Argos is the UK’s third most successful ecommerce retailer and achieves 42% of their total sales online. With a ‘check and reserve’ model that pre-empted the benefits of click and collect it’s no wonder that the retailer has long been perceived as the king of multichannel.
Lately though, the website was starting to look a tad tired so it was great to see it has had a makeover this week. I’ve been taking a closer look at the new site to see what changes they’ve made.
Right time, right message
With big international trading companies there is never a good time to make improvements and perform maintenance online, especially if it means website downtime.
With web base internal software it is slightly easier to strategically plan maintenance schedules. Picking days in the calendar when we know usage across the world is going to be low. For example Sundays, or bank holidays – Salesforce is good at keeping their customers informed with a full schedule readily available.
If your website is down, it’s important to keep the customers informed as to why. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to make a quick purchase but you can’t even get onto the website. The message you give them is vitally important.
Looking at Argos, they have made one major error, two different messages saying completely different things.
With the second message the user may keep trying, thinking that they will eventually get lucky and it will be their turn to enter, resulting in the customer pulling their hair out. The other means the user will accept they have to wait and return at a later date, happy in the knowledge that Argos are trying to make their lives better.
We need to make the process of finding a product and purchasing a product as easy as possible; as Argos say “Find it. Get it. Argos it.”
Despite its extensive remit, covering everything from toys to patio furniture, Argos makes it really easy for their customers to find a product, easier even than looking through their beloved printed catalogue.
The main navigation is very minimalistic. Argos has simplified the whole top bar. The ‘help’ and ‘store locator’ have been added in at the top to be more prominent. This makes perfect sense considering the retailer’s ‘check and reserve’ service accounting for over 30% of their total online sales.
The mega drop-downs provide plenty of choice for customers to find their own paths to product pages, such as searching by brands, sub categories and popular searches.
The filtering options are excellent, enabling the customer to narrow their product searches effectively using their own priorities:
The ‘What’s hot’ section below the page fold is a great example of how to tap into opportunistic consumers and show the products ‘you recently viewed’ saves users a lot of time tracking back through the pages they have visited.
The product pages can’t be faulted for the level of detail provided for customers.
There is extensive product information on features, measurements, as well as user reviews, frequently asked questions and even videos. Simply Group experienced a 25% rise in conversion rates for pages which contained product videos – so it’s well worth looking into if you can.
With limited access to physical products, the user’s ability to navigate around, view and purchase items is critical to the UX of your website.
Argos are also very efficient at upselling here, with ‘extras’ and ‘you may also like’ placed with priority next to the product.
Ahead of its time
For a retailer who paved the way for click and collect it’s quite amazing how hidden the store locater tool was before the revamp.
As the UK’s leading Multi-Channel retailer, Argos already offer 14 different ways to “Argos It” but it was near enough impossible to find the store locater as it was only present in the footer of the page.
With the service model of click and collect customers it’s critical for customers to find the nearest store for easy pick up.
Argos has dedicated a whole section to the Football World Cup to fully take advantage of the hype surrounding the event.
It clearly lays out the different sections of products, videos and content. It’s clear the retailer has made a conscious effort to step away from simply pushing their products, giving the user more of an experience, providing them with interesting content and tips.
Following the latest trends, the new Brazil pages have gone for a similar style to the Twitter Bootstrap – aimed to improve responsiveness across devices.
Clearly the site had a few teething problems to begin with but the new changes enhance the customer experience greatly. What do you think of the new look? Let us know below.