5 proven strategies to overcome buyer hesitation
“Just looking around.” — Those who have never said those words have never been to a clothing store. The “just thinking” visitors are the nightmare of an e-merchant. The aim is to make them purchase the product but you are not there in person to assist them, to encourage them. On the other hand, this does not mean that you cannot push them with other tools.
We are going to discuss these tools one by one so that you can build an ecommerce store where the customers will not need to think because you will create an irresistible desire in them to purchase, and if they hesitated anyway, it will be you, guiding their thoughts.
How can you push the visitor?
The customer who sees the product, immediately knows he or she needs it and buys it instantly, is the dream of the online store owner. This is practically an anomaly, because such customers scarcely come near to the website.
Why should you apply “customer pushing”?
It is simple: by urging them you can make the customers start thinking differently about an offer. Behavioural analysts found that when people find themselves in a situation where it is necessary to act urgently, consideration plays a smaller role and they tend to act quickly and instinctively. (Of course all this is not too surprising.)
You can create such a desired situation in case of an ecommerce store if you make it clear that if the customers delay the decision, they will miss the discount or even the product itself.
1) Choose your words carefully
The most basic method is to choose the wording of your offers in a way that they urge or rush your customers a little.
The key is to make the customers’ problems your priority, to try meeting their needs. Write the text in a way so that it is not a question whether the customer needs the product.
Present the advantages first and not the characteristics, show them how you can solve their problems.
Use words that make them impatient so they cannot wait to add the product to the cart.
Such words may be for example “hurry”, the “last”, “right away”, “immediately”, “don’t miss” and so on. Obviously, you should avoid making the impression that you just want to shove the product down their throats: once you urge them to purchase, you need to thoroughly explain why.
In case you want to find out what kind of words and expressions may work best with a given audience, all you have to do is to listen to them: monitor what kind of words they are using in social forums, in their letters they write to your customer service. And of course run A/B tests, examine which versions work best.
2) Limited offers
Rarity of a product by itself may be enough to encourage purchasing. You do not need to set a deadline or urge conspicuously: it is enough to display next to the product that only # pieces are left in stock.
Do not display only how many are left in total: use an active counter that continuously shows how many of the given product is currently left in stock.
This specifically works well when you come up with something new: a new type of a product, a transformed service, and so on. If something is new, still, only a few of it is available, it will become more desirable as well.
Of course you can even place a countdown clock next to the product: this is how you show until when a certain special offer is valid, or until what time a product can be purchased.
You may benefit a lot from limiting the number of products or the time because you will have a good chance of selling the stock out.
The bid is also a type of a limited offer: you may enter a product for auction with a limited number and you position it as being premium from some point of view, so that the customers compete for it. You may already be familiar with the bidding sites, so you might as well know that this tactic works extremely well, but only if you are capable of generating the demand.
In order for your customers to compete for a product by bidding each other out, they need to think that the given product is of great value for them – this may be a completely unique product, the very last piece of a popular series or something like that.
3) Take advantage of the colour theory
Let us go through the effects of the colours only briefly as one could write monographs on their psychological effects (as many people already have). The point is the following: different colours are proven to have different effects on the brain. That is why at certain workplaces special attention is paid to the wall tones or to having enough green shades in a room.
Blue builds trust, grey creates boredom. Green makes us think about money and (how surprising) nature. OK, but how can you use this for selling?
Red, orange and the various shades of these create the feeling of urgency. They incite people to take action.
Of course you do not need to dress your complete page in red: it is enough if you use it in the strategically important places. You can use a red arrow that points to the CTA (Call to Action) button. Or you can colour the CTA button itself to red.
Let us mention here as well: make sure that the CTA and other main visual elements facilitating the sales are of a colour contrasting with the colour of the background.
Urgency can be evoked in extremely diversified ways. You can offer
- a product during a given time period,
- only a given quantity of a product,
- a daily/weekly offer or discount,
- an immediate, “behavioural” discount,
- conditional free delivery.
When does urging fail?
Just like any other marketing techniques, urging may also fail.
In particular when at the end you sound like a car salesman who promises the world together with all the stars in the sky if the potential customer is willing to give him his or her money.
Usually honesty is the key. You do not need to lie about a pair of shoes saying that it can even fly and it change its colour like a chameleon: if it is really perfectly waterproof and comfortable and you can also write an effective text in which you do not lie to those who are interested, you can convince them straight away. After that you only need to communicate that their chances of getting the product are limited.
