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I just finished designing an Ecommerce site and the in the site design, I put the contact us link in the header as given below:

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The feedback I got was that they would like to add an additional link to the parent site in the top navigation and hence they would like to remove the contact us link and replace it with that link. I am not too comfortable with that since I believe the contact us link is important in an Ecommerce page ( I know we do have the phone number listed there but not everyone is going to want to call up) and it should be in a prominent place as opposed to just in the footer.

I modified the design and found that I can add the link to the parent site in the top navigation (next to the search bar) without having the menu look crowded but is there any research I can use which provides information about where a contact us link should be placed in an Ecommerce page.

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When browsing different eCommerce sites a pattern emerges, which supports your theory of placement. What you often see are links to Customer Service and Contact Us. Both labels are conventions but slightly different.

The Customer Service link - usually as a text link at the very top right of the page is where customers find their way to the page where you can call, e-mail, chat or fill in a submission form. The Customer Service often handles the products the company sell, invoicing and warranties. It's probably located there since users are somewhat upset of the company that sell the product or the product. Today it's probably more important to let these upset users get in contact with you as fast as possible and before they start to share their feelings on social media. Thus Customer Service should be located at the very top - clearly visible.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

At the very end of the page, you usually find a Contact Us link - which can lead to the same page - or another similar page. If it's another page be sure to link that page to Customer Service, again to capture upset users.

But the main argument why customer service should be easy to find is the threat from social media. As a side not - don't add "Share"-buttons on the customer service page - it might have the opposite effect of what you're trying to accomplish

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Thanks, We only have share buttons on the products detail pages,so no worries on that side – Mervin Johnsingh Oct 5 '12 at 9:51

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