E-commerce sites offering better service

Although there are less of them, e-commerce sites are becoming easier-to-use and more professionally produced, according to Nielsen Norman Group. The analyst house has found improvements across a range of areas.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  June 11, 2002

Although there are less of them, e-commerce sites are becoming easier-to-use and more professionally produced, according to Nielsen Norman Group (NN/g). Repeating a study first carried out two years ago, the analyst house found improvements across a range of areas.

NN/g reported a 4% improvement in compliance with the “E-Commerce User Experience” guidelines, which it produced itself. The sites tested followed 49% of the guidelines, up from 45% in 2000. The professional web production guidelines, which focus on the accuracy of content and technical problems, reached a compliance rate of 78%.

“Web usability for e-commerce sites is not exactly improving at the rate of Moore’s law, but it’s definitely getting better, and if we continue at this rate for the next 15 years, we’ll reach full compliance with all the usability guidelines,” says Jakob Nielsen of NN/g. “As impatient as I am, I’d still be pretty happy if we could claim victory for e-commerce usability and web users everywhere in 2017,” he adds.

The analyst highlighted five areas that had shown the greatest improvement. These were presenting product options in one product page, using a standardised search style, designing forms for checkout and registration, user-friendly search engines and professional web production.

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