Searchability – When shopping online, I need to be able to easily find what I’m looking for. I don’t have the time or the patience to click through multiple pages, requiring reloading. In an offline store, I can scan over an area within seconds to see if they have what I’m looking for. I need that same efficiency with my online experience.
Product Info and Photos – Since my preference is to touch and feel something before buying it, I want to be able to virtually touch and feel it online. eBags does an excellent job of communicating a bag’s size, scale and look via multiple photo angles and techniques. They put items (running shoes, water bottle, ipod) into the bags, as well as take a shot with the bag on a mannequin.
Free Shipping and Returns – All three sites offered free shipping if you spend over a certain amount. However, eBags was the only one who offered free returns as well. This makes ordering from them virtually risk free. Victoria’s Secret also makes returns easier – providing a pre-addressed label, but users are charged $5.95 for returns. Free returns from VS would be a big plus, since swimsuit cuts and sizing vary so widely.
Customer Ratings – I love to know what other people who bought the bag thought of it. Consumers have less incentive to lie/mislead – unlike product manufacturers. So, I weigh their objective opinions much more heavily. I have often changed my product selections based on customer ratings…and have never been disappointed. ebags has customer ratings, plus a “Best of the Best” category that highlights bags customers rated highest.
Upsells/You May Also Like/Recommendations – Just like when I’m at the grocery store and I throw in a pack of gum and a magazine while in line waiting, I will usually fall for an impulse buy if presented with a targeted, easy offer. When buying a swimsuit, the odds are good that I’ll add flip flops or a cover up, especially when the site features them on a page I’m already on and makes it easy to add them to my cart.