Article post by Travis Jamison
The average ecommerce conversion rate sits at around 2%, which means that almost 98% of the traffic you attract leaves your store without making a purchase.
There are different reasons for this underwhelming statistic, including indecision about which product to choose, pricing concerns, product quality, and brand trustworthiness.
Even an abundance of options can result in buyer hesitation and kill your conversions.
However, there are some effective tactics to help you nip all these deal-breakers in the bud and convince your potential customers you’re the right choice for them.
1. Know Your Audience’s Conversion Concerns
The first step towards eliminating this hurdle and encouraging your potential customers to convert is unearthing their concerns.
We’ve already mentioned some of the most common culprits behind your audience’s hesitation to click the “Buy now” button and complete their transaction, and some of them will be covered in greater detail a bit later.
But it’s worth mentioning that the exact points of friction won’t be the same for every brand or even for different segments of an audience.
That’s why understanding your target customers and their needs can help you adjust your site messaging and reduce those fears.
For example, older people who are exceptionally cautious and risk-averse, especially when it comes to online transactions, make up a large portion of the GetSafe audience. That’s why the brand had to find a way to ease them into making a purchasing decision and assure them that there’s no need to worry about product quality.
The primary CTA on their homepage offers a generous, risk-free 30-day trial, and a toll-free phone number gives this somewhat technologically conservative audience peace of mind by communicating that their transaction is supported offline. All these details indicate that the brand is legit and improve customers’ confidence in it.
Brands that sell products aimed at customers on a budget can boost their conversion rates by highlighting discounts, savings on shipping, loyalty cards, or special deals.
For example, 9 out of 10 consumers say that free shipping is the No. 1 incentive, while 66% of them expect to get it on all online orders.
Although such an audience can be a tough nut to crack, you can additionally cater to their financial savviness if you focus on demonstrating the value of your products.
2. Be Super Upfront About Refunds and Returns
The fact that customers can’t touch, feel, or try on the product they’re interested in is one of the biggest objections to online purchasing. So, many of them are unwilling to risk buying something they might be unable to use.
In addition to that, receiving a faulty item is also frustrating, especially if customers aren’t sure what their rights are and what procedure they should follow in order to sort the issue out.
That’s why having a very detailed and lenient refunds and returns policy can boost customer loyalty and promote repeat purchases. Surveys say that if a brand offers a hassle-free return process, 92% of customers will buy again, knowing that they don’t have to worry about ending up with a product that doesn’t fit.
So, the trick is to persuade your potential customers that you take returns and refunds very seriously and that you’re committed to making the process as easy as possible for them.
Athleta’s return policy goes the extra mile since it includes the so-called Give-It-A-Workout guarantee. Customers can return products they tried out and aren’t satisfied with their performance 60 days after the purchase date. Plus, returns and exchanges are free, so customers can rest assured they can get a more suitable item without incurring additional costs.
3. Show Customer Activity
Imagine trying to pick a fast-food place in a city you’ve never been to before. You’d probably check out Google reviews and opt for the one with the best ratings. But what would you do if you didn’t have a smartphone on hand? You’d follow that old adage “When in Rome…” obviously and go to the busiest restaurant you come across.
It’s only logical to conclude that a packed establishment offers much better customer service than the empty one, and this is an excellent example of offline FOMO and social proof.
The same applies to an online store, which is why pop-ups with customer activity could help you build trust and show visitors browsing your products that your business is thriving.
Having a third-party widget that triggers a recent sales pop-up on your site can instil a sense of urgency and prompt prospects to take action before the item they’re viewing is sold out. Such a “real-time” sales notification window informing a visitor a sale has just happened and providing details about it will make your store more relatable.
Besides, seeing that other people are buying will create a feeling that they’re inside a real store that’s selling stuff around them.
ShopSolarKits displays recent customer activity pop-ups in the bottom left corner of the website. These notifications come across as genuine and relatable since they provide specific details, such as what exactly another customer bought and how much time has elapsed since the purchase took place.
Source: Shop Solar Kits
4. Enable Impulse Purchases
While it’s true that a majority of people won’t convert during their first visit to your online store, some of them are purchase-ready, and you should make sure they don’t slip through the cracks.
Given that impulse buying accounts for 40% of all online purchases, it’s clear that we’re talking about a substantial amount of money you don’t want to leave on the table.
The worst thing you can do is let a potential customer who already grabbed their credit card look for a way to order a product from your website. The longer they’re trying to find the call-to-action button, the greater the chance that they will start having second thoughts and anticipating buyer’s remorse.
To prevent this worst-case scenario, streamline your customers’ path to purchase by reducing the number of clicks needed to add a product to the shopping cart.
Such an efficient, well-oiled conversion mechanism will accommodate impulse purchases and take advantage of your visitors’ urge to shop without giving them room to think about the reasons why they shouldn’t act on it.
Kopi Luwak Direct features a CTA in the header, while the UI element doesn’t even have its own dedicated product page — everything is right there on the homepage. Besides that, there are multiple CTAs throughout the homepage so that visitors who scroll down always see the “Add to cart” or “Shop now” button- without having to navigate to the top of the page to find it.
Source: Kopi Luwak Direct
5. Highlight Transactional Security
According to research, credit card fraud is on the rise. In 2022, 44% of Americans reported having two or more fraudulent charges, which is a 9% increase from 2021.
No wonder 62% of people think that online shopping comes with a high risk of fraud — an attitude that can hinder your conversion rates and sales. Another survey showed that 18% of customers decided to abandon a checkout flow because they didn’t trust the website with their credit card information. One of the factors that contributed to their perception of the site’s credibility was how visually secure it looked.
That’s why it’s essential to show your potential customers that their sensitive information is safe with you and that they don’t need to worry about falling victim to financial fraud or identity theft if they trust you with their credit card number.
Third-party trust or security verification badges can help you minimize all these concerns and present your store as trustworthy and reputable. The fact that the trust seal issuer agreed to let you place a badge with their name on it means that they vouch for the security of your website.
JBL opted to add the Norton Shopping Guarantee security badge to their product pages to communicate to potential customers that their website is encrypted and secure. Thanks to this, more than 90% of the brand’s customers said they would be more likely to buy again.
6. Put Your Visitors in a Confident Headspace Immediately
87% of buying decisions start with online research, and customers will be significantly more likely to order an item that other users praise.
But why would you want potential customers to go back to Google in search of reviews about your products when you can display social proof right there on the spot? The trick is to keep visitors on your website longer, engage them, and ultimately, get them to convert.
However, it would be a mistake to show user product reviews on the actual product pages. This means new shoppers will only find out how much existing customers love your products only if they click through dedicated product pages.
So, it’s equally important to make potential customers feel confident about the quality of your products as they navigate your whole site, and not just when they reach a specific product page. Your homepage is valuable real estate. Given that it’s the first touchpoint many prospects have with your brand, don’t hesitate to use it to showcase what happy customers have to say about your products.
Anytime Baseball Supply has two areas that show product-specific feedback on their homepage. The first one is the section above the fold and right below the header, showing star ratings, with the number of reviews, for each featured best-selling product. As visitors scroll down the page, they will come across a cool “See What Our Customers Say About Us!” element that offers even more details, thus inspiring confidence in the products and generating massive credibility.
Source: Anytime Baseball Supply
7. Provide Social Media Support
When it comes to customer support, there’s a simple rule you should follow meet your customers where they are. And that usually means hanging out on social media platforms.
90% of people say that an immediate response is essential when they have a customer service question, and Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels allow for instant communication, which makes them a perfect tool for this purpose. Visible support on social media shows you’re all about delivering exceptional customer service and highlights your availability to your customers at all times.
This approach removes a giant concern for shoppers who might be worried you’ll be difficult to get hold of after making the sale. Seeing you’re responsive and active on social media will tell your potential customers that even if there’s an issue with their product or delivery, it will be sorted out quickly.
Zappos is known for their super helpful customer support on Twitter. Even when there are complaints or negative comments, they turn those into opportunities and wins by handling them smoothly and gracefully.
8. Enable UGC in Product Reviews
We’ve touched upon the significance of product reviews for overcoming buyer hesitation, but this tactic works only if you do it right. Most online stores don’t take too much trouble over publishing reviews and routinely use the basic functionality their site’s theme allows.
But they forget the power that a really detailed user review has, especially when the prospective customer can see how a reviewer used a product and made the most of it.
In other words, to enjoy the full potential of product page reviews, you need to take it a little more seriously and allow reviewers to include their photos and videos. This user-generated content will give your social proof some extra zing and another layer of authenticity.
Dress Forms USA product pages come with detailed customer reviews enriched with UGC. Apart from reading what others say about a particular product, potential customers can also see it in action, which will help them visualize how that product fits into their lives.
Source: Dress Forms USA
Buyer hesitation can be a tough nut to crack. But if you understand what prevents your target audience from converting, you can work on dismantling those obstacles. These simple tactics don’t require too much effort, and yet they can result in speeding up decision-making and turning your fence-sitting prospects into loyal customers.