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Chapter 7. Winning Webstores > Inalienable Expectations of Customers

Inalienable Expectations of Customers

Over the past several years, customers have clarified what they want and what they expect from the web. When customers find something that works well on one website, it becomes an expectation for others. While each online store is different, we've accumulated these common insights by listening to customers:

  • Customers want control over their shopping experience, starting with the ability to select their preferred method of searching for the best product. In most cases, their search begins through intuitive text links. Most people use the search box when they can't find anything familiar to click on or they have an exact product number or catalog code.

  • Repeat customers want the purchasing process personalized, offering them the freedom to shorten the task flow to get in and out of the store easily and quickly when they have specific products in mind. They want frequently purchased items to be remembered by the store and readily available on a return visit.

  • Customers want to easily “walk” through the store without disruption. They become confused with unintuitive roadblocks, such as multiple drop-down menu boxes. These roadblocks slow them down.

  • Customers want to compare products, but become overwhelmed if there are too many choices. They count on the online merchant to make qualified recommendations to them. They also want to compare products on the same screen rather than being forced to toggle between screens.

  • Customers become frustrated when their text-box searches produce “no results.”

  • Customers want complete information to make a purchase decision. They want to know exactly what is included with the product, specifications such as size, weight, and color, and any accessories they will need to order. They also want shipping charges disclosed before they make a decision to purchase.

  • Customers ignore or react negatively to web-based product information that they perceive as “marketing hype” or “ sales-speak.”



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