January 30, 2013

Top five things customers demand from online retailers

Written By Martin Sandhu

More and more people are shunning the shops and opting for online buying. Whilst we know it’s great to be able to make a cuppa, sit in your pyjamas and go shopping there’s more to online shopping than simply convenience.
Cue the research! Online retail psychology aims to find out exactly why people shop online and the results help ecommerce websites to optimise their products and user experience to make the most of customer demands. Recent research by MIT, Facebook, Google and Target has analysed the core reasons and found the top five demands

Online shoppers are not lazy, in fact, whilst there may not be much physical exertion they tend to shop around much more than they would on the high street. That’s because they want the best value from their online shopping. That doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest price, bigger companies can certainly sell products cheaper online but many customers see the value in paying slightly more to receive an exceptional service.

Opening hours

When more and more people are working longer hours and wanting to avoid the Saturday afternoon crowds in the shopping centre the fact that online shopping can be done at whatever time of day is a big benefit. This was proven over the Christmas period with a huge amount of shoppers choosing to hit the sales online on Christmas Day.

Same product as your competitor, same price? Free delivery is a huge selling point online. Delivery is one thing that can make the high street more appealing, having to wait for days for the postman, then not being in when it finally arrives or paying a small fortune to ensure it arrives on time is a turn off. Offering free delivery can really make a difference, especially as many customers admit to looking for the same product elsewhere to avoid courier costs.

This isn’t just about how quickly the product can be delivered, it’s about how easy it is to make a purchase too. Customers want a quick process, especially if they’ve used your site before. One click ordering, remembering preferred cards and addresses and ensuring confirmation emails are send as quickly as possible all give a much better chance of repeat business.

This is one thing that is simple for ecommerce sites to get right, but often one which gets forgotten. It’s important to make your website look great, but it’s got to be easy to use too. Making it easy to find products, filter them down, get specific information about items, find out how much delivery will cost and how long it’s likely to take are hugely important to customers.