There are two MAIN factors that will help you achieve success in e-commerce – understanding who your customers are and solving their problems before they arise. It’s the only way your site will achieve the best conversions every time.
That’s why marketers pay so much attention to persona research. Understand the different online shopper personas, and you know what motivates them or drives them away.
- Price-conscious consumers, who are looking for the best deal.
- Researchers, who want to know what others think before making a buying decision.
- Convenience consumers, who want the shopping experience to be easy.
- Brand-loyal consumers, who enjoy personalized shopping experiences.
But there’s a lot other person research out there. MasterCard recently did a study on global online personas, which revealed that a group described as “solely shoppers” are 21% of all online consumers. Most of this group researches online, uses mobile devices for show rooming, and appreciates special offers.
In contrast to the person research, Live Person says that personas alone are not enough, unless they are supported by examples of how consumers actually behave in a live situation. That’s where the second part of the conversion optimization equation comes in: knowing what problems online shoppers face when they visit your site, and solving them before they happen.
Online Shopping Fears – All Consumers
1. Is Your Business for Real?
Ever been to an e-commerce website that looks like a refugee from the early ’90s? One of those sites with poor design, little content and lots of ads? When I visit sites like that, I immediately suspect that something scammy is going on – and there’s no way I’m going to part with any cash. Many consumers feel the same. That’s why it’s important to address some of the subtle and not-so-subtle cues that can allay that fear. That means:
- Looking after web design, making sure your site is clear and makes it easy for people to shop.
- Linking to social media profiles (only the ones where you are really active) to allow people to connect with you there.
- Making sure online shoppers can find your location and contact details easily.
- Having a real “About” page, preferably with a photo or video of the person behind the site.
- Including customer testimonials on your site.
2. Can I Shop Safely?
We often hear about password hacks and other security breaches. All those stories enhance the perception and fear that online shopping can sometimes be risky. That’s why e-commerce retailers have to address this. No one wants their credit card details to be stolen. Fix this with these three trust signals:
Trustmarks, which are logos from external accreditors who say it’s safe to shop on your site. Some common ones include McAfee, Verisign, Paypal, BBB, and TRUSTe, which were found to be the most effective in a survey by Actual Insights, but there are many others.
Payment system logos (from the major credit card providers and Paypal), which show customers they will be able to pay for items easily. Since these logos are trusted, some of that trust rubs off on your site.
3. Is This the Best Price?
Both the MasterCard and Shop Visible research show that many consumers are really price-conscious. And iAcquire cites research that shows that insecurity about the value of the purchase is a major sticking point for a lot of people.
Just as some shoppers visit multiple brick-and-mortar stores before buying an item from the store where they originally saw it, online shoppers – especially the price-conscious ones – will shop around for a bargain. If you want to keep them on your site, the answer is to provide coupons and discounts or to price-match. That’s what Best Buy does, and Target does the same in-store. Of course, having the lowest price doesn’t keep all online shoppers happy …
4. Is the Product Too Cheap?
Sometimes the cheapest products just don’t sell, because there’s a perception that there must be something wrong with it if the price seems too good to be true. A study from Stanford says sometimes price comparisons make some products look more risky and stop people from buying at all.
What can you do to prevent that?
- Give full product information, so people know what they’re getting and can assess the product properly.
- Provide social proof (more on that in a moment).
- Use pricing psychology to steer people toward the product you most want to sell.