Rejection is harsh, especially when you’re trying to start or run a business. With online shopping carts abandoned about 70% of the time, customers clearly have no trouble finding reasons to say ‘no’ to trying a product, downloading your app, or making a purchase. Until customers reach that decision-making moment, the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), there are countless reasons why they drop out of the buying process, many of which are beyond your control as a business owner. The good news is that there are things you can do to keep customers from saying no. One of which, while it may seem counterintuitive, is to focus on all the potential reasons why and how a customer can reject your business. Believe it or not, rejection can actually help you make your business better.


Start thinking about all the reasons why you abandon a purchase either online or offline. Make a list. Then, put yourself in your customer’s shoes and map the process of buying from you both in-store and/or online. Be brutally honest about all the potential reasons why you would give up and leave if it weren’t your business. If you identify all the possible touch points a customer has with your business and how and why people would get turned off along the way, you can take measures to make things right. By heading problems off at the pass, you give customers fewer opportunities to say no to buying from your business. So, without further ado, let’s look at a few reasons why customers often decide to reject your business, or not buy your products.


Like in any relationship, trust is incredibly important, but it takes time. So, no matter how a potential customer first encounters your business (i.e. a touch point), your goal is to reduce the perceived risk of trying your products. To mitigate the perceived risks you first need to identify them. What do you worry about when you’re thinking about buying something from a new business? Is the product good? Can I get my money back? 81% of people research products online before making a purchase. Does your website look professional? Does your online checkout page look secure?

What You Can Do: Displaying testimonials or media attention on your website’s landing page is a great first step in establishing trust. Other ways to reduce risk include providing clear, easy to understand return and customer service policies, as well as an online checkout form that looks secure. Addressing these simple things can help you persuade people to say yes instead of no.


For the first time ever, people are turning to online searches more often than friends and family for product information. If it’s difficult for customers to find the information they’re looking for on your website, or if there’s just too much information to sort through, they will give up.

What You Can Do: A clean, simple website with a clear call-to-action will make your business look professional, make it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for, and simplify the path to purchase. Unbounce does a great job of this. Enabling searches within your website, providing FAQ’s, and prominently displaying your business’ contact information will also make it easier for customers to find exactly what they’re looking for and say yes instead of no. Consider using a tool like A/B testing to get a better idea of what adjustments to make to your website, as well as setting up a Google Analytics account to collect data on how people navigate through your website.


Each additional click in the buying process gives people another opportunity to give up and abandon their shopping cart. If it feels like work to people to give you money, they’ll become deterred.

What You Can Do: Make buying easy by simplifying your online checkout process and reducing the number of clicks it takes to complete it. If your website is not e-commerce enabled, companies like Square allow you to process credit cards with your phone. If you only use social media platforms, investigate online tools like Shopify* that let you turn your Facebook page into an online store, for example. Simplifying the buying process makes it easier for customers to say yes instead of no.


Rejection, and the reasons why people say no to your business, can be an amazing tool that will help you make your business better. By thinking about all the reasons why and how a potential customer can reject your business or abandon the buying process, you learn to address those issues, and make it easy to say yes instead of no.

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Photo by sboneham