13 ecommerce best practice lessons from AO.com

We're typically on the lookout for examples of excellent, and never so good, practice in ecommerce for our stories and articles, and there are a couple of websites you possibly can usually depend on for the previous.

One of those in AO.com, previously Appliances Online. The firm was launched 14 years in the past and its current IPO valued it at round £M.6bn.

A key cause behind the corporate's progress might be present in its give attention to good design and buyer expertise, in addition to a tradition of testing and optimisation.

As a outcome, AO.com incorporates many examples of ecommerce best practice that others can study from. Here are just some...


Free delivery works. It removes the priority about prices from the client's thoughts and simplifies the acquisition determination.

More importantly, AO.com shows this supply proposition very successfully and prominently. On each web page, it exhibits free supply on the prime of the web page, in addition to in search outcomes and on product pages.

It additionally provides premium supply choices in order that customers can have gadgets shipped the identical day, or inside a nominated time slot. These choices are costlier, however clients are sometimes ready to pay for the comfort.

Offering a variety of choices and costs ensures that AO.com covers most buyer considerations round supply.

Indeed, our Multichannel Retail Survey, carried out in September 2013, discovered that fifty% had deserted purchases as a consequence of a paucity of supply choices.

Have you ever deserted a web-based buy on account of lack of supply choices?

The 'about us' web page

This is a superb instance of an about us web page which explains the corporate's proposition and dedication to buyer expertise. It additionally well integrates its social channels.

A web page like that is essential for a retailer like AO.com which, no less than till just lately, might have been unfamiliar to many purchasers.


Alongside supply, returns is one other key concern for potential clients. Can they return gadgets if they are not fairly proper? How? Will it value a lot?

AO.com eases these considerations with a no fuss, and no value returns coverage.

Site search

AO.com makes use of autocomplete for its site search, which reduces the probabilities of clients hitting zero outcomes pages, in addition to giving them a mild assist with spelling.

It additionally makes use of the search field for merchandising, on this case displaying its hottest dishwashers.

Site search outcomes

AO.com offers with the search time period 'massive fridge' successfully, by narrowing outcomes to fridges of B.3m or larger.

After this, the show of outcomes and use of filters and sorting choices is exemplary.

Customers can slender their search by nearly each product attribute you possibly can consider - color, power score, evaluate rating etc - whereas providing choices for viewing outcomes.

The product previews are wonderful too. A fast abstract of key options, social proof within the type of evaluations and Facebook suggestions, and a reminder of AO's compelling supply proposition.

Displaying and making sense of technical info

Much info round electrical merchandise is baffling to the typical shopper.

This means they want assist in deciphering the technical phrases, and a method to reply the straightforward query of why one dishwasher is best then one other, or why it might be value paying an additional £one hundred for.

AO.com solutions such questions in a variety of methods. Firstly, with s abstract of key features which might be more likely to be of concern for patrons, like operating prices and noise ranges. Meanwhile, a fast abstract from AO's specialists helps to elucidate the product's advantages.

There's additionally a useful comparability desk, which permits a aspect by aspect comparability of key options, assessment scores and extra.

Social proof

Social proof works, and this site is brimming with it. It's there on virtually each web page.

AO has loved some success on Facebook, reaching 1m+ followers/likes in a few years. It makes use of this successfully on product pages too, with testimonials from clients.

It's additionally there on the homepage, with critiques and buyer testimonials.

Use of video

Many of the product pages function detailed video critiques of the merchandise by AO employees.

This permits clients to see the workings of the gadgets in a method which might be unattainable by means of static photographs alone.

Also, the truth that these movies are made by the AO group lends them additional credibility in comparison with producer's movies.


Trust is necessary, and AO.com has signed up for Google's Certified Shops scheme. This is verified by Google and exhibits stats on customer support, supply success charges, in addition to providing safety for patrons.

This just isn't the one means the site conveys belief although. Along with the aforementioned social proof examples, and the reassurances about returns, there is a persistent contact quantity all through the site.

AO.com does not really feel the necessity to show trustmarks all through checkout, as an alternative counting on good design to convey belief. We simply have a single padlock and 'safe' message on the decision to motion.

Checkout optimisation

It's a one web page checkout, which is comparatively uncommon, however this one is designed very properly certainly.

One profit is that clients are ushered straight to checkout from the basket web page. No registration required right here, and no obstacles to getting on with the cost.

Things are defined very clearly, shortcuts like postcode finders are used successfully, whereas options like supply date choice are nicely designed and really straightforward to make use of.

The consideration to element is spectacular too. You can select an 'eco-supply day', which signifies that AO.com is already delivering within the space and can thus save an additional journey.

Emailing basket contents

AO.com appreciates that purchasing an electrical equipment is usually a massive buy for a lot of clients, one which would require just a little thought and time spent researching.

It provides to e-mail the basket to clients for future reference, which additionally permits them to market to those clients.

Effective use of evaluations

It's one factor having evaluations of merchandise, nevertheless it's the presentation and efficient use of this info which actually makes the distinction.

AO.com is sensible sufficient to not prohibit its use of critiques to product pages alone. It makes use of them across the site, together with in its filtered navigation.

It makes use of them very successfully on product pages although. Many merchandise have one hundred+ scores, which want efficient organisation to assist clients to make sense of them.

The abstract scores for various elements of merchandise (quietness, capability etc) are a sensible approach to assist individuals make sense of evaluations, as are the fast execs and cons.

Narrowing selection for patrons

Customers can have too many decisions at occasions, and websites want to assist them to slender the alternatives to seek out probably the most appropriate ones for them.

Filtered navigation is a method to do that, and as described earlier on this article, it is one thing AO does very successfully.

Another method is to assist customers to decide on by pre-choosing the best merchandise for them. Here, AO.com picks the best merchandise and permits clients to browse the highest 5 lists.

It additionally provides clients this feature in search outcomes:

In abstract

I might go on, however I will not. The level right here is that AO.com has targeted on offering a superb buyer expertise, from offering a usable site to making sure that it meets buyer expectations round supply and returns.

This has helped the corporate to develop, and outdo extra established rivals within the electrical sector.

Perhaps most significantly, AO.com has examined and improved its site through the years, listening to buyer suggestions and outcomes of checks and making use of the lessons.

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