E-Opportunity PresentFuture


The Dot Bombs of the 1990s created skepticism of the Internet and it’s actually potential as a medium for massive business. The gold diggers rush left people unprepared, services unfulfilled and inadequate and resulted in a catastrophe that tarnished E-commerce for quite a while. E-commerce laid low for a while and built strength in its Business to Business format, is emerging into e-tailing with more stability.


Like the cell phones, E-commerce has some developing to do, but as the bandwidth on home computers is getting higher and computer and Internet access is getting faster, it is getting easier.

But like any Web site, E-commerce sites are fighting for consumer attention.

Here are some E-commerce usability tips from a study done in February 1999 by the Shelley Taylor Association (Note-These are the numbers as of 1999, but I think the customer questions and concerns are still valid):

Where am I?

This is the equivalent to a mall’s “you are here” map. This puts the user’s current in context with the rest of the Web site.

Help me please

Pre-sale help was only present in 76 percent of E-commerce sites

How many did I order?

Shopping cart content on every page was only on two sites.

How good is the product?

Third-party reviews that offered comparisons were only available on four sites.

Is it available?

30 percent of sites offered product availability information.

How do I buy it?

This is key to closing a sale and only 68 percent of Web sites included this.

Top 3 Reasons for Abandoning a Web site:

1. Couldn’t find the item
2. Disorientation or confusion
3. Pages downloaded too slowly

Source: Human Factors International, First Monday

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  Copyright © 2003 Connie Rizzo