As an E-commerce seller it’s important to recognize some of the resistance by consumers to buy products online. By understanding some of the reasons people may shy away from online buying, you can formulate a strategy to help these “shy” buyers to give you a chance and become your customer. Here are the three most common concerns from buyers and suggestions to help them get past their online shopping fears.
1) Virtual Stores Lack a Personal Touch
The truth is that most people still prefer the human touch. They like being able to communicate with someone with questions or concerns about products they are interested in. Smart E-commerce sellers have realized this and have started to add real time customer service representatives to their E-commerce sites. Other strategies savvy E-commerce sellers have adapted to overcome the robotic and impersonal shopping experience for their customers includes:
- Tell your story. For example, most people cannot resist a great story on what inspired you to open your online store, start your business, offer your product, etc. This helps build a connection with your customer.
- Add high quality photos of your key staff. Buyers respond better when they can see who runs the online business.
- Maintain a 24/7 virtual customer service representative.
- Direct mail with personal and specific product recommendations. These are based on previous purchases.
2) Ecommerce Delivery Takes Too Long
Many E-commerce stores are faced with the issue of fulfillment and delivery of their products to their customers. One of the best ways to combat this is to have a reputable fulfillment center and offer special incentives to customers who are willing to wait a few extra days. For most shoppers this is becoming a non-issue as they prefer waiting and getting their purchase delivered right to their door versus dealing with traffic, busy parking lots and crowded stores.
If you are an E-commerce owner who also owns a brick and mortar store, offer the option for local pick up of your products. Be sure the product is ready for fast pick up by your customer.
3) Security Concerns
With all the great tools available to create an E-commerce site, almost anyone can create an online store within minutes. Because of this, new customers may be wondering if you run a legitimate online store. This can lead customers to only buy from E-commerce sites that are run by big or famous companies. Assure potential customers you are a legitimate online seller by directing them to testimonials from previous customers on third party sites such as Yelp or Angie’s List.
Many shoppers get also get leery about providing their credit card information and mailing address. Understandable they are worried about credit card fraud or identity theft. Always have safety measures such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on your site. You should also make sure that the security measure icons are highly visible to your customers. This will offer them peace of mind and will help encourage the completion of a sale.
You can also offer the option to receive paper checks as a form of payment, but be sure to let your customers know that may cause a delay in delivery while the payment is being processed.
There really is no reason for most businesses to not offer their products online. As you have read, most fears or concerns from new (and loyal) customers can be addressed fairly easy with a few creative and smart strategies.