Design & Emotion Blog

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When will online shopping experiences improve?

Andrew Shorten of UK Webagencies (blog maintained by Microsoft employees and discusses the use of Microsoft’s emerging tools and technologies to create engaging online and connected experiences) asks himself this question. This is where I see opportunities for our upcoming LEMTool!

In Andrew’s article, he refers to the poor quality of online shopping websites where you have to wade through complex checkout processes, are unable to get meaningful product information or perform product/price comparisons or are left stuck with an unanswered question resulting in you abandoning your purchase.

These are fair complaints, many people have these experiences, including me. So, what can we do to improve these online shopping experiences? A possible problem, which I do agree with, is given by Andrew: “Hence the problem – there is currently a lack of demand to radically improve the online shopping experience, when a ‘good enough’ service is seeing high adoption levels and a good ROI for retailers.”

Nevertheless, when online retailers are going to see the significance of focusing on customer experiences, just like they do in the normal store, they need tools to help them out. Monito is developing the LEMTool, where emotional impact and experiences are measured during online interaction with, for example, an online store. Some results can already be seen between the visual appeal of websites (see LEMTool blog). That could be a good start.

Shopping for love?Next steps are now to discover how we can measure (emotional) experiences in web-interaction. We are currently in the process of doing a second experiment, related to this. The complex checkout processes and the information that is provided during that process could be a nice focus point for us in this experiment. It will definitely measure some good old negative emotions if have to believe Andrew. Challenge will be to find a good example of online shopping processes that we can use to find a significant difference. I look forward to this challenge.

In the end, the data and visual representations that the LEMTool provides can help making critical decisions in the design of an online store. Next to usability questions (does it work, is it effective and efficient) we can now also focus on the emotional experience of online shopping (does it affect and engage me). Just like big retailers take care of a friendly face at the counter and some nice background music, we can for sure try to bring those ‘real life’ experiences to the web.

I am curious about your online shopping experiences and if you would happen to know any positive examples of great online shopping. Please drop me a note below.

[tags]LEMTool, online shopping experience, customer experience, emotions, emotional design[/tags]

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