In my view, customers generally arrive on a site aiming to make a transaction.
Essentially they already know, at least roughly, what they want to buy.
You just need to remove the objections that prevent them from carrying out the transaction.
This ‘objection handling’ concept should cover a lot of your thinking about your site.
There are many objections to making a transaction. The objections depend on a number of things and may vary according to a customer’s location. International objections can be different to domestic objections.
Some objections are more expensive and harder to remove than others. Some may be things that you cannot — or will not — move on, such as price or postage cost.
However, one of the biggest obstacles that you need to overcome is a customer’s distrust. This is simple to understand. You must generate TRUST.
Can the customer trust you enough to part with their money? Can they trust you to deliver their orders safely? To deal with any issues that might arise, such as returns?
You can see this same trust issue in many other online marketplaces — eBay ratings, Amazon ratings and so forth. It requires a lot of faith to buy from someone on eBay who has no seller ratings.
The issue that eBay faces is the same issue that your business website faces — how can the customer know that they can trust you enough to make their transaction?
Obviously, there are some fundamentals that you need to get right to ensure that a sale is possible. Having a well-designed and credible website is essential. Providing good product data, although it can be a huge job, is a must for conversion.
However having the equivalent of an eBay rating on your site is also a key priority.
Using a third party such as Trustpilot is a great way to do this. Third-party ratings provide a visually strong means of showing feedback from other customers that have purchased from you.
Such third-party affirmations are a must for retail websites. They are a core piece of visual collateral that you should use again and again in your messaging.
They are key to your objection-handling strategy.
Remember, in the absence of perfect information, people copy. If they see that other customers are happy to buy from you, the likelihood is that they can trust you — they will be happy as well.
You must exploit this.
Third-party affirmations such as Trustpilot have a fantastic return on investment. They help to generate trust. And trust improves your conversion rate.