If you’re like me, you are increasingly becoming reliant on online shopping to replace the more arduous task of physical in-store shopping. I find this is particularly true during the holiday season when the idea of fighting traffic and elbowing crowds to desperately search numerous shops in order to find just the right gift for Aunt Phillis (who’s just going to hate whatever she receives anyway) gives way to the more idyllic setting of web-surfing multiple stores simultaneously from the privacy of your home while the dulcet tones of Nat King Cole playing gently in the background lull you into the holiday spirit (a little spiced eggnog on the side doesn’t hurt either). But have you ever stopped to consider why you shop at some websites and not at others? Certainly item prices have something to do with it, as does the breadth of product selection. However, there is almost certainly a third element involved—one of which you may not even be consciously aware: The quality of the online store shopping experience directly impacts the likelihood that you (and other consumers) will purchase items on it. Websites that are friendly, professional, and easy to use are far more likely to produce sales than those that are confusing and difficult to navigate.
I just got off the phone with a reporter from a major industry trade magazine (no names please!) who is preparing an article on enterprise mobile device adoption. Wanting to help ensure accuracy in the reporting, I provided him with statistical details from our recent research into the use of mobile devices in the enterprise and stepped him through the findings. He was fascinated by the results and asked lots of follow-up questions. In the end, however, he admitted he would likely not be able to use any of the information in his article (say what?!). Apparently, his editor had specifically tasked him with writing an article showcasing how tablets are rapidly replacing PCs in the workplace, even though this is completely contradictory to reality.