2 min read
Saksham Mendiratta
5 innovations in e-commerce

Hi You,

Today’s an exciting Sunday. You know why?

It comes in a week when we went live with one of our biggest projects.

We redesigned Cult Fit’s mobile application. Everything you need to know about it in here. Also, don’t forget to check out a new website that we created to document its design system: Aurora. This project was obviously done in collaboration with their design team and if you haven’t yet heard of this mega force at Cult, Shreeya Malpani is one to watch out for as a progressive design leader in India.

For everyone who joined last week, welcome aboard. You’ve either signed up yourself or been added by a well-wisher, but it’s a crazy ride from here on. I love feedback and feel fre to drop in line on how you’re finding these editions.


Now on to the crux of this one.

I continue my sprint of crisp & shorter editions than the typical long ones. So here’s some tactical stuff for mature e-comm businesses: 5 innovations for mature e-commerce businesses

Today we go back to basics. I call it A/B test, you could call it experiments. I ran this with 4 e-commerce brands that I’m consulting with in India over the past 2 weeks and we saw some staggeringly different results.

The sectors: athleisure, healthy foods (+ nutrition), beauty and an aggregator platform.

We are known to copy what already works. As a new & upcoming brand, sure, let's go with what’s already tested. Don’t reinvent the wheel and I fully endorse this fact.

But once your top lines or conversions start to plateau, it’s time to innovate. And here are some 5 areas that may help you innovate.

I) 4 Grid ‘Above The Fold’ Banner

Traditional wisdomand experience has always pushed us to work on a single screen ‘above the fold’. Something that portrays a lifestyle image. Something like this in Steep & Mellow.

The header banner is usually best stitched up with a lifestyle image of the hero product, displaying your ideal demographic in action /motion, basically using the product.

Along with a shop now button.

We tried something different this time though.

We tried using a 2 image & 4 image grid. It’s where you have a crisper header line and 4 individual hero products. Something like this.

What this did was answer this prime question in the customer’s head: what’s in it for me?

And as much as your hero is the best selling product in your store, as you mature, you have independent categories that cater to a variety of customers. Why not display them right upfront. So now we have 4 heroes. More like Superheroes. (Boys on amazon prime going on in my head as I type this line).

We then ran some A/B tests with 2 individual home-pages, one with the traditional hero banner and the other with this innovative 4 product superhero grid. And you’d be surprised, the innovation page outperformed the traditional page on CTR’s by an average of 13% across traffic coming in from different sources. The test ran for a week and every single day, the superhero grid performed better on CTR.

Amazing isn't it? There’s more.

II) Adding Reviews alongside products:

We’ve typically seen and heard (including one of my past editions where I’ve mentioned this) that reviews must form a separate fold within your landing / product pages.

In this innovation challenge, we placed reviews right next to every product. What that did was give people an indicator of how loved the product was, as compared to others. It did exceedingly well for us again. 

The add to cart on each product with better reviews went up a notch. It increased the trust in the product that people were buying into.

III) Micro-Details alongside Products:

I strongly believe that adding micro-details about the product increases conversion. What are the sorta details that you could add: basically anything that people must / would want to know about the product that’s not really reflective in the product image. And something that helps stitch up a story.

Don’t forget to add an icon right next to the keywords.

  • Flavours / textures
  • Origin of the product / raw material
  • Best served with / had with / worn in / paired with

IV) Samplers / Bundles :

Best way to get people to try out your product is sampling. Well, you should also send it on your website, beyond just free samplers with other brand / platform collabs.

Samplers can work for any best selling products across multiple sectors, perhaps not apparel though. This is a bundle of smaller SKU’s or maybe just one single SKU in a smaller size, that you let people buy ideally for a significantly lower price.

And don't just place it on your website, feel free to place these samplers on other aggregator platforms too. Oilipo does it really well.

V) Multiple Product Images :

My favourite section is what I reserved for the end. If you think adding product images (as fancy as they may be) onto your product pages is going to increase conversions, well, you haven't yet tried lifestyle images.

Ideal way to have product images: Must be in a carousel. People LOVE to see and read as much about the product as you possibly can't even imagine.

  • Lead with a lifestyle image. Always lead with a lifestyle image.
  • Head over to the product front.
  • Head over to the product front.
  • Add images of the labels. Let them read through the details.
  • Add functionality images. This is where you give them nuances like: how to wear, best paired with, fabric details, raw materials, etc. in the form of graphics (reference given below)
  • End with another lifestyle image or 3d renders

Well, that’s it from me on this one. Until next time, have a great one.