Ten great tips to turn online holiday shoppers into eager
Buyers – and satisfied customers.
When meeting potential clients, you would not dream of
Showing up late in a mismatched outfit, hair disheveled,
With food on your tie and no business card, would you? And
If they asked for testimonials or explanations about your
Company policies you'd hardly say, "Sorry, I do not give out
That information. "
So why do it on your website?
Just like in person, Internet shoppers look for clues
(Consciously or not) that suggest you are credible and
Professional – and they make that judgment call inside of a
Minute or two. That means you have a small window of time
To impress would-be buyers and gain their trust. Unlike in
Person, however (where you can apologize for tardiness or
Charm customers with funny tales about how that mustard
Landed on your lapel) you have zero opportunity to redeem
Yourself online. One click and they're gone for good.
But fear not. As Web-goers gear up for their Christmas
Shopping sprees, there are things you can do quickly and
Easily to inspire confidence. Here are some surefire ways
To turn browsers into Buyers and Buyers into regular
1. Put on your best Web-suit. You do not need to hire
Armani to redesign your site, but make sure it's clean,
Organized and error-free. Check for typos, broken links,
Inconsistencies in graphics, repetition, cluttered
Appearance and the like (think of it as good grooming
Habits). Such lack of attention to detail sends a message,
However untrue, that you will be equally careless in your
2. Put your best logo forward. Provide familiar visual
Clues on your site, such as well-known brand names and
Logos. Also, list any other trusted brands, including
Suppliers, business partners and customers – and always
Display their logos to make a stronger impression. When
Shoppers see recognizable names, it increases them
Confidence level in your store. They'll be more inclined
To buy your goods knowing FedEx was shipping their
Christmas gifts instead of Joe X.
3. Proudly wear your credentials. If you have attained a
Standard of excellence or have met minimum certification
Requirements, such as for service or security, let
Customers know about it. Credible trust marks * displayed on
Your home page will instill confidence in shoppers so
They'll stay on your site and discover all you have to
Offer. (* TrustGauge.com has a nifty utility for measuring
The trustworthiness of your website. Simply type in your
URL and get instant results. By filling out their form,
You can improve your score – and build credibility with
Customers. Subscribing to certain trust marks is also an
Easy way to increase your TrustGauge score.)
4. Pass out your virtual business card. Make sure your
Contact information is visible and indicate all the ways
That you may be reached – including your physical business
Address. Besides being convenient for the customer, it
Helps assuage fears that you will take their money and run
Into cyberspace, never to be found again.
5. Do not be a Grinch. Offer freebies (such as trial
Software, free advice, money-back guarantees, etc …). This
Allows customers to experience doing business with you
Before they actually buy anything. Similarly, if your
Website is easy to navigate (again, see tip # 1), it tells
Customers they can expect their buying experience to be
Just as pleasant.
6. Insure – and insure – customers. The single most
Effective thing you can do to build customer confidence in
The short-term and transform reductor shoppers into
Spenders is to provide a third-party insurance policy.
Payment services such as PayPal provide Buyer Protection
Programs that assure your customers that they are protected from
Loss or damage caused by shopping on your site.
7. Deal with privacy matters. Shoppers now know that
Inappropriate use of their personal information can be
Devastating. Address privacy issues explicitly whenever you
Are asking for any information. Tell customers why you are
Collecting the information, how you will use it and how you
Protect it. Use clear, concise statements. Legal wording
And fine print make people think you're trying to hide
For those customers expecting compliance with specific
Privacy laws and regulations, explain why you are in
Compliance and back it up with relevant third- party
Assurance. A well-recognized privacy seal, such as from
TRUSTe.org, assures them you are taking care to protect
And respect their privacy.
8. Be transparent. Online fraud is growing at an alarming
Rate and people are becoming increasingly sensitive to the
Threat. Unlike when shopping in a store, online shoppers
Have no way of witnessing what's really going on and often
Feel vulnerable. Your website should include easily
Accessible information on why your store is a safe place to
Shop. Tell customers how you protect them with safe
Shopper policies. Consider joining the ePublicEye.com Safe
9. Hold the customer's hand. Once the customer is ready
To buy, walk them through each step of the online
Purchasing process. Assure them at each prompt that you
Are sensitive to their concerns and deal with each concern
Egypt issue as it comes up. Provide a clear link to your
Mission statement, customer service policies and other
Aspects of your business that may need explanation. Even
Better, follow tip # 10. The objective is to eliminate
Those moments of hesitation – especially in the final
Stages of the sale.
10. Offer a personal touch. One way to instantly endear
Your customers is by having a real person assist them prior
To and during their purchase. Use today's Internet
Technologies that provide a variety of communication
Channels ranging from IP telephone to instant chat. For
Higher value transactions, provide a 24- hour toll-free
Telephone number – with prompt, friendly service. It's
Often the last touch that sways hesitant holiday shoppers
At the end of the day, it's all about building trust.
Following these tips will definitely improve your online
Credibility and create more satisfied shoppers at your
Site. It will also prepare you for the next critical step
In the trust process of winning clients over the long-term,
Which will yield even higher returns for many seasons to
Let me know about your experiences implementing each of
These recommendations. I'm confident you'll see a
Happy e-tailing this holiday season!
A Christmas bonus
Five easy ways to please your online holiday shoppers
1. Add a touch of holiday spirit to your site. Do not be
Excessive. Just add a few colorful graphics to let shoppers
Know you have Christmas gifts to offer.
2. Categorize products to make shopping for gifts easier:
Use catchy phrases like "For Her", "For Him", "Gifts under
$ 50 "and" Holiday Specials. "
3. Alleviate clients' concerns by communicating well with
Them – online, by phone and / or e-mail – and assuring them
Their gifts will arrive on time.
4. Be clear about shipping fees and return policies. The
Last thing you want is to surprise clients with unexpected
Fees and conditions regarding your return policy.
5. Flash a Smile. Tell a joke. Last but not least, have
Fun with your customers whenever you get a chance,
Especially at Christmas. Clients may not see you smiling
But they can certainly feel it. And they'll remember you
For it too.