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7 Lessons I Learned About How To Convince Customers To Buy Online

It all started with my E-commerce class where I learn to design an e-commerce website, how to affect customer behaviors online and direct their efforts into buying my group’s products. It’s interested that some of the concepts I see people apply all the times are actually something I’m learning right now. I would really like to sum up all of the points in the course, my thoughts on seller and buyer’s perspective so you can draw your own way to persuade people to buy your products online.

Show trust in handling credit card data

trust in handling credit card data

Before you sell something, be a buyer first. Put yourself into a shoe of a novice buyer who doesn’t know a lot about online shopping. The question is, how do you trust a website that they will handle your financial information correctly?

Be smart. There are several ways you can show buyers that you’re a reliable merchandiser and you won’t do anything harm to your customers by:

  • Register a SSL certificate. SSL certificate proves you are who you say you are. SSL certificate also helps you secure transmission data between clients and servers. The cost of one SSL certificate often fall in range of $199 (Geotrust) and $499 (Verisign) per year.

Tip: Purchase your own SSL certificate is expensive if you’re a small blogger, so you can try E-junkie, Google checkout and Paypal to sell your items. They are very secured way to handle transactions

  • Put up a sign that indicates customers transaction will be %100 secured and safe with you. I know there are some times when buyers have to buy an item any way but when you put it up, buyers will feel much more confident to you.

Have a clear privacy policy

privacy policy

You should have a clear privacy policy for your store. Privacy policy will make the customers feel safer because they know you will not sell/trade their private information like name, email address, real address and phone number to outsiders. A privacy policy will also help you stay out of trouble if there’s any legal concerns with your store.

If you do not know how to write one, that’s totally fine. There are plenty writing services that you can hire to write one for you. Surf forums like WarriorForum and you may end up with 2 or 3 services that can help you handle this.

Offer free shipping charges

Offer free shipping charges

You don’t have to worry about free shipping charges for your digital products since most of them are free to download (Do you really intend to charge them?)

Free shipping charges play strong psychological effect on people’s minds. When they shop online, they tend to miscalculate the shipping charge, so when the total amount comes up which may exceed their budgets and price range, they will walk away.

Offer free shipping charges is the answer.

When I sell things on eBay, I tend to offer free shipping all the time. Mostly because my items are small. Not mentioning about eBay gives me nice icon that says free shipping, all of the items that have zero charges on shipping sold more, both quantity and bid price. So, if you can offer free shipping for customers, go for it.

Show them this is a limited time offer

limited time offer

Shoppers have a tendency to hurry when they see items that are offered at low prices for limited time. Are you hurry and try to get your family to stores at 7AM on Black Friday to get cheapest items at JC Penny?

Limited time offer also plays huge psychological effect on customers’ minds because if they don’t act fast, that items will go away. You can create a sense of hurry on your store by placing a count-down timer, highlighting limited time offer words. Just be sure that when you say limited time offer, you mean it.

Provide them a chance to try out product/service before they actual buy it

try products before buy

One of the drawback of online shopping is that you can’t touch, feel, smell and taste products. One way to solve this problem is offer the chance for customers to try before they buy them.

In Internet marketing niche, there are lots of people try this way and they all achieve somewhat success. TrafficTravis allows you to pay $5 to examine the pro version. Market Samurai gives up 7 days to try for free. It’s a good tip to follow.

Have a clear return/refund policy

clear refund policy

Most sales pages I visited drive me crazy because they don’t have a clear return/refund policy. I still remembered how struggled I was to find contact information on a website to make a refund and at last, I ended up with Clickbank representative.

So, one thing you can beat your competitors and convince customers to buy is have a clear return/refund policy. It will make you a lot like professional seller in customers’ eyes.

Cross-sell interested and related items

cross sell productsEven if your items won’t sold, don’t forget to follow-up customers by related items and cross-sell items.

Related items are items that often come in-pair with the products you are selling. For instance: a bag of tortilla chips often comes with salsa dip.

