5 things that put me off making an online purchase

Over the past few years the balance between my online and in store shopping purchases has tipped in favour of online. I’ve been able to discover new brands online and it has also made it easier to shop from smaller, local and black-owned businesses.

However, one thing I’ve found is that every now and then whilst browsing online something puts me off. I thought I’d share them not as an attack of any site in particular but instead my thoughts on how sites can be improved.

Poor quality images
From the little I’ve learnt about taking photos, I know that a plain background and natural light work wonders. But it’s also about showing the product well, even though there may be a description of the item it’s nice to see what it looks like from all angles.

No refunds
I understand that for businesses returns can severely affect profit and cause a great deal of uncertainty. However not allowing returns in my opinion says that you don’t care whether the customer is satisfied once you’ve got their money. This is something that I tend to only see with smaller businesses and as much as I know why they do it, it puts me off making a purchase. The only time I’m not put off is if the items are custom-made like made to measure clothing because the item can’t then be re-sold to someone else.

Questionable pricing
This one is very specific. Whilst browsing a site for hair products, I found myself confused at the pricing. It cost more to buy the products as a set than it did to buy them individually when usually it’s the other way round. If three products cost £40 when you buy them as a set it shouldn’t cost £34 if you purchase them separately, at least that’s what I think anyway. This isn’t necessarily something that would stop me making a purchase but it did make me wonder whether it was a genuine mistake or intentional. I’ve also seen online fashion retailers that sell a variety of brands list the same item twice at different prices.

One size fits all
In some ways I understand why a company would want to make things as easy as possible by only having one size. But to me it says you’re only making clothes for a small group of people. There was a sustainable brand I was keen to buy a dress from but they were all one size. In the product description it would say loose size 8 and fitted size 12 which is great if you fit within that range but it also only caters to a small amount of people.

Complicated navigation
If it’s not easy, I don’t want it. The minute it becomes difficult to find what I want, I’m automatically put off. It could be helpful to get family or friends to test out your site and give feedback. Chances are they may notice things that you’ve overlooked.

Would any of these things put you off?

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