customer experience; ecommerce, social media marketing

What E-commerce can learn from Retail – part 2

Build customer value

Sale - Sale - SalePurchasing a product is a process. So should sales be. As a customer, you ‘re not ready to buy when you are early in the process.

Imagine yourself in a retail shop. You just started to orientate on a new photo camera. Now the shop-assistant approaches you and from the first moment (s)he keeps pushing you price deals. How long will you tolerate this?

What you need is information like the newest developments in technology, the product variants that are available and the strengths & the weaknesses of the different brands/models and information about what other customers like best. And most important: what does this mean for me? You are not interested in price deals for products you don’t even want. Do you find this hardly realistic? True, in retail, every shop-assistant knows how to differentiate between orientation phase, selection phase and closing phase.

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Now look at your own webshop. What do you see? Most likely you see price deals, more price deals and even more price deals. We are completely used to that model. We treat every customer as a target for the next transaction. We are not in the air to help the customer, we are there to score conversion. The fact that customers move from site to site in an attempt to get the information they need is considered normal.

Please help me with this puzzle: if the conversion ratio of an average shop in my branche is 2%, does this means from customer perspective that – on average – he pays 50 visits to a shop (mine or my competitors) before he makes a transaction? I think it does, but can ecommerce be so ineffective?

50 Visits to decide on one transaction doesn’t sound acceptable, left alone desirable? I know that visiting a website takes a lot less effort then visiting a retail shop. Still I am certain we can do better. Customers will feel really helped when they can limit the visits before they feel ready to make a transaction.

Research by The E-Tailing Group shows that most people start their orientation with an open mind about the product. In branches with information intensive products 84% of all ecommerce customers start with browsing the internet for ideas. Only 16% of the respondents start with an analysis of the options right away. When asked 40% of the respondents answered they would prefer a shopping experience based on their needs.

Can E-commerce build value for the customer by working from his perspective before offering a price deal?P1070688-3

What do you think?

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With courtesy to Flickre.com for the photo.

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