Ecommerce: What Do Consumers Need?
“My first rule of consumerism is never to buy anything you can’t make your children carry.” – Bill Bryson
If you are involved in ecommerce it is important to accept the truth that we live in a consumer-driven society.
What this means in practical terms is your product selection and available services are largely dependent on consumer taste and preference. As more and more consumers make their way to the worldwide web it is clear that the consumer is in the driver’s seat.
“Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” – Bo Derek
There are so many marketing tools for ecommerce websites, but if you didn’t start with market research you may be spinning your wheels. When you bring a product to the online market you need to be very sure it is something that the consumer wants.
It is possible to bring a new product to the marketplace without a consumer mandate, but in this case you will need to work at helping your customers and prospects understand why this product is something they need. Without a felt need on the part of your customers you will likely find few sales.
“Thanksgiving is a typically American holiday…The lavish meal is a symbol of the fact that abundant consumption is the result and reward of production.” – Ayn Rand
Once a consumer understand they don’t have something that they believe they really need there is a built-in motivation for a purchase.
This doesn’t mean you should be deceitful in your presentation. In fact, a good presentation for ecommerce will provide testimonials on how your product has helped others. When there is a correlation between the product and a remedy the product becomes accessible and desired.
“Thirty-five percent of consumers surveyed said added costs, such as shipping and handling, or lengthy delivery times resulted in their abandoning an online purchase. Sites requesting too much information is another annoyance that drives away 35 percent of buyers surveyed.” – Net IQ Web Trends
Beyond selling a product consumers want there may be other issues to consider. 2005 internet usage studies showed that just over 1 billion Internet users were logged on with about 20% of those sales based in the US. Savvy ecommerce sites are finding ways to offset shipping and handling expenses as a means of boosting sales.
The primary directive of ecommerce is finding your niche with a product that sells and marketing that product effectively to the more than 1 billion potential customers that will log on this year.