7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences

smart prettinessWe are surrounded by incredible digital experiences. Masterful design, branding and marketing.

Yet, it would be fair to say we are also drowning in awful digital experiences – or, at the very minimum, experiences that seem to be stuck in 1991.

As a Digital Marketing Evangelist you can imagine how much that pains me.

When I work with companies, I do my very best to bring my deep and undying passion for creativity and digital awesomeness to them. One manifestation of that is the stories I tell by comparing and contrasting the client's digital existence with others I consider best of breed.

In this blog post I want to try and do something similar by sharing some of my favorite digital experiences with you. There are 7 in total.

Each example is truly amazing and for each I'll share my perspective on why. In each case there are also tips that highlight things that overtly or covertly make the company delightful.

What can you expect?

Inspiring landing pages, cool calls to action, delightful cart and checkout experiences, website copy delicious enough to eat, copy that convinces people to buy by respecting their intelligence, ecommerce reimagined, higher conversions via greater transparency, and examples of how to truly live your brand's values online through an experience that leaves your customers happy and willing to pay more for your products!

Here are the companies and stories covered in this post:

My goal with this post is that by the time you are finished reading, you'll have identified 7 specific things to work on in your digital experience (though there are 18 lessons listed here). And if at least some of you cringe when you contrast your website with the examples below, that's a plus.

Ready to see some pretty sexy-functional-cool stuff? Let's go …

Songza: Smart Homepages That Anticipate and Deliver Delight

I. Love. Songza.

I really do. It is such a cool service. The music collection is wonderful. I love the social nature of sharing playlists. The suggestions engine they have. And, I cannot stress how much I love this, the nag-free experience they deliver.

There is a lot any business — B2C, B2B, A2Z — can learn from Songza.

I want to highlight their home page … it is simple, beautiful and incredibly smart!

songza home page

I'm visiting it on Saturday evening local time. The page knows that! Then it auto-magically creates five options for me of the music I could possibly want. Party options, relaxing options, entertaining cool friends or eating dinner. I press a button and – boom! – Music! Tied to one of 5 things almost all of us are likely to want to do at the moment we visit Songza.

It is not that hard to do this. They use geo/ip to work out where I am. They check if the service is available (they are not in all countries). They work out my local time. Then they match it back to their rules engine that serves me the best options. Try Songza at different times of the day. You'll be amazed at how clever they are with the music options they serve when you visit them at 0600 hrs (music for singing in the shower!) or 1345 hrs or 2200 hrs.

Songza demonstrates great use of technology, but not in an in your face look at how smart we are way. They deliver delight. I smile every time I see the home page they create for me.

Of course there is still the search box on top of the page. For the small % of times they might get day/time wrong, that text is a drop box so you can change it to what you want. At the bottom of the page they explain in three short sentences what they do. (Their wonderful slogan: Playlists by Music Experts. 100% Free. No Audio Ads.) Can you explain your value proposition in nine words? Then, they show external endorsements.

So why is it that YouTube's home page is still such a cluttered mess?

Why is it that when I visit www.3m.com or www.gillette.com they ask me to pick my country? (OMG! In 2013!)

gillette 3m poor home page experiences

Why is it that when I just visited news.yahoo.com, the ad says "New Rule in Texas!", and the page is exactly the same for me in California or someone in London? Why is it that www.orbitz.com uses none of my location signals to customize content on their home page to appeal to me? Why not, at least, show me "Current Deals from San Jose" (my closest airport)?

Sad, right?

There is one other thing that immensely delights me about Songza.

I was listening to my "Write Great Blog Posts" music. I noticed that I was not logged in. So no social features/recommendations available.

I prepare for the inevitable pause in music and click on Log in …

songza play screen

Astonishingly, there is no pause in music!

The page reloads with the log in screen and I'm able to type my username / password to now access more content / features. With, did I say this already, no interruption in my music!

songza login

I know it is such a small thing. But it matters so much from a consumer experience because it delivers a tiny jolt of delight and it makes your customers smile.

Starting with Amazon.com and right down to the smallest site in the world, when I click to log in I know everything I'm looking at, work I've already done, is going to go away. I'm taken to a new screen. After I type my info I know that they'll redirect me to the home page, regardless of where I was.

Why? Why not Songza your experience?

John Lewis: Thoughtful Cart and Checkout Experiences for Nonline Outcomes

If you've ever asked me the fastest way to improve your bottom-line of your digital experiences, it is likely that my answer was: "Reduce the cart and checkout abandonment rates."

It takes a lot to get someone to your website. It takes even more to get them to come back the 5 times it takes your average customer to hit the Add To Cart button. But if they do, take their money!

Sadly cart abandonment rates routinely run north of 65%. Abandonment rates during checkout are often even higher.

That is so sad. If someone has taken out their wallet to give you money, why not take it?

Part of the problem is that most cart experiences stink. They are full of nonsenseware – cross-sells and up-sells, all kinds of seals and logos, irrelevant other products, promotions, mobile app pimping and so much more.

Here's an awesome cart/checkout experience, from John Lewis, a UK brand I love …

john lewis cart sm 1

The first thing you'll notice is that the cart page is uncluttered. The products you are purchasing dominate the page, right under the main site header. All other recommendations, logos, etc. are below the fold.

The cart itself has 7 different, subtle but clever, things (red numbers above).

1. Big font delivery text. No doubt about what I need to do to hit the goal. 2. The button, in a different color, is easy to find (no hunting expedition!), and does not say Start or Checkout or other boring stuff. It says Continue securely . How soothing. :) 3. Shows me again if the product is in stock. 4. In case I was thinking of abandoning, there is a nice heart logo and Add to Wish List , what a cool way to still keep the customer. 5, 6, 7. Another confidence builder: Communicates that they ship everywhere, and whether the particular product is available for each option. I was also impressed at their clever way to drive you to the store by having "Click & Collect" right there. A really nice way to do a multi-channel strategy.

Neither Macy's, Best Buy, nor PetSmart does anything close to this clever. Not just the online + offline part (though they all want multi-channel desperately), but the whole cart experience.

I also like the checkout experience….

john lewis checkout sm

8. The phone number is there (again in case you were thinking of abandoning). 9. This may be me but I love the truck, and subsequent art on the site. 10. They have a Help in the top nav (and tell you it will pop up :). 11. Lastly, they build confidence by showing a date and time (and in a subtle way, they push you to the store where you will surely buy other stuff!).

A really wonderful experience. Oh, and through the checkout process they refrain from nonsenseware. Just a simple, uncluttered nag-free, ads-free focused-on-checkout experience.

I can't resist, I have one more example for you. One of my favorite checkout experiences around, and it is from Ringadoc

ringadoc sm

I like that they reiterate their value proposition again. They also make it clear they only serve California, rather than telling you after you click the Submit button!. (They say this all over their site but do so here again in case you missed it.) I really like the big boxes, big text. The entire "checkout" page is what you see above (I've reduced the size). There is nothing else on that page. Talk about nonsenseware-free!

Bonus: Ringadoc also has a great home page, in case you are looking for inspiration. They sell a very complicated product, and they do it very smartly.

Innocent: Passionate Copy and Heart-warming Visual Design

Television has its fair share of horrible commercials. But a vast majority of TV commercials, or magazine ads or even billboards, are clever/beautiful/joy-evoking. They go to great pains to create a connection with a product's brand by living their brand values in the ad (with imagery, with words, with music, with celebrities). The product/brand managers at 7 for all mankind clothes, Bertolli pasta sauce, Pepsi, Dodge Dart, etc. work very hard on every single frame or picture or second of music.

But when it comes to the web, they all seem to leave their creativity, passion, and brilliant minds at home. Try any of the sites mentioned above. They have boring images (or garish ones that say "LOOK AT ME!!!!!"). They have copy that a dead cat might have written.

Why?

Why leave your passion behind when it comes to the web?

Another example is Innocent (another UK brand!). Here's an example of what I mean by not leaving your passion, love, smarts behind when you crate your digital experience. How awesome is their page for roasted aubergine moussaka veg pot?

innocent aubergine sm

Then the Veg Pot itself (big image!), and underneath it the ingredients and nutritional info. Then the product description, more on this in a second. And finally (did you see the bee?) the reviews.

One nice clean and tight package that delivers everything you want as a customer, and nothing else – and all delivered with a unique brand experience.

My favorite part is the product description; take 30 seconds and read it:

roasted augergine mussaka

Isn't it amazing? (If you are the aubergine type.) That is mouth-watering yummy text. It is copy by someone who loves their product and can't wait to share it with you. That is selling with passion!

I love the 3 bullet points. They could have ten, but they went with the 3 that communicate the product's value proposition with the biggest impact.

Read their invitation to get you to write a review. How nice.

Then some reviews (they float by). This one with only four circles, but somehow makes the whole thing more credible.

And this is not a one-off deal. Each product description is written with the same unique blend of love, passion, smarts and good copy.

Here's the one for bombay curry:

Bombay butternut squash curry with basmati rice, yoghurt & cumin

Ah. Autumn in Bombay. Right now, the home of Bollywood, 22 million people and 102,224 rickshaws is pretty balmy. Temperatures hover around 28C, blue skies reign and spices waft along on the cool breeze. But seeing as it's more hatscarfcrispyleaf weather round here, we're hoping this aromatic curry will warm up your lunch break. We've combined tasty butternut squash, fennel spiced red peppers and fresh spinach with a delicious mix of Bombay spices and a dollop of cooling yoghurt for a healthy curry to heat you up when it's nippy out. So whack on another jumper, kick back and enjoy your Mumbai moment*.

*Bombay is more commonly known as Mumbai. It is also known as Mambai, Kakamuchee and Galajunkja for future reference/taxi directions

Mmm, hmm, good! :)

The potential impact of the copy we use on our websites is often deeply under-appreciated. Innocent has a great digital brand experience overall. But what stands out for me is the copy. It demonstrates love for their product, it sells with passion, it communicates the brand's core values.

There are a million sites you could contrast with Innocent. Let me use Ragu, the famous maker or pasta and pasta sauces.

This is their page for Old World Style Marinara sauce….

ragu marinara sauce

A small part of me died.

