How Buying Online Can Be Worse Than The High Street


digital camera with womain posing in mirror

image courtesy of "theonlyanla" via Flickr

I wanted to purchase a digital camera. My 5 mega pixel camera from years back had its time, I was now looking for a 14.1MP camera – yeah baby!

I saw an ad on the TV over the weekend (yes the old medium still works) which prompted me to take a look at this particular camera, 14.1MP now half price! Quids in!

Searching online, I typed the model number into Google as you do and clicked on the 3rd result down which was below the official site and a well known review site. Great I thought, looks like Google Product search has found me an even cheaper outlet. By this time I felt the power of the internet running through me as I was ready to buy within minutes. Beat that high street!

So clicking through, I was not only presented with the camera I was interested in, but also some alternatives around the similar price. Ah, I thought, wonder what I get if I pay a little bit more.

By the time I had finished looking at the alternatives was I ready to buy? No! Now I wasn’t sure. I then started researching the various options trying to understand the digital photography lingo and whether shutter speed would make any difference at all… I was lost.

See the problem here? Had I walked into a store from the TV ad and said I really like this camera, the store assistant would have closed the sale, probably with a 3 year extended warranty, SD card and case that I never intended to buy.

Instead we are at times so fixated with e-commerce sites in providing the customer with choice, we sometimes overlook the simple fact that a customer may simply want to buy this product. Or better still we throw everything at the customer from ‘you should buy this because someone else did’ or ‘buy this because ultimately you don’t have a clue’. As responsible internet marketers we need to understand and respect the consumer much better.

How do you behavioural target a consumer that knows exactly what they want? Do you push the boundary on increasing the basket value with an up-sell or increase your likelihood to convert by placing a little faith in the consumer?

I’m now going to purge my experience and go back to the original camera I was interested in. I won’t fall for mind-games, up-sells and promotions… not at least until the next time I want to buy online…

Do you agree that online shopping can be arduous? Or perhaps I’m over analysing this as an expert (of sorts)?

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2 thoughts on “How Buying Online Can Be Worse Than The High Street

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention How Buying Online Can Be Worse Than The High Street « Depesh Mandalia’s Weblog -- Topsy.com

  2. I find the same problem and then over analyse/research before making the decision to buy. After as resarching the product I then do some digging on the website to see if i trust them.

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