Call it another instance where e-businesses suddenly realize something long known to traditional merchandisers. In this case, it’s that presentation matters. Although e-tailers can’t match the pick-it-up-and-hold-it-in-your-hand appeal of brick-and-mortar stores, savvy Web retailers are finding that the online world offers plenty of opportunities to improve product presentation and to ease customer frustration with sites that are difficult to navigate.
Indeed, some surveys show that as many as three-quarters of all Internet shoppers abandon their shopping “trip” long before purchasing anything, leaving half-full cyber shopping carts strewn about the virtual aisles of Internet stores and flummoxing e-tailers.
For help, online retailers could look to their offline counterparts for the best ways to guide customers through the shopping experience. At any good brick-and-mortar store, for example, product departments are clearly marked; shoppers know where to find checkout stands; and when questions arise, there’s usually someone at hand ready to offer assistance.