Retail Customer Experience: The Five Online Commerce Features That Create Loyalty
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion
is a summary of a current article from Retail Customer Experience,
a daily news portal devoted to helping retailers differentiate the shopping
Limelight Networks Inc. released a survey showing that
rich media and personalization are essential to establishing brand loyalty,
especially with those who shop online most frequently.
More than 1,600 online
shoppers ranked the importance of ecommerce functionality in their decisions
to make online purchases and return to sites for future shopping. Across all
respondents, the following features ranked highest in their ability to positively
impact online shopper loyalty:
1. (Tie) Product images are clear and thorough.
1. (Tie) Site search is speedy
2. (Tie) Advanced product viewing functionality (360 degree
viewing, see available colors as they would look on the product, zoom-in/out,
2. (Tie) Ability to customize products online (ex. see apparel on someone
3. Written reviews from other users of the product.
4. Site recognizes me.
5. Site recalls my billing and shipping information.
The research found that
more frequent online shoppers, defined as those who said that in addition to
holiday shopping, they make online purchases more than once per month, ranked
rich media functions as well as personalization as ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’
more consistently than all other respondents.
Among the more frequent online
shoppers, 94 percent agreed that ‘Product photography is clear and thorough’
were ‘extremely’ or ‘very important’ in their decision to stay and purchase
from a site and return to the site to purchase again. That was followed by:
- Allows me to customize products online, 79 percent;
- Advanced product viewing functionality, 76 percent;
- Site automatically recalls my billing and shipping information, 73 percent;
- Site recognizes me when I come back to visit, 68 percent;
- Remembers my personal preferences, such as shoe size, aisle seat on an
airplane, 57 percent;
- Product recommendations are made based on the items that I have already
purchased, 55 percent;
- Video demonstration of required assembly or installation,’ 49 percent;
- Video demonstrations of the product in use, 46 percent;
- Video product reviews from actual customers, 46 percent.
Discussion Questions: How does customer loyalty work differently online
than in the store? Which features do you think do the most to engender loyalty
for e-commerce sites now? Which features will grow in importance in the future?