Online conversions should be so simple: Customer arrives on your website. A customer browses your products. Customer adds a product to their cart. The customer checks out. Customer pays. Done. But then these three pesky factors throw a wrench into this seemingly easy process: trust in total strangers, impatience, and that uncontrollable aversion to paying full price for anything.
Despite intimate knowledge and experience with these factors and how to mitigate them, online retailers continue to make the same mistakes. And every day, these mistakes cost them online conversions, revenue and repeat business.
Eighty-eight percent of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. On the one hand, this gives tremendous hope that we haven’t screwed up our society badly enough to not trust each other. On the other hand, simply showcasing your testimonials could make a profound difference in your online conversion rate.
And as long as you’re collecting and sharing customer testimonials, you might want to gather a few partner testimonials as well. Culture is important. People want to know what kind of company you really are. You partners will tell them.
Inconvenient or Non-existent Return Policy
Despite how it feels, we’re still in the nascent stages of online shopping. Many consumers are still suspect at best and terrified at worst about choosing poorly, getting the wrong product delivered and having to return stuff. That’s a big reason why a poorly designed and/or poorly communicated return policy deters 80% of shoppers.
Come up with something simple. Include a pre-addressed bag with the item so all your customer has to do is find a mailbox. Alternatively (and you have to have some bucks to do this), hire local fulfillment companies to retrieve unwanted items from people’s homes. It’s a nice touch ⎯ and if you teach, dress and support your teams right, their quick presence at your customer’s door may help you reclaim a bit of the goodwill you spent so much time establishing.
Expensive Shipping Costs
PayPal found that 43% of shoppers abandoned their orders because the shipping charges were too high. The answer here is pretty simple and it starts with finding a more affordable shipping partner. And settling for what the major players offer you isn’t going to cut it, especially if you’re a smaller retailer with relatively few online conversions compared to an Amazon or Walmart.
You’ll need a shipping partner who can put you in the position to drastically lower your shipping costs so you can either pass that along or absorb the cost and eliminate shipping costs altogether. And considering that 90% of customers see free shipping as the #1 incentive to shop more, that’s something definitely worth striving for.