Monday, March 23, 2015Global Administrator It’s no secret that online shopping has become a preferred method for many consumers and businesses wishing to exercise their buying power.

Just to give you an idea of how big eCommerce has become, it’s expected to grow by 20% this year to $1.5 trillion globally (Selz Blog). In addition to this, 71% of shoppers believe they will get a better deal online than in stores (Selz Blog). Overall, almost 80% of the online population has used the internet to purchase something (Selz Blog).

For online retailers, this is a massive opportunity!

However, here’s another crazy number for you…

Did you know that almost $4 trillion worth of online sales will be abandoned in their online carts this year? (Business Insider).

So the question remains: How do online retailers recover those [potentially] lost sales and help consumers overcome their purchasing fears?

We have provided a list of common consumer fears when using shopping online and how online retailers can overcome them.

Fear: ”Is my financial information secure?”

Solution: Although eCommerce has become a trusted shopping method in North America, this is still a common fear for consumers.  As a retailer it’s your job to ease these fears by portraying an image of security and legitimacy.

First, ensure you are using trusted and proven payment gateway such as PayPal, Stripe or Authorize.Net. Display trusted payment method logos so your customer can recognize them.

Second, have it stated that you have and utilize trusted security software. One little logo will go a long way to ease your customer’s fear of giving you their credit card information. McAfee is a common one that a lot of online retailers use.

Fear: “Will I even like this product?”

Solution: One of the challenges an eCommerce store, is that there is no physical product that the customer can see, touch, or test. The customer is taking your word on whether they will benefit from the product or not. Consumers need to know that they are going to benefit from the product they purchase; this is why reviews are crucial. A testimonial goes a long way. They’re an honest, inexpensive and effective method to encourage your customer to complete the transaction.

Another way to overcome this fear is to have a crystal clear return policy. Customer’s like to have a “back button” just in case they start to feel a bit of buyer’s remorse. Have it clearly stated at check out to ensure they see it when this fear might creep up on them.

Fear: “This checkout looks much different than the rest of the site, is it legitimate?”

Solution: Most eCommerce platforms will offer retailers the option to style their checkout so it is consistent with the rest of the site. This is crucial, because your customers don’t want to feel as if they are leaving the site when they go to finalize their purchase. Not only will this feel suspicious, but it looks like a scam.

Take the time, and make the investment to style your store and checkout similarly. This creates a seamless customer path with no red flags and enables consumers to feel comfortable throughout the shopping process.

Fear: “I have questions and need answers!”

Solution: As much as people love the instant nature of online shopping, they still appreciate a personal touch when they have questions. A great way to overcome this fear is to have a way for them get their answers.

One way of doing this is to create an FAQ or Knowledge base section for your customer. Over time, there may be customer questions you hear often. If this is the case, have them available to your customers in a common area on your site. This allows for them to find the answers on their own.

Another option, if you have the resources to sustain it, is an instant chat feature. This allows for a live response for your customers. We live in an instant world where people expect an instant response. Having chat integrated gives your customer peace of mind knowing that they can get their questions answered when they have them.

In the end, it’s all about facing these consumer fears and delivering a transparent and comfortable shopping environment. Customers need to know that you’re on their side and will be through each phase of the purchasing process. It may be a while before these customer fears disappear, thus it’s important that online retailers act now.

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