What Indian E-commerce Sellers Want: A Qualitative Study on Pricing and Plans
A leading e-commerce platform wanted to redesign its pricing page to make it more explicit and intuitive for site visitors to decide on which plan best suits their needs. They also wanted to better understand the mental models and preferences of their potential customers around pricing, price differentiators and price plan selection.
Ethnity, a UX research agency, was hired to conduct a qualitative study with 15 e-commerce merchants in India, including both client’s users and non-client users. The study aimed to provide an in-depth understanding of the visitors’ experiences and expectations with the current pricing plan page design, as well as to gather insights into their motivations, challenges and decision-making processes when choosing an e-commerce provider and plan.
We conducted one-on-one interviews of 60 minutes duration each, using a mix of devices (desktop and mobile). The interviews consisted of three parts: 1) exploring the participants’ background, motivations and experiences with e-commerce; 2) asking them to browse the current pricing page and share their thoughts and feedback; and 3) presenting them with three concepts of alternative pricing page designs (Demo, Quiz and Price Calculator) and asking them to compare and evaluate them.
- We used a combination of remote tools, such as Zoom and Miro, to conduct the interviews and collect data.
- We recruited the participants from our own panel of e-commerce merchants, as well as from online platforms, such as Facebook groups and LinkedIn.
- We analysed the data using thematic analysis and affinity diagramming techniques, and delivered a comprehensive report with key findings, insights and recommendations.
Our research revealed several insights into the visitors’ preferences and understanding of the current pricing plan page design, as well as their mental models around price plan selection. Some of the key findings were:
- Visitors liked the simplicity and clarity of the current pricing page, but wished for more flexibility and granularity in plan customisation.
- Visitors valued features such as multiple staff accounts, basic reports, SSL certificate, sales channels and 24/7 support as must-haves for their e-commerce business.
- Visitors were interested in trying out basic plan and premium plans, but lacked enough information about their benefits and suitability for their needs.
- Visitors found the Demo concept to be the most helpful in showing them how the client’s platform works and what features they can expect from each plan. The Quiz concept was also appealing as it gave them personalised recommendations based on their answers. The Price Calculator concept aligned with their mental model of evaluating apps and could help them in making a decision.
Based on these findings, we provided several recommendations for improving the pricing page design, such as:
- Adding more information about basic plan and premium plan, such as who they are targeted to, what features they offer, how they differ from the regular plans, etc.
- Creating info-tip or hint icons for features that need more clarity, such as advanced reports, manual order creation, third-party calculated shipping rates, etc.
- Highlighting the most popular plan with social proof, such as “80% of sellers choose this” or “Most popular choice”.
- Offering more options for payment methods such as UPI mobile payment, and e-wallets.
- Exploring ways to provide more flexibility and granularity in plan customisation, such as allowing visitors to choose features or services according to their needs.