Website Analytics November 12th, 2007
E-commerce or business on the web is not to be considered a silo, but part of the larger eco-system of offline and online efforts to promote brand awareness, improve customer service and drive sales.
Armed with a succession of tools that flaunt sophistication to report on every conceivable action of visitors on websites, their likes and dislikes, companies are beginning to effectively track and monitor the search patterns of their online visitors.
Andreasen in his book Prescriptions for Theory-Driven Social Marketing Research describes the customer behavior in this phase as Extensive Problem Solving Behavior. A period when a person is comparing multiple competitive brands or features without having any kind of a benchmark to compare them to.
Since it’s such an intense and involved activity, any distraction or block on your website that stalls the thought process is going to be an irritant to a visitor.
S. Kurnia. & P. Schubert, in their book Toward Achieving Customer Satisfaction in Online suggests large scale availability of independent reviews encourages a behavior in a prospective buyer called information “pulling” in other words personal research in contrast to accepting what is dished out to them and termed as information “pushing”.
One important emergent character and one which is very obvious is the lack of patience in online users. It really runs thin during Product Research, Feature & Price Comparison phase. 5 seconds for the page to load was the maximum that most online visitors said they could wait for.
Most visitors preferred summarized information and lack of relevant information in quickly scannable points and bullets delayed the transaction. But most online users were willing to wait for a very long period of time for an offline response to online query. Majority said they could wait from half an hour and up to a day.
N. Koiso-Kanttila in their book Time, Attention, authenticity and consumer benefits of the Web make a compelling point when they say that online customers have a heightened sense of time consciousness (perhaps that’s the first reason they are shopping online) and do not mind moderate loss of money but loss of time reflects badly on the website.
Businesses, which value customer’s time by employing technology, tools, information and customer service are appreciated and revisited.
To summarize it all up
1. Amount of information online directly affects consumer search behaviour
2. Online consumers value and reward timesaving features
3. Information breakdown is required to prevent information overload
4. Result pages are scanned for context corresponding to a supplied search term
5. Pace of search decreases in proportion to the depth of the research