Malaysia will be the first in the world to have an online sale that is organized by the government.
It will be the largest online sale ever in Malaysia starting from 29th September to 1st October 2014. As reported from the official site, there are a total of 4,500 merchants participating in this campaign named #MYCyberSALE, offering over 225,000 online deals.
We’re thrilled for this nationwide initiative by the government to encourage e-commerce activity. You’d think that all the participating merchants are well prepared as there’s a number of criteria that merchants need to adhere to such as a proper website, proper online payment features, a recognized payment gateway and customer support.
Out of curiosity, we are keen to find out how ‘ready’ are the participating merchants. We have randomly selected three participating merchants featured on the official site to conduct usability testing on their websites.
So, let’s look into some of the usability issues that we’ve found in these participating merchants’ website and these are the things that every merchant should be cautious of:
- Insecure Website
- Confusing Labeling
- Registration Process
The Body Shop (TBS) Malaysia is quite an establish brand in Malaysia. You can practically find it in every shopping mall. So, we conducted usability testing on TBS website and we found that users were unable to checkout.
Testing was conducted across few browsers and what we found out was Chrome users had problem checking out. They were being led to a page that says “Your connection is not private”. Play the video below to understand the issue better:
So, what happened was Chrome users were being led to an insecure page and because Google could not guarantee that the site is secure, users were unable to checkout. (This issue also occurred on mobile phone browser).
This is a critical issue because most users are Chrome users and if they are unable to checkout safely, then how are you going to generate sales online? In addition to that, users are very wary of online purchases due to high fraudulent cases. That is why, merchants need to ensure that their website is safe and secure.
Users would like to find out more information about the Glassesonline (update: website no longer accessible), the Malaysia’s first online glasses store and its buying process (e.g. shipping price, payment methods etc.).
However, users took some time to find it because user was expecting for a FAQ section but it was labelled as ‘Help’. The video below further explains what happened.
Going through the registration process has been the conventional way for users to checkout and place their order. However, it becomes a usability issue when users are not directed back to the checkout page after registration.
A number of surveys have found out that registration is one of the biggest culprits that result in customers abandoning the checkout process. Checkout the following video. It shows how customers would react when they had to go through the registration process in order to checkout.
From the video, we observed that, prompting users to register is not the most critical issue yet. But, what if the registration process is complicated? The first part of the video shows that user was unsure why registration was unsuccessful even after a few attempts.
Mainly, there was no error notification, so the user kept trying and checking each field. He was totally clueless throughout the registration process. Eventually, he gave up.
On the other hand, another user managed to register successfully but he was confused on what to do next. Bagman (update: website no longer accessible) neither directs its users back to the shopping cart nor the payment page.
User looked at the same registration page, wondering whether his registration was successful. Eventually, he figured that he needed to log in manually and proceed back to the purchasing page.
From the examples above, who would have known that an established brand like The Body Shop would encounter critical checkout problem? Also, if your site requires registration, try to make it as simple and efficient as possible. It is vital to ensure that the basics are functioning correctly on the site because it is pointless to spend money and effort into marketing campaign if your site doesn’t convert effectively.
Take last year’s Lelong.my first ever Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales for instance. They were promoting heavily through multiple mediums but there was a backlash. It was due to Maybank2u simultaneously launched its newly revamped banking site but the site crashed.
Users were unable to log in and even if they managed to log in, it took time for the page to load and they were logged out unexpectedly. As a result, sales during that period were affected. We hope that such incident will not happen during #MYCyberSALE again.
#MYCyberSALE is the very first initiative by Malaysian Government to further boost e-commerce growth in Malaysia. This is a great opportunity for e-commerce retailers to further reach out to more customers. We are extremely excited to see the growth of online marketplace here in Malaysia.
We hope that participating merchants in #MYCyberSALE will take precautions to optimize their websites. Unnecessary usability issues can be avoided if proper user testing is conducted. We wish every participating merchants all the very best!
According to e-commercemilo, the only official social media account dedicated to this nationwide online sale campaign is #MYCyberSALE LINE Official Account. However, you can opt to follow #MYCyberSALE hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay updated with exciting deals.
By Florence & Selina, User Researchers @ Netizen Experience.