Why do so many retailers make their customers do all the work?


The internet of ten years ago was a much different animal. Those were the halcyon days of Internet Explorer, a time where Myspace was worth billions, a time when mobile meant you had a Blackberry and online video meant ordering a DVD from Netflix.

But look up an ecommerce site from 2006 and you’ll find that, really, not much has changed. The search bars, the paginated results, the facet boxes in the left-hand nav: it was there ten years ago and it’s still there now. Shopping online still requires the user to do all the work, to navigate massive catalogs with coarse filters and rudimentary vocabulary, and the lack of conversion rate improvements over the past decade testify that we haven’t made nearly enough progress in helping shoppers find the products they love.

We (and by we, that actually means Randy Dean) had the pleasure of stopping by WIRED UK a few weeks back to talk about just this problem. Here’s how retailers can stop making their customers do all the work and start improving conversion rates, once and for all: