Recently Viewed Items – The Forgotten Function

You know the feeling. You have visited a website, had a look at couple of products and then left. Then a few days later you came back to the same store only to find out that you can’t recall what products you liked and damn it, there is no “recently viewed items” feature.

Is that the case in your online store? Apart from that you are not helping your returning visitors to buy from you, you are probably also loosing sales. Perhaps only a few percent, but when you are turning over millions per year, that small percentage could mean a lot of money.

The best example of recently viewed items I seen is from onlineshoes.com (see below). The reason? Because it’s always visible on any page your are on and easily accessible.

onlineshoes8-07-2009-17-00-57

Or other stores  like johnlewis.com or overstock.com place the “recently viewed items” into product pages. See example from overstock.com.

overstock28-07-2009-18-03-53

And here is an example from johnlewis.com.

johnlewis29-07-2009-15-52-34

Many TOP 100 online stores don’t have this function. So the question is why aren’t other stores aren’t “recently viewed items” function? Anybody know the answer?

Have you experienced an improvement by adding this functionality? Please let us know by how much.

Jan Petrovic
I have 9 Years of Tremendous Experience as web analyst and Senior Conversion Specialist. I have worked on optimisation project for the second-largest store retailer in the USA (the company is also a component of the S&P 500 Index), as well as for a well-known USA fashion retailer with over 380 stores nationwide. Over the course of my career I have achieved many INSANE improvements on our client’s websites, sometimes by applying best practices, another time from findings I made during conversion audits and sometimes thinking out of the box. For one of them I have even received an award in 2012 from WhichTestOne, where after testing different emails and parts of email message we increased revenue by 303.08%. What might also interest you is the fact that my average conversion improvement is 19% and my success rate is 70%. Basically, I’m VERY GOOD at what I do thanks to my Can Do Attitude to find solutions to given problems & Experience in this field.
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