The complete copy on this page, completely bereft of any passion or love or soul, is the list of ingredients. IN ALL CAPS!

Nothing about what makes this product unique. Nothing about the brand's value or promise. Nothing about … anything. Not even nutrition facts or pictures of yummy food made with the sauce. Just the ingredients.

And this approach pervades the Ragu website. For example, check out their Meet Our Farmers page. Maybe you expect this page to showcase how cool Ragu is because it buys from small family farms or does organic farming or does not use chemicals. Or maybe you expect to see videos of farmers picking their produce or interviews to underline that Ragu is not a nameless, soulless corporate giant. Or maybe information about how Ragu farmers support local communities. Or … well, there are a million things I would do if I had a "Meet Our Farmers" page.

But if you were expecting any of those things, you'll be just as heart broken as I was. That page features 3 rolling images (which scroll by before you can finish reading or seeing the photos). Underneath are two, mostly likely stock, photos of Farmers "Chuck" and "Frank" bearing copy that is almost certainly lawyer-approved – it is bereft of any passion. Plus: No videos. No sweeping photos. No environment commitment. Nothing.

And I'm sure that like every big company, Ragu and its parent company spent millions of dollars on this website. I have zero doubt that the brand manager for Ragu and SVP of the foods division are amazingly smart people full of passion. Yet.

The web can sell product. The web can infect your potential customers with the passion you feel for your job. The web can, in a very real way, create experiences that live your brand's values. The web can really do … so much. But you have to try.

If you were looking for inspiration, look no further than Innocent. Oh, and if you want a taste of how much more awesome than above they are … just click on links titled bored?, beat january, and blog in the site header.

AAA Life Insurance : Truly Customer Centric "Convince Me To Buy" Experience

At a former employer we used to obsess about CMTB. Where's the CMTB? Wait that's not CMTB, that's just treating customers dumb? What subtle CMTB clues can we put on the page?

CMTB stood for convince me to buy. It was our short hand for persuasive content that always took the customer perspective, treated the customer with respect, and created a simple experience requiring the fewest back button presses / having to go back to Google.

This is a great story about CMTB.

I want to buy term life insurance. I only have the vaguest idea of what it is, but I know I want it. So I Google term life insurance online quote and spent most of my time with two companies. MetLife and AAA . Each website has a form you can fill.

The yellow box below is the MetLife form. It asks some basic information that is easy to type in, Female, Excellent Health, DoB, Coverage. I got tripped up on Term Length. I was not sure what the implication of my choice might be. I go back and complete the Life Insurance Calculator , but it does not cover this. Anyway. I choose 30 and hit Go.

insurance quote

The AAA form asks for a bit more info (height and weight) and, smartly, captures my email address. But there is nothing that trips me up. That makes me happy. I click Next.

MetLife presents me with this rather ok'ish page. The nice doggie says $377/month and asks me to Continue. There are three reiterating bullet points.

metlife insurance results sm

But there is very little CMTB.

And $377 seems like an insane amount of money to pay each month.

My only choice though seems to be to Modify Quote link (it looks a bit weird, but you can see it above if you try for a couple of seconds).

So I abandon.

AAA on the other hand takes me to a page that …. well … seems to be designed for humans. There is a happy family (awww). There is a bold claim: Term Life for Less. (Not: "Affordable coverage." Subtle difference in persuasiveness.)

Scroll back up. Look at the MetLife page (and that is the whole page up there). Then scroll back down and look at the AAA page. What do you think?

aaa results page sm

The AAA page also includes a handy dandy "Estimate Your Needs" calculator in case that is of value. Calculate Now! :)

But to me the pièce de résistance is the box you see in the middle. Rather than one number ($377!) I get an extremely simple-to-understand graph that is immediately soothing because it illustrates that I have a choice.

First thing to notice is that the graph tops out at $275 (I'm already saving $102 over MetLife, hurray!).

Let's look at the other delightful things about this awesome example of a CMTB page, first let's zoom into it …

aaa term life insurance results

1. I really like the clean title. Your Term Life Quote. MetLife has something inside the blue box, much less clearly stated. 2. There is a crystal clear path back to where I came from in case I made a mistake. 3. To ensure I made no mistakes my choices are clearly stated again. How nice is this? 4. AAA gives me lots of choice. Remember they never asked me to pick my term. They realized very cleverly that a lay person would not know what it is, and, more importantly, a lay person would not realize the implications of that choice (on rates). Now I can see what the implication of choosing 30-year term is: biggest bill. But … 5. This is a stroke of genius. Next to the text "Adjust Coverage Amount" they have a red bar I can move to figure out the if I can come up with a "happy number" for myself! Sweet!!

So what happens?

I don't abandon.

I move the bar! I try various positions, for example I adjust the coverage to $300,000 and realize that it would be extremely easy for me pay $48 per month….

aaa term life insurance results adjusted

Assuaged, I try other positions and end up with a 20 year term for $90/month that gives me pretty good coverage.

Then I click Next and start my application.

There are 2 major differences, IMHO, between the approaches of the companies. Actually, 3 differences:

1. AAA's visual experience is substantially better than MetLife. It is modern, easy on the eyes, and full of persuasive elements. 2. The team at AAA likely is not just a "web team," they understand what trips people up and they work to eliminate those trip wires. For example, they choose to present term options when they will make sense to prospective customers. 3. They assume intelligence at the other end (in their prospective customers). Rather than thinking "we can funnel the most if we just spit out one number," their approach is "let's create an extremely simple visual summary of choices, and put our customer in charge of figuring out what works for them."

Every large successful old school company has a tendency to try to do business online just as it has always been done offline. "Let's just get people on the phone and our sales reps will convert!" "When people walk into the office, they are very simple-minded and don't know what they want, let's do that on the web."

AAA shows that a old school company can learn new tricks, that it can assume a little bit of intelligence on the other side and deliver an experience that can convert at a higher rate, even with some data (ooohhhhh scary data!), by trusting their customers to have a big say in how much they want to pay and what tradeoffs they want to make.

I love AAA. And I do have a 30-year Term Life Insurance policy from them.

CMTB rocks!

Shopbop: (Luxury) Ecommerce and Branding Done Right!

I don't often get an opportunity to do this, but when I do I love shopping at Nordstrom. The stores are almost always beautifully done, the displays are lovingly put together, and – my favorite – the staff are informed and kind. It is on those rare occasions that I truly understand what "retail therapy" means.

Neiman Marcus is another example of a store where shopping is often fun. It is often clear that a lot of thought was put into every little thing, including the underside of tables, to encourage you to stay, explore and buy.

It is the look, the feel, the little touches that make you happily part with your cash.

Recently, I wanted to buy a dress for myself. I went through the shopping experience for a few different sites, picking the same brand BCBGMAXAZRIA.

So what do the NM and Nordstorm experiences look like?

One word: Generic.

nordstorms neimanmarccus 1

See what I mean? This blog runs WordPress. I can buy a theme for $20 that would give me exactly the same layout, look and feel as the above two "luxury" "top-tier" retailers. How lame is that? $20!!

When I visit Macy's, I do have lower expectations. I don't mind that the BCBG page there looks generic, has utterly clinical product descriptions, and contains irrelevant stuff and text ads on the page. It is ok that when I'm shopping for a $368 dress they show "Ads by Google" to Lean Cuisine (PS: I'm not fat), NextTag, UGG, and Nordstrom. (Though the tradeoff between making two cents from me via the ad click rather than $368 from the dress might be questionable.)

But with Neiman Marcus, with Nordstrom, I don't expect that. I expect that they'll have a beautiful brand experience, use fast-loading technology to do clever things, allow me to explore products, make smart recommendations. And so much more. I expect all that because they expect me to pay their prices!

After spending millions upon millions of dollars in their offline retail experience, it is incredible that their choice of online experience is to barely beat one that can be had with a 20-dollar WordPress theme.

At least the Neiman Marcus page is not 30% empty white nothingness like Nordstrom's is.

So, is it possible to replicate the incredible in-store experience on the web? In fact, can you one-up the store and do things online that you can't even do offline?

Yes!

Meet the incredible luxurious, beautifully dressed-to-impress experience of Shopbop … The first thing you might notice (please do visit the site) is how focused (and beautiful, did I already say beautiful?) the experience is. Everything seems to be placed in exactly the right place with a great attention to detail. Unlike almost every other site on planet Earth, the product takes center stage on Shopbop. You see the dress, and that is all you see, until you are ready to see the other stuff.

The price is easy to see, colors easy to find and change, micro conversions cleverly tucked under the Add To Cart button.

shopbop

The bottom part of the page is taken up by well thought out recommendations to accessorize the dress. [Many, many retailers get greedy here and throw up completely random stuff, or nothing at all. Both are such big mistakes. Remember, you are trying to create a unique brand experience.]

Let me drill down into some of the more subtle features that make Shopbop's experience so much better than its peer set:

1. I love clean headers. Hovering over them brings up focused small sub menus (unlike sub menus with 900 items each for NM, NO). 2. I love this. When you pick your size the Size & Fit box on the right automatically opens! It shows the normal distribution of XS, S, L etc, but it also shows, how cool is this, the Model's size (S in this case), her height, bust, waist and hip size! You can't try the dress on, but this data helps you understand if it will look on you just like it does on the model. (Not in my case.) 3. The description is not clinical, it paints a picture.

shopbop bcbg

4. In case you are not ready to buy (don't abandon!) you can add it to a wish list, add it to your designers, email it to your mom (and beg her to buy it for you), etc. Micro-conversions FTW! 5. I lied earlier. This is my favorite bit. If you click to play the video it does not open a new pop-up, it does not open a new frame, it does not do things you expect on all other sites. The model you see above just starts moving! She shashays right where her image is, in the white space. Nothing else changes on the screen. It's like magic. Try it on the site.

6. When you click on the model, the zoom is delightful. It takes over the entire right side and shows a detailed view just as long as the model …

shopbop closeup

 

Both Nordstorm and Neiman Marcus have zooms, try them on their sites and you'll see why Shopbop's is so much better.

