Online Exclusive: Online Shoppers More Demanding Than Ever

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With the holiday shopping season right around the corner, e-stores had better get their act together and fast, as a recent survey shows that online shoppers won't put up with below-par Web sites and shopping carts.


Getting shoppers to a Web site is difficult enough, but that's only half the battle of any search marketing campaign. Online stores have to make sure that their Web sites are up to the task of being user-friendly or they'll find that shoppers have no problem going elsewhere.


A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of TeaLeaf shows that 89 percent of online shoppers have experienced problems while trying to complete an online transaction and 34 percent admitted that as a result of difficulties while trying to complete an online transaction on one Web site, they turned to a competitor's Web site. And for e-stores that think shoppers are OK with a few glitches here and there because, after all, it is online and "things like that happen," the survey further revealed that 82 percent of online consumers refuse to accept a lower level of service online as compared to offline.


Some of the major problems shoppers seem to have with online transactions stem from error messages, difficulty navigating through a Web site and problems when attempting to log-on to a Web site.


Search marketing, by whatever method used, is only a conduit for delivering shoppers to a Web site. A Web site has to deliver on its key terms' promise that it can fulfill a shopper's expectations for a "kitchen appliance" or "laptop" by dedicating itself to good Web site maneuverability, a clearly outlined order process, solid programming and, above all, making sure that the transition from the search engine to the home page is a smooth one. Shoppers online are no more accommodating than shoppers offline, and once they lose trust in a site's ability to deliver what they want, they can simply push the back button.


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