Quick View is a feature common to many ecommerce websites. It’s been included in many briefs I’ve received. The assumption appears to be that it must be good, as it is on XYZ competitor’s site. I have, however, seen very varied results for its effectiveness when tested. For instance:
One test we did saw a very positive result for Quick View in generating sales with one retailer.
On another site, I ran a test that saw an increase in conversion rates when removing Quick View.
Both results seem to contradict one another. But they make perfect sense when you consider the different user journeys of each business, and the role the website plays in each user journey.
The former business is borne of catalogues and mail order. It’s ecommerce is successful across the globe, but they still have a dedicated catalogue readership. Many users visit their website to find something they’ve already seen in the catalogue, in some cases going straight to search the site for a SKU. These users have already read the product details in the catalogue. They just want to be sure that the product they’ve found online is the same as the one they viewed earlier in the catalogue. Quick View gives them that reassurance and so they add to basket.
The second site is that of a high-end high street retailer. For this business, the user comes from across the country to their site for fashion advice and leadership, to obtain ideas and inspiration, and to explore the catalogue. Many users aren’t even set on buying when they visit the site. Exposing users to more product information and imagery – i.e. showing them the product detail page as opposed to Quick View – gives the business more opportunity to convince users to buy.
The high-street retailer’s site also contained many, many desirable products. It’s a site where users don’t struggle to find something they like. If anything, they struggle to limit their desire to a single product. Quick View exacerbates this: it lets users browse from desirable product to desirable product. Rather than focusing their attention on a single product, Quick View encourages users to view many products and introduces indecision to users.
There is a famous psychological test that shows how choice can be bad for decision-making. You can read it here.
The effectiveness and appropriateness of Quick View should be considered in the context of the role the website plays within the customer journey. The following five questions are useful to ask when considering whether or not to use Quick View.
- Why do people visit your website?
- At what point in the customer journey do they visit?
- How do they find your website – organic, non-brand search keywords, direct traffic, referral from another website?
- Do they have previous awareness of your products?
- Do they use the website to buy or browse?
Quick View can be an effective tool when used in the right situation. That situation can be determined – and Quick View’s success predicted – based upon the role and position the website takes in the user journey.