Epiphany are “remembered moments perceived to have significantly impacted the trajectory of a person’s life. (ELLIS et al 2011, pp2/13)
In my previous blog, I have mentioned how my 2 latest online shopping experiences went with Fashionnova and iherb. However, as I have mentioned I had slight doubt of the brands at first, if it’s just hyped up or is it really that good. According to my assumption not everyone will have a good experience while doing online shopping like I did for these 2 particular brands. “Trust in everyday life is a mix of feeling and rational thinking” (Lewis and Weigert, 1985). E-commerce became a part of consumers’ everyday life during the late 1990s and it gained wider room in consumers’ everyday life during the beginning of the 21st century. To trust is to believe that the other person will not betray oneself (Mayer et al. 1995; McKnight et al., 2002; Gefen, 2002).
As I haven’t mention the Research Question in my previous blog, here it is. My aim is to understand the consumers’ e-commerce experiences and their trust in e-commerce in the context of everyday life.
Some of the questions that i want to answer through my research
1. How does the consumer perceive and experience trust in e-commerce?
2. Why do online shopper prefer online shopping over in-store shopping?
3. Do consumers prefer quantity > quality ?
So for this ethnography, I can conduct it anytime of the day and anywhere, it could be restaurants, homes, workplace, in the street or on college campuses. Whenever I see consumer experiencing or interacting with the brands, products or environment, I will capture their authentic responses as it can help in understanding consumers while they are using or reacting to products or making decisions.
The observation is easy to conduct as an investigation to achieve the fruitful data. But lacking of direct communication with customers makes the findings less reflective comparing to interviews, as the interpretation is wholly on observer’s perspectives. It for sure will help me catch the first context and connection, however I have to study through a longer time spending next to consumer who does online shopping.
Observation by single designer in field is without time pressure. It will be totally up to me how to use the time to gather up all the notes and videos/pictures about what I have observed. The video documentation can be synchronized thoroughly, thus sketches or notes can be achieved. The idle time makes the observation more careful.
Also in my previous blog, in the conclusion section I mentioned that one of my friend who did shopping at www.wish.com , had a 50% good experience and 50% bad experience. I assumed that she didn’t read the reviews and that she thought the quality would be good enough for the cheap price tag. After placing the order from “wish”, she was quite impressed with the time it took for shipping, it arrived way earlier than the date they estimated for her. She was expecting the products to be that good as well. When all 4 of her products arrived, I thought of capturing her reactions, therefore I asked help from my sister to videotape it while I be sitting next to my friend listening her views on each product. In my mind I knew the clothing pieces wouldn’t be good one, because I have seen YouTube videos, where YouTubers review about “Wish” clothing/hauls, according to the YouTubers they think the pictures “Wish” puts up are just for reference of how they would remake the piece with a low budget. But my friend didn’t know about all of this, nor I told her to check beforehand as I thought she knew it or she’s trying her luck on this.
While she was opening her packages she was excited and worried both at a time, because one of the product she planned to get was a gift for her guy friend. After she has opened that package her first reaction was if this the grey hoodie that I ordered? It is misplaced? She double checked her order, it’s the same hoodie but it doesn’t look the way its shown in the picture (stiff and expensive looking), in reality it looked like as if it’s a grey cotton school sweater. She was super disappointed and her smile disappeared.
Next thing that she opened was “Wide women’s leg Pants – in the colour black”, she was expecting it to be a cotton and soft material, but after opening the package it wasn’t a cotton material it was a stretchy knit fabric, but she was still satisfied with this product as she could still make a use out of it.
Oh, lord….. I was expecting some at least one thing which should be perfect by now, but even the next thing she opened was disappointing for her, first of all she found the material of “Women lipstick shape shaver mini electric flawless painless face epilator” very light and cheap. She told me she was expecting it to be a bigger size (size like one’s hand), I was like this is used only for face why would you want a bigger size? She said nonono, they mentioned it could be used all over the body then why is this so small? Then she tried using it over my arm to see if it works… well it worked but it would take ages to remove all of the hair, she didn’t like this product at all, as it wasn’t true to what it said in the description.
AHHHHHH, FINALLY the last package, by now she have lost all her hopes ahaha, but when she opened the package she loved the “genuine leather long wallet” It had 26 card slots, 1 zipper pocket where you can insert notes, coins and mobile phone. I remember her last reaction was “I won’t shop from wish again”.
Therefore, from her experience I can reflect that if a customer has had a bad experience in his/her first purchase from an online shopping site they might not trust them again. In my experience I did shopping 6 times from “Wish” I had very good experience with them, so I am a regular “wish” shopper, in my free time I like to read reviews and if I like something after scroll through thousands of things , I would add the best deal into my cart. Perhaps after sharing my autoethnographic experience, maybe it could help people figure out which brand to trust or how to shop.
My friends’ experience ordering from wish:
Ellis, Carolyn & Bochner, Arthur P. (2000). Autoethnography, personal narrative, reflexivity: researcher as subject. In Norman K. Denzin & Yvonna S. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (2nd edition) (pp.733-768). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Available at: http://www.qualitative research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1589/3096.
Paakki, M. (2008). Consumer Trust in E-commerce A Feminist Ethnographic Study. [ebook] Finland: University of Tampere. Available at: http://tampub.uta.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/67854/978-951-44-7371-5.pdf;sequence=1
YAO, X. (2013). Participatory Design for Enhancing the Shopping Experience. [ebook] Gö teborg, Sweden: CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, p.50. Available at: http://publications.lib.chalmers.se/records/fulltext/187876/187876.pdf