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Survey: what online shoppers want

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday November 20, 2010 )

A recent study has found rich media and personalization are critical to establishing brand loyalty and that regular online shoppers are more likely to want advanced shopping cart features.

According to a survey by Limelight Networks of more than 1,600 online shoppers, the functionality ranked highest in impacting positively on online shopper loyalty:

– Clear and thorough product images
– Speedy and accurate site search
– Advanced product viewing (such as 360 degree views)
– Ability to customize products
– Written reviews from other customers
– Site “remembers” the customer and recalls details.

More frequent online shoppers, those making online purchases more than once a month, tended to favor rich media functions more than other respondents. In addition to the points above, these shoppers also expressed a preference for videos showing product demonstration and assembly and video product reviews from customers.

The latter is interesting, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a site use these.

Something not mentioned in the survey, and perhaps it may not have been an optional response, is fast page load times generally.

Too often site owners and designers cram so much on pages or don’t optimize images sufficiently and it takes forever for them to load. The type of shopping cart software platform used can also make a difference as some make far too many database calls which really slows things down.

With people being busy, particularly if they are iffy about an immediate purchase, it’s my opinion slow loading pages are likely to send them scampering off elsewhere.

I always find it quite frustrating when a site takes as long to load over broadband as a slow loading site used to under a dial-up connection. That’s simply not progress, no matter how many other cutting edge technologies the site may use.

Read more of the Limelight Network survey here or pick up some tips on improving site speed.


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