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Marketing and the Online Experiencefrom: Internet Exposed Files
Businesses are continuously expanding their domain to the online community and the ever increasing number of getting online day by day is helping in that a lot. A huge potential market is available online for companies to take advantage of and many companies have already started to penetrate this space to get the first movers benefit, the lion's share. But doing business online comes with its share of challenges and complexities and customer experience is one of the most important aspects of it. It’s all really matter of customer experience that the online business goes on strides or fall backs to its knees.
Customers are not directly connected to a human while doing purchase online and don’t have any live assistance with them. In a typical scenario, An E- Business store comprises of a website that works as the hub of all customer activities. It is the face of the business that the customer sees and works with online. This website usually provides a catalogue that user browses to see the entire range of available product. Connecting all the catalogue pages is a conceptual entity called the Shopping Cart, which take care of storing details about all the items that user has selected. Finally, there is a checkout section of the website, which is connected with payment gateways that process credit and debit cards to provide a convenient way for the customer to purchase.
All this is fine, but here comes the experience part. Experience starts when the first time user starts to interact with the e-store. The Home page of the store is designed to provide information about the store in a clear and concise way. It should clearly link to all other sections of the website that the user can use to start their ordering process. The homepage should not be made heavy in size as there are still slow connections existing and slow loading of homepage causes customers instantly move away many times. Apart from that the aesthetics of the website should be designed carefully as users of all ages come to shop there. It should not be heavy on eyes, the color combinations should blend naturally within each other and too much bright or too much dull colors should be avoided.
In some markets like India, customers have a habit of purchasing products after physically experiencing them a little by touching, smelling etc. These customers are the toughest deals for online businesses and it takes a lot of work to provide an experience that comes close to their traditional method of shopping. For these markets, the website of the company are designed with a great emphasis on providing as much information about the products as possible complete with high resolution pictures of the products so that customer can have the idea of what they are purchasing.
The shopping cart should be easily editable by user and should be clearly visible to user all the time as they will be adding and removing things from it as they move from product to product. Most website today employ technologies like AJAX to provide a seamless shopping cart experience. The checkout section also should ask for details of customers clearly and easy to use manner. Payment options should be kept as much as possible.
And last but not least, a fast responding, easy to approach, Customer support help desk also plays a very important role in the big picture of an online business. Having a good after sales customer support can get more and more customers for the business because of the word of mouth publicity done by its customers as well as can also bring repeat business for the firm.
All in all, having an online business is the next big thing and managing a great online customer experience is an even bigger challenge. A comprehensive, fast and error free online experience helps a lot in maintaining good health of the online business revenues.
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