Don’t Push Customers Away

There was a great post over at the Hubspot blog about 9 Awful Ways We Push Customers Away.  None of us like to lose customers, especially if it’s easy to avoid. Of their 9 reasons, here are a basket-156835_640few that stood out to me.

1) Poor Showcasing of Merchandise
Leading brick and mortar retailers like Macy’s and Harrods are known to spend small fortunes on window dressing their stores. After all, first impressions are crucial to draw in a potential customer. Similarly, your website is your window to the world. You might have the best products out there, but if you don’t showcase them well, even the most willing customer will get put off.

The Fix:
Aesthetics are important. Keep the site easy on the eye and don’t overwhelm the customer with disorganized merchandising.

Have a lot of variety in SKUs of each product? Showcase them, but in a sane, easy-to-navigate manner. Customers like to see what they’re buying. Use high quality images and allow customers to zoom in to see details.

People have so many choices where to spend their money, if your designs and product images don’t look good, you may never get the chance to make the sale just because the customer was turned off visually.

6) Long Checkout Process
Most of us dread going to a supermarket or a big box retail store, thanks to the serpentine queues at their checkout counters. So what do we do instead?

Go online, right?

The trouble is, ecommerce businesses sometimes don’t realize how their frustratingly long checkout processes are actually counterproductive and replicate the same problems that traditional retail suffers from.

The Fix:
There are verifiable merits in shortening your checkout process. A study of the top 100 ecommerce sites conducted by Baymard Institute, showed that their checkout process was an average of 5.08 steps long. As the checkout process grows longer, user satisfaction with the purchase process starts to drop.

Ask only for information that is absolutely essential to complete a purchase. Most organizations never use the tons of information they collect from their customers, and customers find it highly annoying to part with irrelevant personal details.

We all love data, and many of us see check-out as the best place to get all the information we can from your customers, but if it becomes a barrier to closing the sale, the data doesn’t do you any good. I would recommend using a loyalty program or a “My Account” setup to get that data another way instead of bogging down your check-out process with unnecessary fields.

9) No Live Help

Who do you turn to when you’re shopping for a shirt in a department store and can’t find the right size? The sales assistant.

While ecommerce sites are obviously handicapped in terms of providing in-the-flesh guidance to a confused customer, most do provide a call center number or email contact details. Unfortunately, both of those communication modes are time consuming — it usually takes at least 24 hours to respond to customer queries via email, while call center numbers are notorious for their long wait times, ruining the customer experience.

The Fix:

Offer Live Chat as an option to customers. According to a study by Forrester Research, 44% of online shoppers considered live chat one of the most important features of ecommerce sites. An eMarketer study shows that most buyers who use live chat — a whopping 63% — were likely to return to the site for a repeat purchase.

Many times customers have a quick question that can close the deal, but if they need to go through the trouble making a phone call or sending an email they may never do it. If your customer wants to speak with you, making it easy will be a win for them and you.

Check out the whole list of nine.

If you need help solving any of these practices that may be pushing your customers away, we are here to help. We’d love to discuss your site and see how we can help make it the best possible shopping experience it can be.

Let us help you.

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