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Shopping Online

Posted by on September 24, 2011

Shopping online has become so common place in the last few years that it has started to affect the profitability of businesses in the conventional retail sector. Some have even had to close due to their market share being taken over by online sales.

The Good And The Bad

Shopping OnlineAs many of you who regularly read our blog know our bus was bought by Lisa who was shopping online (without my knowledge) and we have continued to buy a great deal of the materials and equipment that has gone into the repairs and renovations through online businesses. Just as we have experienced everything from fantastic customer service to ridiculously bad customer service with conventional retail outlets, we have experienced the same with online stores. The big difference between them is that we do not have to get into our car and drive to another location/store when we find the level of service less than expected with an online store. The next shop is only a couple of mouse clicks away.

So What Would I Know

Soon after I left school many years ago I went to work as a sales assistant with a business that was growing at a much faster rate than any other retail business in Australia. The reason for this rapid growth was the sales profit that we generated through good customer service. Our company had one of the country’s best sales training programs in place. We were taught that:

  • Every customer who walks through the door is there to buy something that they need.
  • How to find out what that need was.
  • To show the customer the products that fulfil that need and explain the benefits that the product or products that most closely match their need would bring to them.
  • To close the sale.

Following these basic rules the customer would usually make a purchase after having a good shopping experience.

What Makes a Good Online Shopping Experience?

Shopping Online Information is the key to a good  shopping online experience. Just as good retail sales people are taught to give the customer the information that they need to purchase what they need, an online store has to provide that information to convert a visitor to their website into a customer.

When I land on someone’s sales page I expect to find:

  • Information about the product including photos (where appropriate).
  • Specifications and benefits.
  • Other products to compare it to.
  • Prices
  • Delivery charges and delivery time after payment.

What I do not like to find is:

  • Just a few photos and a phone number.
  • No pricing
  • A 5mb PDF file that I have to download just to find one item.
  • Photos of the individual products with no information to help me determine if it is what I need.

 Information Converts To Sales

If you own an online business the title of this paragraph says it all. If you give the visitors to your site the information they need to have a good shopping experience they will most likely buy off you. If they only find some photos and a phone number or a PDF that they have to use their data allowance and time to download the next site below you in the search engine results will be grateful to you.

What do you think? As a customer do you feel that you only have a good online shopping experience when you can make an informed decision? As an online store owner are you generating the level of sales that you desire? Are you giving your potential customers a good shopping online experience?

 Cheers,

David Wood

New Life On The Road

——————–

Please Note – This blog post about Shopping Online was part of a group project. If you would like to read more about Shopping on other blogs  then please visit the following (hey and let them know New Life on the Road sent you on over!) Cheers!

 Jan with her blog post Shopping List – http://www.dinnerintenminutes.com/cooking-tips/shopping-list/

Cade with his blog post Online Shopping Statistics – http://www.bigcommercereviewsite.com/online-shopping-statistics-is-your-offline-business-suffering/

Hilary with her blog post Healthy Shopping List – http://abundanceofwellness.com/blog/healthy-shopping-list/

Rita with her blog post Online Shopping Lady Shoe Sales-  http://makingmoneyonlineme.net/online-shopping-lady-shoe-sales

Rita with her blog post Shopping For Fitness at home – http://the7minuteworkouts.com/shopping-for-fitness-at-home

Lisa with her blog post Shopping is Healthy –  http://lisashealthylifestylechallenge.com/shopping-is-healthy/

Jackie with her blog post Shopping for Cake Decorating Supplies – http://www.cakedecoratingforfun.com/cake-decorating-tools/shopping-for-cake-decorating-supplies/

Tania with her blog post Shopping Sales – http://taniashipman.com/money/shopping-sales/

Kerry with her blog post Shopping Tours – http://parksinsydney.com/tours/shopping-tours/

Renee Allert – http://weekendgetawayideas.info/online-shopping-tips-for-travel-deals/

 Renee Allert – http://personalfitnessequipmentblog.com/shopping-for-fitness-equipment/

John Davis- http://manifestingeveryday.com/manifesting/the-drive-behind-shopping/

 

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24 Responses to Shopping Online

  1. Jan Littlehales

    You’re so right about some online shopping sites being a real turn off.
    Good photos, clear and concise information – and it must include the price and postage costs. A lot don’t – you have to wait until check out to know what the postage cost will be to your area.
    Jan Littlehales recently posted..Shopping List – Handy Hints

    • Dave

      As much as I Like online shopping Jan you can tell which sites have been set up by people with no sales training. It sometimes makes me wonder is it an offline business trying to go online because sales arn’t real good and they are making the same mistakes online.

