eCommerce VS The real world

A few days ago, one of my best friends sent me a link to the video that illustrates this post, where you can see a parody of a “special” purchasing process that takes place in a supermarket, but following the same workflow than an online shop. Well, this video is really a funny way to see how sometimes a different channel causes different purchasing processes.

This video was created by Google Analytics team and is an invitation to think about complexity of processes related with electronic commerce. We spoke about some tasks of this online processes on this blog a few days ago, when we wrote about some problems with payment gateways, that are not running as fast as online business need.

Why online processes are different?

In this video, you can see a simple buying process that happens in a supermarket, but following a workflow similar to an online store. A guy wants to buy bread and the cashier acts as if he was a typical online system: reading infinite conditions of service, asking for unnecessary personal information and getting stuck for a few seconds (this moment is really crazy)…

Are all these tasks really necessary when buying online? Why are they required at traditional channels? Several answers to these questions can justify some of these tasks. Some examples:

  • Sellers need to identify the buyer to manage his shipping and returns, but once buyer type his data (first time that buys), next purchases can be managed only using username and password.
  • Sellers need to comply with different laws that apply at seller’s and buyer’s countries. There is a great variety of laws and this fact complicates the processes.
  • Sellers sometimes are greedy, when they’re asking to the buyers for unnecessary information for the purchasing process.
  • Sellers sometimes use work that are not appropriate for an online process. This is very common when sellers implement standard solutions that fall short of minimum quality requirements.
  • Sometimes purchasing processes are being supported on platforms where usability is missing.

E-commerce is still “something new”

Internet still is a “young” marketplace, sometimes more than we use to think. Although online purchasing processes appeared in our life many years ago, they need to mature and beat several existing barriers. Actually they are not included into common people’s purchasing habits, especially at this age in which we are still fighting against digital divide.

At the same time, technology is growing faster and faster so that you can set up an online shop at some website or even into different platforms as socials networks. Social-Buy is a Spanish based company that sells technology that allows to make the most of this “social shopping” in Facebook. In the early years of this century, probably nobody could imagine that this might happen.

At this point, the question is: Should we develop similar processes when buying into a Facebook store that in a traditional online store? Probably they are not exactly similar. For example, the user’s data are owned by the platform and not by the seller (Facebook in this case) and this powerful network has the last word.

Link | Video in Youtube