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New Look leads in online checkout design: report

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Fashion retailer New Look has been singled out for the usability of its checkout in a study from web design and accessibility agency Nomensa.

The agency says the website rated highly in efficiency and user-experience design, but was “streets ahead of all the other sites” for emotional engagement.

Nomensa’s checkout usability study analysed websites from leading UK ecommerce websites, chosen from the IMRG’s Hot Shops Top 100 List of June 2010.

Judging them on emotional design, efficiency, and user experience (UX) design of the checkout process, it put New Look in first place with 77 points out of 90, Argos (70.5) in second and John Lewis (68) in third. They were followed by Debenhams, Apple’s UK store, B&Q, Next, Play and Marks & Spencer. Two further retailers could not be analysed because of difficulties adding addresses to an order on their sites.

Report author Juliet Richardson said New Look gained its advantage through the emotional engagement of its site, which included features to inspire confidence and trust. For example information about delivery charges, returns and security, and the customer support number were displayed prominently.

Richardson, head of usability at Nomensa, says that customers shopping online want to be reassured. But too many ecommerce website overlook that fact when it comes to designing the checkout.

“Most people are well aware that online checkouts needs to be quick and easy to use,” said Richardson, “but the emotional aspects are often neglected. It is however essential to build trust and confidence during the checkout process through emotional engagement – customers need to feel that the checkout is safe, as well as quick and easy.”

She added: “The checkout – where the customer is actually parting with their money – is the point during the shopping process at which that reassurance is especially vital.”

For more information and to download the report click here

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