Consumer Online Customer Experience

The last time I found myself in a physical store looking to purchase a product was actually just last week and I can tell you it was not a very satisfying experience. It is snow season and we were on our way to a family catch up at a local snow facility designed for kids. On the way we popped into a mall to pick up a pair of gloves  for our toddler so that she could play in the snow without her little hands freezing off. We had budgeted an hour of our time for picking up some gloves and having a bite to eat. We spent the entire hour going from shop to shop being ignored by sales staff, pointed in different directions within department stores, told “yes toddler gloves are this way” only to find not one single pair of gloves, it was -5 degrees in Canberra that morning.

My in store retail experience did not meet the basic framework that Rose and Hair discusses as primary elements for a successful consumer experience.

The elements of Rose and Hair consumer online customer experiences are:

  1. Information Processing
  2. Perceived Ease of Use
  3. Perceived Usefulness
  4. Perceived Benefits
  5. Perceived Control
  6. Skill
  7. Trust and Risk
  8. Enjoyment

(Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2016, p. 77).

On the flip side o my in store shopping experience once we returned home we did a quick search for “toddler gloves” and in less than 5 seconds we were presented with a huge amount of online stores offering toddler gloves in just about every colour, lots of different varieties of material and at all different price points. We had a pair of gloves purchased and on our way to our home in less than 10 minutes- A 6th of the time that we had spent traipsing around the mall with a toddler who was rapidly turning into a terror.

My online experience not only exceeded the majority of the Rose & Hair elements but it also eased the pain of my in store experience and will ultimately lead me back to online shopping for future purchases, which is a very important key to E-commerce states Chaffey and Ellis-Chadwick (2016) in their framework for online customer experiences.

Internet shopping can be done at your own pace, at anytime of the day, there are no queues and you don’t have to wait 10 minutes for a store person to grab your size from out the back only to return to say sorry that is out of stock- Stock levels are usually advised directly on the item description on online shopping websites and if your item is out of stock it is usually a 30 second google search to find out who does have your item in stock. The list of benefits for online shopping start to far out way the positives for shopping in store. There is the task of just getting to a store, driving, parking (which often costs money)  roaming from store to store to see who has what you want and you don’t always get greeted with the most friendly store people, When you can actually find someone willing to serve you.

More and more online stores are incorporating the Rose & Hair framework into their interface, some do it better than others as Gomes & Knowles (2004) believe the basic concept of this model as well as the consumer’s behaviour online will help marketers to tailor the shopping experience to a market, individual, or group which is something instore retailers struggle to achieve.

A digital marketer should consider the opportunities that are on offer when a consumer has a positive experience, FRPT (2015) discusses that while consumers are shopping online they are leaving behind their preferences, interests and shopping behaviours for a marketer to use to influence future trades.

References

Chaffey, D. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2016). Digital Marketing: Strategy, implementation and practice. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson Education Limited

Five e-commerce marketing trends that will dominate 2015′, 2015, FRPT- Retail Snapshot, pp. 16-17.

Gomes, R, & Knowles, PA 2004, ‘The Potential for Cross-Functional Contributions to B2B E-Commerce Marketing Initiatives: E-Commerce and Purchasing Professionals’, Journal of Business-to-Business Marketing, vol. 11, no. 1/2, pp. 83-99. Available from: 10.1300/J033v11n01_06. [28 August 2016]

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