“By all indications this is going to be the biggest festive season that India has witnessed. There is no doubt that e-commerce has not only lifted consumer sentiment but has also driven the industry to set new benchmarks. Affordability and value-driven themes clearly are the pulsating chords for India and Bharat. We are in the center of it all and are able to serve the ecosystem for their unique needs.”
- Kalyan Krishnamurthy, CEO, Flipkart
Thematic or occasional filters
Thematic browsing patterns are quite common in physical retail stores, where any sales assistant would be able to help visitors with common requests, such as “a casual shirt,” “a spring jacket,” with good value for the money.” However, this is no easy task on most e-commerce websites.
Typical examples of thematic types are
- style(casual, romantic, modern)
- season (spring, holiday)
- usage conditions (outdoors, underwater)
- purchase-selection parameters (cheapest, value for money, high end).
While jackets and shirts can all be easily located on most e-commerce websites, viewing products that match a certain “theme” can be nearly impossible. Despite such thematic attributes often being both common and central aspects of the user’s purchasing decision, our benchmarking revealed that 20% of top e-commerce websites still lack thematic filters .
Without thematic filtering options, viewing only the products of interest to them was often unreasonably time-consuming for users. This was especially the case when it came to actually select which items to purchase because the relevant products would be randomly scattered across a product list. The risk is quite high on festive sales, a little inconvenience may use consumers.
During testing, a lack of thematic filters often led to website abandonment because the subjects prematurely concluded either that the store didn’t carry the type of product they wanted (for example, spring jackets) or, more often, that finding the few relevant items that might be hidden somewhere in a vast product list would be nearly impossible. On websites that do have thematic filters, the filters had very high usage rates, often above 50%.
An easy way was to technically implement thematic filters is by manually tagging products or groups of products. But the future of retail and fashion is transforming .Deep tech and rich metadata are becoming the key factors for retail success.
Automated tagging solution identifies and extracts product attributes from images automatically. Automated tagging means no manual intervention, 10X faster product digitization, faster time to market and significant cost savings.
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Impact on sales during festive season
Effects of good eCommerce usability during festivals
The retail calendar was once reassuringly predictable and retailers mostly adhered to its rhythm. In the U.S. that meant concentrating promotions around “natural” events like Christmas and holiday weekends, and accepted commercialized celebrations like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Yes, there were new events added in recent times, like Cyber Monday, which made its debut in 2005, but for the most part these were democratically shared. And yes, retailers have always had their signature promotions, like Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale, but while individually successful, they haven’t set the narrative for the industry.
Today, right across the world, the global giants of e-commerce have taken control of the calendar, with their own massive shopping festivals:
Amazon Prime Day – U.S. Prime Day kicked off in July 2015 as a celebration of Amazon’s 20th anniversary. From a single day sale to a 36-hour summer sale festival in 2018, Prime Day has quadrupled in sales to $4.19 billion, and expanded from nine to 17 countries globally, with Whole Foods part of the play in the U.S. It has become a key plank in the strategy of feeding Amazon’s flywheel – driving Prime memberships (“tens of millions” of new subscribers in 2018) and sales of Amazon’s own devices, and training users in how to shop via Amazon’s app and Alexa. As Mike Lundgren, VMLY&R's Director of Innovation Strategy notes, Amazon Prime Day has created a new national summer holiday in the States.
Big Billion Days – India. This may be the biggest shopping festival you’ve never heard of,created by Walmart-controlled Flipkart, India’s biggest e-comm player. Started in 2014, Big Billion Days runs in October, in the lead-up to India’s Diwali celebrations, and has been directly countered by Amazon’s Great Indian Festival as the two companies duke it out for market supremacy. Last year during the five-day Big Billion Days sale period, online retail in India grew more than 60% to $2.3 billion with Flipkart claiming a 70% share.
“Online retailers in India are expected to generate about $4.8 billion in sales during this year’s festive month (September 25 to October 29), mitigating the impact of the general economic slowdown.”
- Satish Meena | Senior Forecast Analyst of Forrester
Among the bargains are a 50 % markdown on the Amazon Echo, $50 off the August Smart Lock, and 30 % off select Under Armour apparel.
And with all the buzz, rival retailers are not about to sit on the sidelines. Instead, they are hoping to capitalize on the heavier-than-normal shopping traffic online this week, too.
“We are seeing other big box retailers use Prime Day as an opportunity to capture shoppers’ appetite for deals and as bandwagon way to compete against Amazon for share of wallet and mindset,”
- PwC’s Consumer Markets lead Steve Barr
A survey shows 76 percent of Prime Day shoppers visit other major online stores to research product ratings and reviews before making a purchase on Amazon, according to consumer research firm Bazaarvoice.
“But participation in Prime Day is not the only way for brands to get in front of online shoppers. ... Consumers are researching and buying products across multiple online retailers on Prime Day and the availability of ratings and reviews across these retail channels can help inform and influence their purchase decisions.”
As these big blockbuster events grow in popularity, and spread their influence across the world, the best advice for brands and retailers is - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Around Prime Day in the U.S. this year, competitors leapt on the bandwagon and sought to steal Amazon's customers and sales. As you make your plans for 2020 factor in the activities of the big ecomm players in your market. One thing's for certain - the retail calendar will never be the same again.
Identify and offer key thematic filters unique to the website and product-type context. These will often need to be category-specific Common omissions are style, usage context and purchase-selection parameters.
Using Artificial intelligence for better catalogue management than create a clutter of products for overwhelming users with a very shoddy user experience. After all, as per mythology, goddess Laxmi chooses to enter places which are shining with cleanliness and zero junk. The e-commerce company with the best interface and the least junk results in search will be a company for Laxmi to favour.
Source- Baymard, Redseer ,Opticmonkey , statista ,Macy