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My perspective is that this could drive away customers. Even a large thumbnail only has so much image detail, and no product description is ussally given. You are biasing the customer to make a purchase decission on limited information. If they don't see the price, they are forced to click on the thumbnail to go the product page, and will make a purchase decission based on the full product specification.
Sure this make comparison shopping easier, but do you want to give your customer a reason to leave your site, before you can show them everything you have to offer.
I've got this on one of our sites thinking from the P.O.V. of the quickest overview and shortest path to placing an order. Displayed are thumbnail, order options, add to cart, and DETAILS >> to the full details page.
We have had customers order an item, say something that *could* be the size of a "coffee table" but is maybe no more than 12" tall. The details page explains full dimensions. On receipt they complain and return, "Hey I thought I was buying a glass-top coffee table" (for under $50. lol . . . )
This is an enlightening view that could explain that phenomena.
I'm still on the fence . . . trying to visualize the product page without ordering options and pricing. Seems like we'd start losing sales because people might not figure out how to order items. The other side of the coin is the rare occasions when we do get positive feedback, people claim how easy it is to order from the site.
It looks like, prices on thumbnail pages, is a useabillity band wagon issue, however one that is bad for the bottom line.
The problem is, if everybody gets on the bandwagon, the customer expects this as a standard feature of a website.
Our merchandise is well categorized, and customers can also browse previous and next from the product pages for specific product categories, so we have good useability anyways.
I be interested in hearing from anybody that had increased/decreased sales (A/B testing) by having prices on thumbnail pages.
We DO offer the ability to purchase, including the options from the thumbnail page. Analytics shows roughly 50/50 between adding to cart on thumbnail page and from the detail page...
I'd think it would really vary depending on the widget type.
¦.....¦...PICTURES & DETAILS
_____ ... order options, if any
.......... quantity - add cart button
And it seemed stupid to have an add to cart functionality without a price. So given this scenario . . . . this should mean you'd remove the add to cart functionality as well, removing the ease of ordering that everyone seems to love. Forcing them to the detail page just to order, having to back button or use links back to product offering pages.
It seems like this produces more barriers than it would be worth . . .
What say you?
They want to read it, see it, and compare it.
If this is the case - they want to read details - they will know to look for the "more details & pictures" link.
The initial question is extremely compelling. As mentioned (see pg. 1 post) we've gotten some orders that indicate the user is not investigating the details, so for these customers, removing the price and order option from the initial results page seems like a good idea.
But on the other hand, the majority of *our* visitors are much like pradish - they know how to read and understand the meaning of "SEE DETAILS >>" (or similar.) They appreciate the advantage of "one less click."
We receive many comments indicating the majority are going to the details pages - for example, in our niche, we are one of the extremely few sites that have sounds of the items that have a sound and the reaction is overwhelming. These are only on the details pages.
I'm still on the fence on this one . . . for the time being, our experience indicates the ones who order from the initial pages without reviewing the details are a minority.
What about customer service? Forcing someone ooto the detail page ensures they know what they are ordering. It's for their benefit as well as yours.
I've thought this comment over for days. :-) One of the first things to learn about the Internet is if you try to force anyone to do anything you are treading dangerous territory that may drive people away (think about pop ups, disabled items, etc. . . )
ensures they know what they are ordering
Unfortunately, even if you force a page in front of someone, there's no guarantee that they'll actually digest it. Our details pages are extremely explicit - under a sub-heading "What's In Stock" it explicitly lists all options:
green with gold trim: 6 in stock
Red with silver trim: 4 in stock
But we still get emails, "I love the sounds, do you have a green with gold in stock?"
Then if they were to place the item and check out, it TELLS them if it's in stock or not. Yet even after placing an order they send a follow up email: "it this item is not in stock cancel my order."
The receipt they receive also echoes all of the above, they've been told 3 times an item is in stock, yet . . . . .
So really no matter ho much you try, it doesn't ensure much of anything at all. :-)
What about customer service?
I'm not really sure how this relates to "customer service." I see "customer service," in terms of a web site, making it as easy as possible to find the items and place an order with as few barriers as possible. By "forcing" the customer to the details page, you may be doing them a service, but they may not see it that way. Any time a user encounters something they don't understand, or just plain don't like, the words "not user friendly" seem to come up.
[edited by: rocknbil at 4:22 pm (utc) on Mar. 7, 2009]
our experience indicates the ones who order from the initial pages without reviewing the details are a minority.
And they are the ones more likely to have a problem such as the coffe table for $50 and erode any profit you made via your CS time, so maybe just as well to deter these customers or jam as much detailed info as you can in category and product pages.
One of the first things to learn about the Internet is if you try to force anyone to do anything you are treading dangerous territory that may drive people away (think about pop ups, disabled items, etc. . . )
How important are returns to you? To many here is a disaster and can get very expensive.
Usually we enforce out restocking fees and shipping which is costly for the customer. If it is plain as day that they ordered what they thought they did it takes a lot of the ill will out of the return equation.
However, I will admit we will probably never get these customers back in the future. But they will be less likely to complain publically if it is not a fair complaint.
How important are returns to you?
Pretty important, but in 4 years I can count the returns on both hands. Although some were obvious they didn't fully read the details, most of them were a user issue - they see themselves as a size 7 but are actually a size 12. :-)
If it is plain as day that they ordered what they thought they did . . .
This is what I'm saying. You can make it plain as day, and there's no guarantee they will actually read it, or use what you've put in place. At every point in the navigation there are links, thumbnails, and other widgets for someone to verify the product, stock, options, everything. We even have a link after calculating shipping: "Shipping seems too high? We may have an error, contact us." Oddly enough, every single customer that has used that link to notify us has completed the order.
If you've ever had kids, you can probably understand the difference between what someone wants and what you think they want . . . and which of the two wins in the end.