Do you Really Need a Quantity Box?

Product Quantity Dropdown ListThe other day I was browsing an e-commerce clothing store and the Quantity box suddenly seemed odd to me:  “Who would buy MORE THAN ONE of this shoe – in the EXACT SAME STYLE AND SIZE??”

I wondered how many people EVER buy more than 1 IDENTICAL piece of clothing? (We’re talking same SIZE, STYLE, COLOR, etc…).  I asked my good friends over at Gongshow Gear (makers of awesome hockey inspired clothing) if I could have a peak at their Analytics data, and here are the results:

  • On average, only 1 out of 50 people will buy more than 1 of the same item
  • For non-clothing items that come in a single size & color multiple qty purchases increase (to between 12% and 40% — but still a minority of your customers)

Do we need the Quantity field?

For products where 98% of customers buy a single item I would recommend removing the Quantity field.  If someone really wants to buy 2 of something they can just add the product to the shopping cart twice or change the quantity directly in the shopping cart.

Note: The Quantity field is useful for items where you EXPECT the customer to purchase more than 1 – make sure you dig into your analytics before making your final decision.

Most usability studies show that reducing the number of form elements usually improves usability and so conversion rates should improve by removing the quantity field.  Zappos seems to agree as they have removed the Quantity field from all their product pages.

Does it really matter?

Probably not.  The quantity field usually defaults to 1 item so you never have to touch it anyway.  I have a hard time believing that the quantity field will make a measurable difference to conversion rates for most sites.    If there is a difference, it is probably very very small.  Then again I assume that Zappos measures everything they do on their site and THEY removed the Quantity box.

If anyone decides to run an A/B test to get stats on this, I would love to hear your results.

Google Analytics Custom Events to Simplify Navigation

Below, is a screen shot of a quiz from our online ATV safety course.

ATV Quiz

The navigation is relatively simple:

  • NEXT and PREVIOUS buttons
  • Right hand menu to navigate to any question
  • FINISH QUIZ button that becomes visible once you have answered all the questions

Questions About Usability:

  • Does anyone actually use the PREVIOUS button?
  • Does anyone actually use the side menu to Navigate?

To answer these questions you can setup a series of Google Analytics Custom Events on each button/nav click.

onclick=”_gaq.push([‘_trackEvent’, ‘TDE Navigation’, ‘Next’, ‘Quiz’]);”

WARNING! Google Analytics has a data limit of 500 hits per session (this includes page views, events, and other types of data). Tracking EVERYTHING with custom events could cause you to reach those limits.

Looking at Google Analytics

Total Events

Total events will give an indication of the relative usage of each navigation element

Unique Events

Unique events will give us an idea of navigation usage PER SESSION.  This answers the question “How many users click on the navigation element at least once during a visit”.

The verdict

  • The previous button only receives 1.3% of the total navigation clicks.
  • About 1 in 6 users do click previous at some point in their quiz.

RECOMMENDATION: Previous button should be converted to a simple text link

  • The side menu (Jump) only receives 0.2% of total navigation clicks.
  • Only 3.5% of users ever used the side menu (about 1 in 30 users).

RECOMMENDATION: Remove the side navigation menu all together
(or make it a slide in/out style navigation element)

Next Steps

Consider auto-advancing to the next question when an answer choice is clicked

Not surprisingly, almost 92% of total navigation clicks go to the NEXT button and another 6.5% of total clicks are on the finish button.  So over 98% of the time the user simply wants to advance to the next logical step.

Does this mean that we should we just auto-advance to the next question when the user selects the answer choice? How often does a user change his answer choice before clicking the next button?  The answer to this last question will be saved for another post (after we collect more data)

I hope you found this post useful.  If you know of simpler methods to gain this sort of insight, please post them in the comments below.