Cross-sell items are items that customers may be interested in checking out. For instance: if you buy a bag of tortilla chips, you may be interested in checking out a BBQ potato chips.

So, offering cross and related items can not only help you boost sale, but also convince buyers to buy online as well.

“Professional ecommerce development can really improve trust, leading to higher conversions, assuming all other elements are in place.”

What’re your thoughts?

Is there anything that I left out? What are you thoughts about this?

My name is Mike and I'm the owner of eBlogCamp, which dedicates to help fellow bloggers succeed in increasing traffic, building backlinks and making profitable amount of money from blog. Besides blogging, I also love cooking and I'm a pretty good cook myself. Visit me at my blog eBlogCamp.com and learn great deal about blogging with each other.

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{ 35 comments… add one }

  • Alec Turner September 24, 2012, 3:14 am

    Good topics covered on Online Ecommerce. Convincing customers and building trust among them plays an important part to get satisfied customers. Because they are the one who can be your regular customers and such a huge group helps in brand building through social awareness.We can build a brand through advertising means but customer’s reviews and their trust on the brand will lead you to the next level.

  • Karan December 7, 2010, 3:52 am

    Buyers like me are really concerned about our privacy, and I would definitely buy the product if it assures me some kind of security and a promise to maintain my privacy.
    I think applying all these tips can really increase our sales exponentially.
    Karan recently posted..Your First Steps to BloggingMy Profile

  • TJ McDowell
    Twitter:
    November 15, 2010, 9:13 pm

    I think that try it before you buy it is expensive for most items purchased on the internet. I’ve found myself going to a store to see an item knowing that I was planning to purchase online. That probably isn’t fair to the store that had to stock the item, but there are some items that I wouldn’t buy online before I held them in my hand.
    TJ McDowell recently posted..Photography – To Specialize Or Not To SpecializeMy Profile

  • Siddharth Goyal November 13, 2010, 12:31 pm

    I think the point about free shipping is a good one. It often boils my blood on ebay when I see an item priced at something and then when I am about to check out, they charge extra for shipping.

    Refund policy reminds me: Yikes. I have to make mine! So thanks :)
    Siddharth Goyal recently posted..Dirt Cheap Advertising- Use Your Car to Promote Your BrandMy Profile

  • Alex November 12, 2010, 3:41 pm

    One additional point could be: sell quality products and try to make the customer feel like he could always contact someone if their products it’s not up to par.
    Because if you build trust and sell low quality products, not only you lose what you struggled to build but you won’t be seeing that customer back, and they won’t recommended you to other, or they can give bad recommendation to others.

    This are all my opinions I have no experience in such things, but your guidelines are definitely the way to go.
    Alex recently posted..Camionul de salvareMy Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 6:02 pm

      That’s good input Alex; always have Online Chat or Contact us button on the e-commerce site to show how customers can contact you if they have questions. That’s the great way to build trust because customers will feel you’ll by their side and willing to support them whenever they need.

      Thanks for the comment, Alex. Have a great day :)
      Mike recently posted..1633 Words On How To Build Backlinks to Your Blog With Web Directories The Longest Guide Ive Written So FarMy Profile

      • Dennis Edell November 13, 2010, 9:31 am

        Not so fast. rethink the online chat unless you or someone you hire can man it full time. Many people put it up there thinking just the sight of it is good enough; “no one will actually use it”…

        Wrong.

        Make sure someone is there at all times.
        Dennis Edell recently posted..Time for YOU to Play Catch-Up! While I Launch Two Blogs -My Profile

        • Mike November 13, 2010, 6:05 pm

          Yeah, I also think if you are doing business alone and don’t have time during the day to chat online, put up a ticket system so that customers can send in tickets and you can answer them at your earliest convenience. I have made a mistake a long time ago to put up an online chat while I could not commit to be online 8 hours a day and I felt every bad about it.
          Mike recently posted..1633 Words On How To Build Backlinks to Your Blog With Web Directories The Longest Guide Ive Written So FarMy Profile

          • Dennis Edell November 14, 2010, 9:19 am

            By ticket system, I assume you mean help desk, yes?

