Don't let the anonymity of an electronic storefront scare away potential customers and drive them to use your site for product research alone. We'll share a few tips for reducing purchase anxiety and earning visitor trust.

Purchase Anxiety

The ease of purchase, breadth of products and depth of information that ecommerce offers ensures that it will continue to command larger and larger share of overall commerce marketplace. However, several hurdles slow that growth and allow brick and mortar establishments to keep their foothold.

Customers face several anxieties that sometimes make traditional commerce more appealing: digital storefronts limit their ability to see the product they are purchasing, electronic hard-sells make purchasing more stressful and they never get that reassuring face-to-face interaction with their merchant. So how can digital entrepreneurs help alleviate those anxieties?

Create a Detailed About Us Page

A detailed About Us page with staff photographs, company history and business philosophy reminds visitors that they are not dealing with a purely automated process. There are real people who select inventory, who had passionate dream that led them to create their business and who can help them if their product fails to meet their customer’s expectations.

Make Guarantees

Obviously, one of the best ways to reduce anxieties about purchase satisfaction is to guarantee satisfaction. Every shopper is looking for a product that helps solve a problem, so give them an expectation for how quickly your product will do just that; for example, advertise that your fuel additive with improve efficiency by X% over the course of X days.

By guaranteeing full refunds for products that fail to meet these promises—or even better, offering to pay for shipping on returned items—you can put your customers’ minds at ease. Just be sure to clarify the terms of your refund and what kind of proof the customer will need to provide.

Change Your Phrasing

There is a place for strong calls to action. If you have just written a 2,000 word article about how your plant food will produce prize-winning tomatoes in a matter of months, then you may wish to close with an equally strong, “Buy now to start your prize-winning garden today.”

This is the exception, though, not the rule. Less stressful “Proceed to Checkout” and “Add to Cart” buttons still provide a call to action without the stressful language of hype-filled marketing.

Use a Soft Add-to Cart Feature

A customer's anxiety spikes when an "Add to Cart" click takes them immediately to the checkout page. Their commitment to consider a product has suddenly transformed into a commitment to buy. Instead, employ a soft add-to cart feature, which allows customers to continue browsing and adding more products while leaving the decision to start the checkout process in their hands.

Showcase Testimonials and Get SaSy

Testimonials are your site's most powerful storytelling device. When possible, incorporate ratings and review from third party sites like Yelp and outside channels like Ebay and Amazon. Include a mixture of testimonial topics, from product quality to praise for fast shipping. Keep an eye out for reviews where customers go into detail about the ways they are using their new products; these will encourage your visitors to imagine themselves doing the same. You can encourage more such testimonials by placing focus in SaS (service after the sale). When customers respond favorably to the extra mile you have just walked, ask them if they would be open to sharing their positive experience in reviews and ratings.

If you are looking for more ways to increase your website's conversions and would like to see real-world recommendations for example sites, be sure to read our marketing checkup blog series.