The science of e-commerce interfaces that really convert

As more and more customers of organisations move online, internet interfaces have assumed a much greater importance to commercial and marketing success. Your product and offer can be really great, but a poor interface could mean that your users will never get a chance to appreciate them.

Web interfaces are built up using a strange confluence of skills in marketing, design, UI and pathways and, of course, coding. Consequently not much effort has been made to look at the general principles of what makes a good interface and what is best practice. Instead, designers make something that looks good, developers deliver their design and the digital marketers are left to test and optimize it as best they can. If it passes a usability threshold, then it gets implemented.

To provide an body of knowledge to fill this vacuum, we have been running our web interface study projects for several years compiling best practice examples and general implementation principles for a range of e-commerce sectors. Our specialist consultants run regular surveillance of what is working and the trends in web and e-commerce interface design and we discuss our findings with leading practitioners.

One of our first findings was that there is a significant difference between cultures, with major inconsistencies between what is effective in the US, Europe and Asia, As a result, we focus on Europe and on what works well there.

The results that our clients achieve by using our insights include improved click through rates, lower abandons, higher conversion rates and longer times on site. This does not cost any extra to implement. It just means that the design is build from a holistic viewpoint that incorporates a view of the client and not just what looks good or what others are doing.