  2. Jackie Stenhouse

    I think the reason why a lot of physical retail stores are losing trade is because they don’t make the shopping experience pleasant. It is so hard to find a store now that gives you a friendly smile and makes you feel welcome, let alone goes out of their way to close a sale. I really think that is why people are moving to online shopping – easier and friendlier.
    Jackie Stenhouse recently posted..Shopping for Cake Decorating Supplies

    • Dave

      Hi Jackie,
      I totaly agree, shoping in stores can be very unpleasant when the staff do not realise who is paying their wage. The great thing about shopping online is that you have not been inconvenienced if you do not like the store. You can be looking at the next one in two seconds.

  3. Rita Pepper

    Hi David
    I have had mostly good experiences with online shopping,Most of the time the information has been clear and concise, but can’t say the same with shopping in regular stores anymore, I always have to go looking for someone when I need assistance.
    Rita Pepper recently posted..Shopping for Fitness at Home

    • Dave

      The skill of making a sale has dissappeared from all but the best of retail stores now Rita. Many of those with the skills are online now where the cost of running a lot less.

  4. Renee

    Hi David,

    I guess buying a whole bus online is one of the more unusual buys (good on you for daring to do so), but with all your renovations you guys definitely have a great level of experience in buying online.

    And I fully agree. Online shopping is similar to ofline shopping – first impressions, ease of access to information and good information/assistance are crucial to have a positive shopping experience
    Renee recently posted..Online Shopping Tips For Travel Deals

    • Dave

      Hi Renee,
      There was a time that the cliche saying was don’t let the wife go shopping with your credit card. Now it is do not leave your online shopping accounts logged on. It is too easy to shop.

  5. Hilary

    Shopping online can be an interesting experience. I agree that the huge PDF download can be very off putting.

    I also like to look for customer reviews. It definitely influences my decision if there is some positive feedback from other buyers.
    Hilary recently posted..How To Keep A Healthy Shopping List

    • Dave

      Hi Hilary,
      Customer reviews are a great selling tool for online businesses. Ebay is a classic example of one online store that uses it well. If the individual sellers customer feedback is good it gives you a lot of confidence to buy off them.

  6. Kerry Lea

    Hi David

    Shopping online is becoming so popular and is easy to do. When I go to a bookshop, if I am looking for a particular topic it can take me a while to find the book and sometimes there are none available. But when I go onto Amazon there is usually a smorgasbord of books relating to the topic. I must admit I can get a bit carried away.

    Agree if a site is difficult to navigate and laking information it is easier to move to another site, like your phrase ‘the next shop is only a couple of mouse clicks away’.
    Kerry Lea recently posted..No Posts Were Found!

    • Dave

      Hi Kerry,
      Shopping for books is one of the things I enjoy most about shopping online. I have found online book stores to have some of the best sales tools to entice you to buy such as the other suggestions they give when you look at a book.

  7. John Davis

    Hello David,

    So often you hear people saying ” I`ll never shop on-line or never give credit card details over the net”. Yet these same people complain about having to go shopping in malls To find what they are after. Little do they realize how simple the task can be. ” You click we bring”. My experiences of shopping on-line are all good and the product or service is delivered within a few days all of this accomplished from the comfort of home.
    John Davis recently posted..Learning Life`s Lessons

    • Dave

      Hi John,
      I think many of these people who complain about shopping online would change their minds if they understood how safe it realy is if you take a few precautions such as using Pay Pal or Escrow (I also use a debit card that I only keep just enough in for what I am buying online) it is just as safe as shopping in a shop.

  8. Angela Morse

    I do most of my shopping online, as I find the real shops just too hard with 2 small boys tagging along! I agree that they need to have all the information available. I also tend to look at the “about us” page to get a sense of WHO is behind the web page, and sometimes if there are a couple of sites I am choosing between, I will go with the one I like the feel of the most. I also look at shipping costs, and if one ships for free or very cheap for the same product cost as another site with full priced shipping, then the lower cost shipping will get my business.

  9. Preston Livingston

    Hi David

    for now I had mostly good experiences with online shopping and I am ordering stuff from the web regularly. I think the most important thing is to do a quick background check of the merchant before you make your order or go with the big and trusted ones then you won’t have any problems.
    Preston Livingston recently posted..How To Repair Laptop Hard Disk

    • Dave

      Hi Preston,
      Great advice. It is important to check out who you are buying from and it is so much easier online with people being quick to post an oppinion online when they have had bad service.

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