The online shopping bug has definitely hit me. There are so many advantages to shopping online, and more and more people are starting to transition from in-store shopping to more online shopping. With that growth of online shoppers, more stores have popped up online, and more of the well known brick and mortar stores have begun to grow their free online shopping capabilities.
Even with the growth of online shopping, I still feel that many online shops are still seriously lacking. Can I tell you how many times I’ve gone to a site, found a product I’ve loved, and then left the site because they don’t have a security badge. Or because they charge too much for shipping.
Why won’t these companies realize that the better customer service they provide us, and the more options they give us, the more orders they’ll receive? And the more money they would make.
With that in mind, here they are. 9 Things I Wish More Online Shopping Companies Offered:
1. Free Shipping on All Orders.
Am I the only one that thinks shipping should always be free, especially with the larger companies? I understand if a small eBay or Etsy seller can’t offer free shipping. That may add up to be too much money out of their pocket. But come on, Million Dollar Empire, when you expand to offer more online shopping options, can’t free shipping be one of them? I mean, let’s be honest. The $20 shipping you’re trying to charge me on my order will make a much bigger dent in my bank account than it will yours.
2. More Information on the Products.
There are fewer things more frustrating with the online shopping experience than to find a product that you like, but they don’t have any information listed on the product. You see a product you’re interested in, only to find that they have a one line title of the product… and that’s it. No photos, no description. There’s no way to tell what material it’s made out of, how much it weighs, how it works, etc. I wish that these companies would spend the 10 minutes it takes to organize this info on the product they are posting and include it.
3. Photos of Their Products
Is it just me, or do you also think it’s absurd when a company doesn’t include photos of the products they are trying to sell? Am I crazy that I would actually like to see the product I am purchasing? I don’t think that’s a lot to ask. Even if the shop owner is just pulling out their iPhone and snapping a couple quick shots of their products, I think that is still better than nothing. Just provide me with a way to see the product before I pay money for it.
4. Better Quality Photos.
This one isn’t nearly as important to me as actually having photos in general. If all you can get are low quality photos, I’ll take them. But sometimes I’m surprised at the quality, or lack thereof, of the product photos that companies have on their websites. Isn’t the purpose of the photos to make your products look good? Aren’t you trying to entice me to purchase this product? Well a poor quality photo doesn’t necessarily accomplish this purpose.
Again, I prefer subpar photos over nothing in general. But if you are trying to make your products look as desirable as possible, don’t you think it would be worth spending a few dollars of your profits on a professional photographer, or even a decent camera and some lighting? I do.
5. Security Badges.
This is one that I think should be absolutely mandatory. I’m shocked at how many sites don’t put in the effort to show you they can be trusted. Internet fraud, identity theft, and online scams are way too common. There is no way I am going to give someone my credit card information if they can’t prove to me that they are a trustworthy site. Some of these trust-building and security-proving badges are very cheap. All internet companies should invest even just a small amount to prove to their customers that it is safe to shop with them.
6. Easier Navigation.
This is another thing that sometimes surprises me. How difficult it can be on some sites to navigate around. They don’t have an easy to understand category structure. Their navigation isn’t in a prominent area of their website. Or it’s difficult to navigate from one area of their site to another. Wouldn’t they want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find their products? Time is money, and if people can’t find what they are looking for quickly and easily they will leave and go to a different site that makes it easier for them.
7. Live Chat Option.
Not everyone likes the live chat option. But personally, I love it. Sometimes I have a question to ask (sizing, durability, installation, return policy, etc) but I don’t want to spend the time to talk to a customer service representative on the phone, and I don’t want to wait for them to respond to an email inquiry. So I just jump on the live chat option and ask my question! It would be nice if more online shopping companies offered this time saving option.
8. Better Promotions.
I’m on several email lists for some of my favorite online stores. And sometimes I’m amused at some of the promotions that I am sent. No, you are not going to tempt me with 10% off. For that type of promotion, I don’t consider it worth it to even take the time to find a product to purchase. Now, when I see a promotion coming through for, say 30-50% off an item or my entire purchase (and these are actually very common), that is what I jump at. Make it worth both of our times and only offer promotions that are going to save me more than a few cents.
9. Better Prices.
Speaking of pricing, I wouldn’t mind online prices as a whole going down. Isn’t one of the main purposes of shopping online to save money? If some sites would lower their prices by even a small percentage I would be much more inclined to buy from them.
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There you have it, the 9 things that I wish more online shopping companies offered. Thank you for letting me rant just a little bit and get these things off my chest. Now if only a few of these online shopping companies would pick up on these things and implement them on their sites. That could result in more money in their pockets, and a better shopping experience for us all.
Nicole is the main editor for the StarReviews.com blog where she covers online shopping tips and tricks.