3 Common Problems Standing Between You and E-Comm Success
When people are shopping online, there are a number of steps they go through before making the decision to purchase. The purpose of your online store is to provide tools that help them move forward through the process. The following are three common barriers that get in the way and can cause people to abandon their cart.
Nobody likes paying for shipping
There is nothing worse than finding the best deal online only to find out you’ll have to pay for shipping.
Online shoppers research, compare and think before making the decision to buy. Once they’ve decided to buy online, the checkout process needs to remind them that they’ve made the right choice. When a customer sees a shipping price added during checkout, they instantly stop and think. Can I get this cheaper elsewhere? Do other websites offer free shipping? Maybe I’ll wait and buy it another day. You’ve created a barrier to purchase. The only way past this barrier is for the customer to begin the decisions process again and weigh up their options.
If offering free shipping isn’t viable, use free shipping as an incentive to buy more. For example, spend X amount and receive free shipping, or buy today and receive free shipping on your next order.
If you can’t remove this barrier and shipping needs to be included, then soften the blow. Display the price during the decision phase. Displaying the flat rate on every page or provide the ability to calculate shipping when adding to the cart. Don’t wait until the customer decides to click checkout.
Customers don’t buy from businesses they don’t trust
Many online customers are researching your business and trying to decide if they trust you. Trust is important to customers. It makes them feel safe when buying online.
An instant barrier regarding trust is not being able to speak with a real person. An online contact form doesn’t compare to ability to dial a phone number and hear a person on the other end. Most people don’t need to call; just like when you’re in a store you don’t need help when shopping. However, knowing someone is available to help makes the customer feel comfortable and in control of their decisions when shopping.
Another solution is to add online chat functionality. Customers can now ask questions and get instant answers. This is very helpful during checkout as it provides support during the process.
Don’t force people to register
Many e-commerce platforms include guest checkout features as standard. So this barrier to purchase shouldn’t even exist today. However, that’s not the case and although this seems fickle and the positives of creating an account seem logical, you’re forcing the customer to perform a task. Removing their control over a decision in the checkout process may stop them from completing the purchase.
Even if you offer an online service that requires registration, provide simple tools like social media sign-up functionality. Completing registration forms for some customers is inconvenient, it can play an important role when deciding to purchase.
Never forget you’re competing globally
Your online store is competing against other businesses globally. So there is a good chance that there are stores that offer the same products or services at the same price and provide an easy to use online store. Make your online store better by identifying what barriers are in your customers’ way. There are many online tools and even services to help you identify these. Even get to the basics and asks your customers.
Don’t ruin the post purchase experience because it can create a barrier to return business
Make sure your site includes:
– An informative and friendly successful checkout page.
– Provide clear communication when the purchase will be shipped and delivered
– An easy to understand returns policy and convenient returns procedure
– Provide an incentive to return with a thank you gift.
Written by Mark Nido — Project Manager at WME.