The Internet shopping experience differs from website to website and it’s useful to know how online shoppers think and behave before they make purchases, when purchasing and after they buy.
I’ll share some of my shopping experiences and how I go about buying on the Internet. One thing is knowing the credibility of the online retailer that you are buying from. You look for indicators such as the age of the business, who the founders are, what other customers say (both on their website and on other platforms), and the way that they lead you through the online buying process.
Before I buy anything of high value from a particular retailer, where possible, I make a trial purchase for a small amount. This will give me a good idea of when I will receive the goods, whether they are in good order, if customer queries or complaints are handled speedily and whether refunds are given quickly.
I’m sure that you have experienced problems with online shopping. Some of mine are waiting weeks and even months for packages to arrive, broken products, missing products and wrong products. When this happens you feel like you are not an online customer but just part of a sausage machine where the packers just slap your order together and send it out as quick as possible.
Another thing to watch out for is online sellers who no longer give guarantees. This means that they will send your item to you by post but if it doesn’t arrive, well that’s it. No refund. This is risky for the buyer and this is happened to me at least twice now. I won’t be ordering again from these sellers.
If you are concerned about your customers’ online shopping experience at your website, then you need to ask customers about their shopping experience with you and even, where possible, speak to those who don’t buy online and find out why not.
I was surprized recently at a fun evening hosted by a local radio show that when the CEO of the radio station asked about 100 people whether they had downloaded their radio app, only two hands went up.
To be sure, online retailing offers the kitchen-table entrepreneur and the small business owner opportunities outside of their local market. If you website is in English then you have access to many markets where English is either the official language for the non–official language.
Make sure you are attracting customers and repeat business rather than repelling customers through the blind spots on your Internet retail site.