eCommerce Decision Making

 
 

Motivation

Recently I was browsing YouTube and ran across an interesting video. I wanted to do a video response, but didn’t have the needed software for the project.

eCommerceSearch to Try

A program called YouTube Converter by Need4 Software appeared to be suitable for my first step. Since the program offers five free trial runs, I was able to test it before purchase. The program worked well and provided the needed results; I will likely buy it after the trial runs expire. At this stage I got engaged deeper in the process and was quite determined to continue and finish what I started.

Search to Buy

Now that I had the original YouTube video in a format I could use, I was ready to begin creating my video. I was disappointed in the results provided by my existing video editing software. Its odd settings and many incompatibilities made it impossible to import and work with the files in the way I needed, so I decided to find an alternative video editing suite. Since time was of the essence for this project, I did a quick Google search for “video editing,” hoping that among the numerous generic entries one product would prove popular enough to appear among the results. I planned to Google “video editing software” as a fallback, but it later turned out that I didn’t need it. Right under the Wikipedia entry, I found http://www.video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com. While not the direct link to a software package I was hoping for, this site looked like the next best thing.

Time-Poor, Impatient & Impulse Driven

Since I was more interested in finishing the project quickly than in shopping around for a lengthy period of time, I used the review site to quickly scan the features and pricing. The website seemed well designed and structured to provide straightfoward advice to consumers; while such websites often provide premium placement to advertisers who are willing to pay for it, this was not a major concern for me. Compared to the amount I’d paid for my existing video editing software, well over a thousand dollars, the prices for the featured products seemed very insignificant, ranging from $49.95 to around $100.

Located Target

The first program listed was PowerDirector by CyberLink; I was immediately influenced by the fact that I’d heard of the software company, which I regarded as a positive sign. The features seemed adequate for my needs, so I clicked on BUY and was transferred to http://www.hermanstreet.com/store/smarthtml/powerdirector-t11.html. Immediately a pop-up offered a discount code; I copied this down and then continued to the main order page, where I began focusing on the options and features I was interested in. I was pleased to see they had a download option, since I needed the software immediately; if the company had lacked this method of delivery, I would have looked elsewhere for my software purchase.

I selected the download option as my method of delivery at $69.95, and added the Extended Download option for $4.99. A backup CD was also available for $9.99, along with a free three-month subscription to Spy Sweeper; I did not select these options.

Invisible Features

I later discovered that the order page also featured a well-organized and structured YouTube video outlining the various features and providing user information; at the time, I was rushing through the order process and was not aware of this useful video guide, so it played no part in my decision to purchase the product.

Second Thoughts

After adding the selected items to my cart and applying the coupon, the displayed price was $59.95. While I had not considered price as a factor in my decision before, the discount made me wonder if an even lower price could be obtained directly from the manufacturer. I used Google to search for “powerdirector 8” and clicked on the first result, which took me to the official website for the product: http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdirector/overview_en_US.html.

Unexpected Deeper Research

Decision

At the official site, I discovered that there were actually two versions of the Powerdirector 8 software, Ultra and Deluxe. The version on the reseller’s website was the Deluxe, and seemed to have all the features I needed; I became curious about the differences between the two models. I scanned the page for a way to compare the two and found a handy Comparison tab in the main navigation bar at the top of the page. This provided a chart showing the exact features of the two versions side by side. I quickly determined that the only significant difference between the two for my needs was that the Ultra version offered Blu-Ray compatibility. My video project is intended for web delivery, so the added functionality did not seem worth an additional $20 in cost.


Decision Making

At this point in my decision-making process, I was in the checkout stage on both the manufacturer’s and the reseller’s websites; it was time to choose between them.

My final judging criteria:

  1. The manufacturer’s price was slightly higher, making the reseller a more desirable option.
  2. I had no coupon for the manufacturer and was not interested in taking the time to search for one.
  3. Both sites offered extended download service.
  4. I believed that downloading direct from the manufacturer would be significantly faster, making the official website a more attractive option.
  5. The manufacturer’s website accepted Paypal, my preferred method of payment. This was a significant factor in my decision making process.
  6. The reseller’s checkout screen was more intuitive and easier to understand.

Price Matters

In the end, price won out. The price difference of $76.45 for the manufacturer versus $59.95 for the reseller was more significant than the ability to pay via Paypal or possible faster downloading time. The reseller’s well-designed and streamlined website also made a positive impression, reinforcing the price-based decision.

Post Purchase Mood

I paid the reseller by credit card, and promptly received two emails from them; one included the credit card invoice, and the second provided a download link and serial number for my new product. I am pleased with the entire transaction, with one caveat: the extended download service was not explained, and I was unsure of exactly how to take advantage of it, or if I even needed it at all. It’s possible it was included in the email and I missed it somehow; my download went smoothly in any case. Due to the streamlined ordering process, smooth transaction and ease of use, I would probably buy through the same site again in the future.

The program was easy enough to use and one hour later, my video response was up and running!

Dan Petrovic is a well-known Australian SEO and a managing director of Dejan SEO. He has published numerous research articles in the field of search engine optimisation and online marketing. Dan's work is highly regarded by the world-wide SEO community and featured on some of the most reputable websites in the industry. Questions? Here's Dan's contact email.

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