When you’re getting ready to place an order online, what thoughts go through your mind? This question may seem strange at first. But here’s the thing, if you can boil down your responses to their most basic ideas, you can better serve your customers.
Shoppers go through a process before deciding to place an order online. If we tap into this process by looking inward, we can bring comfort to new visitors and convert them into customers.
After plenty of self-reflection and research, I’ve narrowed my list to 5 things visitors consider before placing an order. If you’re willing to pay close attention to these factors and improve over time, you’ll have an easier time connecting with prospects and growing your small business.
The first and most obvious factor people consider before placing an order is the direct benefits.
I like simplifying this idea into one basic question; “What’s in it for me?”
Before someone dreams of pulling out their debit card, they want to know if their purchase is a worthwhile investment. In other words, are they buying something that will legitimately improve their quality of life and offer noticeable benefits?
When creating landing pages, product descriptions, articles, and social media posts, ask yourself how what you’re sharing directly benefits potential customers. If you can’t come up with at least one tangible benefit, it may be time to go back to the drawing board and rework your copywriting.
At the end of a video, blog post, or social media post, users should be able to explain your product’s benefits. If users don’t understand how purchasing a product or service from your website will help, why would they bother with the effort?
Next, let’s talk about context. It’s not always enough to tell users how your product will improve their lives. In many cases, you need to add context to your benefits so users understand what situations they can resolve by shopping with your business.
For example, a lead generation SaaS would likely publish plenty of blog content and videos discussing lead generation mistakes and actionable advice for boosting email subscribers. If one of your tips is to use the product you’re offering, you’ve officially tied your product to a user pain point.
I believe blogging is still the best way to grow your leads, show off your product, and add additional context. The reason is that blogging is extremely flexible, which makes it easy to create relevant content.
Research shows that businesses that blog outperform those that don’t. In fact, blogging businesses had around 2,000% more leads than non-blogging brands!
When visitors understand the context around your brand, they feel more comfortable signing up for your newsletter and making purchases.
Did you know that 88% of online shoppers trust reviews from strangers just as much as they trust personal recommendations? This startling statistic speaks volumes about the power of social proof.
Social proof is our tendency to do something because we see other people doing the same thing. In marketing, social proof is used to convince first-time visitors to place an order or further engage with a brand.
I mentioned reviews at the beginning of this section for a reason; they are regarded as the strongest form of social proof. People want to see what kind of experiences existing customers had when they purchased your product. Showcasing reviews on your site’s landing pages and other key parts can instill confidence and turn hesitant visitors into happy shoppers.
Reviews are just one kind of social proof. Live sales notifications are another viable way to build trust. Sales notifications pop up when a user engages with your site. So, if a visitor is looking at a product and someone decides to purchase that product, the person browsing will see the alert.
These seemingly small cues are important for showing users that your brand is reputable and worth their time.
Ease of Access
If you want people to place an order on your website, you must ensure your site is easily accessible.
Visitors will quickly leave your site if it’s unresponsive or missing key features. Luckily, there are plenty of small changes you can make that will have a tremendous impact on user engagement.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a mobile-friendly theme, form builder, and template. Over half of all internet browsing happens on smartphones.
- Optimize your checkout page by including a progress bar and an “always on” shopping cart.
- Offer incentives for shoppers like free shipping, gifts with select purchases, and add-ons like classes or guides.
- Improve loading times. The average person will leave a website if a page takes 2 seconds or longer to load.
- Make your content easy to navigate by including categories. If people can find relevant information, they will likely place an order.
Robust Support Options
The last tip I want to talk about today is support options. Customer support is more important than ever before. A shopper will immediately leave for a competitor if they reach out to ask a question and no one is there to help them.
In my experience, offering omnichannel support is the best way to build a robust support system. In other words, users should be able to get answers to their questions whether they are on your website, visiting your social media page, or reaching out through email.
You can start one of these plans by merging live chat with chatbots/resource centers. Having a live team on standby 24 hours a day is not ideal. However, if you use a chatbot to fill in the gaps, you’ll have more chances to meet the needs of your audience.
I recommend using automation to trigger conversations on your website and social. Ensure people know you are there and are willing to answer questions; you can give potential customers some much-needed peace of mind.
Back to You
Do these 5 factors align with what you look for when buying a product online? There are plenty of parallels that you can pursue on your marketing journey. My last piece of advice for you is this; don’t be afraid to talk to your customers and revise your outreach/marketing efforts over time. Your customers' needs will change, and you need to adapt if you want to keep them interested in your products or services.
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