Talking about honesty: if you say that a product is the very last piece, it should really be the last one. Do not display on the product data sheet that there are only 4 pieces left of a given product if in two days you reset the counter to 200. Likewise, you should not make a “one-time offer” that you will make again the next week.
A reason for failure may also be that you do not provide enough information in the CTA, that your text is way too vague. If the users do not know exactly what to expect in the next phase of the purchase, it is less likely that they will proceed with it.
4) Strengthen buying intention
Use opinions and reviews
Do you know why it is important that the users can comment on your website, that you operate a customer service (and react actively) and so on?
Not only because this way you can provide an opportunity to get feedback on your own interface. But also because you can use the positive opinions (after asking for approval). For example by placing a testimonial close to the CTA you will strengthen the intention to purchase in case of those who are hesitating.
You can encourage user reviews also by making your audience vote. If you are not sure that all your products are of top quality – well, you have fundamental problems in this case, but let’s not get into this now.
You can also choose not to ask the users to rate but to actually make them vote: they can mark the products they like with a point, a star, a plus sign or anything. Which company applies perfectly this system that gives space only to positive opinions? Facebook. This is why you will never click on the dislike button on this social networking site.
You can make a top list of the most popular products, this way the new visitors can always see what kinds of products your previous customers liked the most. Furthermore, you might as well grant a small discount on the actual X most popular products of the week.
Talk as much as needed
Having text content on the product page is a must, even storytelling can be an option.Storytelling can be your most powerful tool in sales. Click To Tweet
How can you sell a black turtleneck sweater?
Your father has already worn it. Steve Jobs made it immortal.
And you immediately have the thing that makes your not-at-all-special product really special.
Of course the more expensive the offer is, the more complex it is, the more convincing, in other words, the more text you will need. Tell a story about how the hiking shoes saved you (yes, you personally) in the Rockies from falling down a cliff. Or about how you got rid of stress thanks to a processor because you could do your work more quickly or Call of Duty stopped stuttering at last.
The point is to make the experience personal, so give a story to the readers in connection with the product they have not even bought yet, which will make them feel the product closer to their heart.
Product attributes can come only after that.
5) Monitor behaviour
What did the customers do in the past?
Monitor continuously who bought what on your website. When somebody visits you the next time, on the front page show them the offers that may be the most interesting to them: personalize the content. (Of course this will be much easier if you persuade them to register, however, you should never make that a requirement for the purchase.)
You can introduce package offers based on past purchases: if somebody regularly buys deodorant and soap together, just to make a simple example, offer them an exclusive deal for a package with a 5 percent discount.
What are they doing now?
You should also monitor what the visitors are doing right when they are on your website. You can use extra tools to be able to do that.
Like a chat window in which a message pops up (not in a disturbing way) when it is already the third time the visitor returns to the same page, saying “if you have questions about the # product, do not hesitate to write us!”
If somebody wants to leave your website, in other words if you notice that the cursor is moving towards the upper right part of the page, quickly display a pop-up window in which you present them an immediate offer: if they buy from you after all, they will be granted free delivery or something extra but only if they purchase the product immediately.
Remind them in email
You notice that a lead, whose e-mail address you know, already have viewed a product multiple times but in the end he did not purchase it? Send him an email after a few days.
You can offer him some kind of discount in this message as well, or you can just simply ask whether he is curious about something in connection with the product.
The point is to remind him that he needs the given product and try to make him feel that now it is actually worth purchasing the product (urging techniques can work well here as well: you can remind him that there are only a few pieces left of the product he is interested in.)
Almost everyone hesitates when it comes to spending money – this is natural. Your mission is to overcome this hesitation, in which
- a well written marketing text
- the smartly created design
- urging, limited offers
- extensions like pop-up windows or chat
- your various marketing channels
and almost all online marketing tools that you have access to can assist you.
The secret is to plan all your campaigns thoroughly, and to always stay honest. Once that is done, all you have to do is find a great product to sell immediately.
If you would like to read about shopper conversion improvement tips, we recommend you this article: 12 proven tips that can raise ecommerce store conversion in 2016
Digital Marketing Manager
Gábor started working for AionHill as a Magento eCommerce project manager. After 6 years, he joined the restructured Marketing Team. His main responsibilities are content strategy and communications partnership management. Gábor has two kids, likes cooking traditional Hungarian meals and playing strategy and online role playing games.