How to Overcome the ‘What if?’ Syndrome

September 6th 2012       Sally Ormond       convincing customers to buy, over coming objections

Selling your products online is great. You can reach a vast market and remain open 24/7 – it doesn’t get much better than that. Bulding confidence in yoru buyers

But for buyers, the internet is fraught with uncertainty. After all, if they buy from a High Street store, they can chat with staff, see the product they’re going to buy, pay for it and take it away there and then. But buying online is very different:

  • There is no one immediately available to answer your questions
  • You can only see a picture of what you’re buying rather than the real thing
  • You can’t touch the product
  • Although you can pay straight away, you have to wait for it to be delivered

Basically, you’re giving your money to a company with no human face for something you’ve not yet received.

It’s not surprising then, that so many online purchases are aborted before payment is taken.

Stopping the ‘what if..?’ syndrome

The ‘what if?’ syndrome is the uncertainty experienced by online shoppers:

  • What if can’t get back to the web page I need if I click this link?
  • What if I don’t like the product when it arrives?
  • What happens if the company goes bust and I don’t get my goods?
  • What if they sell my details to someone else?

If you want them to have confidence to buy from you, you have to overcome these fears and show them that shopping with you is safe.

How to reassure them

The key is to offer reassurance every step of the buying process. That means from the moment they land on your website right  through to receiving their order confirmation email.

1. Testimonials

Showing sound bites from real customers will offer reassurance. If they can read about other peoples’ satisfaction it will put their mind at ease.

2. Privacy policy

One of the main barriers to people buying online is the fear that their details will be passed on to third parties. Reassure them by having a prominent link to your privacy policy and show that their privacy is important to you.

3. Simple ordering

If your ordering process is complex people won’t bother.

Make it as simple as possible and test it my getting some less-than-savvy-techies (friends or relatives) to test it for you.

4. Payment systems

Use reputable payment partners if you want people to part with their card details. Also, offer a variety of payment options so there’s something to suit everyone.

5. Guarantee

A money back guarantee will always add an extra bit of reassurance.

6. Be real

There’s nothing more off putting than a website without a physical address, phone number or clear email address. Make sure it is easy for your customers to get hold of you should they need to.

7. Click points

Throughout your website there will be various ‘clicks’ that have to be made to navigate your shop. Draft in those less-than-savvy-techies once more to test them for you to make sure they are clear and your customer knows what they have to do.

8. Awards

If you have won awards, display them on your website. Likewise, any press coverage you’ve received will all help the confidence of your buyer. And the more confident in you they are, the more likely they are to buy from you.

 

Tags: convincing customers to buy, over coming objections
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