The same as two weeks ago in this section I am going to talk about what is hindering the consumers on-line decision making and in particular analyze the specificity of the product sold on the Internet.

In the previous section I commented that one of the major factors holding back online sales is the uncertainty of the product and purchasing process.

A second element is the specificity of the product and refers to questions or disputes that consumers have regarding the product, which is summarized in the following points:

  • How to find information about the product?
  • How to compare that information?
  • How can you negotiate the terms (price, payment, delivery date …etc)?
  • How can you make a safe payment transaction?
  • How is the delivery to be made?
  • Who is responsible for after-sales service?

These questions will be important depending on the type of product sold, such asafter-sales service is not as important for the sale of a book as compared to say a microwave.

Therefore the following questions have to be taken into account:
How can the online seller resolve such conflicts?
The answer varies depending on product requirements and in particular:

  1. The ability to examine the product valid for in the case of furniture, sofas etc …
  2. The highly sought after-sales service for electronics etc …
  3. Delivering much needed common products such as books, food etc ….

Depending on the product features offered on-line and its weaknesses in Internet sales, the seller must gain the trust of the consumer on-line examination with emphasis on the post-sale and / or delivery.
In the next section I will discuss the usability of the web as an important element in reducing uncertainty for both the user and customer.

Bye for now, I’ll be back in a fortnight.
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