Getting Customers to Buy


When it really comes down to it, your ecommerce website success will not be determined by its SEO or its traffic, or even by things like your product selection and shopping cart choice. In order for you to be successful, people need to buy from you—plain and simple. Here are a few tips for making that happen. Warning: these are very basic, and yet so many experienced ecommerce website owners forget them.

  1. Pictures. The important thing to remember about product pictures is: the more, the better. People are visual creatures and they like to see what they are buying, from as many angles as possible and as large as they can. This makes them feel better about spending their money on an item: they can see that it is the right thing for them. If you are skimping on pictures for simplicity’s sake, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. There are ways to allow people to view your products without cluttering up the page. Learn them, and use them. 
  2. Call to action. Sometimes getting people to buy is as simple as telling them to buy. Put a ‘Buy Now!’ button on every page. Try to give it some immediacy so they don’t wait. From there, make the impulse easy to follow with a streamlined buying process and good shopping cart software. Don’t make people look for the next step; in many cases, they won’t bother.
  3. Search. However your traffic gets to your ecommerce website, you need to get every single customer to their desired product as quickly as possible. Allow people to search your website and also to search individual categories. However, many search pages on ecommerce websites are a mess. Include thumbnails in the search results, along with the product name and a very short description. This will make the buying process quicker, which is always the best strategy.
  4. Organization. Place your products in logical categories and allow the customer to narrow by a wide range of fields at any part of their shopping trip. Don’t give them too many options or try to upsell at this point. Remember the rule of three: many shoppers give up if they cannot find their desired item in three clicks. 
  5. Reassurance. People want to feel good about their product, so include things like reviews and product specifications that reassure them that they are buying what they really want and need. Add site security icons and BBB or other memberships to show them that you are legit. Also, offer ample support and be clear about return policies. Support will allow the customer to ask questions and to feel good about their purchase; merely having support can be a message that you care about the customer’s happiness.
  6. Ordering process. No one is going to give you their mother’s maiden name in order to buy a five dollar item. Your payment and ordering process should ask for only the information that you absolutely need to know! The fewer fields, the more likely they will be to complete their purchase. For many people, buying is an impulsive act, and you need to close the deal before that impulse disappears.