Influences on e-buying01/06/2020
Nearly 90 percent of people say online reviews both positive and negative influence their buying decisions, according to Marketing Land. Most people as many as 6 out of 10 global consumers point to their friends’ social media posts as one of the biggest influences on their purchase choices. Aside from Facebook and other social media, online review sites are the most common resource for finding out what others think about a company. Hoping to score some positive reviews? Include a call to action encouraging your happy customers to leave a positive review on the site of their choice!
Positive User Experience on a Site
So what exactly influences a purchase decision online? Putting aside product specific factors (e.g., quality, multiple product options, special sizes, new products) an analysis by Big Commerce found the top influencers in order of importance are:
- free shipping
- easy returns
- customer reviews
- visual search
- excellent navigation
- easy checkout
Since free shipping and easy returns have a big impact, if you offer them make sure to prominently display such on the site. Half of all shoppers use smart phones to look up companies, product reviews and price comparisons while they’re actually in the store shopping. That means your site had better be responsively designed for all mobile devices so customers can get to the information they need quickly. Anything that can make the purchasing process easier or more affordable for consumers is a step in the right direction.
Analyzing Your Customers’ Buying Decisions
There are steps you can take learn about your particular customers buying decisions and in turn positively influence them. First off, there are many online tools and resources available to assist you in tracking who visits your site, where they came from and what they bought or didn’t buy. Google’s Universal Analytics offers a new and enhanced in-depth ecommerce reporting tool that allows you to delve deeper into learning about Ecommerce shopping behavior and merchandising. You can access charts that detail revenues and conversion rates, key financials, products per transaction, sales by affiliate, top revenue-producing sources and much more.
Stay Active on Social Media
There are other things you can do on your end to positively influence buying decisions. Because many people listen to what their friends say about products and companies on social media, it’s important to not only get on social media, but to be active on social media.
See what people are saying about your business and make a habit of responding to them. Research keywords being used to talk about your product, then get in on the conversation to find out more and give consumers what they want. Get knowledgeable about your business and write thoughtful, engaging blogs that show consumers you not only sell stuff, but you know all about the industry, too. Become an information powerhouse and educate potential buyers to help them form early purchase decisions, advises the Small Business Administration.
Previous research showed that purchasing behavior is also affected by demographics, channel knowledge, and shopping orientation. However, there are many factors that are observable which can lend to having higher transaction rates and having a glimpse into shopping behaviors.
Financial risk is always the number one concern of individuals who are shopping online. Financial risk is defined as the perception that a certain amount of money could be lost while purchasing or making a product work properly from an online purchase. Certain age groups are more concerned with their security and privacy of their bank account information. Millennials are more likely to be less concerned than older generations who behave more skeptical in making online purchases. Furthermore, the potential to have your personal financial information disclosed from a transaction online is a very real concern. Shoppers are experiencing perceived risks for the potential loss they may experience while shopping online.
The bonus of shopping in a traditional brick and mortar store is being able to have the product in front of the customer. This gives the opportunity to manage the expectations that a customer has when they are purchasing a product. When an ecommerce business gives accurate descriptions of products and the ability to zoom in on the product pictures to give the client an accurate expectation of the product. Due to the limited information that is sometimes presented to consumers they lose the inability to evaluate the quality of the product.
Convenience is the best aspect of online shopping. This is the major reason why individuals feel that online shopping is a major benefit in their lives because it saves them time throughout the day. Instead of having to go out and take extra time shopping for a product individuals are able to save their time and spend it doing things they actually want to be doing. With such a high variety of different types of stores there is just about every type of product available online.
Although this isn’t a common occurrence while shopping online not receiving their products after purchasing them online is a common fear shoppers share. Potential loss of a delivery is where goods are lost or damaged and create a fear in customers that they would not receive their goods on the agreed time frame that the business stated. There are many factors that affect whether or not the customer receives their delivery for example improper shipping and handling during transportation. With the variety of possibilities that can go wrong the consumer may not complete a transaction based on delivery promises. Easing customer’s minds on shipping and non-delivery is by giving accurate updates on when they should expect the product they ordered.
Lastly, the ultimate “get out of the purchase card” is the infamous return policy. The return policy is the most important thing that gives customers the ability to return an unwanted item or purchase that doesn’t measure up to their expectations or needs. Without a proper return policy, a customer’s shopping behavior is severely stunted because they are forced to put too much faith into the ecommerce business, which is hard to achieve due to deception and falsely described products. There is nothing worse for the consumer than receiving a product and feeling like their money was wasted because the product doesn’t measure up to expectations.
Cultural differences and biases toward online shopping are prevalent with online stores being present in many countries around the world. Each societies value system is different, but it is the ecommerce company’s responsibility to provide an atmosphere that gives confidence to the buyer. With 43% of buyers coming from non-English speaking countries there are many different cultural differences that need to be accounted for. Understanding the relationship that the consumer has with online shopping and the Internet in particular can affect consumer behavior.
Individual shopping behaviors are hard to predict, but providing the rudimentary needs of a customer and communicating properly all of the products information can minimize the behavior of not purchasing products. By eliminating the obvious risks and concerns that the average consumer has on a social-technical platform it reduces unnecessary hindrances that aren’t personal.