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 Wednesday, 8th February 2012, 11:55:18

E-commerce sites should improve their social aspect

E-commerce sites should improve their social aspect

Websites which are used for e-commerce need to carefully consider which factors might discourage a customer from making a purchase.

According to internet psychologist Graham Jones, shoppers are increasingly looking for a more personalised experience of online shopping to match the social appeal of bricks and mortar stores.

"People who go out with friends tend to buy more than when they shop alone.

"This means that e-commerce operations need to find ways to increase the social aspect of what they offer online," he said.

Some online retailers are already catching on to this trend and are using social networking sites such as Facebook to connect to shoppers.

Clothing seller, for example, frequently uses its Facebook page to interact with users and promote special offers.

It also has a dedicated customer care Twitter feed, which customers can contact directly for real-time answers to their shopping queries.

ASOS also has a dedicated iPhone app, as do Topshop and Allsaints.

Mr Jones predicts that more and more retailers will develop dedicated applications in order to help shoppers buy things quickly using their mobile devices.

"Mobile websites are largely things of the past for e-commerce and don't deserve a great deal of attention. Apps provide the convenience which online shoppers desire," he said.

However, online retailers will also have to consider what to exclude from their sites, as well as what needs implementing.

There are a number of factors that will leave a shopper dissatisfied and unlikely to revisit a website.

For example, customers are often put off by lengthy registration forms and shopping carts which contain an excessive amount of fields to fill in.

They are also likely to be repelled by hard selling, which may make them feel put upon.

Online retail giant Amazon is a good example of subtle up-selling.

Their "your recommendations" feature suggests items based on previous purchases.

While this may encourage shoppers to spend more, it does so in an non-intrusive way.

Posted by Phil Williams

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Categories:  |  Ecommerce  |  

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