15 weaknesses of online stores

Here is a list of the
weaknesses we need to start to overcome once and for all.

  1. Registration processes implicit
    in the Check-out: The
    tendency, in the main North American online stores, is to develop a
    Check-out process which is implicit in the purchasing process. Most
    of the online stores continue to break the linearity of the online
    shopping process with a registration process which is incomprehensible to
    the client.
  2. Not transmitting an identity of
    one?s own or communicating advantages: Thinking
    that the brand name of a recognised store will guarantee good positioning
    is a mistake. We miss clear messages communicating the
    advantages of shopping on the site and work, at graphic and text level to
    produce the feeling that memories, feelings and thoughts associated with
    the brand identity are all connected.
  3. Excess of visual noise on the
    home page and little personalisation. The tendency is to highlight the most
    important items within a context of visual hierarchy, without losing the
    centre of the positioning and the intelligent personalisation of the
    highlighted items.
  4. Products hidden in level three
    browser menus. One
    serious error is to assume that the user will easily find a product in
    sub-categories without first defining the categories on the basis of the
    mental model of the users, to establish an intelligent strategy on the
    site with different points of access to the product in accordance with
    different requirements and moments.
  5. Lack of clarity in pricing
    policies. We
    find very little clarity when looking for the total amounts, including all
    costs, in the checkout process.
  6. Little sales pressure making the
    most of the possibilities of the offers: contextualised, limited over time and
    scarce. At the level of sales pressure, with seductive
    copy or good calls to action, we find that Spanish stores have made very
    little or almost inexistent effort.
  7. Search engines which,
    technologically, have not been worked on. Search engines, if they can?t find a result,
    are incapable of suggesting search terms, fail to give alternatives, do
    not know how to link related searches…
  8. Displaying the products solely
    from the perspective of the company?s internal organisation and not through configurers which will
    allow the user to adapt the search to his/her requirements. Thinking
    that all users search in the same way is a serious mistake. Forcing
    the user to search from the company?s perspective makes the search for
    information and taking the decision much less effective and fluid.
  9. Product descriptions by feature
    instead of explaining their advantages. One of the most common errors is using
    product specifications with low emotional appeal and very little
    seduction; they are built for rational minds and the user is expected to
    co-produce the emotional variable.
  10. Not taking advantage of linking
    and virality tools like
    the wish-list and e-mail marketing.
  11. Lack of interest in attempting
    to close the online deal on the site itself with arguments which reinforce the reasons for
    doing so. We find the work, at the level of copy which exerts
    pressure and argue why one should buy now and from this store to be very
    weak. Overstock in the checkout is done by persuading
    the user that ?if he/she doesn?t decide now? he/she can lose the
    opportunity to buy from a limited stock.
  12. Not transmitting a memorable
    image, coherent with the brand, to make each site different. We
    are still waiting to find stores which breathe brand personality. We
    miss web experiences which reinforce brand attributes and make us feel
    that we are where we expected to be.
  13. There has been a failure to
    develop a multi-channel marketing strategy. Complicity, at multi-channel level, is very low
    or almost non-existent.
  14. Dehumanised customer support.
    We can?t see the people behind
    it.
  15. Lack of information about
    processes and very little self-sufficiency. If the user makes a mistake in some detail,
    the system does not provide information on what is happening or how he/she
    can sort it out him/herself.

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