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Pleasantries in the User Interface


Darrius Gothly
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Since it seems a lot of our conversations involve the paths that SL Marketplace pushes us down, I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight something of interest. Many folks pull Amazon out as "The Example" upon which we should spin our opinions. Since "Amazon does it" one way or another, they are somehow the "Gold Standard" upon which things should be measured. I tend to agree in most cases .. including this one.

Consider the following screencap of their checkout pages:



The options selected (Standard Shipping and Group items) are the defaults presented. Notice they are NOT the ones that net Amazon the most money, or push hard on their Amazon Prime service. Instead they are the options least likely to rub customers the wrong way, SAVE the customer the most money, and probably are also statistically the most likely.

Nope, they didn't pad their wallet .. TODAY! But they did smooth and buff up the process for my next order. And there will be a next order.

Contrast that with a very well known (in the USA) "As seen on TV" company that not only requires entry of your credit card details on the home page, but does not allow you to review, edit or cancel your order AT ANY POINT in the process. They bit me .. once. I returned the order, they lost my business forever .. and that of anyone I know personally.

So it would seem the methods least likely to upset the customer are also the methods that work best .. according to Amazon anyway. Lesson learned maybe?

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