How Online Retailers can leverage the Psychology of e-shopping

Phase 1

Understanding the Psychology of e-shopping

 

E-commerce seems to be going only in one direction –upwards. Forrester has predicted it to account for almost one tenth of the total retail sales in US by 2017, which amounts to a whopping $370 billion. This is in effect to the increase in access to shopping via different mobile devices in this digital era. But at the same time, for this year, the shopping cart abandonment rate is predicted to be around 70% which is nothing less than a $3 trillion lost revenue for companies across the globe.So, what is the trick here? Is there a way, technology can help us in taking up this $3 trillion challenge?


The Buying Journey

 

Let’s look at how a consumer ends up doing an online shopping. Basically we can categorize e-shopping into two types:

 

• Impulsive buying
• Pre-decided buying

 

Digital marketing can help retailers in both of these cases using different techniques. Let’s see how we can do this.

Each of the above mentioned categories takes a different path to reach the shopping cart.


Impulsive buying

 

Many of the times, people actually visits a product page just because they have seen a great offer or have seen a nice piece of content over a social networking site. So, if the retailers can tap into these there channels, there is sure to be an increase in impulsive buyers. It might lead to even more abandonment rate of the shopping cart, but there are ways wherein it could be balanced out. We will discuss about that later.

 

For now, you can start with:

 

Churning out great content according to the social channel
Floating out some great looking ads/offers.


Pre-decided buying

 

These buyers have already a demand and know what they are looking for. The question is – are they looking for your website? If not, are your products showing up in their research? So, you should tap into these areas using two things:

 

Search Engine Optimization/Marketing – This will make your products visible, while the buyers are doing their basic search.

 

Website optimization – This will lead to more loyal buyers and increase in the direct traffic.

 

There are many factors which can influence the buying decision of a consumer. Some times we are not even aware of these. So, if we can grasp the psychology behind these decisions, we would be able to reformulate our strategies in a more consumer-oriented way.


The Buyers’ Behaviour

 

Let’s look at what the statistics have to show and we can easily make out what a buyer expects during his e-shopping experience. Focusing on these areas will definitely help out the retailers.


90 seconds assessment

 

On an average, this is the time spent by a buyer to decide, whether to buy or not. It clearly indicates that all the features which can influence the buyer in a positive way should be present in the product page. However, we should avoid information overflow also. May be a nice product image with access to reviews and basic product info is good to start with.On an average, this is the time spent by a buyer to decide, whether to buy or not. It clearly indicates that all the features which can influence the buyer in a positive way should be present in the product page. However, we should avoid information overflow also. May be a nice product image with access to reviews and basic product info is good to start with.


Craving for videos

 

Research shows that, 50% of customers have more confidence in buying the product if they see it in a video. Nothing fancy is needed here. Even a small 5-10 seconds video will work out, depending on your product.


Building upon reviews

 

As many as 85% pf the customers read online reviews before making any transaction. This is, needless to say, builds up the trust on the brand. So, get your good reviews out there.


Coupon mania

 

57% of the customers are believed to have completed the online transaction just because they had some coupon code. Otherwise, these numbers would have been just an addition to your bandoned cart figures.


Trustworthy payment processor

 

Even when the buyers have decided to do the transaction, they look for a trustworthy logo in the final page. 80% of the buyers said to have felt safer when they saw such a card logo being displayed on the website.


Last moment drop-outs

 

67.4% of the buyers will drop out at the last moment. That’s a very big no. And huge revenue lost. Research says that it has got to do with these factors –

  • Hidden charges at checkouts
  • Lengthy checkouts
  • Registering before checkouts
  • Uncertainty about delivery terms, shipping cost, return policy, etc.


Gear up your remarketing

 

Even if a potential buyer has dropped out, the opportunity is not lost yet. Take help of remarketing tools like Google, AdRoll, Facebook, etc. to keep attracting them. Research shows that, they are going to send 55% more the next time they visit your site. Remarketing helps in improving your conversion rates, which is usually just 3%.


Shipping is a big deal

 

Free shipping has become a ‘critical’ feature in today’s e-commerce. It encourages the buyers to add more products to their cart. More than 66% of them are going to buy even more, if the return shipping is also free.


