A recent e-commerce usability study hones in on the key purchase decision factors for consumers on e-commerce web site. The top five answers center around only two points:
- Clear communication of price and total cost
- An overall professional and trust-inducing look
These findings should not come as a surprise. Online sales have become more competitive with more players entering the arena.
The first point is relatively simple to excel in and provide a satisfactory customer experience. However, we still speak to many store owners coming from a brick and mortar background explaining that they cannot compete on price alone. And they express the desire to hide or obfuscate the total purchase price.
Most of these stores dismiss their comparative advantages, such as superior personal customer service, or a greater selection with more options than their competitors. The challenge is to translate these benefits onto the web.
We have also seen clients embrace the web and offer an online catalog, in addition to a print catalog, where they try to provide a product configuration tool with the aim for customers to ultimately call and place an order. This is the way to embrace the findings of this study and reach out to a greater audience. Yes, you will always have people come to your web site and look at the price and buy elsewhere, but you will also gain long-term customers who appreciate the extra customer service and positive experience you bring to the table and buy from you again and again.