June 12, 2014
Benefits of ecommerce websites for consumers
E-commerce has been with us a long time now. It has improved its payment gateways and it has completely changed e-commerce consumer experience. And with the smartphone market booming, a new branch of e-commerce emerged – mobile commerce. Smartphones and tablets have become the mobile devices consumers use to shop in virtual stores. Mobile commerce offers mobility, it’s time-saving and it doesn’t require a fixed internet connection. But let’s see which mobile platform is used the most for virtual shopping. According to a recent study from Forrester , Apple tablet and smartphone users are 30% more likely to make purchases using their mobile devices, than Android users. Nevertheless, this data also shows an increasing interest in mobile commerce by Android users, whether it’s performed through a mobile website or an application. This is why 99% of companies claim that they will develop an application for iOS and 96% say that they will develop one for Android. Windows Phone and BlackBerry will stand apart, since companies intend to invest only in apps used on popular platforms with millions of users. Companies seem to bet only on iOS and Android, the 2 platforms that cover almost all the market. Until BlackBerry and Windows Phone increase their platforms’ popularity, the number of apps won’t grow.
Ecommerce at consumer levelAlthough e-commerce is in constant growth and its revenues are reaching insane numbers, there’s a problem in the textile sector: product return. But apart from product return there’s other enemy – the checkout process. A recent study from the developer and provider of virtual fitting room solutions, Fits Me, showed that 1 out of 3 consumers don’t actually finish the checkout process. One of the main reasons is the fear of acquiring the wrong size. Since the product return rate is quite high, companies are developing a new tool – virtual dressing rooms. After carrying out a poll, 37% of the respondents said that this tool would help them choose the right item with the right size. With mobile commerce there’s another problem: fear of entering personal data on mobile devices since they are more likely to be stolen and the long and complicated checkout process. 68% of mobile users don’t finish their purchase because of the poor checkout process. The first thing you have to include on your mobile store is the guest checkout option. Registration might seem a long and tedious process for lots of users. So include only relevant fields for the checkout and don’t forget to include a ‘guest checkout’ option, which will allow users to optimize the process of making a purchase. This will increase exponentially the possibilities for consumers to actually perform purchases on your website.
Ecommerce consumers protectionYou know that shopping online is fun, whether you do it on your PC, smartphone or tablet, but although consumer protection has increased due to the constant growth of e-purchases, consumers should know the basic rules when shopping online in order not to be the victims of fraud websites:
- Shop on secure websites. Secure web pages use encryption technology to send information from your computing device to the online merchant’s computer. Encryption blends the information you send, such as your credit card number, in order to prevent hackers from getting it.
- Do a little research on the website before you order. Make purchases from companies you already know. If the company is unknown, do a little research on their website before buying their products or hire their services. If you want to purchase a product from an unfamiliar company, don’t buy something expensive. Buy something cheap in order to make sure that the website is trustworthy.
- Reveal your basic personal data only. When making a purchase, you must provide certain information, such as your name, address and date of birth. Some websites will try to get more information from you. Some may ask questions about your lifestyle or monthly income. This information is used for targeted marketing. This can lead to spam or telephone solicitations.
- Read the company’s return policy. Even in the best cases, consumers sometimes need to return merchandise. Check the web page for cancellation and return policies.