In a world filled with choices and decisions, it’s only natural for customers to have doubts and hesitation when shopping online. Customer hesitation often pushes consumers to do more research and compare businesses with their competitors before making a final decision. That means businesses need to work harder to convert customers or risk losing them, a troubling predicament.
Overcoming customer hesitation is all about beating the competition by letting shoppers know that you’re the right choice for them. Easier said than done, sure. But that’s what we’re here for.
Here are 4 ways you can stop consumers from hesitating, and convince them that you are what they are looking for.
1. Minimise purchase risk, increase that FOMO (fear of missing out)
Consumers tend to buy more when faced with excellent limited offers. Why? Because fear is a powerful emotion and consumers are scared of missing out. That presents companies with opportunities.
A Baymard study showed that 61% of people abandoned their carts because extra costs, like shipping fees, were too high.
So what if companies offered free shipping or additional discounts?
Hesitant customers who are ready to leave the website and do more research before purchasing are more likely to buy from you if they are offered a special discount at checkout. If you’re worried your visitor won’t reach the checkout phase, why not set up a flash offer across your website?
ASOS often offers discounts for 24 hours, incentivising consumers to make a purchase in a short period of time. This strategy can be duplicated often because the length of the promotion is so short.
Eve Mattress offers all first time visitors £100 off their basket, and 100 nights to try it out at home, with free returns if it’s not right for them. Casper, another mattress company, provides a similar offer.
With that kind of deal, it seems impossible for visitors to hesitate any longer. These types of offers create massive FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage shoppers to finish their purchase journey quicker.
The 100-night test guarantee is called a “risk reversal strategy” that reduces your customers’ fears by getting them to commit to purchase whilst giving them the option to return the item for free if they’re not satisfied. By offering the product as a trial, for free, and with free returns guaranteed, the customer hardly has a reason to turn it down because there’s no risk involved.
Risk reversal takes many forms. Companies can offer:
- free returns
- free shipping
- a lifetime guarantee
- a risk-free trial
- a free product with a purchase
Implementing any type of risk reversal strategy can help soothe your visitors’ concerns instantly and turn the dial up on your profits.
2. Get ahead of consumer questions with reviews
Over 92% of consumers read online reviews, making reviews a powerful tool to convert visitors into customers and to reduce customer hesitation. Online reviews improve customer confidence and eliminate doubt directly on-site because they answer the questions consumers have as they move through the purchase journey.
Fabletics’ website is a good example of how integrating online reviews with your website allows you to boost consumer confidence by ensuring that trust is at every stage of the customer journey.
Including third-party validation to your website will discourage visitors from leaving to do some more research, and encourage them to trust you instead, which can result in a higher overall conversion rate.
Online reviews sum up the customer experience and encourage hesitant shoppers to make better and smarter choices during their buying journey by offering simple and authentic guidance. By having the customer experience communicated in a straightforward manner, the savvy, heavy-on-the-research customer has their questions answered on site, reducing hesitation, and speeding up checkout.
3. Listen to your customers and improve their experience
Word of mouth travels fast, making excellent customer experience a must for businesses looking to eliminate customer hesitation. With consumers’ expectations getting higher, a successful customer experience strategy has become essential to any eCommerce business’s strategy.
But how do you define a good customer experience? Customer experience is how customers perceive their interactions with your company. The ideal experience should be seamless and as enjoyable as possible from the visitor’s point of view, which means you should understand what your customers want and exceed those expectations.
Customers seek third-party validation when making an online purchase, and that’s why word of mouth and brand reputation are two of the most important things companies should include at every touch point of their customer journey to eliminate doubt once and for all. By delivering a great customer journey, you're improving your visitor’s experience, making it more likely for you to improve your brand’s reputation.
Topshop improved their customer experience by changing the shipping fees and conditions after their customers complained about shipping costs:
Listening to customers can help companies adapt their business’s strategy to their customers’ demands and needs. By keeping an eye on the entire journey, businesses are making sure that the customer experience is also building trust and confidence and therefore eliminating customer hesitation.
4. Leverage the personal connection by investing in referral marketing
Did you know that people are 4 times more likely to buy from a business when referred by a friend? Word of mouth remains one of the best methods of recommendation, and the perfect tool to eliminate customer hesitation. Businesses that tap into their existing customers’ interactions and relationships by leveraging a referral program are more likely to turn hesitant shoppers into customers.
Not only is it more cost effective than traditional marketing, but it also means businesses can rely on word of mouth and customer advocates, increasing the chance of success. By saving on costs and resources, companies can spend their time and money improving other areas of their business.
I know, we keep mentioning it, but it's true: consumers research a lot before making a purchase decision. Referrals shorten the customer journey and encourage visitors to trust a business instantly based on a friend or a relative’s experience. We talk about how reviews provide an authentic experience of a company - referrals are more like personalised recommendations, making them extremely successful when effective.
Check out how Airbnb encourages users to refer and invite friends with an easy-to-share personalised code:
Here’s why it works:
- Airbnb makes sending a referral easy on the referrer’s side.
- By providing a discount, the referred consumer has an incentive to move forward with their purchase
- Because it’s a referral and used by someone the consumer knows, they already know the company and their service is trustworthy.
Referral marketing helps companies build trust, credibility, and loyalty quicker. Customer referrals have become a powerful tool for businesses to use in order to eliminate customer hesitation, so don’t be afraid to ask for referrals!
The digital environment is constantly changing, and retailers are finding it more difficult to convert new visitors into customers.
Lack of trust and competition are affecting the decision-making process, increasing customer hesitation, and encouraging doubt and cart abandonment. Consumers can easily compare brands by costs, customer experience and more, making it extremely difficult for businesses to stand out and turn hesitant shoppers into new customers.
Delivering a seamless customer experience, offering great discounts and offers, as well as implementing reviews and referrals as part of your business strategy are some of the best ways to reduce customer hesitation for good. Be diligent, plan, and test these new strategies is to ensure you find the right solution both for your customers and your business!