Buyers Regrets & Brands They Can Trust

Gregory Alan Bolcer (
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 10:47:13 -0700

All consumers want are a gurantee that they didn't
get ripped off or that they didn't spend more on something
than they had to. You see this social behavior in consumers
who will drive the extra 3 miles to save 2 cents a gallon
on gasoline. Shoppers also want to be educated about
what exact quality of product they are paying for. For a lot
of specialy items, take mountain bikes for instance, customers
don't need the quality that the sellers esteem. Most consumers
when purchasing unfamiliar goods will become educated on the
products by what the sales people tell them. If you run around
to enough sales people, you have the ability to piece together enough
information and make your own educated guess as to the truth-value
of a product or class of products.

Some people are willing to pay the extra cost for the highest quality,
others want just enough quality. Any technology that can reduce
the time spent comparing, more broadly educate, and underwrite
the 'social'trust between seller and buyer will facilitate e-commerce.

Look at Visa. Extended manufacturing warranties, the ability for consumers
to spend beyond their means, and the power to stop payment for up to 30 days
for something that wasn't what they expected by having the corporation automatically
an initially on their side has been a huge factor in the explosion of plastic money.

When these surveys talk about how people are wary of purchasing products
online becaue of security concerns, they aren't talking about criminals
lifting their credit card numbers from encrypted pages. They are worried about
not having the recourse by not being able to find the vendor there they next time
they visit the page where they bought it. In a world full of 404 errors,
it's no wonder that consumers are wary of great deals. In fact, brand recognition
has been the mechanism which has generated the trust.

Greg wrote:
> In a message dated 6/11/1999 3:10:21 PM, writes:
> >Too often I'm hearing about e-commerce at the margins: from shaving a
> >few bucks off of bulk plastic purchases, to slapping a 20% markup on
> >wine for recommendations & gift wrapping. No: the real value is in
> >enabling more plastic stuff to be made -- say, libraries of part
> >designs and smaller-volume manufacturers coming on line -- or in
> >selling more wine -- the US drinks 1/8th of Europe's per-capita. If
> >you can *grow* the market --
> etc etc--yes, you have it. And also in fundamentally fucking up and changing
> industries. In the grocery biz, for example, seems to me that one e-commerce
> model that would work is not Peapod, but is the delivery of staple,
> nonperishable itmes in high-rent areas. Go on line and order your paper
> towels, soups, etc--anything unperishable--and have it delivered within a 1
> hor 30 min window on a day you specify. So you can use some vans and a giant
> warehouse in the low-rent boonies to replace expensive urban storefrontage.
> Also, on the check-sum, hunting-for bargains front: Most people just don't
> want to live in this Gilderesque world where nothing is certain. They want to
> know the price. They don't want it always to be subject to negotiation.
> Saturn's model apeals to something. WalMart's model--EVERYDAY low prices, vs.
> Sears, which had been running sales--carried the day. Far better to use
> electronic commerce to drive prices down or increase value in a large sense
> than to use it to try to increase the hagg(ss)le factor.
> Tom