Americans love shopping online, but unlike in-store purchasers, online shoppers are less likely to make impulse buys, according to a study reported in Chain Store Age. The majority of ecommerce purchases don’t happen immediately, the study found. In fact, just 42 percent of all online purchases occur in the first 60 minutes following a shopper’s first visit to a website.
An additional 9 percent of online purchases take place in the six hours immediately following those first 60 minutes; 16 percent happen the day after the first visit; 28 percent occur between 26 and 41 hours after the first visit; and 9 percent of purchases occur in the six days after that. In other words, after they first visit your ecommerce site, online shoppers can take a week or more to complete a purchase.
How can you speed online shoppers along the path to purchase? Here are six tactics to improve your eCommerce sales.
- Use cart abandonment reminders. You can use email marketing to send reminders about abandoned shopping carts to users who add products to a cart but don’t buy. These emails can be triggered for a certain time after the cart was abandoned, such as 24 hours or 48 hours. You can either send a straight reminder, like “Did you forget something?” with a link to the cart, or include an enticing offer, such as a discount redeemable only if the purchase is completed within a certain time frame.
- Create a sense of urgency. Alerting customers if certain products are extremely popular or when stock is running low can create a sense of urgency and spur them to buy more quickly. Displaying text such as “Only 1 Left in This Size!” when a shopper views a product can be a big motivator. You can also set triggered emails to be delivered when a product someone has placed in a cart or viewed starts running out.
- Use popups. The equivalent of a sales clerk tapping an in-store customer on the shoulder to get their attention, popup windows can be set to display when a shopper’s behavior indicates they’re about to leave the page. Popups that feature a discount offer can be highly motivating in getting shoppers to take action.
- Add a chat feature. Enabling your customer service reps to conduct online chat with visiting customers can be invaluable in spurring purchases. You can either have chat windows pop up automatically after a user spends a certain amount of time on the site, or trigger them to pop up if a user’s behavior seems to indicate they are confused, indecisive or debating multiple products (like if someone keeps toggling between two very similar items). Customer service reps can step in using chat and offer to answer any questions or provide additional details.
- Display product recommendations. One way to spur faster purchases is to display recommendations for related or complementary products as users browse your website. If a user isn’t finding anything tempting on his or her own, recommendations can serve as a guide.
- Try ad remarketing. Remarketing is an online advertising option that lets you serve up ads for a specific product to people who have visited your website and viewed that product. As they browse or search online, they’ll see ads for that same pair of magenta running shoes or blue suitcase they were mulling over on your site. This can help get them to come back to you and buy.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.