User Gratification and E-Commerce
E-commerce and the digital experience have adopted higher standards that have been dictated by the most successful online retailers.
These retailers have set a precedence that online shoppers have come to expect and other retailers have had to follow. In 2015, E-commerce sales were 341.7 billion dollars annually with an increase of 14.6% from 2014. Hong Shao, a staff writer, from forbes.com states that digital dopamine is big contributor to our love for e-commerce. Dopamine, a chemical in the brain, is associated with a positive feeling that comes from a certain experience. Experiences, such as hearing the sound of our mobile device, the ping of an email, or the sound of a chat are all experiences that are associated with positive feelings in the brain. User gratifications describe the active approach individuals make to satisfy their specific needs from the consumption of a online or media product.
Users on E-commerce websites are no longer considered passive audiences they are active in a sense that they know what properties they specifically expect to use and see when they are visiting a website. Affordances of a website or online business can range from having specific options while making a purchase or being able to navigate the website affectively. This is such a vital gratification for users that they expect to be able to opt-in or opt-out when purchasing a product.
When looking at E-commerce and gratification business owners should ask:
Is my website providing the needs of my customers? For example Chinese consumers, are a large market that would prefer to do all their shopping online. The key to understanding your community of consumers is having insight to what potentially would gratify them during the purchasing experience. Engineers have the task of designing for customer gratification and anticipating what functions on a website will produce better revenue in sales. Having a proper, platform that can help personalize the e-commerce experience for your customers is a fundamental building block when building an online business.
The E-commerce market is gradually building to adapt to the concept of instant gratification. This being the ultimate dream for consumers, getting exactly what they need in the click of a button right from their couch seamlessly. Some customers are already experiencing these types of deliverables from websites like amazon.com. However, some customers in parts of the country are a far cry from instant gratification. This is controlled through curbing customer expectations and providing an experience that shows exactly what they are receiving. The affordances that you apply to your website at the end of the day are providing your customers with an experience that will ensure repeat business.