I'm working on an e-Commerce site and have been tasked with improving their checkout and delivery experience. I already know who the direct and indirect competitors are. Because time is limited I can't do a full-on site-wide competitor analysis. Is it a done thing to focus competitor analysis in one area (in this case just the checkout/delivery experiences of competitors?). Any guidelines on this?
Well yes, if that's what you're looking to improve then it makes sense to review how other companies are doing that particular thing. You don't need to know how the whole website of a competitor is functioning if that's not the focus of your work.
Don't limit it to direct competitors too. If it's a checkout / delivery process then look at as many variants of that as you can. Just because your client is, for example, a shoe retailer that doesn't mean you should only look at how other shoe websites are doing things (although you certainly should) but look at a much wider variety of checkout processes too.
Try and think more outside of the sphere of the competitors and think about the process as a whole. Not just physical stores shipping things to people's houses, but other areas where you have to buy something and enter an address. That could be physical products, it could be digital services, or something totally different. Widen your horizons and you might find that the way your direct shoe sales competitors are doing something can be completely dismissed in favour of how someone is selling an in-home manicure service.
If by 'area' you mean page then you may not gather the right amount of data you need. In most cases it serves best to go through that entire customer funnel yourself to see how the customer would behave or interact with the whole experience. Just looking at their checkout page may seem like they have an amazing page but if you look at it in context with the rest of the sites functions and design, it may be terrible.
Also, use this analysis as more of an inspiration piece rather than a 'that looks good, lets do that'.
You can create entire task flow, user flow and a wire-frame for your site, direct competitors and indirect competitors, from the time the user steps in to the respective website (Assuming user has decided what product he wants to buy), but focus more on the checkout process as that is your primary area of concern/research.
Take into account when you create the analysis:
- how long it takes to complete the checkout process
- No. of clicks
- Monitor every micro interactions
- Checkout in mobile device, screen size is smaller, so ensure that there are fewer input fields to gather all the data you require
Some best practices is to avoid cross selling or up selling during checkout, chances that it will divert users.
Chances that checkout process in mobile will be slightly different, to make the forms easier for users, watch the below video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ySfV919ajqI