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Subject: RE: [uk-netmarketing] RE: Piece of string question
From: Ian Collingwood
Date: Tue, 23 Jan 2001 15:53:17 -0000

Anna wrote:
> 53% and 66% of shoppers who actually begin the checkout
> process actually
> complete a purchase. These people wanted to buy something but
> were prevented
> by a poorly-designed checkout process.

Hmmm.... I've heard people throwing these kind of figures around, and I'm
not sure I'm entirely convinced. Sure, 66% of shoppers may fail to complete
their purchases, but it's quite a leap from making this observation to
claiming that poor usability is the only or even the main reason. What is
the basis for Buystream's claim?

Whilst I have no doubt that usability is a factor in at least *some* failed
purchases, making this leap is like saying that the piles of dumped
"impulse" purchases that always seem to litter the aisles around IKEA's
checkouts on a Saturday are a result of people being unable to work out how
to load their purchases onto the conveyor belt. Surely they just changed
their minds?

I'd be interested to see some more work on this if there is any. Any people
from Buystream on the list who could enlighten me?



After thinking about that IKEA metaphor again, I wondered what the real
reason for all the failed impulse buys might be. It occurred to me that a
large part of it is probably down to the long wait that you have to endure
before reaching the checkouts - it gives people time to realise that they
really don't need that second set of plastic storage bowls, nor that strange
blue swedish toilet roll holder after all.

If you translate this to the web, maybe it does all come down to usability
after all - speeding people through the checkout before they realise that
(yet again) they've been suckered into buying something they don't need. In
which case, you can see why Amazon were so keen on patenting One-Click.

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