Virtually Irreplaceable

There’s an interesting Brand Channel article being carried on BusinessWeek titled ” Virtual Packaging Lacks Sense“. Couple clips from it here:

On Reputation:

E-commerce is largely driven — and largely limited — by the trust consumers are willing to place in it. Unlike bricks-and-mortar commerce, e-commerce has yet to win the confidence of consumers; it is still struggling to build trust, a weaker form of confidence.

On Consumer Behavior:

Early predictions were that e-commerce would appeal more to our rational natures than to our emotions. …{snip}… But several years ago, a study found that those consumers who do make online purchases are more impulsive than those who do not buy online, that they are less averse to risk (more trusting), and are less brand and price conscious. This expression of trust has an emotional basis, and although it may also be reasonable, it is not completely rational.

On Retail vs E-tail:

Observes Meyers, “There is a certain amount of adventure and change of pace in going shopping, vis-Ã -vis sitting in front of a computer screen.”

Nice piece. There’s also mention of the Gap’s website providing a virtual mannequin and improving the interactivity and sense of adventure mentioned in one of the clips. I recall hearing about it and others a long time ago, but haven’t kept up with them. I’ll need to check out their site and some others to see what the state of the art looks like. When I find something neat I’ll post it here.