• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Pattern Group A. Site Genres > Avoid Surprises

Avoid Surprises

Customers want to know what to expect when they start shopping because it will take at least a few minutes to complete the transaction, and they do not want to have a surprise toward the end. Full disclosure about site policies up front is important to shoppers. They have three areas of concern:

  1. Privacy and security. Customers value their anonymity because it provides them with a sense of privacy and security from being defrauded or abused by people who gain access to their personal information. Many want to shop in total anonymity and complete their transactions while revealing only what is necessary. Build trust by establishing a set of FAIR INFORMATION PRACTICES (E3) that will be followed throughout your company, and make these practices clear in your PRIVACY POLICY (E4). Furthermore, use a SECURE CONNECTION (E6) whenever personal or financial information is being transmitted.

  2. Additional charges. Sometimes, given economy of scale, customers find products at a lower price when shopping online, only to discover that the shipping and handling charges erase the savings. Granted, if people factor in the time saved from personally traveling to and from the store, shipping and handling costs can sometimes be justified. However, if the costs of shipping and handling are surprisingly large, shoppers become discouraged. They think the online merchant is trying to trick them, and they become distrustful. Providing information about all the costs involved with a purchase early in the shopping experience will build trust and keep customers from experiencing “sticker shock,” one of the reasons that people abandon shopping carts (see Figure A1.4).

    Figure A1.4. Netmarket avoids surprises by showing its customers shipping and handling costs, as well as taxes, as soon as they add items to their shopping cart. (© 2001 Trilegiant Corporation.)

    (www.netmarket.com, August 24, 2001)

  3. Returns. Many shoppers prefer to see, hear, touch, smell, or taste some products in person before buying. This is one of the major reasons that only 25 percent of all shoppers buy from print catalogs. Although some people may never shop online, more will shop on a site that provides EASY RETURNS (F9) because they know if what they buy does not work for them, they can return it for a full refund.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint