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The Bumpy Road to Purchase: How to Leverage Trust, Benefit and Risk Issues to Increase Purchasing

Digital Marketing

To increase user satisfaction, and, as a result, online purchases, e-commerce sites struggle to find a variety of ways to provide a more exciting and personalized user experience. Building trust in potential consumers’ minds is one of the biggest challenges, especially for new e-commerce sites.

A trustworthy environment can reduce hesitations and concerns, and have a significant effect on user’s behavior.

But, trust toward the e-commerce site isn’t the only factor in this equation. The bumpy road to purchase is also affected by the perception of benefit and perceived risks. A purchase intention can be achieved, at least when these three key points are addressed. In the following article, I will discuss those elements, providing 10 marketing hacks that will help you grow your ecommerce business.

The 3 Key Points That Affect the Purchase Intent:

  • Trust – The trustworthiness of the e-commerce site is the first thing to address. In an e-commerce context, trust is the willingness of the consumer to rely on the merchant in a circumstance where he or she is vulnerable to it. It’s a major issue that affects all of us. Trust has been found to be a key factor in reducing consumers’ concern. It may be affected by external factors, such as demographic variables, or prior, related experience; and by internal factors, such as security seals, shipping policies, customer testimonials and more.
  • Expected benefit – The willingness to purchase is highly connected to the customers’ benefit expectations. When we buy something online, the perception of the benefit we’ll receive is one of the most dominant things that drives us to complete the purchase.
  • Perceived risk – There are many definitions of the term “perceived risk.” I’d like to quote the definition by Dowling & Staelin: “Perceived risk can be defined as consumers’ perceptions of the uncertainty and adverse consequences of engaging in an activity.” Consumer-perceived risk can have a negative effect on potential customers, as well as existing ones. The level of risk can be affected by the quality of service (customer service, shipping, etc.), payment methods, inclusion of safety mechanisms around the site’s pages and more.

10 Hacks to Deal with Trust, Benefits and Risk Issues and Increase E-commerce Conversions:

  1. Display your phone number close to the purchase buttons or near any other prominent space. Show your users you’re a real business with a real call center. In addition, remember that some customers would prefer a simple telephone call.
  2. Include specific frequently asked questions for each product, which include the most common questions from past customers. Include the names and job titles of your staff members who answered those questions to keep it as real and as personal as possible.
  3. Include a feedback box on product pages. Ask for users’ feedback and offer customers your assistant to complete purchases over the phone or by email.
  4. Collect testimonial quotes from loyal customers and display them on relevant product pages as social proof. If possible, show the real people behind those quotes, including their full name, image and perhaps even a Twitter account link.
  5. Get valuable insights from real customers, as well as from prospects in your target market. Diagnose users’ trust pain points and objections with online polls, usability tools and survey widgets.
  6. Implement schema markup for reviews (if you’re not familiar with this markup, check out the following link). Enhance the visibility of your site in organic search results. Showing off review ranking information for product pages can engage more benefits-driven customers.
  7. Set realistic expectations with beautiful and slick product images. But, don’t stop there: Show off the benefits by asking customers to upload images of them actually using your products. Choose the best ones and let them go viral. It might just stick.
  8. Your customers would expect to see content that is relevant to them. Relevant content equals higher trustworthiness in what you offer. Personalize your e-commerce site based on regional context and display local offers and promotions tailored to specific users.
  9. Engage users with shopping cart abandonments by popping up a promotional box with a special discount to complete the purchase. Communicate to them with a personal shopping assistant, feedback form and so on. Engage them during their visit on your site, on exit-intent, on their next return or even by email.
  10. Greet new visitors with a customized message to build their trust and positively influence their first impression. Let them know about your latest sales, purchasing methods, return policies and security trust badges. A/B test different greeting messages to see what’s working best and optimize successes toward your target audience.

Closing Thoughts:

Building trust, reducing risks and showing off the benefits among your customers may increase user satisfaction, customer loyalty and overall sales. Fortunately, there are ways to do so. The other side of the coin is that there’s no magic involved. Although there are smart tools in the market that will make your life much easier, optimizing the conversions of any e-commerce site is an intensive, ongoing job. So keep calm and be prepared.

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