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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : August 25, 2009

Webcredible: User experience suffering on price comparison websites

At a time when price comparison websites should be witnessing an increase in popularity from bargain-hunting, financially strapped consumers, they are instead seeing visitor numbers drop. Webcredible's recent research offers some insight as to why this might be.

by Helen Leggatt

webcredible logo.jpgWeb usability and user experience consultancy Webcredible has today released the findings of its latest "Future Comparisons Report".

The report looked at the long-term future of price comparison websites and found them to be in jeopardy unless several key areas of user experience and functionality are improved.

Despite economic meltdown and job insecurity, traffic to some of the Internet's largest price comparison websites decreased by 30% over the first four months of this year.

"The recession is a time when price comparison sites should be best placed to take advantage of the price-conscious approach of many consumers, but they seem to be suffering," said Trenton Moss, Director at Webcredible.

So what problems must price comparison websites overcome to remain popular with online consumers?

- Key usability functions, such as support for collaborative approaches and enabling the sharing of results, should be incorporated to give users more control.

- Greater brand transparency and trust must be achieved through transparent practices and off-site support.

- Results page formatting should be clear and include adequate filtering and sorting functions to enable consumers to quickly find what they want.

Tags: brand loyalty, online collaboration, price comparison, website function, website usability

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