Study: Retailers making sites more user-friendly

More internet retailers than ever before are improving their online tactics, according to a mystery shopping study from the E-Tailing Group, Internet Retailer reports.

More internet retailers than ever before are improving their online tactics, according to a mystery shopping study from the E-Tailing Group, Internet Retailer reports.

The 14th annual Mystery Shopping Study, conducted during the fourth quarter of 2011, analyzed site functions and features of 100 large ecommerce websites. Researchers found that in many cases, internet retailers have modified their sites to become more consumer-friendly.

For example, 74 percent of respondents' websites have convenient drop-down or fly-out menus in their navigation bars - a 10 percent increase from 2010.

Furthermore, 39 percent of those polled now allow shoppers to conduct advanced searches to find specific products, compared to just 21 percent who offered it last year.

Lastly, 74 percent of retailers included product how-to guides using text or video for site visitors - a 10 percent increase year-over-year.

"Our Mystery Shopping Study confirms that merchants are concurrently refining online tactics to find, inform, personalize and connect with improved speed and efficiency, while diligently developing social and mobile initiatives,” said report author Lauren Freedman, as quoted by the news source.

A separate study in June 2011 by the E-Tailing Group analyzed retailers' mobile initiatives, finding that 78 percent of large retailers planned to invest in mobile commerce last year, the news source notes in another article.