Is this the end of cluttered online shops? by Steve Hawker
We have just completed a makeover of our online shopping web site - eHawker.co.uk. The new site reflects modern trends away from analytical comparisons, cluttered pages and multiple options, three features of many current online shops that may actually deter shoppers.
We wanted to move away from the cold, analytical and frankly not-much-fun approach taken by many 'comparison' sites. When people go shopping in town centres on Saturdays, they don't compare minor product details before opening their wallets or purses. They wander from shop to shop, looking generally for what they want and checking the price labels.
We felt that most mail order catalogues cater for these real-life shopping behaviours well. The best catalogues offer clear pictures surrounded by white space, bold prices, succinct captions and very few details. Basically, everything you need to look generally for purchases and check the price labels! Nowhere, in these catalogues, will you find tables to compare products in detail before buying. You trust that reputable brands and traders will offer you refunds, if you choose unwisely.
Shopping is a 'warm', emotional and fun activity. Why would we spend so much of our free time shopping if it was a cold, analytical and tedious experience? Sure, if you're making major purchases, possibly from relatively unknown brands or traders, purchases that might turn out to be very expensive if you made the wrong decisions, you would want to spend hours checking and comparing fine details. In these circumstances, 'comparison' shopping on the Internet is ideal. However, even some 'big ticket' purchases don't lend themselves to objective analysis online, like holidays for example.
Most real life shopping is for relatively minor things that are fairly cheap these days. What we've done is to move away from fine detail, introspection and multiple options when shopping online. We've banished much of the clutter that computers are good at handling but which may actually confuse shoppers. Instead, we've gone for extravagant visual displays, with price tags. We feel that we're now catering for the majority of shoppers, who shop with their hearts much more than with their heads.
Think of eHawker's pages as window displays along your high street. Click the tabs along the top of each page, and the Page Next links beneath, and we'll show you lots of interesting things to buy. Or, use the 'Browse for' box to fill your own window displays with things that match your interests. When you're ready, ask us to arrange your goods by price and we'll show you the cheapest. You can always jump to a page number that shows you the goods within your price range.
We are aware that shopper loyalty is important these days, particularly when shopping online. If you're loyal to a brand, or to a particular trader, click the links in eHawker's adverts and we'll show you what they have on our site. If you want more information on any item, or you're ready to buy, simply click the 'More info.' link.
If you're worried that Hawkeye's Bargain Log has disappeared, don't be. Hawkeye still lists bargains from eHawker's traders, pretty much on a daily basis. In fact, in the run-up to the Festive season, there's a separate 'blog called Christmas Gift Ideas UK, which is available from every page.
If you prefer simple yet effective online shopping, the revised eHawker might be 'just the ticket'!
Try it now at http://www.ehawker.co.uk
Background: eHawker.co.uk began three years ago as a small ads. site. It grew quickly into an online shop, specialising in British traders. The original 'eHawker, electronic small ad.' was similar to those you will find in newspapers: small pictures and captions, with brief descriptions and contact details. Later, a comparison tool was added. However, evidence suggested that only a small number of shoppers used the tool and that over-analysis might be hindering purchases. This, together with Steve's reflections on real life shopping (search for author Hawker on GoArticles.com), indicated that there were other, softer approaches to online shopping. Being ex-Forces, Steve continues to indicate the growing number of British traders that supply British Forces Post Office (BFPO) addresses overseas.