In working predominantly with retail technology startups for the past 15 years, I don’t have a lot of time for “creative outlets” other than the technology innovations and marketing campaigns I get to help bring to market. But, I’ve always found a way to nurture my creative side through my clothes. The reality I’ve faced over the years in trying to buy these somewhat personal items online is that they’re presented so surgically…so incredibly different than how I would discover them in a store.
Take my newest boots, for instance. The majority of retail sites would categorize these as “brown boots”. But I, like a handful of other style-loving ladies, was looking for “boots with a substantially sturdy heel, a somewhat rounded toe, camel or caramel colored, made of leather that will age nicely, and that will work for work or evenings out”. Try to navigate a website today with those words and preferences and you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Knowing how limited our navigation options are as consumers, my team and I decided to take a more academic approach to quantifying navigation options for top sites across the primary retail categories.
The results were clear — there is a huge gap between standard ecommerce discovery options and the language and preferences that shoppers want to use. A 6x gap. An additional side effect is that what’s great about each product gets buried in taxonomic ambiguity.
Check out the infographic below (click to enlarge) or download the eBook to see the full results of the study including standard navigation and discovery category-by-category and examples of the optimized discovery options our curation team would recommend.