How To Find Out What Your Customers Are Thinking (Part 2) – Expectations

Author xlxmarketing 5.1.2011. | 11:59

3 weeks warning spring fest

Wouldn’t it be great to know what your customers are thinking so you can act on their thoughts and perhaps improve your store and reap better sales because of it? In this 2 part blog let’s look at how to do this and what they might be thinking…

Now you know how to ask your customers what they’re thinking, but what kind of questions could you ask and what do online shoppers generally think these days? We’re going to look at these questions here in part 2:

 

What Do Customers Want?

Of course it’s easy to speculate that customers probably want lower prices, free delivery or low or no MOQs (minimum order quantities). Perhaps they want different delivery options, higher quality or a product that you haven’t got on sale at the moment. Either way, if you don’t ask them, you’ll never know, so get polling!

Remember, a poll isn’t useful if asking general questions like, “Is the store easy to use?” Here the customers could probably just say either yes or no. Rather you should be prompting the customers, by asking, “How can this store be improved in your opinion?” And then giving a series of options such as, “Better quality products,” “Reward scheme,” “Free postage on orders above a certain value” etc. In this way you’ll see which aspects they really value, rather than just having a vague idea of whether people like the store or not.

In part 1 we looked at how to set up a poll to try to gather your customers’ thoughts, and while they might ask you about some of the above issues it may well be prudent to get their expectations of your store itself.

 

Image Is Everything

Why must you ask what customers think about your online store? Top department stores employ whole teams of retail gurus to make sure that their stores look just so. If a department is badly laid out then it could be disastrous for sales, so why should your store be any different?

Oneupweb.com has published a white paper on consumer expectations of online stores and sites. Aside from being interesting reading, there is some really useful information contained in this white paper (which anyone can download for free) regarding ecommerce stores and how best to present them.

customer expectations of ecommerce stores
Although your customers might not give you such technical explanations as the chart above, they can still give you some very useful hints if they are saying, “It’s not clear which price is which,” or, “The homepage seems too crowded.”

For this reason it may be worth polling your customers on how they feel about your store. If there are subsequently any changes to be made, then you can be sure that they will result in more satisfied customers and more sales.

You could even poll your customers basing your questions on the research we’ve looked at to see how your store fits in with these ‘average’ customer expectations:

 

What Is A Good Online Store?

According to the people questioned by oneupweb.com, the ‘printrunner.com’ store has the perfect mix of elements for an e-commerce store. In fact it scored 2.6 out of 3, where respondants could give 3 as a top score. Here it is:

printrunner.com homepage
I happen to agree with oneupweb.com’s research. This site is very clear, neat and has all of the elements that customers said that they expected from an online e-commerce store. As you can see, there is a main middle area containing flas animations and product types bordered by a header, footer and sidebar that respectively contain contact information, security information and product category links. Is your store this clear?

 

Your store may not be as complex as printrunner.com, that’s fine, but I’m sure that if there’s even a small way that you could tweak it to make it more user-friendly then your customers will be pleased and will be confident to place even more business with you! So the moral of the story here is: Don’t just assume that everything is fine with your store. Involve your customers and get their opinions! After all, it is they who have to shop there and are your livelihood…

 

Author xlxmarketing 5.1.2011. | 11:59
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