I was shopping online for some new trainers this week. Not hugely exciting I know, but bear with me. Not knowing exactly what I wanted, I visited the first retailers that sprang to mind – Asos, Schuh, Office, M&M Direct – rather than Googling ‘men’s trainers’. Approaching middle age as I am, I disregarded 95% of what was on offer as being ‘too young’ for me and eventually settled on a classic pair of Converse All Stars. I found the four sites were all offering the same product at the same price. Quick check on delivery costs – no differences there. Quick check on delivery times – no differences there. Quick check on exchanges policy – no differences there. All sites were easy to navigate, but I found the best was Office as underneath the thumbnail of each product was a link called ‘Next colour’ that allowed me to browse through all versions of the trainers in thumbnail mode without laboriously going onto the detail page of each one. Choose a colour, check the detail page, add to basket, checkout, pay, done.

My point is this. If you operate in an industry where there are only very marginal differences between you and your competitors (and most of us do), even the smallest helping hand you can give your online shoppers can make the difference between you winning the sale and the business going elsewhere.

What could you do to your website to make it easier for customers and win the sale?

P.S. You can see what I’m talking about here.