The great thing about my job is, not only do I get to do what I love (optimize sites for conversion), but I am also the audience! I do about 80% of my shopping and research online, and I love to write product reviews to help my fellow online users.
Here are a few points I like to see when I am searching articles or shopping online:
1. I am a big softie for product reviews and customer testimonials. There is nothing like a second or third opinion to add your product to my cart. If I am not shopping online I like to use http://www.yelp.com to help me decide on restaurants and much more.
2. How can I find what I want fast and easy? A navigation that feels like it was designed just for me with the option to sort by my price range, the brand of choice, and the ratings creates a personal feel and helps me find what I’m looking for. I think Amazon does a great job of this. http://www.amazon.com/
3. If you have a brick and mortar store, make sure the locations are easy to find. This ensures to me that I can physically return the item, and I don’t have to worry about shipping it back.
For instance, I just recently bought an elliptical from Dick’s Sporting Goods, their prices were competitive but knowing I could return it in the actual store was the comforting, especially with something as large as an elliptical.
4. Shipping Deals and Promo Codes! If you can’t give me a discount, it’s a deal breaker for me because I will find someone who will! I love this site: http://www.retailmenot.com/. They place success rates, so you know your code will work.
5. Making your search box easy to find. The food network makes it extremely easy in terms of searching for the perfect recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/
As an avid online user, usability is extremely important for me in terms of shopping and online research. My favorite websites get to the point fast and do not make me guess what their online purpose is. I have been shopping at the same online stores for a few years and I can honestly say they do a great job in making me a repeat customer!