The user-generated online review is ubiquitous. Just about every e-commerce site provides a mechanism for users to evaluate their purchases, and research shows that reviews have a measurable impact on purchasing decisions. For companies like Amazon and Google, getting users to write reviews—and buyers to read them—has an impact on the bottom line.
These are the questions we want to answer for our readers
- What does this product or service do?
- What does this product do differently than the competition?
- What does this product do that is great?
- What does this product do that is bad?
- Who is the ideal person for this product?
- Where can you buy this product?
What made us choose Amazon.com products?
What Makes a Great Shopping Experience
You should have no problem telling what a shopping website sells, finding specific products and brands, and getting pages to load fast without pop-up windows, Flash videos, or other digital detritus. And you should be able to easily find site policies, contact information for customer service, and your shopping cart.
Once you’ve shopped, you should be able to see what you’ve chosen and check out with little hassle. At some shopping websites, even if you don’t create an account, the site places cookies on your computer so that items you select remain in your shopping cart if you leave and return. Plus you can see the total cost without having to check out.
Unfortunately at some sites, clicking on checkout takes you to a sign-in page, with no option to buy as a guest or review your order beforehand.
On 7 percent of visits, readers complained about high shipping or delivery charges, a particular problem at flower sites, where more than one in four readers complained. Other shopping websites that got high marks for shipping don’t charge extra for some items or if purchases reach a certain threshold, while still other sites provide no-cost shipping if the item is sent to a local store for pickup.
Don’t assume that “free” shipping means you’re getting the lowest price for a product. And add shipping charges when comparing prices among retailers.
The better shopping websites post frequently asked questions and have e-mail notification and trackers that show the status of your order. Above all, someone in customer service should be easy to reach either by phone, e-mail, regular mail, social media, or live chat.