News boosts conversion by adding details to product pages

June 7, 2016 07:00 AM

In-the-moment feedback helped online marketplace make a small tweak that wound up significantly improving its conversion rate.

Since launching in July, Jet has worked with website testing and optimization service UserTesting to get feedback from consumers as they shop on the website. Ben Babcock, director of research at Jet, says the company noticed early on that when shoppers visited a product detail page they wanted information on such questions as how to reach Jet’s customer service team, how much shipping cost and the company’s return policy.

“We put that information front and center on the product detail page so we were answering those questions about what is the cost for shipping, do we have customer service, what are the hours,” Babcock says. “By adding that detail to the page, we were able to improve conversion significantly.” He didn’t specify how much conversion improved after adjusting product detail pages, but says Jet defines a “significant” conversion uptick as a gain of 10% or more.

UserTesting president Chris Hicken says anywhere from 8-10,000 consumers per week apply to join its panel of testers. Users get paid $10 per test. Once a tester is accepted as part of a panel, they download a piece of software onto whichever device they are using, be it their mobile phone, desktop computer or tablet. The company’s software then documents how a shopper uses a site, where the shopper struggles and other feedback, and uploads that data directly to UserTesting’s server. Blue dots, for example, will illustrate how a shopper swipes, touches and navigates a site on a smartphone, giving retailers a graphical representation of how shoppers interact with their site on a smartphone.

“We record video and audio of (customers) using a website you’re about to launch, a mobile app, or a competitor’s site,” he says. “We make it really fast and easy to do that recording and get videos back within hours.”

Companies can buy individual tests for $99, with the price of annual service bundles varying based on the size and scope, usually in the thousands of dollars.

UserTesting is the website testing and optimization vendor for three retailers in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, including heavy equipment e-retailer Power Equipment Direct (No. 201), web-only diamond merchant Diamond Nexus (No. 422) and online rug and home decor retailer Rugs Direct (No. 423). UserTesting says it works with dozens of retailers in the Top 500, including Toys 'R' Us Inc. (No. 35), Inc. (No. 57) and Inc., owned by Inc. (No. 1).

Babcock says circulates customer feedback from UserTesting throughout the company so that employees understand how the site is being used and what pain points shoppers experience.

“You can only move as fast as your feedback streams provide,” he says. “If we launch a new feature, I want to get some feedback on it the minute it launches. What I like to do is immediately create a UserTesting study that allows shoppers to take a look at this new feature we’ve deployed. By having all these feedback streams from customers, we have a variety of touchpoints and data streams that help us identify areas where we can make improvements.”

Jet has predicted consumers will spend $1 billion on its marketplace this year, and its customer base is growing. Jet has 3.6 million customers and more than 1,600 sellers, chief revenue officer Scott Hilton said in April at the annual ChannelAdvisor Catalyst conference in Las Vegas. Online marketplaces on the whole are gaining momentum, with Amazon and eBay together accounting for 42.8% of all online sales in the U.S. in 2015 when factoring in Amazon's own sales. You can read more about Internet Retailer’s exclusive report on online marketplaces here.




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