Influence of Ads

 

Visual ads may seem tempting, but if you go by the stats, google search results are still the frontrunners. Organic searches are resulting in more than 80% of the sessions. So, it’s advisable to go for search engine marketing and optimization. But, other channels shouldn’t be avoided as 20% of the pie is still a big chunk. And more so, when you would like to start your ‘remarketing’. visual medium. Even though twitter accounts for a very less percentage of the sessions, the average order value coming from them is the highest. So you


Search engine result pages

 

You might have your google ads up and running, but if your ads are not showing on the first two pages, you are missing the whole point. Data shows that more than half of the consumers never go beyond these two pages (SERPs). So, keep optimizing your ads and keep a look at your ‘ad quality score’ in adwords. As for the organic part, you need to work towards a better landing page experience and use of relevant keywords.


Conclusion

 

With ecommerce growing up every year, it is up to the creative and effective strategies of retailers, which can help in preventing and responding to the cart abandonments. To summarize all the points, retailers just need to focus on two simple formulae: help to smoothly consummate the purchase and engage enough to imbibe loyal customers. So, are you ready to take up the $3 trillion challenge?


References:

  • http://mashable.com/2013/03/12/forrester-u-secommerce-forecast-2017/
  • http://www.salecycle.com/cart-abandonmentstats/
  • http://www.cpcstrategy.com/blog/2014/03/ why-are-shoppers-leaving-my-site/
  • http://www.iacquire.com/blog/study-onlineshopping-behavior-in-the-digital-era
  • http://www.getelastic.com/the-psychology-ofonline-checkout-infographic/
  • http://www.powerretail.com.au/research andintelligence/consumer-psychology-at-the-checkout/


5 Effective Strategies to convert your Online Store Visitors to Customers

Bring Them Back! Let’s accept the fact that most of the consumers don’t buy anything on their first visit. They need a lot of nurturing through different means to attract them back. These different touch points will help them convert from a mere visitor to a customer, but it might take different amount of time depending on your business. Let’s look at some of the tactics which can help you in converting your visitors into customers.

  • Follow up Emails

 

On an average 68% consumers will abandon their carts, which mean a lot of opportunity. Here, you are already sure that the users want those products as they have done a lot of research and added those items in the cart. If you can send a follow up email about their cart within 2-3 hours, it increases the chances of a complete transaction.

 

  • Retargeting

 

Retargeting helps in reinforcing your brand. If properly used, it acts like an alarm, tempting the customer to come back to your site right away. Tools like Google remarketing, AdRoll and Facebook remarketing are being used widely. It’s very easy to setup once your site is getting enough traffic. You can set rules, for your retargeting audience, depending upon which pages they are visiting.

 

  • Referral Marketing

 

Many of the retailers are using this strategy to get their most recent and happy customers talk about their purchase. Review/suggestion by a friend is still one of the crucial factors while making a purchasing decision. So, it’s quite an important area to harness upon. You can start giving offers like a $25 for referring to 50 friends or a 10% discount if a referral buys from your site, etc.

 

  • Signup Popups

 

Whatever said and done, email marketing still plays a crucial role in getting customers. So, if you can build your list through sign-ups, nothing better than that. Many retailers show a pop up at the beginning and ask for a sign up before navigating into the website. It might not work all the time as customers don’t like to provide their details before shopping. But you can ask them to subscribe as an optional measure. You can even give some cashback offers for doing so.

 

  • Upselling Products

 

This works a lot in online retail. For example, if a person a buying a camera and your product page recommends him camera batteries; he will certainly buy those too. So, you can come up with some combo packs which will upsell your secondary products easily. Forrester says that, such product recommendations are responsible for an average 10-30% of the revenue. There are many such tactics which you can build upon and start getting more customers and eventually more sales. Pricing still plays the lead role, but you can bank upon other psychological factors which can help in shooting up your sales. End of the day, all customers are human and we need to heed to their psychological needs as well. Watch them closely and you will know what they want from you.


Conclusion

 

E-commerce organizations want better conversion rates. What’s going to deliver higher conversion rates? Technology upgrades, data driven decision making and targeted marketing will help a lot.  They should have these techniques a try to see some dramatic improvements.


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