7. Hyper-relevant accessories to make the dress, and you, pop. The experience with the accessories is the same, big, bold, beautiful with just the information you need (right on the dress page) and nothing that you don't need…

shopbop cross sells

On and did you see a subtle example of CMTB? When I picked my shoe size, I see "Only 1 left." Nice. I instantly head to the checkout. :)

Shopbop is not as big as Nordstorm or Neiman Marcus or Debenhams or other top-tier stores. It does not have the complexity or the number of products that they do. It does not have nearly as many layers of management as they all do.

But I humbly believe that none of those are reasons to have generic web experiences intended to sell non-generic products. If we don't put in the effort to create beautiful, smart, friendly, brand-enhancing, thoughtful experiences, how can we ever expect the web to deliver the kind of feeling someone gets when they walk into our stores? How can we expect to make lots of happy customers and lots of money as customers and their shopping preferences move online?

You want a premium price? How about a genuinely premium shopping experience.

Bonus: If you want another example of a great top-tier store that does digital really well, check out Barneys New York.

Security Choice: The Power of Conversion Through Transparency

This deep into the post I'm confident that you are on to my bias for white space (I love good white space, Shopbop, and don't love the wasted white space, Nordstorm) and uncluttered experiences (a common theme thus far). I have to admit, I do like sexy and nothing says sexy like uncluttered experiences where the content has lots of room to breathe.

That said, one of my most-tweeted quotes is: "Never sacrifice functionality at the alter of sexiness."

I firmly believe that.

This example will prove that I'm very comfortable with the cluttered and a little garish, as long as the experience is deeply functional.

The story is that like every other human being on the planet I worry about the safety of mi casa. At least in our neck of the woods the brand that many people know is ADT. So like every other human on the planet I go to my favorite search engine and type in "ADT Security Plans."

I was looking for two things. 1. What is the cost of, and options for, an ADT security system? 2. What will be the monthly fees?

I get a bunch of paid and organic search results.

Here's the first one…

protectyouhome.com

Protectyourhome.com gives me some hints when it comes to the answer to the first question. I can see some equipment, though it is unclickable and the page does not say anything about the equipment you get for $49 (and note the weasel word: "Starting at").

I like the bonus. But there is no indication as to what the monthly cost will be, and there is no online quote option. Being wary of the phone hard sell, I just click the back button. It is easier.

I click on the next link, it takes me to Homesecurityteam.com. I scroll down the page and see the package, offer for free consultation and the happy family:

homesecurityteam.com

But there is no direct indication of what the monthly price will be. I'm still quite skeptical about these affiliates because I feel that they are just trying to pawn me off to ADT and collect their bounty. So I click on the back button.

(In writing this post I now see that the top nav has a link called Pricing . I'm not sure if that is for the security system or the monthly plans. I should have clicked on that to check.)

The third link is to the ADT website. Now they can acquire me (I'm pre-convinced!) by creating a great experience, reassuring me with clear pricing, and they won't even have to pay a bounty to their aggregators!

Here's the landing page…

adt

It looks pretty. But a quick glance will show that they are offering me the worst possible deal. Not only are they not giving me the $100 Visa card like others, ADT is not telling me what the monthly price will be or what my options are for monthly security monitoring! adt disclaimer

There is a "Low Monthly Fees" bullet, but there is little detail (weasel word alert: "about $1 a day").

And it is as if html has not been invented. My only option is to have ADT "Call Me."

I realize that ADT has always done phone sales and is comfortable with that. But in the age of digital (and at 0200 hrs when I'm searching for security), why not deliver a digital experience that expresses your value proposition in such a clear and compelling way that it can convert better than your call center?

But that is not the worst part. (Though it is all pretty awful.)

The worst part is the asterisk. Do you see it next to the $49? And five more times on the page?

I was really curious what the terms were to get $49 installation. What was included?

If you scroll and look carefully you'll find an * and a link toTerms and Conditions . If you click on it (get ready to weep) you'll see the page you see on the right.

K. M. N.

The finest American lawyers hugged the finest Direct Marketing experts and produced this horrendous baby.

It is impossible to understand. It is more complex than the International Space Program. And, worst of all, in the end all you can sadly think is: "ADT is one big scam."

Not the impression you want to have about a security company.

I can customize and buy a car online. Why can't ADT figure out how to create a digital experience that is transparent? One where I can go pick my components, choose between five plans, and send them an installation order?

IMHO there are 2, amongst others we can't guess, contributing factors. 1. ADT assumes there is zero intelligence on the other side (in its prospective customers). 2. ADT believes that its operators are best equipped to oversell me.

In the long run, both create unhappy customers.

But my experience was not entirely futile.

The last link I clicked on took me to this fantastic page from Security Choice … Take your time … Can you figure out how much the security service costs? :)

security choice com sm

Nine dollars! The page answers the one question you want answered to get ADT into the consideration funnel. How hard was that?

It's got all the other stuff, too. But by naming the price, your mind does not go instantly on guard, like it did with all the other folks. You think, "Nine bucks, I can do that, thank you. Can you tell me more?" And you … click on the $9, and you get to a sweet comparison table of all the plans. It also happens to include textual explanations for those amongst us who want to know more (and of course delightfully will help the company's SEO strategy).

But there is more to the Security Choice landing page than just passing the all-important transparency test. There are 11 other things you should consider for your landing page optimization strategy:

security choice com sm2

1. Without a doubt my favorite element was the transparency / answering the first question I had quickly. 2. Nice CMTB "Act now and rest easy tonight!" 3. They want you to call them. Is that clear on this page? :) And when you call them the first thing they (or DirecTV or Crutchfield or any DR company) will ask for is the Promo Code. Clearly marked here. 4. Did you see, did you see? They can tell where I'm visiting them from! (3M, Gillette – boo!) Another nice CMTB.

5. This was close to my favorite: today's date and exactly how long they are open today! They know my location, my time zone, they tie it to their working hours and then create a sense for urgency for me. Nice. 6. Free system valued at $850. Need they say more? Another wonderful example of CMTB. 7. You had me at hello, but sure, I'll take a $100 card, too. 8. Telling me information I don't know ("save 20% on your homeowners insurance"), information that will push me to buy. 9. Everyone on the Internet loves speed. Does your page communicate what aspect of speed you deliver on?

10. If you are ready, a clear call to action stands out. Notice it does not say Call Us, it says Call Me. Make the conversion as easy and as painless as possible. 11. If all of the above did not already make the sale, there is additional information.

Of the tabs in 11 they should probably highlight the last one, "How Safe is Your Neighborhood." I type in 94043 and I get: 233 burglaries, 1,820 property crimes, 6 murders and more! Scary stuff, but ties clearly to what they are selling. The data is for 2008, but works like a charm in driving conversions.

ADT's business is undeniably complex, and it is difficult for someone from the outside, me, to understand it all. But if I might be so bold I would recommend that they fill out that form on Security Choice's website. The call is free and someone at Security Choice could share digital best practices with ADT. :)

Ok, question for you: Are your landing pages this good? Do they understand the singular thing the Visitor is looking for and deliver that answer in size 68 font this clearly? And do you have enough wood behind that arrow? All 11 of these incredibly persuasive elements?

 

No? Why not? Don't you love happy customers and big revenues?

Method: Amazing, Immersive, Love-Evoking Brand Experiences.

I've saved one of my absolute favorite sites for my last example. It is one that pulls together lots of little things that I've mentioned in this post, and does a few things above and beyond.

Rather than one page or one thing, I want to highlight the entire Method website (even though sometimes in Chrome it acts weird).

It is an amazing, immersive brand experience. Without trying very hard, you get a really great sense of the brand (and all its quirkiness). The site's visual design is beautifully consistent with that of the product, and consistent with the look and feel of the products when you bump into them at Target or other retail stores in the real world.

method home page 1

Amazing right?

Not just sexy, functional too.

The top nav is super clean, just three things: Shop, Clean Happy, Methodology. The color palette ensures that you see them easily.

Then if you want, a subtle second nav with product segments.

One big promo at the bottom of the page. And one giant rotating "hero" in the middle of the page that grabs your attention – as much with the beautifully photographed products as the delightful copy!

If you want to contrast how absolutely amazing Method's home page is, try comparing it with another company – (one that also spends millions upon millions on TV and other offline advertising — Lysol. Go ahead, click on that link. You'll see what I mean. Amazing, right?

With Method, beauty is not skin deep. It is very hard to make a dish washing liquid page one that people will remember visiting.

Checkout the product page for the clementine dish washing soap. Giant image (oh, I love this so much!). Beautiful copy, excerpt: "wash more dishes than you can shake a spatula at. when the plates pile up, there’s no greater relief (short of having someone else tackle them for you) than knowing you have an ample reserve of natural, ultra grease-fighting dish soap."

Clear call to action. Product reviews (integrated with Facebook). Sharing options. Two tabs with more details "what's in it" and "scents". Just reading the what's in it will improve your confidence in the brand 100x.

Another contrasting moment, with another much bigger, much richer company. Palmolive. (Small warning: The page automatically plays music!). If you choose the Original dishwashing liquid you are taken to this page. Compare it to Method's. Again, amazing difference.

If you click on any Buy Now link on any Palmolive product on the site you are unceremoniously dumped on this page.

palmolive colgate digital experience

It is a website called "econsumeraffairs.com", not what you might expect: Colgate or Palmolive. The site has no Palmolive branding on it. It doesn't remember the product you want to buy (OMG!). You are supposed to be so desperate to buy Palmolive that you'll survive the shock of ending up on this page and then answer seven (7!) questions

Yes. I was speechless.

(Oh, and I died on the first Want to buy a Colgate-Palmolive product? question. It says Select Product Type. Your options: Household surface care, Fabric care, Oral care, Personal care. What category does dish washing liquid fall into?)

What another example? Check out Finish, and any product (say, Finish Gel). Incredible.

Let's get back to the happy stuff.

As in the case of Innocent earlier, I'm really delighted with the love and attention the team at Method pays to the words they use. For example, click out the site footer…

method footer 1

Does that not make you smile? You can say "Like us on Facebook", sounds a bit desperate. Why not say "like to be our friend?" Much better, right? Or say "lights, camera, videos" for YouTube. Why not say "greenskeeping + sustainability" instead of "Environmental responsibility" like every other site?

