Shopping online encroaches on in-store shopping a little more every year. While Business News Daily asserts that the majority of consumers still prefer to shop in-store (WHY???) the fact is that most of us, 51% according to UPS, made our purchases online last year.
That's huge. I ask very little of a shopping website - don't care if it's pretty or runs on a mobile device, or is particularly fast. Really. Don't care. What I do want is ease of shopping. Can I find products easily? (e.g. Are there nice categories that make sense? Is there a good search function?) Can I check out easily, or has the merchant made it some convoluted process with different kinds of logins and no mention of payment types until I've jumped through a hundred hoops?
Lemme give you an example: A certain chocolatier's website I was on this week? Terrible. Maybe I was doing something wrong, but on the PC version of the site, there's no actual list of products. There are limited categories that make little to no sense. In order to find "nuggets" I had to know the name of the product and use the search function specifically. I could have signed up as a "Member" in order the check out, but I didn't want to do that. Instead, I used the "Guest" log in, only to find on the very last page of the purchase that I couldn't use PayPal with that login type.
In contrast, most book websites are set up for greatest ease of purchase. Various ways to search, easy checkout, generally clear payment methods, easy delivery options whether it's electronic or physical delivery.
This might be why I buy more books than anything else...