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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict Jonny's Avatar
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    What factors play a part in your decision to buy?

    So, you're in the mood for buying a certain product. You fire up Google, type in the relevent keywords and find five or six sites that offer just what you're looking for. At first glance you have no idea which sells the best product (It's an obsucre product and you've not heard of any of the companies); so what makes you want to investigate a particular site further and exactly what factors play a decision in your to buy?

    - Attractiveness of Design
    - Usability
    - Price (Would higher or lower 'turn you on'?)
    - Content (And if so, how much would you read?)
    - Something else

    Feel free to add your own factors. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot ngi112's Avatar
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    -Attractiveness of design: Obviously if it has a good design, it relates to being proffesional. Nevertheless, this can vary as there are many sites with the same design out there, so if I see it repeated, OUT.

    -Price: Maybe it's only me, but I always look for the lower price possible. My parents always taught me to do that, so if there's many sites offering similar products, I'll go to the cheaper one.

    -Content: If it has spelling mistakes, it's automatically a No-No. I was once going to buy a product, but right before the PayPal window opened, a popup opened which said:

    "Your on your way to blah blah blah"

    That turned me off.

    Something else: If the buyer offers PayPal, I always look at his verified status. Additionally, if he does have a verified status, I look at guaranteed, etc.

    My newer method consists in typing at Google the keyphrase "[product name] + sucks" and see what negative reviews I see.

    That's all I do before buying a product.
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  3. #3
    perfect = good enough peach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ngi112

    My newer method consists in typing at Google the keyphrase "[product name] + sucks" and see what negative reviews I see.

    That's all I do before buying a product.
    Good idea haha...

    something I want to add to content.. If the website has articles about products or the industry that relates the product, it can help the site profile itself as an authority on the subject. This induces a good load of trust with the potential buyer.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard johntabita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonny
    So, you're in the mood for buying a certain product. You fire up Google, type in the relevent keywords and find five or six sites that offer just what you're looking for. At first glance you have no idea which sells the best product (It's an obsucre product and you've not heard of any of the companies); so what makes you want to investigate a particular site further and exactly what factors play a decision in your to buy?

    - Attractiveness of Design
    - Usability
    - Price (Would higher or lower 'turn you on'?)
    - Content (And if so, how much would you read?)
    - Something else

    Feel free to add your own factors. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
    It really depends on what I'm buying.

    Attractiveness of Design: This has absolutely no bearing on my decision to buy. So long as I can find what I'm looking for, at the right price, it can be the most butt-ugly site, but I'll still buy. I don't automatically conclude that a non-professional design means that the company is not professional. (Personally, I don't think most Internet user do either, just that we designers would like to think so.)

    Usability: Obviously, this is a big factor. If I can't find my way around, or the site is too slow, I'll leave. Usability is the cost of entry. If you're not going to have a usable site, then you shouldn't even be in the game. So it's not a factor that influences my decision in a positive way if done right, but it definitely influences me negatively if done wrong.

    That said, all other things being equal, the more usable site is probably going to be the one that gets my money.

    Price: It depends on what I'm buying. If I'm commodity shopping for, say, cell phone accessories, then I'm looking for the best prices and lowest shipping cost. Same with books; I always compare Amazon with B&N. A few years ago, I was looking for some sales training. While price was an issue -- I couldn't afford an $800 course like some places were offering -- I was primarily shopping for someone who could provide what I needed, a solution to my problem.

    I did have a recent experience where a lower price turned me off: remanufactured printer cartridges. I'm suspicious about the quaility of these to begin with, because of the bad experiences other people I know have had. Now, cartridges for mine run about $30 for black. So when I saw the remanufactured ones for $6.95, I immediately left the site.

    Content: Again, it depends what I'm shopping for. If it's for cell phone accessories, I could care less about content. For certain products, like a headset, I might like to read some reviews. However, having a review might get me to your site, but it will not inspire me to buy, if I can find it cheaper elsewhere.

    If I'm looking for a non-commodity item, like the sales training I mentioned, then content is very important. In fact, the overwhelming reason I purchased the sales training I did was because the author provided tons of content, explaining his sales philosophy and beliefs. All of the other sites just promised to teach you their sales "secrets," which always makes me suspicious.

    How much of his content did I read? All of it. But it was the quality of the content, not quantity, that caused me to continue reading.

    Quote Originally Posted by ngi112
    My newer method consists in typing at Google the keyphrase "[product name] + sucks" and see what negative reviews I see.
    That is a really good idea. I'll have to remember that.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Zealot
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    do NOT force a buyer to register on your website first
    that is a big big turnoff for me
    all I wanted to do was pay with my credit card etc but
    not on that company's website; I did not buy

  6. #6
    SitePoint Mentor bronze trophy

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    I find the best way around registration is to offer a quick 'guest' checkout which automatically creates a customer account anyway (with no additional checkout steps) - this bypasses the whole psychological barriers set up by forcing customers to create accounts.

  7. #7
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    I agree, forced registration to look around -> I leave.

    Terrible English -> I leave.

    Low price + outrageous shipping -> I leave, too scammy.

    High price + no shipping -> Depends on the math.

    Average price + fair shipping -> More likely to get my $$$.

    No physical address listed, even the town -> might not leave, but probably won't buy.

    I tend to stick around on a clean site. Does it take absolutely forever to load on my dial-up connection? Was it worth the wait? If it uses Flash - is there a work-around to avoid it? Are the colors like something out of my worst nightmare or do they frame the product? Do the links work? Are there under construction notices? Is the site in such disarray there should be under construction notices?

    I know this might not go over well, but a site where the Adsense ads cover the page and make it hard to find the actual product/service being sold will make me hesitate. Are they selling the product or using it as a lure?

    If the item is high-dollar, I might check Hoover's and their local Chamber of Commerce. (I know the Chamber membership doesn't prove anything - it just portrays the company as one that is real and not planning on being here-today gone-tomorrow.)

    I like the + sucks idea and will have to remember it.

    Since I am getting ready to hang out my shingle as a content writer, content matters to me greatly.

    One site that made jewelry had an About Me page with a single sentence that stated "[X Company] manufactures and sells jewelry." Really impressive.

    Since you mentioned the product as being somewhat obscure, I would expect to see quality pictures, diagrams, and desciptions of the product. I would like to see it in and out of any commercial packaging it might come in. Even if measurements are listed, show photographs of the item with something I'm familiar with - a hand, an apple, a cat or dog, etc. If it works with something else, I would want to see pitcures of it in action. After all, if it is obscure, customers may have never seen one in person before.

    If the sales copy is loud and pushy and not informative it would tend to turn me off from buying. I would maybe research the product on that site, but I would most likely buy from someone else.

    Hope this helps.

  8. #8
    He's No Good To Me Dead silver trophybronze trophy stymiee's Avatar
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    How fast will I get it? I know I hate waiting...or thinking I'm going to wait....

  9. #9
    Grr. Arrgh. Mr. B's Avatar
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    For me, its price, content and usability. Finding the lowest price is the absolute first thing I do. If the lowest price doesnt have everything I want, I go for the next one up with the content I need.


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