Building Better Retail Websites

By Steve Butler As internet retailers put the finishing touches on their websites for the upcoming holiday shopping season, it is fair to expect that consumers will benefit from numerous improvements designed to make their online shopping experience even better than last year. Although e-commerce is still in its formative years, online retailers are increasingly benefiting from a growing knowledge base of consumer data, which in turn is helping them develop websites that better anticipate the needs of their customers. For those consumers who have not yet become online shoppers, security and privacy concerns remain a significant inhibitor to making online purchases, while shipping costs have continued to be the largest single deterrent for many potential online customers. But for those websites that hope to attract and retain regular online shoppers, the need to provide a reliable and user-friendly shopping experience is paramount, especially since many internet shoppers choose to make online purchases because of convenience. eMarketer has found in survey after survey that online shoppers have repeatedly confirmed that they prefer to return to those websites that are easy to navigate, with a minimum of distracting or self-serving content. (segue)

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