            Please be careful with that as well; be sure to set yourself apart from the jump as someone who responds as quickly as possible.

            Those of us around long enough have come to know help desks as an easy way for marketers to ignore people as long as possible…they all come with there own set of excuses, almost as if packaged with it.

            Perhaps one day I’ll need one, dunno, for the time being though i simply use and recommend normal email.
            Dennis Edell recently posted..The Forum Signature Link Technique You Haven’t HeardMy Profile

  • Dennis Edell November 12, 2010, 11:57 am

    Being in direct sales myaself, I’d say you’re spot on.

    One thing I’d mention, when you do do things like “limited time only” or anything similar, make sure it actually IS. many Internet marketers treat customers like fools, thinking they won’t remember or something.

    Uh huh, how many of the same One Time Offers do you see again and again?
    Dennis Edell recently posted..How To Close Comments On a Post by Post BasisMy Profile

  • Patricia
    Twitter:
    November 12, 2010, 7:02 am

    Hi Mike

    This is on topic for me cos I’ve just opened an e-commerce store. I got a techie to set it up as that is not my forte. As a blogger I have built up trust with my readers over the past few months writing articles on my blog, interacting with my readers and visiting other blogs and joining in the conversation through blog commenting.

    I have now begun to do product reviews and my readers are now visiting my shop and having a look around. I am also selling the products off line and though it has only begun, the feedback has been good.

    Patricia Perth Australia
    Patricia recently posted..Lavender Product Review-The Truth- The Whole Truth…My Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 5:48 pm

      That’s very nice, Patricia :) I also has helped a client set up a e-commerce store before with Magento. Magento is an open-source software that’s pretty famous in e-commerce solutions right now. I told him to use blog, news as a way to drive traffic to his store because besides on-page optimization, you can’t do anything else. He listened to me and the store has been steadily receiving good traffic until now.

      So, having a blog online definitely is a great competitive advantage to anyone who’s selling online :)
      Mike recently posted..1633 Words On How To Build Backlinks to Your Blog With Web Directories The Longest Guide Ive Written So FarMy Profile

  • Peter from Blogging Mechanics November 12, 2010, 4:52 am

    From the mechanical point of view, it is all you need. However, let’s not forget the old saying that people buy from people whom they know and trust. In order to gain that you need to have recognition, which of course you can achieve via social media, blogging, press releases and many other ways, and you need to have that authority status. Once you have that you can implement the most powerful marketing method in the world – endorsed marketing. And once you have that, then the mechanics are not so important anymore.
    Peter from Blogging Mechanics recently posted..2 Golden Blog Monetization RulesMy Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 5:43 pm

      That’s right Peter. From what I have learned, most transactions will not occur right in the first time. People will get to know you more by Google your name or your product. Being everwhere is another key to convince them to trust in you and trust in your product quality. Press release, blog, social media are all of the necessary tools for bloggers, manufacturers, marketers today to help people find about the products, help them solve problems and achieve great sale.
      Mike recently posted..1633 Words On How To Build Backlinks to Your Blog With Web Directories The Longest Guide Ive Written So FarMy Profile

  • Mani Viswanathan November 11, 2010, 10:32 pm

    You’ve added a very imp point in the form of Try & Buy. Customers always look for a demo of the product before really purchasing it out.
    Mani Viswanathan recently posted..Google Chrome team to offer free Wi-Fi in flights this holiday seasonMy Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 12:02 am

      It’s true, Mani. I think this point is right because whenever I receive a free download from software company, for example, to try the product out, I really appreciate it. I can test how the software functions before I buy it. One more important point is it may reduce the return rate, too. It’s because the customers can expect how the program functions before they decide to upgrade it.
      Mike recently posted..Complete Guide On Monitoring Your Blog Brand Online And How To Protect It From Negative CommentMy Profile