Some sites just try to be cute, or come across as trying too hard. But as you see the footer above, or when you experience the Method site, you don't get that sense of neediness.

I'm sure the thing you clicked on first in the footer was the humanifesto. Here is that awesome beast of a thing:

method humanifesto

Every Brand Marketer says that their brand stands for something. Every Brand Marketer has written down the brand persona. Every Brand Marketer knows the brand attributes.

Yet you would not know that were you to visit their site. Say Bounty or Iams or Downy or Gain or Vicks.

Why don't they have a Humanifesto? Does the internet stink at branding?

Today, you as a Brand Marketer are slowly losing control of your God-given right to deliver the first impression of your brand in a controlled 30-second TV ad or via a glossy print buy in Martha Stewart Living . If people discover you digitally, what is your plan to make them fall in love with your brand?

And if they do visit your digital existence, and they are impressed enough to sign up for a longer term relationship with you (OMG, true gift from god! Not just a unmemorable one-night stand via tv, but the start of an actual direct customer connection – and many future dates!), what does that experience look like.

Does it look like this?

method email signup

First, I bow to the coolness of that graphic. These people really want my email address! They made me smile.

Next, notice the overall branding – consistent, lovely color palette, totally on brand.

Then, checkout the CMTB. Just two boxes and Submit (clear call to action). In bold people against dirty, me! The notice the cute "psst … read our privacy policy." How often do you draw attention to your privacy policy as a way of converting your website visitors?

Oh, and above is the whole page.

To get some perspective, let's try to do it for a different company. Let's pick Febreze (again, a brand with millions upon millions in actual spend on Marketing and Branding).

If you click on their Get Newsletter link, I get shuttled to a website called Home Made Simple and this profoundly generic page (compare to above) that is asking me to Complete Your Sign Up :

fabreze email signup

Where's Febreze?

I doubt the fact that they are asking me to fill out 14 fields will escape your attention. 14. And they are asking for my date of birth! And asking me to make up a security question and remember the security answer.

For. A. Newsletter!!

How is it possible that P&G, a company with unlimited money and unlimited creativity – and, I know for a fact, some of the smartest Brand Marketers on the planet – can create something so gosh darn …. cheap, onerous and uncreative?

Digital provides every Brand Marketer an almost infinite capability to express creativity. I love that the ones at Method do such an incredible job of expressing that creativity. End result? I pay more money for soap that I suspect is no better than any other, but boy do I feel better using it.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is marketing that works! You exchange creativity, passion and love for your products for my money.

Closing Thoughts / 7 Experiences, 18 Lessons.

Above and beyond all else, it is my hope that this post provides specific guidance on what incredible web design, branding and digital marketing experiences are.

I hope that the actual examples provide concrete evidence of the awesomeness that is all around us.

I hope they inspire you to take a long hard look at your own digital existence and want to move from good to magnificent. And do remember that you have to take none of this at face value. You have free tools like Google Analytics Content Experiments (now with the power of multi-armed bandits!), and eminently affordable ones like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run experiments that will prove I'm right. Sorry, I meant so say tools that will prove to you what works best for your business. The missing ingredient is inspiration (in spades above) and your courage (I know you have tons of it).

To accelerate your experimentation I've summarized a cluster of short lessons from experiences covered in this post. They are collected in this pdf file, please click the link to download: 18 Lessons from 7 Incredible Digital Experiences.

I hope you find these lessons to be of value.

Now go, carpe diem!

As always, it is your turn now.

Which of the 7 was your favorite example? Which one was a surprise? Do you have a digital experience that you absolutely positively love like crazy? Is there a digital experience you find utterly frustrating? What was your key learning from this blog post (from our 18 lessons)? Is there something specific you are going to change about your own digital experience?

Please share your lessons, frustrations, examples, stories, inspiration via comments below.

Thank you.

Comments

  1. 1
    Josh Braaten says:

    Bookmarked! I promise I'll be using this post to club folks over the head when they point to a dismal experience and say, "Good enough." These are some outstanding sites, and it makes it clear that I have a ton of work to do with my team. It's a good thing we're ramping up VWO usage like there's no tomorrow.

    The best product catalog/cart experience I've seen lately is from http://www.treegloo.com, creators of custom tablet cases. The build-to-order cases follow a simple, linear process, there's plenty of options to undo if you'd like, and you can see what you're building as you customize the product.

    Their checkout process actually made me like the company more, which is a strange and powerful side-effect of a great online experience.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I must go off and seize the day. Great post, Avinash!

    • 2
      ARIJIT says:

      Great Post

    • 3
      Mario Lurig says:

      Except that the first thing I clicked was Nexus 7 and on the next page, when I scrolled through their options (took a sec to realize I needed to scroll down), I see this:

      SMART
      Our cases work in sync with your iPad. A small magnet on the front cover automatically puts your iPad to sleep when closed, and wakes your iPad when opened. All iPad 3 and iPad 2 cases integrate the sleep/wake system.

      Yeah….

    • 4
      Teamgeist says:

      I really liked the shopbop case.

      Great design and a really value giving tool.

  2. 5
    Russ says:

    Amazing article, very interesting.

    Thanks!

  3. 6

    I don't have enough words to describe the AWESOMENESS of this post. At several points, I paused to laugh at the way Avinash described the obvious pain some of the awful practices that leading brands employ on the web.

    On a more serious note, thank you for providing such as enormous amount of food for thought and practical advice for digital marketers that can be used immediately.

    As usual, you are spot on!

    Best,
    Johann

  4. 7

    This post brought a great big smile to my face, thank you.

    Favorite example? Security Choice for showing how it's possible to communicate the key point (and so much else) while still looking good.

    Surprise: the Shopbop video. Why isn't everybody doing this? Why do so many apparel sites look like the NM and Nordstrom examples?

  5. 8
    Case says:

    Thank you for sharing with us this useful info because it gives us a chance to compare different types of digital marketing models.

    My favorite one would definitely be method because it keeps one glued to the screen and wanting to know more about the products.

  6. 9
    Tim G says:

    If I may make one little remark on the otherwise excellent post, Avinash, I really can't get over the $9 ADT landing page that you praise so much.

    It lacks probably the most important thing of all: focus. There is too much information, the user doesn't know where to look and feels rather overwhelmed. To make things worse, there is no sense of affordability at all (what can be clicked and what can't be clicked) whilst colours and sizes of different site elements seem to be *competing* rather than to be supporting each other.

    • 10

      Tim: I appreciate the feedback, thank you.

      I suspect the difference was in how we might be looking at it. (This was probably the case for all the examples but definitely for this one…) I was there not looking to critique their visual design/experience but rather to solve a problem. After three frustrating experiences with others.

      In that mental state the giant 9 was god send (it answered the one question I wanted answered), then I marveled at the other smart things they were doing (telling me closing time of the call center, detecting my location, and other CMTB stuff).

      The "elements competition" became less of an issue.

      -Avinash.

      • 11
        Tim Flint says:

        Actually, the $9 is a classic trick that isn't necessarily good for the consumer, but it is a good sales tactic. The reason is that they offset your normal pricing frame of reference to make it appear cheaper than it actually is.

        Most people are actually going to think of that more as $9 a month than as $9 per week. The will read week and get it, but their closest comparison is $29 a month which might be offered by another guy. By making the customer do the conversion they can trick them into higher priced goods, or make them think that they are cheaper than they are because everyone thinks of bills in monthly increments.

        Not saying they are more expensive, but that is the reason for $9. It looks lower than someone else pitching $29 or $34 even though it isn't.

        • 12

          Tim: I agree with you that it is a very good sales strategy, though I probably won't go so far as to say that it is a trick. They clearly say week on their price, if then I choose to ignore it then it is on me and not them.

          In this case my primary reason for choosing them was that they actually had a price, any price (!). Especially in an environment when their service provider (ADT) and every other affiliate were simply trying to, ok I'll use the word now :), trick me.

          -Avinash.

  7. 13

    Avinash,

    Thank you for that a great start to my Monday, and you had my attention at

    "Yet, it would be fair to say we are also drowning in awful digital experiences – or, at the very minimum, experiences that seem to be stuck in 1991"

    And yes it is fair the more sites I see and work with. Several of your examples really got me to thinking the most.

    1. Using GEO / IP detection more and noticing how many sites could and should be using this.
    2. But is always number 1 on my list thanks to you several years back Cart / Checkout experiences. (Be transparent, and take their money now!)
    3. Boring item / content descriptions (which kills your seo)
    4. CMTB I love this one simple yet we talk so much about call to action but stop there. Just stating buy now is like 1991 "build it and they will come" not anymore.

    Again great post as always all 18 lessons are ones I will strive to implement by simple showing the data to the HIPPO's to get the OK and money to move their sites forward and out of 1991.

  8. 14

    Leading by example! Very inspiring indeed. Thank you for this (thoughtfully) commented list.

    Running a French health insurance comparison business, I will now try hard to stop winning about how hard it is to be good at script and graphics in this sector.

    Let's give imagination a try for a change.

  9. 15
    David Pavlicko says:

    Wow, you've just occupied one more spot in my favorite posts of all time list. These are all great, but I especially like the AAA vs MetLife comparison.

    To just look at MetLife by itself, I would be inclined to say they're doing a lot of things really well. Clear headline describing what you're supposed to do, an estimate of price and a short number of form fields with a clear call to action on what to do next – continue. Sure it could be improved upon, but overall I'd say it's a great start.

    Then I look at the AAA site and realize how very wrong I was.

    First off, the headline immediately offers a value proposition. Things I hadn't even considered were presented beautifully – a sliding coverage amount widget and a wide range of quotes based on the lengths of each plan.

    Amazing.

    • 16
      Beckie says:

      This happened to me a few times too – I thought 'well, that's not so bad' until he pointed out a site that really nailed it.

      Suddenly it's glaringly obvious what could have been improved!

  10. 17

    Avinash,

    Thanks for the article, there is a ton of good advice here.

    Something I'll refer back to, I'm sure.

  11. 18
    Jonas Lindholm says:

    Great post with nice to the point examples!

