Where usability surveys meet marketing
  • Shoes
    Not that easy to find the fitting shoes to your feet !

    Proposing a large range on offer, the choice for each product as well as free delivery, online shoe retailers are gathering all possible incentives to attract buyers.

    However, the actual efficiency of the customer journey online remains poor despite reasonably high satisfaction notes in line with the ones from the clothing industry.

    With an online navigation experience pinpointing some genuine drawbacks on the sites, there is definitely ground for optimisation to deliver an online experience in line with the expectations of customers to secure loyalty.

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If the solid relationship between the customer experience online and the intent to purchase can hardly be certified, the Observatory is a first step towards a more concrete measure of it.

The “physical” retailers have already identified such risk: a dissatisfied customer is very likely to never come back for future purchases.

For this first edition on the shoe business, the gaps between the players in terms of Navigation experience and User satisfaction are overall narrow. This is directly illustrated on the mapping below where each actor is positioned in accordance to the averages measured based on the two dimensions : Navigation experience and User satisfaction.

However, the results reveal great differences:  the Navigation experience score highlights that only slightly more than half the users managed to complete the 6 different taks given. This score is in keeping with the average of the other editions of the Observatory.

However, the User satisfaction level is one of the highest, close to the top of the 2010 “league”, the Clothing industry.
Which lesson should we draw from this? If need be, it proves that measuring the online customer experience is and remains a tough exercise all the more so that brand image and websites awareness impact the user perception. This issue is strongly acknowledged when running Qualitative user tests : qualifying the actual behaviours is crucial to analyse customer comments and feedbacks.

Overall, a majority of the players in this field of the industry enjoy a strong brand recognition due to their long experience of the market or, for some of them, to the recent build-up of their e-reputation.

The approach implemented in the Observatory is the only opportunity offered today to measure the efficiency of customer paths and the satisfaction induced with hands-on customers, on players within the same market where retailers face global and specialised pure players.

As a result, the overall brand perception has been positively influenced by this navigation experience. Indeed, an important number of participants who declared that they would be likely to consult/use these websites at the beginning of the study, declared that they would still be likely to use them for future purchases at the end of the navigation. Compared to other observatories, such a phenomenon is rare enough to be noticed…