online shopping, stats

Tips for a glitch-free online shopping experience

Some 36% of online shoppers ran into roadblocks when buying gifts this past holiday season — ranging from slow website response, to fruitless efforts to check out, to outright system crashes — according to a survey of 1,000 online consumers, conducted for Guidance by Synovate, reports Retailer Daily.

According to the survey, online shopping hassles affect the overall degree to which people will shop online: Across nearly every demographic breakdown — other than race — the group least likely to say their online shopping was incident-free was also the group least likely to shop online.

Other major findings of the survey can be found here.  But before you click, I have put together a few guidelines to ensure your online shopping experience remains glitch-free.

I have shopped online for over 4 years now and I can pretty much say it has been a ‘glitch-free’ experience.  Over the years, I have purchased from Amazon, Future Shop, Best Buy, CDW, eBay, Etsy, and Apple.  Perhaps this unlucky 36% were victims of cyber-Monday or even that the sites they trying to purchase from were not necessarily ‘big box retailers’ who tend to be better at handling the in-coming cyber-traffic.

Here are a few tricks I can recommend if you want to make sure your online shopping experience remains a painless one:

  1. Be realistic. If your still on dial-up, forget it.  The purchase process will likely be too much for your modem and the sluggishness will likely lead to issues.
  2. Choose a ‘big box retailer’ you know and trust. IT departments in a big box retailer tend to be better prepared to manage the incoming cyber-traffic.
  3. Go with your gut. As you navigate sites, judge their response rate, evaluate the site’s organization and most of all, answer the question:  Do I ‘get’ this site?  If your experience is sketchy, chances are so will the purchasing experience.

Finally, consider this: A website has its own personality, just like each of us.  We don’t ‘get’ everyone so why would we ‘get’ every website.  So if you find yourself confused about a site and not sure where its trying to lead you, chances are you’re not ‘getting’ the site and you’ll probably encounter these same difficulties when you go through their shopping cart process.  My recommendation is to reconsider purchasing from this site.  It will save you from a potentially frustrating experience.

I’d love to know if you’ve ever reconsidered purchasing online from a site because of a ‘gut feeling’.

new media, stats

Generation V: Majority of Internet Users are Lurkers!

I often check out MarketingCharts to observe online statistics and stumbled upon an interesting report from Gartner concerning Generation V last week.

This report attempts to outline and categorize internet users.  Apparently, we are either creators, contributors, opportunists or lurkers.

Although I agree for the most part, I’m not sure it’s that clear cut.  As for myself, I believe I have elements of each a creator, a contributor and an opportunist – I’m not sure who would admit to being a lurker (but that’s just me I suppose).  What about you?

These are the findings directly from the report:

Findings about these Generation V segments:

  • Up to 3% will be creators, providing original content. They can be advocates that promote products and services.
  • Between 3% and 10% will be contributors who add to the conversation, but don’t initiate it. They can recommend products and services as customers move through a buying process, looking for purchasing advice.
  • Between 10% and 20% will be opportunists, who can further contributions regarding purchasing decisions. Opportunists can add value to a conversation that’s taking place while walking through a considered purchase.
  • Approximately 80% will be lurkers, essentially spectators, who reap the rewards of online community input but absorb only what is being communicated. They can still implicitly contribute and indirectly validate value from the rest of the community. All users start out as lurker.

Please feel free to comment on this.  I’d love to see if I’m the only one who thinks these findings are slightly generalist.