E-Commerce: The Hard Part is the Online User Experience

There’s hundreds of companies that can sell you an e-commerce solution. So all you’ve got to do is pick one. Sure, that can be a tedious process and once you have a solution of course you have to implement it. But this is where many businesses lose site of the ball. They think because it’s built and they can throw some money to market it, there’s nothing more they need to do.
They couldn’t be farther from being finished.
The HARD part is making sure that your users BUY, BUY, BUY over and over again.
Amazon.com and other successful retails spend a lot of time on the main page of their web site, on how their shopping cart areas look and other things that really affect if a customer will buy from them or not. Remember browsing is NOT a sale.
NewsFactor writes “Everyone takes notice when a new home page causes a dip in sales, or a marketing campaign delivers lower-than-expected results. This leads to fast, pain-relieving course corrections,” Harley Manning, vice president of research at Forrester Research, told NewsFactor.
Usability testing is now a regular part of e-commerce development in retail, banking and financial services and is gaining ground in other sectors. Still, some industry verticals are slow to get the message.
“The auto makers tend to be slaves to their offline ad campaigns,” says Manning. “They’ll do things like design beautiful sites that don’t help customers make a buying decision, then pat themselves on the backs when the latest J.D. Power survey confirms that customers do indeed think they have beautiful sites. But who cares? Do they want to win art contests or generate leads for dealers?”
Forrester and other analyst firms are promoting customer experience as a bottom-line issue, which is driving a universal acceptance of usability as a legitimate business metric from the CFO downward. Web managers who underestimate the importance of good Web usability will suffer the consequences — competitor sites are within easy reach of today’s Web surfer.