    Incredible, as you say, that some of the worlds biggest brands can handle their online presence in such a sloppy, uninspired way.

    The latest site I visited where I was truly amazed by the whole experience was http://www.tictail.com. Loved everything from the copy to the intuitive process. Check it out and you will see what I mean!

    /Jonas

    • 19

      Jonas: What a great example!

      Tactail works so smoothly that I want to set up a store to sell something. Now I just have to figure out what to sell. :)

      Thank you.

      Avinash.

    • 20
      Mario Lurig says:

      I think it fails her test.
      My #1 question on that site is: How much does this cost to use?

      Searching the page for 'pricing' finds nothing and searching for 'fees' finds:
      No hidden fees

      I think the #1 hidden fee is WHAT THE NON-HIDDEN FEE IS!

  12. 21

    As always, spectacular words of wisdom!

    Quick note: I tried to go to Lysol's site to compare/contrast and had a difficult time connecting. Anyone else having the same problem?

    • 22

      Rebecca: It might have been a temporary glitch in the matrix, the Lysol site seems to be working ok now.

      Though it is not a great example of design, branding or marketing. Hopefully someone from Reckitt Benckiser will find the positive examples included in this post as inspiration. :)

      -Avinash.

  13. 23
    Beckie says:

    Fabulous post! I laughed out loud a few times with your 'OMG! In 2013' comments.

    So very, very true.

  14. 24
    Murilo says:

    I understand the logic, but what does CMTB mean?

  15. 26

    Love it!

    So often, in consulting, I find that the client's first question or response is "what are the competition doing?"… but they're all universally rubbish and uninspiring!

    It's so rare to find a website which is genuinely and disruptively *good*; hell, I'd settle for spotting something even mediocre from time to time.

    This is why this state of general low quality and ambition for greatness perpetuates – everybody's using everybody else's website as a yardstick, and settling for something loosely comparable.

    Sad times.

    • 27

      Jono: That is a really great point!

      My recommendation to CEOs often is to not look at the obvious competition, rather look at the competition they normally don't think about. And it is not hard to find. Just do a quick Google search for your product/category. The competition you don't know is typically ranked #1 in organic (!) and has better copy in their AdWords ads!

      -Avinash.

  16. 28

    Great post Avinash, as always.

  17. 29
    jimbeetle says:

    I can't remember the last time I spent the better part of an afternoon digesting a post. Great examples, fantastic write up.

    One thing you missed, though, is Method's not including a size on the product page. You only find out how much you're buying when you add an item to the cart.

  18. 30
    Manju says:

    Hi Avinash? Can you start video blogging (can have the transcript as well for seo, etc.), so it is faster to watch vs. reading?

    I love your blog but video content will help enable to consume the content faster.

    • 31
      Tim G says:

      Not being funny, but I don't think any of us quite realise how much time it takes for Avinash to write these articles and to provde them for free.

      If it takes you 30 minutes to read something that you get value out of whilst it takes Avinash several hours to write with no compensation, I don't think it's in order to ask for something more convenient.

  19. 32

    Why? Perhaps two reasons.

    1) Leadership/ownership wants to "feel" the brand in the site's presentation, not "feel" the UX.

    2) SEMers/their efforts (spends) forget that they will land users onto (yes) a specific item's page (e.g., 'floral evening silk evening gown') yet those pages will be perceived by the user (UX) as really the starting/home page, so to speak.

    Note: I consider Amazon's Shopbop.com an exception to bad UX, (and my original post via G+ hadn't even allowed me the time to read your mention of ShopBop — in gorgeous Madison, WI — how funny).

    Cx-level folks gotta' get out of B-School/C-Level mentalities and "grab the data" — this means grab the customer/visitor/guest now! 'Don't do yourself any favors — instead deliver them the delight of their visits to your store!'

    • 33

      Christopher: The sad thing is that even these Leaders who care about the brand and love the brand seem to pay such scant attention at how much their teams stink at showing the care and brand love online.

      Really great point on #2. I've always said in my talks that one should consider every entry page to the website as a home page. Just checkout the top 100 entry (landing) pages… are they self-contained ambassadors of your brand / value to the customer?

      -Avinash.

  20. 34
    Rich Page says:

    Wow. Amazing Avinash!

    I love how you are moving into the world of discussing optimized websites, not just analytics best practices – and I agree, I am truly shocked at how bad some big corporate websites still are. These fantastic example websites will surely inspire and end up in many conversion presentations very soon!

    Oh, and I actually missed the $9 because it was so big! ;)

    Rich

  21. 35
    Dave says:

    @Avinash, don't you think the eyepath is 'a bit' distorted with the shopbop.com product pages ? My eyes need to go from left -> right -> back -> up & down & up to have all info stored in my head.

    Or is it just me :)

    • 36

      Dave: This sounds a smidgen rude, but it might be you! :)

      On a serious note, there is no set answer here. I've done experiments where "switching things around" worked really well for a client because visitors to the site had to re-orient themselves. It especially works in Shopbop type layouts where things are just so cleanly organized that even if you don't see your normal stuff in normal places, you find it all quickly.

      I've had some experiments where the conversions did drop, this was usually when we started with a cluttered page (think Macy's or others) and then switched things around. That did not work.

      Testing hence is super important.

      Avinash.

      • 37
        Dave says:

        I knew something was wrong with me :)

        There's no valid argument if they did test their pages indeed and sometimes swimming upstream (like the folks at lingcars.com) can be a + factor. It was just a first impression/thought of mine…

      • 38
        Krzysztof says:

        This re-orientation thing is really great point. As you said in a clean organised layout it can influence our bounce rate and in the next step conversion rate – simple and worth testing.

        So good article and so much more in comments section :)

        Thanks for your great work!

  22. 39

    Fantastic post as always Avinash. I have never heard of some of these sites and now I don't know how I could live without them (especially Songza!!!).

    I want to throw in my own personal favorite, http://www.bonobos.com Rarely do I have online shopping experiences that are fun, but Bonobos definitely is.

    A great example, they remember your sizes without even being asked! And it continues through the whole experience. In fact, even their pop-up's are great. You can give them your email for 20% off your FIRST order! Everybody who is a first time Bonobos user is given a coupon up front. How cool is that? Talk about a great use of cookies and segmentation!

    In their email follow ups, they provide the information you want AND include interesting YouTube videos as well.

  23. 41

    Ahh! I love reading your posts first thing in the morning. It puts me in the perfect digital marketing mindset for the rest of the day.

    I really wish Songza was available from where I am. It looks like a beautiful website. Also good thoughts about the white space (if only this article had been written a few days earlier). I was arguing with my client that too much white space makes your website look boring.

    Thanks for this amazing article Avinash!

  24. 42
    Carol Desch says:

    I saw the link for this article on Google+. Thanks for posting there.

    This was a insightful article. Great explanations for the visceral yuk you feel from some websites. Loved the contrasting examples (good site, bad site) and live links.

    And thanks for the free pdf. You didn't even require a registration. Brilliant.

    But one thing puzzles me, and this is a quote from the blog:

    "Recently, I wanted to buy a dress for myself."

    One can only wonder why. Or did you want to see if we read the whole thing?

    • 43

      Carol: You got me!

      It was totally a device for me to see if people were really reading the post. :)

      But I have to admit, shopping for dresses is a lot of fun. It is boring to shop for yet another pair of jeans!

      -Avinash.

      • 44
        Paul says:

        I was wondering the same thing. Surely Avinash is a guy – from the picture on the blog. Maybe he's a cross-dresser? Doesn't mention it in About Me. So what's the deal with the dress? I had to read through 35 comments to get to this one, but at least there was an answer. Phew!

        Thanks for the post. Eye-opening, useful and fun, as always. I will plague a number of colleagues with it, as I often do with your posts. Even though I manage a site with no real e-commerce, you still help me keep my eyes on the prize. Thanks!

        - Paul

      • 45
        eryn says:

        I'm a year late to reading this, but what a great, great post!

        I too, could not figure out the dress thing.

        Glad someone else asked. :)

  25. 46
    Socialmediajewel says:

    What a cool commentary, Avinash. At the right time, where I need some inspirations @ work.

    Just to add a little:

    1. We need to speak in a tone that resonates with the target users, I believe most Internet users are the young working adults, who are typically stressed out with work, and in dire need of a little excitement from what they view on the Webpage.

    2. We have to make sure everything on our page clearly shows its meaning/intention in the first 3 seconds of page view. Do you agree?

    • 47

      Nurraizan: I do agree with you. We need to connect with the visitor, and connect quickly!

      But I've discovered through experimentation that the connect quickly part is only for the initial hook. The page/content can actually be pretty long and detailed etc., and people will still read it. You just have to engage them quickly.

      There are many good examples of that in this post, I would point out Security Choice as a good tactical one.

      -Avinash.

      • 48
        Todd says:

        I would love to read a post that gets more into your findings about the "initial hook" experience vs. the longer/detailed page content.

        We are constantly getting requests to add more and more info "above the fold" in an attempt to make EVERYTHING. My intuition is that it creates WAY to much clutter and offers way to many choices. Buy most of that feedback falls on deaf ears without evidence to back it up…thus my request for a post!

        Great article by the way! Inspiring.

        • 49

          Todd: Thanks for the suggestion, I'll keep it in mind.

          On long pages and short pages it really does depend on the context of the experience. On some longer more consideration requiring more persuasion experiences long pages actually do surprisingly well. On ecommerce, like Shopbop in this post, focused size (usually not small but kind of medium) work the best from my experimentation experience.

          In your case it looks like we might have to run some experiments to get the HiPPOs off our backs. :)

          -Avinash.
          PS: I love REI! Am a member. :)

  26. 50
    Iris says:

    Songza was a real surprise for me.

    Thanks for such an amazing and insightful post.

  27. 51
    Tom Bowen says:

    As usual, amazing work Avinash. This should be required reading for all conversionistas out there–at least once per month.

    And all of us should send the link to our customers as well.

    So you're into cross-dressing?

  28. 52
    Oswin Oswald says:

    Avinash wears dresses now??

    Confused…

  29. 54
    Cedric says:

    Fantastic blog / post.

