With the number of online retailers mounting, and choices galore available to shoppers, it is vital to identify causes that prompt a customer to shop. Online sellers have to keenly observe the factors that aid a customer’s buying decision and use the knowledge to pump up their sale volume. Likewise, sellers need to identify the factors that discourage online shopping, and work towards minimizing these causes.
What are the most important factors influencing Buyer decisions?
- Reviews – Studies have shown that positive reviews about a product prompt potential buyers to purchase it. A Youmoz study has shown that a whopping 67% of customers rely on online reviews to make their choices.
The study showed that the converse is also true. Negative reviews can put off a potential customer from buying a product.
The reason why reviews are vital is because they are written by real people who have actually purchased and used the product. Some sellers encourage their customers to write good reviews by adding a freebie to the purchase. Studies have shown that 63% customers are more likely to purchase a product from a site that has reviews.
Buyers would trust a customer review more than the product description given by the seller. Online sellers should therefore actively prompt their customers in conversation, and encourage them to write reviews. Email reminders and discounts on future purchases can act as motivators.
- Pricing – Shoppers have been spoilt silly by all the discounts and freebies that ecommerce has offered them. It would therefore be one of the prime factors that a shopper would look at.
While it might not be feasible to offer insane discounts, offering realistic offs to a shopper will do its bit to draw the crowds. Customers always compare prices while shopping; particularly when it is easy to compare across portals and marketplaces online. This being the case, sellers should try to keep up a healthy competition amongst their contemporaries.
- Detailed information – More is always better when it comes to product description. Rather than brief one liners, it is better to write full length sentences with all important specifications. This will save shoppers the trouble of having to look it up from other sources.
At the same time, remember to keep the text as simple as you can. While technical specifications are necessary, try to keep out heavy duty tech jargon that would confuse a lay person. Likewise, keep the font average. Avoid tiny prints, and unprofessional fonts like comic sans or chiller.
Nathan Novemsky, an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Yale School of Management, conducted a study titled, ‘Preference Fluency in Choice’. The study noted that buyers shopped at sites where the fonts were easy to read (‘fluent’), and opted against buying a product where the font was difficult to read.
- Free delivery – For most shoppers, the fact that they get free shipping is a big plus. Buyers would opt for sellers who give free delivery over those who charge to ship products.
The obvious reason for this being, shipping charges add to the total cost of the product. Peter Roesler, president of Web Marketing Pros, also points out in this post – companies ought to clearly state that shipping and returns are free. He also quotes ComScore, which observed that respondents in the US would rather wait an extra couple of days if offered free shipping.
Roesler speaks on behalf of the customer, and says that rather than spending the extra money on shipping, a customer would opt to buy another item (or items) to be eligible for free delivery.
Having a fee for shipping can also result in cart abandonment, says AlixPartners in a study. The report says that 36% of cart abandonment is due to high shipping charges.
- Social media – It is important for any company to have a strong presence in social media. Research points out that 78% of buyers are influenced by social media in their purchase decisions. Sellers with an active social media profile have a greater possibility of sale.
A constant interaction with shoppers is also essential. Quicker responses raise your value in the shoppers’ circle. Addressing customer grievances and complaints with quick turnaround time also boosts credibility.
Bear in mind that a conversation in social media is out in the open; therefore exercise great caution when interacting with customers, especially the disgruntled ones.
Armed with these facts, we hope you will do roaring sales. Good luck, and happy selling.
To know more about online shopping patterns, get in touch with Browntape. We are India’s leading e-commerce experts, and we are always happy to help.
Browntape helps retailers sell online on multiple marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. in India. They provide services and software that allow retailers to either outsource their online selling business or manage things on their own using their innovative inventory and order management software. In addition to that, they also help sellers improve their customer experience.
Source: Browntape Blog