What is stopping a customer from buying?

With the insights provided by Google Analytics and inbuilt analytics within your CMS, you now have a constant stream of data to understand your customers’ shopping habits, identify where you may be falling short, and make adjustments to improve your bottom line. The surge in popularity of eCommerce over the past year has seen efficient sites take full advantage, and horribly expose those that have neglected their websites during the preceding years. Regardless of the popularity of an eCommerce store, there are often a raft of common mistakes that can stop a customer from completing a purchase.

Omni-Channel Promotion

To get customers in your eCommerce store takes a lot more than attracting them via a Google ad. Customers are spending a lot more time browsing various channels, such as social media, marketplaces, and web-only platforms, making the whole process a lot more drawn out than it once was. Retailers have to make sure they are greeting them at each of those touch points, otherwise known as omni-channel selling.

Easy Navigation

Before your customers possibly encounter some of the other issues on this list they will first have to decide to add something to their cart. They won’t do that if they can’t find what they’re looking for. Intuitive, easy navigation steps are the key to success. Customers are increasingly using the search bar to find their desired product, so make yours big and bold with optimised search functionality. From there the checkout process needs to be simple, no more than three steps is recommended, with a guest checkout for a fast process.

Transparent Fees

Some surprises in life are good; discovering hidden fees as you’re about to checkout isn’t one of them! Be upfront about your shipping costs, meaning it should be clear on every page and around the price point on product pages. Employ an “X away from free shipping” notification when someone adds to cart under the free shipping threshold to encourage upsells. A high bounce rate at checkout can often be attributed to unexpected shipping costs.

Boast about Reviews

Don’t be shy when it comes to advertising your success. Customers that have enjoyed their experience with your brand and been kind enough to write a review deserve to be acknowledged. It’s easy to research a store or brand before you make a purchase and many people do. Site and marketing copy is biased; customers are not. Trusted, real reviews can be the difference between making or breaking a sale. If you’ve got amazing reviews, promote them.

Brand Trust

Reviews enforce your shopping experience and product quality, but other elements of trust come into play for those nervous about online shopping. Customers want to know if their personal details and payment method is safe and secure, so enforce the message by displaying official trust symbols throughout your store. Display the site’s SSL security credentials and contact details, including a bricks and mortar address if you have one. Correspondence and marketing emails should be signed off by a real staff member so customers know there is a human behind the brand. If you offer returns or a money back guarantee don’t be ashamed to say so. It will calm nervous first-time shoppers.

Streamline Product Options

Less is more when it comes to making an eCommerce transaction. Don’t overwhelm your customers with endless product options that may only slow their purchasing decision down or even make them leave your store. Limit the amount of sizes, colours, or models and limit the aggressiveness of your upsell strategy to avoid distraction and cart abandonment. In line with smooth navigation flow, ensure subcategories and product ranges fit well within collections for those manually seeking an upsell.

Deliver greatness!

Thanks to Amazon, customers expect fast, if not same-day delivery. Now while the majority of eCommerce retailers can’t deliver same-day, it is possible to offer next day delivery in many areas. Knowing that your purchase will ship same-day if ordered before a certain time (and if you offer that then make sure you display it) and likely arrive the next will often be enough to sway a buyer. The biggest carrot you can dangle before a customer is free shipping, or at least free shipping at a price threshold. If you have a lot of repeat business, consider a subscription model that offers free shipping across the board. With the world bouncing in and out of lockdowns it is also important to offer Click & Collect services where possible. Not only does it avoid shipping and handling costs on both sides, but also plays nicely into the hands of those customers who wish for instant gratification with their purchase.

In conclusion, there are many reasons that a customer will buy from your store, but a set of common reasons for why they won’t. A clear and trusted brand, backed by easy to find products, a simple checkout process, and fast, free shipping will ensure repeat business and keep your brand ahead of the competition.

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