    Thanks to Twitter, I'm starting today to follow up you Avinash, as myself professional for Webdesign on e-Commerce.

    You may have a look on some of our latest realisations.

    Thanks again for this brilliant post.

  30. 55
    Naila Mateen Patel says:

    Truly a great read.

    Despite being part of the digital world for more than 5 years, some examples delighted me with their intellectual simplicity. I could sense one common thread across them. Each of them was more than just a destination, they were experiences!

  31. 56

    Sir, Reading your posts has always been great learning for me, thank you for that. Examples and explanations in this post are just outstanding. I was actually looking for some creative web designs to redesign my own website. I got one from HUbspot they have also given some good examples and now your article is also great.

    What I believe now is that website design should be creative, it should have essence of your product and end users/visitors, something that they can instantly feel like they are visiting one of the best places in the world does matter it is digitally!

    I need to go back to my designers and discuss fresh things now. Although I know for the fact that they are going to get angry with me because I will make their life hard till the time my visitors are satisfied with it.

    Thanks.
    Tejash Mehta

  32. 57
    Maggie Tattersall says:

    Great innovation from Innocent giving the option to put your shopping into one of your existing grocery delivery accounts – no checkout or delivery costs on the Innocent site.

    If the trialled tech works out it will be an amazing add-on for any company with products stocked in major supermarkets.

  33. 58

    I loved the experience of reading this article on online experience. ;) The examples shown here excellently demonstrates how easy the user experience should be.

    I'll be taking a lot of notes from this post to implement into a new project that I joined. Perfect timing of this article, I needed it right now..

    Thanks Avinash..

  34. 59
    Jason says:

    Interesting article but all anecdotes and no data. I was a bit surprised at the lack of an underlying message to test in to these outcomes instead of just making "clean design" assumptions

    • 60

      Jason: I had this in the closing thoughts:

      I hope they inspire you to take a long hard look at your own digital existence and want to move from good to magnificent. And do remember that you have to take none of this at face value. You have free tools like Google Analytics Content Experiments (now with the power of multi-armed bandits!), and eminently affordable ones like Optimizely and Visual Website Optimizer to run experiments that will prove I'm right. Sorry, I meant so say tools that will prove to you what works best for your business. The missing ingredient is inspiration (in spades above) and your courage (I know you have tons of it).

      Does that help?

      The goal of this post was to present radically better way of solving a problem. Clean design or not (as was clear from the Security Choice example). Then you test!

      -Avinash.

      • 61
        Ernie Schell says:

        I've had many clients with cluttered Websites who have tested them against all kinds of other (technically better) designs, with the cluttered one working much better than alternatives.

        Same thing with paper catalogs….

  35. 62
    Mike Meisner says:

    Incredibly insightful article as always Avinash. It's easy to see how any business could benefit from studying this, piece by piece.

    As someone who works in an industry that seems especially far behind in technology and web design/usability, it's nice to have this sort of thing to reference for future emphasis in projects, and examples of brands who do well.

    And it's equally important to point out the big names who don't do so well, which I liked.

  36. 63
    Jy Morgan says:

    Another quirky feature with Innocent site is when you click on the "Australia" link in the footer, the page flips on its head.

  37. 65
    eric says:

    All the seven sites are amazing!

    Songza is the most attractive to me, because I'm often stuck when I want to listen to music but have no idea what to play.

    "Detail decides the success of marketing." This is what I conclude from your article. We have so many ways to propagandization: social network, network marketing software, email marketing, and so on. But we need to bare in mind that we have to guarantee both the way and the details in order to win customers' hearts.

  38. 66
    Emil says:

    Very nice post, thank you!

    One site I love is wetransfer.com. So simple, so beautiful.

  39. 67
    Rob Watson says:

    I'm going to be using this article in training sessions.

    Simply fantastic examples and very well put!

  40. 68
    Ceejo says:

    Very very useful.

    Thanks so much!

  41. 69
    valmir says:

    Songza pode ser muito legal. Mas não é. Porque não está disponível no Brasil.

    E por isso, não pude acessá-lo.

    • 70

      Valmir: It is indeed a bummer that Songza is not available in Brazil. Content distribution rights, especially in the entertainment space, are a pretty big mess.

      Let's hope the web, and the amount of money to be made, will act as a good motivator and drive change!

      -Avinash.

  42. 71
    Sean says:

    I absolutely love this post. I had a friend send this onto me via email. :)

    My favorite example was the shopbop experience. I really will use this post in the future. I'm off now to read this again.

    Cheers!

  43. 72

    Really nice post Avinash. One comment about a few examples:

    - What do you think of communicating sharing buttons ( Twitter, Facebook, Google+) at product pages? For example by Ragu and Innocent.

    I think it is not really a benefit for a product page. I think, you should communicate it, when someone has ordered something. Then there is something to share.

    Agree, about that one?

    • 73

      Gerard: Implementing them in annoying ways is silly. So often you go to the site and the bug "TWEET THIS" "FACEBOOK LIKE US PLEASE WE ARE BEGGING YOU" buttons distract from the core experience of the site. Be it right under the title of the page or in a left of right overlay that covers your products/services. We should not do that. Let the page do the job for which the person might come there.

      If they are unobtrusive, tucked away discreetly, then that is ok. Almost no one will click them (on any site) but for the few that might, they are there.

      Of the examples we have in this post, I like the Shopbop one because it is discreet and with other micro conversions.

      Neiman Marcus is also ok, it is out of the way.

      Innocent's is ok, but I felt it was in the way.

      Method does a very good job on its product pages as well – discreet and nicely put away to the side with the micro conversions, does not distract from the macro conversion.

      Hope this helps.

      -Avinash.

  44. 74
    Sean says:

    I have been working with my web developer along with my ppc guy to create a good user experience for my visitors.

    Again… shopbop kicked ass in this post for me. I also love the interactive elements of songza. Very intuitive I have to say. I am in big fan of simple, clean, clear designs on webpages. They really make it easier to navigate your way around a page.

    Has anyone heard of marketingexperiments.com? These guys are a fantastic learning resource for marketing online. I just wanted to share with you all as I have learnt a lot with them also.

    Thanks ;)

  45. 75
    Woody says:

    Hey Avinash, great job, yet another thought provoking article!

    I can certainly sympathise with your ADT experience. Here in the UK, things are not much better. I had exactly the same problem understanding their pricing structure. Enough so, I decided to write an article on it, clearly explaining their pricing structure – http://securityalarms.co.uk/adt/quick-connect/

    Seems that's exactly what people want, inline with what Google wants (giving searchers what they asked for) and is reflected in the SERPs as my site ranks page #1 (just under ADT.co.uk) for phrases like "adt alarms".

    Happy days :)

    This results in some decents levels of traffic for me, and no – I'm not affiliated with ADT, I don't get a penny from ADT on any type of affiliate deal. I'm just giving potential ADT customers the information they're looking for.

    Why is that so damn hard for ADT to do this themselves?

    • 76

      Woody: Very nice! Not only are you giving people some valuable information, enough of them are looking for this that you are now ranking right under ADT. :)

      -Avinash.

  46. 77

    I've always liked Methods branding. It's nice to see companies like that doing some smart thing online as well.

    I guess the only thing an intricate website like that is to ensure Google an crawl all your pages. To many times I've seen massive websites that can't be accessed by a search engine robot.

    Cool post Avinash!

    • 78

      Ashley: That is a very good concern, we should ensure that in our attempt at creating beautiful yet functional sites that we don't go too flash heavy or have javascript wrapped links or serve text as images/flash (!) etc. I've seen all those examples.

      To the best of my knowledge the sites in this post (Method, Innocent, Shopbob) are created in such a manner that they would pose Google/Bing/Yandex no problems.

      -Avinash.

  47. 79
    Ran says:

    Great Post.

    I specially love the songza and the 3m comparison you've made. I rarely came back or even continue opening a website which makes me pick what country or any other option I am.

    It's just awesome to be in a website that is so smooth and user friendly. In which you only need one click to view what you need and no more other things you have to pass before getting there.

  48. 80

    This was a delight to read and incredibly helpful – even as a layperson in the world of ecommerce, I "got it".

    Will pass on to everyone I know!

  49. 81
    Tareq says:

    Thank you Avinash for this brilliant post.

    I have it bookmarked and will be used as a reference for me and my team.

    Tareq

  50. 82
    Marcelo says:

    Great! Incredible post.

    I'm from Brazil and I liked it.

  51. 83
    shofik says:

    Digital provides every Brand Marketer an almost infinite capability to express creativity.

    I love that the ones at Method do such an incredible job of expressing that creativity.

  52. 84
    Indu says:

    Thanks for another wonderful post Avinash.

    I find the choose your country option really really annoying especially on websites that I regularly use like Eurostar.com.

    Recently BBC.co.uk updated their website and its clearly a more user friendly website. I love the little clock and the weather forecast that appears on top of the page automatically identifying where I am. Even though there is no product to be sold there is very high repeat visit factor.

    - Indu

  53. 85
    Eugene Roebuck says:

    What an awesome post! This is so informative. I love the ideas shared.

    Two thumbs up for this!

  54. 86
    Stefanie says:

    Hi,

    Currently my favourite website is booking.com – joy of use & usability are great there!

  55. 87

    Excellent post, very much appreciated the time it takes to write something in so much depth.

    One thing I can see the value in is the geoip and context it provides, the problem is that its very inaccurate in my experience. I'm constantly being told i'm in Glasgow, Pert or Edinburgh but in reality i'm over 200 miles north of there.

    • 88

      John: Very good point. Geo/IP detection is not 100% accurate, and when you get down to street level things might not often line up properly.

      But it is important to know that at a country level the detection is pretty much 100% accurate, at a state/region level it is probably around 95%. Then things get slightly weaker at a city level.

      So you can see that for 95% of the people we can give a great experience, no need for "Choose Your Country"! For the rest we can give a easy way to correct things (like a little map or "correct your city" type option). Most of the time these companies choose to punish the 99% because 1% or less times the country detection might be inaccurate. That is sad.

      -Avinash.

