but don't have it disappear on its own.
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Focus to Cart, not CheckoutLeads user to Cart, even if they say they are going to CheckoutYYYYYYYYYNYYYNNYYYNN1550It is counter intuitive, but is never questioned and one eCommerce experience most customers still expect. That said, last year's ration of sites not doing this was 1/4 and this years is 1/4, so we might be seeing a shift from this.
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Provides sub totalBelow the line item prices, as summary before taxes and perhaps shipping costs.YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYNYY1910Last year, 11 sites on the list did not provide a sub-total in the cart, now it is only 1. It seems obvious people want to know the sum of their cart, however its been an overlooked element by many sites up to now.
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Provides Product AttributesLike Fabric, Finish etc. (Excludes Slide-Ins)YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY2000Unlike last year, with 11 sites on our list not providing full attributes in the "bag" on mobile, all sites now do this. Just another reminder that not having enough space on a mobile screen was not excusing the fact that customers want to know what is in their cart.
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Provides Image(Excludes Slide-Ins)YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY2000Again, a missed opportunity by sites in the past, with 9 sites on last year's list not providing images on mobile. This year they have learned to do it.
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Contains Promotions or Value PropositionOften seen is "You may also like…" or "Your order is Eligible for Free Shipping".YYNYYNYYYYYNYYYNYNYY1550This is an emerging trend as designers find ways to do this that perform. We recommend reviewing the sites that are doing this to help design your own treatment. Sephora, for example, tells you how far off you are from the Free Shipping threshold. Room & Board has an upsell section that allows thumbing through the list.
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CartFinal Pricing AvailableThe user is able to obtain the final cost in the cart or at least an estimate.YYNYYYYYYYYYYYYNYYNN1640The majority of sites are doing this now. Just last year, only 8 Best in Class eCommerce sites did this, but that has doubled since then because showing final pricing (or as final as possible) increases cart conversion rates.
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Shipping and Handling listedListed in the cart/cart pageYYYNYYYYYNYYYYYYNYYN1640This is a convention.
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Image and full attributes provided.Does the cart page have relevant product images, that help users identify and remember easily what they've added to their basket?YYYYYYYYYYYYYNYYYYNY1820This is a convention.
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Returns InformationIs the return policy clearly stated on the cart page?YYNNYNNNYYNYNNYYNNNN8120Last year 12 sites on our list did this, and now it is 8. This is something that should be tested, especially on bricks to clicks sites (the sites giving up prominent returns information are bricks to clicks sites).
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Customer Service ProminentDoes the site provide a very visible and simple customer support method?NYNYNNYNYNNYNYYNYNNY9110Down 11 to 8 from last year to this. Why are companies burying their customer service information? Only they can tell us, but know that some like Zappos have increased customer service visibility in the cart. We hope it is because these sites are so good that clients don't need it anymore.
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Badge AssurancesDoes the cart page display any secure shopping certificates? (Including customer service rating, identity theft, etc.)NNNYNNNNYNYYNNYNNNNN5150Down a bit from last year. Badges are generally on a downward trend, but can still be positive, especially in the mobile cart (based on the Inflow test bed).
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Estimated Arrival or Ship dateOn the cart: Clear indication of when the user can expect the item to arrive, or at least when it will ship out.NNYNYNNNYNNYNNYNNYNY71303 fewer sites do this in the cart than they did last year.
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Repeat Main Value Propositioni.e. Free Shipping, Free Returns, Next day delivery.YYYYYNYNYNNYYYNYNNNN1190Same as last year. This is recommended if you have a clearly defined value proposition. Most sites that aren't repeating this in the cart haven't clearly defined this value prop in the first place.
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Mention Credit Card or Rewards ProgramIncludes FinancingNNYYNNYNNNNNNNNNNNNN3170Most of these merchants do not offer financing by default. Recommended only for sites with high AOV or pre-existing financing program.
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Pay with PayPal in CartOption to enter PayPal from the cart page.YNYYNYYNYNYNNYYYYYNY1370Most sites are doing this and we have seen a consistent lift when adding this to sites we work on. Unchanged in the last year.
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Save for laterOffer to save the product in the cart for laterYNNNNYYNNNNYNNNNYNNY6140Was a growing trend and now it is trending back down with half as many sites doing it now. Rather than the experiment being over, it is likely a case of the eCommerce industry not having found the right treatment and not yet establishing a known convention for customers. Inflow thinks this is still worth doing, and to see how it could work, check out the sites doing it.
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Has "Candy Rack"I.e. Recently Viewed, Wishlist, People who bought…YNYNYNNNNNYNNYNNYNNY7130Another trend last year that appears to have settled as sites balance purchase path distraction against increased average order values.
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