Are shoppers happy with their user experience? It’s common for us to hesitate at the digital point-of-purchase. We don’t know how the product will fit, feel, or function. In brick and mortar stores, you usually have a better understanding. At least you can try apparel on in the dressing room!
Shoppers are raising their expectations for online shopping.
Over the years, consumer expectations have increased. According to Business Insider, 64% of consumers worldwide are saying that their expectation for online shopping experience has increased, with 53% responding that companies aren’t meeting their expectations for great shopping experiences.
It’s common for us to hesitate at the digital point-of-purchase. We don’t know how the product will fit, feel, or function. In brick and mortar stores, you usually have a better understanding. At least you can try apparel on in the dressing room!
Francesca’s is my favorite boutique. I find unique seasonal clothing that I can’t find anywhere else. Their sizing is consistent, which gives me a high level of comfort. When I click the Buy Now button, I’m reasonably certain that I’ll like what I get. Who wants to go through the hassle of returns?
It took more than a year to get to that comfortable relationship, with friendly and seemingly caring customer service the great lubricant, placating me when I received items that didn’t work, and recommending solutions when I was frustrated. Accurate descriptions and photos were an essential part of their offering.
Now I have a better understanding of the materials they use, the feel, the care required, and how their clothes move across my wide shouldered, long legged body.
Would I persist for a year today? Do I have the patience to go through the initial struggles with sizing and understanding the brand? Not necessarily! A few years later there are more options and better fashion presentations. My expectations are much higher in 2019 than when I started shopping at Francesca’s five years ago!
Big Retailer, More Challenges.
Macy’s sells a variety of different brand name clothes including Michael Kors, American Rag, and hundreds of others. It’s a great place to shop when you need a wide variety of options.
When I needed a new party outfit this past summer, I logged onto Macy’s to search. I found a really nice printed two-piece set, perfect for the summer event since it seemed light and flowing while maintaining an appropriately reserved appearance.
The outfit’s brand was called BCX, a unknown name to me. Comparing my measurements to the model’s, our heights were the same, but her waist and bust sizes were a bit smaller. I ordered my normal size for the bottom piece and a larger size for the top, expecting a good fit.
The box arrived the day of the event. I unpacked it with excitement, anxious to try it on!
The bottom part fit perfectly. However, the top piece rode up towards my chin whenever I moved my arms, despite ordering an oversize piece!
In a photo the model looked like she would be able to move easily and comfortably. That was only half true! The bottom piece worked but the top piece, which I expected to be wonderfully light, was actually uncomfortable, and unusable. Fit was part of the problem, but the stiff and unyielding material was a surprise!
Customer Expectations Need To Be Met.
Our expectations for digital shopping are growing. When we shoppers suffer box open disappointments, it affects our relationship with the brand. It will be a long time before I return to macys.com!
Retailers need to find a way to enhance our experience and more accurately portray the functionality of the product.
Is this an outfit that is designed for comfort? Will I feel confident in it? Will it look natural or awkward when in motion? Is this article of clothing designed for a mannequin or for an active woman who is constantly moving?
The use of static photos gives shoppers minimal understanding. Even when an item is portrayed from many angles it doesn’t give us a true sense of how it behaves in action. There is a reason that only a small percentage of items in e-commerce shopping carts are actually purchased. We hesitate to complete transactions because we aren’t convinced that the product is the right choice.
I’m an advocate of video for e-commerce. When I see an outfit in motion, I’m much more confident about how it will work.
Give me the customer service of Francesca’s, the wide variety of Macy’s, and the reality of products displayed in motion. That’s the website where I will do my shopping!