What information about retailers does the Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability include?

Welcome to the new era of e-commerce site design and usability. Today design and usability is increasingly about being responsive and with this, our fourth edition of the Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability, we are responding to a need for more information identified by the readers of Internet Retailer. We haven’t published this particular guide since 2010. Back then and after three consecutive years of publishing a research publication on web site design and usability trends and best practices, we pretty much thought we had covered it all. That is until now. Four years ago, e-commerce site design was about making the desktop the best-possible-looking and functioning vehicle to sell online. Today, site design is all about being responsive. The Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability contains data, analysis and best practice information to help e-commerce companies design and maintain effective e-commerce and m-commerce sites.

Does the Guide have information about retailers’ mobile commerce sites?

The Guide includes detailed critiques of the features and functions of the leading 50 mobile commerce retail web sites in the U.S.

How can the Guide help me with my redesign?

In our cover story, Internet Retailer managing editor of mobile commerce, Bill Siwicki, writes about how more retailers are ending their days of developing separate design templates for personal computers and mobile devices and instead embracing responsive design, or designing a single web or e-commerce site that adjusts to the size of the screen the visitor is viewing. Web merchants such as Skinny Ties, CPO Commerce and others are embracing responsive design. In our 2014 Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability, we also are responding to other new trends and best-practice information. In addition, Bernardine Wu and Sevag Parsehian from e-commerce consulting firm FitForCommerce have authored a well-researched and timely piece on new and better ways to go beyond web analytics with usability testing, to really evaluate a new product, site design, service, feature, or function. Another way our 2014 Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability responds to our readers’ need for more detailed “how to” information is with critiques of the two top-ranked Top 500 and Second 500 online retailers in each of 14 product categories. We asked six of the e-retailing industry’s most prominent design firms—Alexander Interactive Inc., Americaneagle.com, FastPivot, Gorilla Group, MoreVisibility.com and Trinity Insight LLC—to review home and product pages for the quality of the overall design, the use of images, features and functions, use of text, and to provide an overall site summary. Each merchant also was given a chance to review the critique and provide some feedback. The results offer the reader insight and perspective on what the biggest web merchants and best and brightest newcomers in a particular product category are doing well—and not so well—with e-commerce site design.

What information besides data does the Guide contain?

In terms of key content, readers will find that critiques are at the heart of the Guide. First, there are detailed critiques by six of the e-commerce industry’s most well-known design firms on what’s best—and what’s lacking—about the site design of Top 500 and Second 500 product category leaders. As a follow-up on the mobile commerce front, three leading mobile commerce design firms assess how design elements, features and functions of the 50 largest U.S. m-commerce sites stack up. Key design elements are also critiqued among the sites of the Top 1,000, including features, functions, performance and other key site design and usability metrics. A special focus on vendors offers profiles, pricing and customers of nearly 300 providers of web site design and related products and services to the e-retailing industry. And the front matter of the Guide exudes its own appeal: there is an-depth cover story on how and why e-retailers are making a move to more responsive design, plus a well-researched “how to” article on the best practices to embrace for superior web site usability results.

How can I buy a copy of the 2014 Guide to Retail Web Site Design & Usability?

A digital-only version of the Guide to E-Commerce Site Design & Usability is available for $75. You may order at our secure web site.

Where can I submit a question about my order?

Please contact Chaz McCrobie-Quinn, our circulation director: chaz@verticalwebmedia.com.


The number of Top 500 merchants that use an outside design firm


Mobile 500 merchants that have responsive design m-commerce sites


The median site availability for Top 500 merchants


The number of Second 500 merchants doing their own site design

Key Features

  • Detailed CritiquesTop 1,000 Leaders across 14 product categories

  • Spotlight on M-Commerce3 leading design firms critique 50 leading m-commerce sites

  • Top 1,000 Sites ComparedWeb site features/functions, performance & other design/usability metrics

  • Key Vendors TalliedProfiles of nearly 270 design solution providers

See all features