Whilst promoting brand is an important influence in getting a consumer to a site, the real customer experience of the site effectively determines the perception and feeling towards that brand.
Consumers were quite negative about the current ecommerce offerings, feeling that many sites do not respect their individual needs or expectations.
Sites that show a lack of understanding or respect for consumer needs in design can damage even those brands that previously have been held in the highest of esteem.
The message to ecommerce providers is clear. Whilst a strong brand is important, do not put the cart before the horse. A closer understanding of the consumer is required.
» Recognise that not all consumers are the same and reflect
that in site design and promotion.
» Recognise the hard cultural differences between consumer
types and markets
» Recognise the 'soft' underlying needs and feelings of a
consumer in what is essentially a shopping experience
Understanding the Consumer
Essentially four basic consumer typologies identified that understand the willingness to adopt ecommerce at the individual level.
Whilst these are not revolutionary, in that they appear to follow the nature of the classic 'adoption curve', they do provide a useful framework for targeting and promoting ecommerce solutions.
» Reluctant Followers
» Contemporary Followers
Across the four consumer segments - issues of control and trust are of increased importance to the less technically literate of our segments and are real barriers to ecommerce uptake amongst the 'mainstream consumers'.
Clearly these issues have to be addressed by ecommerce suppliers both in site design and in branding strategies.