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E-commerce too complicated? Here's what you can do about it.

Brian Bond at GrokDotCom looks at a Pew Internet Life Study that says e-commerce is still too complicated for most customers. As Bond writes, “One thing jumped right out: Across the board, the percentage of those surveyed who had negative things to say about shopping online was higher among older shoppers, with one exception. Can you guess? ‘Online shopping is still too complicated…it’s a sentiment evidently shared by 18 year olds and 65+ year olds equally.”

Well, that sucks, huh?

For the big guys, sure. But not necessarily for you. Here’s why.

One place businesses like yours have the opportunity to excel is in using your website – and you do have a website, right? – to drive customers into your store. Amazon’s ecommerce superiority doesn’t do them much good once you get customers to come to you. In fact, Borders is trying it with their new website, including features such as ship to store – very cool and very fitting for what they’re trying to accomplish as a brand – to drive customers to retail locations. According to one article, “[Borders’] web presence is part of its strategy to help bring online shoppers into its stores and encourage its in-store shoppers to check out the Web site — for information and entertainment, as well as purchases.” Borders’ bookshelf feature plays to their strengths as a recommender of books and also emulates that in-store feel.

For some businesses, such a strategy may not work. For instance, if you’re selling low-cost, high-volume commodity items, it’s unlikely that you’ll get folks to drive cross-town to see you. But, for many others, getting customers into your store may be the first step in your conversion cycle. And that’s a very Good Thing.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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