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Marc McNeill, head of experience design, ThoughtWorks

Online retailers need to understand that ecommerce isn’t just about getting people to shop more, but learning how to improve their experience so they shop better.

When a website is poorly designed and built, it dramatically reduces the customer experience. Many shoppers drop out of the buying process, not because they don’t want to buy but because they can’t. A virtual shopping assistant may help them select the product, but once at the checkout, inconsistency and bad design often result in their giving up.

Even once an order has been placed, customers are at the mercy of inflexible delivery schedules. The website of a retailer needs to have a smooth ordering process and delivery needs to fit around the way people really live, alongside top-notch customer service. Bolt-ons don’t address the real problems of old and inflexible technology that hinder real service improvements.

As businesses upgrade their technology, they need to invest in top-quality user experience and deliver something truly outstanding. Once you have a great product, customer service should be the next logical step. What use is a virtual salesperson if the basics haven’t even been addressed?

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Published 21 April, 2011 by NMA Staff

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