June 9, 2009
People who purchase products online aren’t much different than people who purchase off line. They may be a little more cautious with how they spend their money, due to security and privacy reasons, but for the most part they care about the same things, foremost among them being value. The following five factors that influence buying decisions are important considerations if you expect to close the sale on your website.
Factors That Influence Buying Decisions
Online consumers today are more sophisticated than they were ten years ago, or even five years ago. They’re not afraid to make a purchase online, but they will go out of their way to make sure they get value and are very concerned about privacy and security. If you expect to close the sale on your website then you need to consider the following five factors BEFORE you ever ask for the sale:
Customers Buy From Secure Websites
Online consumers are very concerned about security. They’re also educated. They have read up on cyber security and you should too. If you cannot convince your site visitors that your site is completely secure and that their financial information will be handled with care, they will go leave your site and go somewhere else. Security is one of the most important concerns for online consumers, especially today.
The Growing Concern Over Privacy
In addition to security, online consumers are concerned about privacy. They will guard their e-mail addresses and other personal information with great care. If you want to build trust for your brand then you should start with assurances. Make sure that you put your website visitors’ minds at ease with constant reassurances that their private information will not be sold or shared with third parties.
What Do You Offer Of Value?
Many consumers would still rather drive to pick up an item for purchase instead of making that purchase online for less money. In order to convince online consumers that purchasing your product online is safer and better for them, you’ve got to go out of your way to establish value in their minds.
Even then, providing a local retail outlet where consumers can order online and pick up their items later is a viable business model and could be the way to go for many online retailers. Still, value is in the forefront of consumers’ minds. In order to get them to purchase online you’ve got to ensure that you offer loads of value.
What Is Your Approach?
How you approach online consumers determines to a great degree how you build trust. I still see veteran Internet marketers make the mistake of talking down to their customers or making basic assumptions about behavior to that lead to dismissal or rune behavior. Just because a person has not made a purchase in the past does not mean that she won’t make a purchase in the future. But how you treat a consumer with your content may determine whether they do business with you at all – now or next year. Check your approach and ensure that you meet the emotional needs of your readers before you ask for the sale.
What About Emotion?
People buy for emotional reasons and defend their purchases logically. If you want to close the sale online then you’ve got to make the most basic emotional appeals and meet a real need in the minds of your readers. You have to connect with them on a gut level. Sometimes that takes more than one touch point. Pre-sales is just as important as closing the sale and savvy Internet marketers are learning how to set the stage for the sale down the road by spending a large amount of their time on pre-sales communication that builds trust and confidence.
Different people buy for different reasons, but at the heart of every consumer action is emotion. If people trust you they will buy from you. If you fail to earn their trust then it doesn’t matter how well you do everything else. These five factors all contribute to whether or not a consumer trusts you enough to exchange their hard-earned money for your product or service.
Allen Taylor is CEO/Operations Manager of Blog Content Provider and writes Taylor’s Internet Marketing Blog. He has managed more than 100 commercial blogs with his team of ghostwriters since 2006.