June 10, 2015
This blog post is by Stacy Farrington, Marketing and Community Coordinator, at Creatuity.
Follow Stacy on Twitter: @CreatuityStacy
Believe it or not, some people are still skeptical to buy online. It’s kind of crazy to think this would be an issue with the boom we have seen in eCommerce within last few years. In 2014, eCommerce sales worldwide reached over $1.4 trillion, but 77% of people do not feel completely safe when buying goods online. What is causing this skepticism and what can merchants do to ease these fears? These doubts may come from media stories, from being personally victimized, or from sheer paranoia. Fortunately, we came up with a handful of ways to help combat the hesitant buyer and increase conversion rates.
Apply Free Returns and Shipping
This day and age, shipping rates are getting lower and shipping times are getting faster. To keep up with the industry, and to ease the skeptics, you need to utilize free shipping and returns. If your company can't afford that, consider implementing something like free shipping over $25 (which is an easy amount for shoppers to get to pretty quickly). Shipping and return fees can be a huge deterrent to potential or hesitant buyers, so making the steps easier would gain a better sense of trust with the customer.
I once bought from a company before reading about their return policies, and I thoroughly regret it. When I was dissatisfied with my order and wanted to return a pair of shoes, I found out that not only did I have to pay from my own pocket to ship the item back, but also had to pay a $7 “restocking fee” on top of that. To me, that seems pretty ridiculous. It would have been more money to ship and return the shoes than what I paid for them! If I had known of this policy beforehand, I would have never purchased from them. Their lack of customer service and communication, along with their unwavering return policy, has lost them a repeat customer. Make this information readily available to shoppers; display it directly on your homepage and product pages in a place that is very apparent.
Having a free shipping and return policy gives customers a safety net in the off chance that they are displeased with their purchase; they don’t have to be afraid of buying from you if they can get a full refund! Making such a simple change to your business plan can help you dramatically increase conversions and improve your bottom line.
Display Product Reviews
User reviews are another helpful way to appease the skeptical buyer. A remarkable 90% of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online reviews.
Of course, not every experience is going to receive a five-star rating, but the honest and relatable positive reviews can help the potential customers decide about a purchase. Testimonials that give praises to your products is a great way to help build trust with potential customers - they can see that your products work for others!
Have a Secured Website and Payment System
Since the beginning of the Internet, shoppers have been skeptical about entering their personal and credit card information into websites, so ensuring that your site is secure is a huge way to give shoppers confidence to purchase from you. Showcase the secure checkout systems you use by displaying the badges in high-traffic areas of your site and, of course, on the checkout pages. If your site is not secure, McAfee, COMODO, and TrustE are a few systems you can look into.
Another way to combat the skeptical buyer is by offering multiple forms of payment. Many shoppers (including myself) are more comfortable with purchasing with PayPal than entering credit card information—and it takes less time. Offering alternative payment options is a way to cater to different types of consumers. Whatever you implement, confirming that you have a safe environment and that you want to protect your customers will create a sense of trust, which increase conversion rates.
Provide Detailed Descriptions
A common problem with purchasing online, especially clothing, is having to decide what size to get. “Well, I usually wear a small, but if it’s tighter I might need a medium or even a large” is a thought that customers tend to have when shopping online. Trying to decipher size, fit, and material is difficult by merely looking at a few pictures. Providing as much information as possible can really help boost conversions.
Within product descriptions for clothing items, consider presenting a size guide, reviews, and a fit survey (where customers can vote on whether the item is true to size or feels too big or too small, and all increments in between). This answers most generic questions that customers have and makes it almost impossible to order the wrong fit; and a happy fit means a happy customer.
Conquering the skeptical buyer is one of the best ways to accomplish your end goal, which is ultimately to make more sales. Having a plethora of information easily accessible on your website builds trust between the customer and your company, and establishing that trust leads to increased conversion rates.
Tweet at us @creatuity with any other helpful hints you have to conquer the skeptical buyer.
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Creatuity is a full service eCommerce agency that believes in quality web development for large established companies, small businesses, and startup ventures, which is why they are proud to be a Magento Small Business 'Do-It-For-Me’ partner. Creatuity's in-house team of Magento certified developers and solution specialists have the experience to help any business grow quickly without limits. From fast fixes to complex site creation from scratch to eCommerce consulting, Creatuity's services are customizable for each client and have been successful in a variety of industries and markets.