  • Jasmine November 11, 2010, 9:09 pm

    Oh, these are great points to check on, especially for an e-commerce site.
    Jasmine recently posted..Top 5 PrestaShop Fashion TemplatesMy Profile

  • Josh Ray November 11, 2010, 5:11 pm

    This is a good list. Those are all things that I like to see when I’m shopping online. I don’t buy online very often but when I do, seeing those things makes me a little more confident. Another big one for me is that I like to Google you or your product before buying so making sure that when I type in your name or your product the word scam doesn’t show up in the suggested search box.
    Josh Ray recently posted..Comment Moderation – Is It SpamMy Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 12:07 am

      Great comment, Josh. Your comment makes me think of another idea in how to convince customers to buy your product :) Don’t let customers see your bad review/scam on search engines.

      Like you say, before you buy something, you may want to Google and check on the review, right? There are chances some people may talk bad things about my product. But if I make other good reviews appear on top to bury down the bad ones, you are more likely to be convinced, right?

      Good idea, Josh :)
      Mike recently posted..Complete Guide On Monitoring Your Blog Brand Online And How To Protect It From Negative CommentMy Profile

      • Josh Ray November 12, 2010, 5:37 pm

        If you’re going to make up good reviews you’d better do a really good job. Most users can tell the difference between a real review and one done by an employee.
        Josh Ray recently posted..Link Building Through Blog CommentsMy Profile

  • Rick LaPoint November 11, 2010, 4:48 pm

    Great explanation, Mike,

    If the average blogger truly wants to compete in the global market place, they must rise to the level of their competition.

    The fact is, running a profitable business is complicated, and some things absolutely must be done or any start-up will absolutely fail.

    Rick
    Rick LaPoint recently posted..Blogging and Short Attention… uhm- What Was I SayingMy Profile

  • Hung
    Twitter:
    November 11, 2010, 4:07 pm

    Verisign offered 1$ for one year service last week but it’s not for individual business so i lost chance to use it.Alternative service is HONESTe Online
    Namecheap also offer Free PositiveSSL Certificates – 100% Free for 1year
    Hung recently posted..Google Position Checker ToolsMy Profile

  • DiTesco
    Twitter:
    November 11, 2010, 4:03 pm

    Looks very professional to me and I am sure that most “bigger” websites might probably have all these in place. Thing is, I think that this could be very “complicated” for some smaller websites and specially for people who are just starting the game. No offense, but I believe that this is way to “advanced” for the average blogger considering that most of them will most likely be promoting “other people’s” product anyway.

    Point taken, nonetheless, and I think that these are what we all should be looking for when we choose products to promote. These are very important points for an “affiliate marketer”.
    DiTesco recently posted..Small Home Based Business Case StudyMy Profile

  • Murlu
    Twitter:
    November 11, 2010, 3:47 pm

    All great tips but let’s not forget that importance of customer retention as well which is built upon those layers of trust, commitment and backend support. Once you get people through the door, you have to do everything within your power to keep them at the business – the first purchase is always the lowest earner but everything after that goes more to your bottom line.

    Of course, the trick is to get people to become customers in the first place – and that’s the purpose for each of these :)
    Murlu recently posted..How To Work 24 Hours A Day And Love Every Minute Of ItMy Profile

    • Mike November 12, 2010, 12:19 am

      Murlu, why can’t I disagree with anything you say? hahaha

      I agree. The real comes from your existing customers. If you makes them purchase from month to month, that profit is even greater than acquiring new customers. In addition, the existing customers can spread your business name out by word-of-mouth, depends on the impression you make on them. So, trust, commitment to provide consistent value to customers and support are your three main weapons in retaining customers.
      Mike recently posted..Complete Guide On Monitoring Your Blog Brand Online And How To Protect It From Negative CommentMy Profile

  • Atulperx November 11, 2010, 3:29 pm

    Well it is easy to say but when we need to imply them than it looks more strategic . I hope you will understand that because you are already doing that . I have worked for BPO and 90% time I failed to convince customer .
    Atulperx recently posted..100 Inspiring 3D Typography DesignsMy Profile

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