5 Stores that Nailed the Online Shopping Experience2 mins to enlightenment

You’d be crazy if you think online shopping isn’t a big deal. Just think about the number of brands off the top of your head that don’t offer their products online in some shape or form. I remember H&M lacked this capability for some time, and it was, as a consumer, pretty inconvenient for me. Why did Forever 21 have it but not H&M? Suffice it to say, I defected often to their biggest competitor simply because they didn’t offer online shopping.

For most large retail companies, opening up your online shopping channel is crucial to staying relevant and offering a rich experience to your customers. Naturally, some companies offer better experiences than others. In the following list I highlight five brands that are absolutely nailing the online shopping experience, in one way or another:

1- Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters
Screenshot from the Urban Outfitters online store

Highlight Feature: The ability to hide the sidebar when browsing through products so you can maximize your viewing experience

 

2- Bath and Body Works

Screenshot from the Bath and Body Works online store. Captured 12/18/2014.
Screenshot from the Bath and Body Works online store

Highlight Feature: The hover tooltip that gives a quick breakdown of the product’s scent, and the ability to quickly add products in your cart without having to visit the individual product page

 

3- Home Depot

Screenshot from the Home Depot online store
Screenshot from the Home Depot online store
Screenshot from the Home Depot Professional and Contractor  online store
Screenshot from the Home Depot Professional and Contractor online store

Highlight Feature: Choice between the “regular” and the “pro” website, and both cater to entirely different markets

 

4- Staples

Screenshot from the Staples online store
Screenshot from the Staples online store

Highlight Feature: The ultra-simplistic menu navigation breaks it down so that you don’t have to click more than a few times to get what you need

 

5- Pier 1 Imports

Screenshot from the Pier 1 Imports online store
Screenshot from the Pier 1 Imports online store

Highlight Feature: The specificity and range of its product categories, great for those seeking out specific types of home decor


The online shopping experience has many different challenges than brick and mortar stores, but the main goal remains the same between them: cater to customers’ needs. Even something as simple as offering a shopping cart that updates in real time (versus marking checkboxes and then manually updating your cart) can improve customers’ shopping experiences and, perhaps even more importantly, decrease the rate of abandoned shopping carts.

Brain poke of the day: Have you ever had a bad online shopping experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image Credit: Online-Shop. Photo by Tim Reckmann. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 via Flickr.


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