Most consumers are familiar with the frustrating experience of shopping in a disorganized or poorly designed store. The product you are looking for is not where it should be or is missing altogether, which is enough to thrust many consumers into the waiting arms of a competitor - and, increasingly, this competitor is online.
Although many people assume that consumers turn to eCommerce primarily for its competitive pricing, recent research suggests that a more convenient and easily accessible shopping experience might be just as, if not more, important. According to a recent survey from Continuum, more respondents said they shopped online to more easily find products
(29 percent) than to find better prices (25 percent). Online retail outlets have several distinct advantages over physical locations, but chief among them may be organization and layout.
As eCommerce matures, it has become increasing important for retailers to ensure that their online outlets aren't simply storehouses for products; instead they need to be well-designed, modern and provide a seamless shopping experience.
"There is clearly a benefit for retailers to concentrate not only on price but also how they are designing as holistic an experience as possible for their customers to be able to efficiently interact with their brand whether it is in-person or online," said Craig LaRosa, principal of Continuum's Service Design group, according to Chain Store Age. "A one-size-fits-all approach does not work when it comes to designing a great customer experience or service."
One way that online shopping exceeds traditional shopping is in the ease of searching for products. Instead of having to stumble through aisles hunting for the product, well-designed eCommerce websites make the shopping process much simpler. The ability to shop by size, price, popularity and more is a major reason why many consumers are quickly migrating their shopping habits online.
With this in mind, many companies are making the layout and organization of their catalogs and other website pages a priority. Having an eCommerce platform with robust merchandising, product search and presentation capabilities
can help companies create a modern, feature-rich and intuitive online presence.