  56. 89
    Ryan Finley says:

    Another great post, Avinash. Thanks for pointing out some great sites that I likely would not have seen otherwise. My personal favorites were Songza (it's amazing that I was up and running in about 5 seconds, signed up and listening to music I wanted) and ShopBop (LOVE the video insertion – great clean look as well.)

    Such great things, and now I need to figure out how to translate it to my own work. Working in OnSite Search for a behemoth of an Ecommerce site, everything looks old and tired. It takes so long to turn a boat of this size, even with great ideas that everyone agrees with right away. I'd love to hear specific advice on how to get things done when you work for a Giant, like 3M for instance.

    • 90

      Ryan: If I were working for 3M (or any other giant) I would use the strategy of embarrassing the senior management to drive change. I mean embarrass in a loving way of course, and I would do so delicately. Rather than expressing my opinon, I would use competitive intelligence and direct customer insights to embarrass them.

      Here's a post that goes a bit deeper into that:

      ~ Lack Management Support or Buy-in? Embarrass Them!

      Hope this helps.

      Avinash.

  57. 91
    Mabuzi says:

    My highlight is Bombay butternut squash curry with basmati rice, yoghurt & cumin. I am going to cook that this weekend.

    Thank-you for such a great and insightful post and I will be taking your insights to our next team meeting.

    Thank-you very much indeed.

  58. 92
    Bill Laidlaw says:

    Ragu: I hear your cry Avinash "no passion,nothing unique" but maybe they should just be applauded for their honesty.

    In our house a dish of lasagna is divided creatively in two. One half uses Ragu for the kids the other half use Rao's for the parents ;)

    • 93

      Bill: Ha ha!

      I do know people at Unilever and they are amazing and imaginative product people. I don't think they should settle. They should find inspiration from this post and spice up the Ragu site. :)

      Avinash.

  59. 94
    Steve says:

    Great article, with some great points and tips.

    That aside, I don't understand how you can criticize companies like YouTube, Amazon and Orbitz when you're not necessarily aware of the insights they learn on a daily basis.

    • 95

      Steve: YouTube, Amazon and others are successful not because of their design (Amazon especially is pretty horrid), they win because they provide a different compelling value proposition.

      Take Amazon. We love it. We have an Amazon Prime account. We shop everyday. But that is because they have exceptional customer service combined with an insanely diverse selection. If you have that, no need to worry about design.

      YouTube on the other hand knows that it is a destination of choice already and have worked very hard in the last six months to make bold design changes. They don't have to (like Amazon). But I'm thrilled their innovation has not stalled, that they are not satisfied with status quo.

      -Avinash
      PS: I don't put Orbitz in the same category as the other two. Orbitz needs to take design seriously.

      • 96
        Steve says:

        No need to worry about design? I think worry is a bad word, but commitment to great design is always warranted regardless of how strong the value proposition may be. Of course good design is subjective. I just happen to believe both Amazon and YouTube are examples of great thoughtful design that keep users in mind.

  60. 97
    Matt Shealy says:

    Fantastic post!!! We have been incredibly focused on conversion optimization on our eCommerce sites. Your post has opened our eyes to a much wider breath of opportunities.

    The ShopBop product page may be the best format I have ever seen to showcase a product. We will be taking these techniques into serious consideration while redesigning!

  61. 98
    Omar Hashmy says:

    Brilliant post Avinash! No, I'm not from the UK. But anyway, I love love LOVE Songza, and their mobile experience is just as amazing as their website. This is the future of radio right here.

    Also, when it comes to fashion ecommerce I highly recommend you check out http://www.modcloth.com. I am not affiliated in anyway. I'm not even a girl for crying out loud, but I admire what they have done with the site. Not only is it user and SEO friendly, but they work the boho-chic style into every detail of the website. And this experience is carried across all their social media profiles as well.

    Thanks!

  62. 99
    Katerina says:

    This is one of the best design critique posts I have ever read.

    I usually just skim through the posts but yours had me glued to each word. I love how you compare the different elements of design and user experience of each site.

    The method site is fabulous!

    Thanks for the great post!

  63. 100
    Chris Irwin says:

    Just hired a new web designer, I read this and have forwarded it to him as a compulsory weekend read! Great inspiration and ideas, Thank you!

  64. 101
    Susan Hallam says:

    Thanks for the thoughtful article, Avinash.

    What I found particularly useful is that these big brand design initiatives can also be used by small businesses in a cost effective and powerful way. Some of the aspects require expensive programming changes, but many of your observations are as simple as using great bullet points, reassuring text, and appropriate calls to action. They can easily be translated into smaller websites by just thinking a bit smarter.

    ps – John Lewis is consistently one of my favourite websites, and I'm delighted you featured it!

  65. 102
    Mike Wigmore says:

    As always an amazing post. I saw the Method CEO at a conference and that guy lives and breathes the brand he has created.

    I think at the end of the day that's what this post focuses on – find who you are and what you believe in and make sure your website experience reflects that.

    Thanks again for the post.

  66. 103

    Nice post!

    Sometimes it can be difficult trying to come up with good content to support a web application. Would you say it's best to chose a specific goal for each page, and have all of the content on that page support that goal?

    Like in Songza, all the content is telling you, "play music with the right mood."

    • 104

      Shantanu: Every web page should have a clearly defined purpose, and solve for that purpose via succinct text based CMTB and a clear call to action.

      If you have a particularly complicated business where web pages often solve for more than one thing, you should ensure that there is a clear understanding of what the primary purpose is and that page should solve for that. Additionally there can be a secondary goal, but it is solved for in a secondary manner from an experience perspective (so subtle, on the site, softer cross-sells and up-sells, gentle recommendations, "you can also" in the side nav etc. etc.).

      Problems occur when we have a complicated business and the pages has no idea what they are solving for. Or those all to common "designed by committee" experiences. :)

      Hope this helps.

      Avinash.

  67. 105
    Graham says:

    The Good: I love this post. Great examples (of good and BAD!). It was actually really inspiring to see how some of those companies handle their web pages and goals.

    The Bad: Your site and this article could use a little of your own advice. The hypnotic oragne sidebars, the just a little too big paragraph breaks and a post titled "7 Incredible…" with no numbered points!

    But I'll finish again with saying I did really enjoy the content.

  68. 106

    All of the examples were great, but the Method about page stood out to me. I really like how the simple manifesto created a great story and can grow over time.

    K.I.S.S.

  69. 107
    dezea says:

    Great, my favorite was the site that was showing how many hours their office is still open. That's a great touch that I will surely add for my clients who have local businesses.

    Some great examples, though, everything is perfectible like always. Eg, the Innocent site does have some seo issues. Like, their meta description tag for product pages contain a generic site description, and a useless meta tag keywords which looks kinda spammy.

    I understand you have to offer a great experience for your visitors, but this is also related with how they see your website in search engine results.

  70. 108
    Andy Gibson says:

    Avinash, this is such a great blog post I shared it with my entire office, regardless of their job title!

    This is by far my favorite analytics blog and I eagerly await your next post!

    Keep up the great work.

  71. 109
    Max says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Love the responsive design. Finally able to fill the Gap between home and work in the Subway!

    Greetz from Germany
    Max

  72. 110
    Alan Perkins says:

    Hi Avinash

    Relevant to your write-up of John Lewis is that their internet sales jumped 44% year-on-year in the five weeks to the end of December 2012:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20889604

    Unfortunately I don't know how many of the features you've mentioned were implemented during that year. But JL's continued online success has to be at least in part down to their good cart and checkout experience, as either:

    * they implemented some or all of those features during 2012 or
    * the cart was that good in 2011 and their competitors still haven't caught up

  73. 111
    Ryan Key says:

    Their are some great sites here for sure.

    One of the first things that I notice when browsing a site is how easy it is to use it and if I am enjoying the experience.

  74. 112
    Stacey says:

    Method now has a new email subscriber and Songza has a new fan!

    Also – I'd love to see this sort of post on a regular basis as this one was very insightful.

    Well done.

  75. 113
    Milan says:

    Hi Avinash,

    What's your thought on eliminating the 'continue shopping' link?

    Amazon as you know has success eliminating it (user can still add more product if determined via clicking on logo or on category pull downs) and it builds tunnel vision. Seems like not too many e-commerce shops are bold enough to do this.

    Seems to be controversial as we want to give shoppers the liberty to leave and return. But with this also comes elevated risk of abandonment.

    • 114

      Milan: This sounds like a perfect opportunity for an A/B test. We have easy access to paid or free tools, should be easy to test if the link matters.

      In general though I've never been a big fan of assuming zero intelligence in our website visitors/customers. They all know where the back button is. They all know how to go back to the homepage or the product page to shop more. Typically assuming they know how to browse and shop online is a safe assumption (unless you have a truly funky site). But if in doubt, always test. :)

      -Avinash.

  76. 115
    Adrian Kaule says:

    Awesome post!

    Now we just need budgets for website optimization to be a natural part of the marketing budget, just as traffic budgets :)

  77. 116
    yskan says:

    Definetely a great post with very good examples.

    I would love to hear your opinion on the following website (not mine nor related to)

    http://www.lingscars.com/

    Despite the horrible design and usabity it is doing something good

    • 117

      Yskan: Someone else had mentioned Lings as well. It is an entirely ugly site with the best of what makes for an awful web experience.

      The hypothesis is that the experience is so awful that you can't help but be engaged with it, and deliver a conversion to the company. So it seems that the site works for them.

      I just tried to rent a Audi TT RS Coupe, and I have to admit that I failed at it. I could not figure out how to complete the transaction after I picked the car. There was too much other distracting stuff in the way.

      This proves a second thing: You don't have to solve for everyone, as long as you solve for your core customer. :)

      -Avinash.

  78. 118
    Anish Jacob says:

    Thanks Avinash!

    CMTB – i will not forget that one :)

  79. 119
    Hans Husman says:

    Here in Sweden I have heard from a lot of persons – more or less small crowds – that you should write an article with the most important values you have provided on your blog since say 2011.

    They all want to start reading your blog again but being less rational compared to myself they feel afraid they want understand all the modern posts and feel dumb.

    GG

  80. 120
    Converian says:

    We are sure of one thing: You wouldn't have had any problem writing a great novel if you wanted to!

    Great article, just great!

