Interesting survey out of this survey site. They've discovered ** OMG! ** that if folks have a frustrating experience at your website, they'll avoid your dirt-world store!
According to the article at Allurent, "Year-over-year there's been nearly a 50% increase in consumers who report that a frustrating online experience would make them less likely to shop at that retailer's physical store."
And, more disturbing, "Overwhelming 82% of consumers surveyed reveal a frustrating shopping experience will make them less likely to return to a retailers' site."
Not really. Haven't I, and others, been telling you this all along? The key is in understanding what frustration means to your customers. Is it frustrating to click the buy button and be offered a dozen options...each with its own category? You bet.
Is it frustrating to get to the end of the buy cycle and be asked for your personal information, when you already gave it at the start? Oh, yeah!
Is it frustrating to be enticed to click a link - and be told you have to fill out a form before the information will be made available to you? OH YEAH!
Frustration comes in all shapes and sizes. In our burgeoning world of user-participation, and user-generated advertising - consumers know they're in control. They will NOT endure long check-out lines (on or off line), they will not endure click after click to get to the details of a product they are interested in, and they will not tolerate a company that does not offer some way for them to connect to a real, live human being.
Allurent says that 74% of those who responded to their survey said they preferred, "The ability to click on an item to create a popup window with more details about the product, including price,size, colors, inventor availablity, etc." Now, who would have predicted that popups would become a consumers best friend? But, used properly - they work.
One other item in the report is worth mentioning. This one: "The ability to mix/match product images on one page to determine whether they look good together" got a 47% approval. I would have given it a much higher response. I would say 80%. For women. We absolutely want to see how items look together, and we're tired of YOU picking the items out. Sure, some of the combinations are worth looking at - but, let me make my own choices. I'm the one buying, after all.
Since online shopping was up, as predicted, during the 2006 holiday season, it's clear that in order to compete, you need to be able to implement new technology that makes it friendly, fun, and easy for all of us. But, especially for women. Because we still control the household spending - kitchen, bath, porch, yard, driveway, bedroom... etc. And, we still manage the supply cabinet at the office. And, we still don't have enough time or energy to do it all. Don't frustrate us at your website.
Web 2.0 - you can whine about the name, you can heckle it and make fun of it - but, it stands for customer interaction and control. Ignore it at your own risk.
Watch for an Updated Top 10 Tips this weekend. Get your copy of the current Top 10 Tips now, before it disappears.