Examining the e-commerce purchase process
August 3, 2010 -
I’m coming up on six months as a web analyst here at Napkyn (hold your applause), and I’ve spent much of my time here studying the sales process. I’ve read a couple books and spent many hours conversing with Jim about how and why people buy. It’s a truly fascinating subject – worthy of the millions of words printed on the subject each year.
Now, when I’m faced with making a purchase, either online or in-store, I’m a bit self-conscious about the whole thing. I need a new external hard drive for my laptop, so I began checking prices online.
I consulted three computer parts stores online:
Newegg.ca, pccyber.com, bestbuy.ca
And on my way to the grocery store, I checked out a small computer store. I saw a decent price, but for some reason, the clerk ignored me in favour of setting up some kids with Starcraft stations for $4.99 an hour. Not a smart move.
I also had two buying options to research:
- External harddrive with casing installed (about $105-$139)
- Internal harddrive, then buy casing separately and install myself ($69 + $18)
I also have a few concerns that need addressing before I buy:
- Best value for space scenario; can I get twice the space for 1.5x the money?
- Cost saving worth the effort of attempting to install myself?
- PC and Mac compatibility – will this HD work with both?
I still haven’t made up my mind about what purchasing scenario I will go with because all my questions have not been answered.
How does this apply to e-commerce sales? Well, just look at all the research that is done to make a moderately important $100 purchase. Ask yourself: Can your e-commerce website provide the information to assure a customer that they’re making the right decision?
I’ve thrown a whole bunch of obstacles into the purchase path – concerns about price and compatibility, and competition. Does your website help knock down these obstacles for the average visitor?
When a store (or salesman, for that matter) has successfully knocked down all the obstacles in the path of a potential buyer, a sale is much more likely to occur.
Me? I’m heading down to another store tonight to hopefully buy my hard drive. I’m bringing my money, and my concerns, with me.