    From where we are standing, the issue you address is just one step in the long and painstaking process of “Evolution”. If more and more people read what you had to say here and do understand the basics, the long process we mentioned earlier might lose some of its length.

    One day, not a long time from now, the ones that managed to survive the Digital Marketing Experience Revolution will be exactly those that implemented this kind of strategy. It’s simple common sense.

  81. 121
    Alan Mathers says:

    Great post, you put a original prospective marketing keep blogging.

  82. 122
    savitha peri says:

    Superb post about horrifying, dumb and great digital experiences.

    For some companies (i was wondering that) maybe the website is a thing that is done once in a lifetime and never revisited (so we don't see updated versions that take into account the advances that happened since the site went live).

    For others (Ragu), online is not a business priority and hence looks like brochure-ware or copy paste of offline collateral.

    The ADT vendors example was great comparison of how 3 different guys take the same thing and sell.

  83. 123
    Chris Grant says:

    Avinash – Oh, if only more people would do posts like this instead of generalities!

    I work for the agency that did the AAA Life site (who I shall not name because I don't want to be accused of seeking a plug). It was amazing and awesome to see you recognize the thought that went into the concept and details.

    Thank you for the huge morale-booster.

  84. 124
    Lindsay says:

    First off. I am SAVING this post. It will be a reference for a long time. Plus a pdf! Can't get any better.

    Secondly, thank you for your perfect examples. This is what I've wanted to find but can't. Small businesses doing things right. I love how most of them are using white space in a responsible way. Perfect! Amazon may be huge but that doesn't make them right.

    And, this is the first of your posts I've read. Expect me to be back for more. GREAT JOB! Keep up the good work.

  85. 125
    Eric says:

    Really helpful!

    Thanks Avinash.

  86. 126
    Mark says:

    Hi Avinash.

    I've never been on the John Lewis site before but you're right. It does look a little different today than you have depicted in your image but still has the same minimal feel about it.

    Good to see them flying the UK flag….

  87. 127

    I'm going to use the $20 WordPress theme comparison in the future. Loved these site reviews. Thank you!

  88. 128
    Lee says:

    Loved this.

    Good examples, great insights, and laughed the whole way through…

  89. 129
    George Anderson says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Some good stuff here. Thanks for sharing it.

    George

  90. 130
    Mike says:

    It amazes me how big brand stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus can get away with having such a "cheap" looking website that offers top dollar merchandise.

    I'm sure most of the products each of those stores sells cost more than their web design! :)

  91. 131
    Pawan says:

    That was a very long list and thanks for your awesome analysis about these companies.

  92. 132
    Susan says:

    I think the innocent website is an excellent example of how a few simple colour choices can have a big impact on the overall design.

    Great selection! Thanks.

  93. 133

    Hi Avinash,

    You made me cringe all through the post :) Awesome examples, great enlightenment and food for thought for all.

    Btw- how much time it took for you to write he post?

    It took me forever to read, and it's great delight.

    • 134

      Ravi: It takes a very long time to write posts like this one, sometimes weeks of research and thinking and throwing away things and seeking new ones and through it all trying to find a cohesive narrative.

      I'm a fan of providing an irrational amount of value, I also don't know how to compress everything I want to say into 300 words, hence the length of the post.

      I'm glad you found it to be of value.

      Avinash.

  94. 135
    Tomer says:

    Awesome post!

    Thanks!

  95. 136
    Ali says:

    That was quite an amazing post Sir. Considering its length, it must've taken ages to compile it(hope you don't take it as an insult).

    There is so much to write but I'll go for what i loved the most. Visiting the "Innocent" site was quite delightful to the eyes. The site looked literally….innocent. Again.. Amazing stuff :)

  96. 137
    Jimmy says:

    LOVE how Ragu's product page gets trashed in this.

    SO true, I always think of this when I see terribly un-creative, unimaginative commercials by brands on TV. The marketer in me takes over :P

  97. 138
    Benyamin says:

    Absolutely fantastic article! I've learned quite a lot from it.

    I'm really looking forward to putting this new found knowledge into practice! Thank you!

  98. 139
    Julia Evans says:

    Hi Avinash,

    What a great article. I totally agree with your comments regarding Innocent. I am a big fan of their products, not just for the taste but for their marketing.

    When they initially launched the woolley hats on the smoothie bottles campaign for ageUK, our office went mad for them – we had hats and smoothies all over the place -what a great campaign!

  99. 140
    Julian says:

    Sad to see Method fail with their UK proposition – click on the Buy button on their clementine washing up liquid refill page http://www.methodproducts.co.uk/ind_wash_refill_cle.html and you get unceremoniously dumped elsewhere.

    But great job on their US site, I agree.

  100. 141

    NIce strategies, need to adapt them very soon.

    Thanks avinash kaushik for your support!

  101. 142
    Alok says:

    Hi Avinash,

    Loved your article very much. Could you please suggest me some reading material for category management(ecommerce). Various startegies and frameworks for following:

    Marketing Plan (brands, assortment, pricing, promotions)
    Vendor & Operations Management (geographic distribution, sourcing, shipping, returns)

    Thank you very much!

Trackbacks

  1. [...]
    7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences (Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik)
    [...]

  2. [...]
    Brian Yanish – MarketingHits.com‘s insight: If you only read one website design article this year make it this one and bookmark it. The article covers many design elements the can help you not only grab your website visitor attention but convert them is a customer. See on http://www.kaushik.net
    [...]

  3. [...]
    7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences, http://www.kaushik.net
    [...]

  4. [...]
    7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences by Avinash Kaushik.
    I’m not promising anything this good on the renovation of TopicMaps.com but this is one source I am looking to for inspiration.
    [...]

  5. [...]
    The thing that killed HMV was the fact the ‘new’ players just kept improving their business – investing in new features and perfecting the way their sites work. Amazon know that shaving 100millisecodns of the load time of their site increases their revenue by $100m. All the clever tricks detailed in the excellent Avinash Kaushik article we pointed to last week improve the experience of the user and drive more sales.
    [...]

  6. [...]
    2. 7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences — Looking for inspiration? As Google’s Digital Marketing Evangelist, what Avinash likes is certainly worth paying attention to, and the points he makes about these seven sites are full of tips that you can apply to your own website.
    [...]

  7. [...]
    Авинаш Кошик (Avinash Kaushik), широко известный как один из ведущих мировых экспертов по веб-аналитике, опубликовал в своем блоге довольно большую статью 7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences. Авинаш, кстати, помимо аналитики является экспертом по интернет-маркетингу и вообще профессионально занимается вопросами, связанными эксплуатацией всемирной паутины, довольно давно. В свежем материале он рассматривает 7 страниц, которые произвели на него сильное впечатление. Мы выбрали из семи пунктов статьи два, которые имеют непосредственное отношение к электронной коммерции.
    [...]

  8. [...]
    An overview of the latest web design, internet marketing and digital experiences on the web. Give your customers a better online experience! View at Occam's Razor
    [...]

  9. [...]
    Another good example is Songza, a website i first heard of from Avinash Kaushik’s blog Occam’s Razor and i am completely in love with the website now. It’s a online radio station like Pandora, but the difference is it’s smarter and simpler. When I open the website tonight, it automatically set the time and give me five options for the activities i may be doing at this moment. Well, i am writing this blog, so i pick “Studying No Lyrics”. Then it will ask me to pick up a genre then a playlist. It takes five seconds and I get the music I may enjoy.
    [...]

  10. [...]
    On this topic, one can obtain some knowledge of use from Avinash Kaushik. One example is here. In the past, creating websites (and user experiences) was rather faith-based – not based upon data, but based on opinions. With the introduction of Google Analytics, this is no longer the case.
    [...]

  11. [...]
    7 Incredible Web Design, Branding, Digital Marketing Experiences by Avinash Kaushik – (and see what he shares on Google Plus here) – crammed full of practical examples and ideas for improving your own website
    [...]

  12. [...]
    An overview of the latest web design, internet marketing and digital experiences on the web. Give your customers a better online experience! View at Occam's Razor
    [...]

  13. [...]
    The ‘Keep it Simple’ (KISS) principle applies to any site which provides active customer involvement rather than passive consumption but is particularly relevant to those who sell goods online using a shopping cart. An estimated 65% of potential sales are lost due to abandoment during online purchase because the process is too complex or there are too many distractions.
    [...]

  14. [...]
    Tying in neatly with this week’s lesson, our tutorial was to create an infographic compiling data collected from Avinash Kaushik’s blog, which details ways in which professionals can best put web analytics to use. This particular article, titled Best Social Media Metrics, was very interesting in that it communicated ways of maximizing the impact of social networks in the business world. As you can see in the image I have created, the blog post is successfully in approaching the topic from various angles and providing the reading with much insight into the benefit of each tactic. I chose this one because it discusses social networks, which is of great relevance to me as I am in fact the social media lead for the Image Arts Union. In the future, I plan to consider these factors when posting on behalf on the union.
    [...]

  15. [...]
    Have a look at the points made by this writer – it’s all about using words to create a feeling of emotion and passion – words can make you want to try a brand or buy it or change your thoughts and attitudes and behaviour. Look at his views about Innocent and then about Ragout. http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/web-design-branding-digital-marketing-experiences/#innocent
    [...]

  16. […]
    The information on the Occam’s Razer’s blog evaluated these qualities through examining the user-friendly approach of successful websites. My Piktochart explains the common ground that these websites share in attempt to assist on future web development. Enjoy! Blog: http://www.kaushik.net/avinash/web-design-branding-digital-marketing-experiences/
    […]

  17. […]
    As a web designer and writer of copy, I plan to keep these principles in mind when I help folks build eCommerce sites. For those of you interested in this kind of viewpoint, and clever inspection of what might work and might not, take a look at this informative and useful piece by Kaushik He has great insight into how marketing works in the ever evolving world of digital communications.
    […]

  18. […]
    The ‘Keep it Simple’ (KISS) principle applies to any site which requires active customer engagement but is particularly relevant to those who sell goods online using a shopping cart. An estimated 65% of potential sales are lost due to abandoment during online purchase because the process is too complex or there are too many distractions.
    […]

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