Are you making it too hard for them?

When it comes to making a sale, simple and easy is always the best strategy. Making the buying journey as easy as possible for the customer is what every successful business strives for. Alas, too many small companies make it far too difficult for their potential customers to buy from them. Getting a secure handle on the consumer mindset will go a long way toward streamlining the sales process. In some recent data released by Shopify, it seems the customer does have a strategy. The following is taken directly from that recently published data:

  • According to the Shopify eCommerce Market Credibility Study, a commissioned survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Shopify, September 2021, 47% of the consumers said having a local presence was a significant factor for which brands they shop from. Consumers are 4x more likely to purchase from a company with strong brand values.
  • With that in mind, this is an area where businesses know they need to invest. According to a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Shopify, 27% of businesses said improving customer experience was their first or second biggest priority for 2022.
  • When asked what they find “valuable” or “very valuable” when shopping online, accurate pictures were the top answer, with 77% saying so. The next most important thing customers consider is the ability to easily find all product information, which 76% of customers said was “valuable” or “very valuable.” 70% identified seeing customer ratings and reviews as valuable.

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  • Even for those with a brick-and-mortar operation, small business trends show that online sales remain the key for growth. In our data, 54% of businesses said their commerce team must focus on online revenue to achieve their 2022 priorities. Digging into that, 49% of businesses said they plan to increase investment in their company-owned online store.
  • Businesses also noted the importance of online marketplaces, with 56% saying they plan to increase investment in ecommerce marketplaces. This is a smart strategy, as 55% of customers said they purchase from online marketplaces either weekly or monthly. The last place to look is social media platforms. Our data showed that 49% of businesses plan to increase investment in social commerce.
  • But we also know how you can convince customers to choose your brand over another. In our data, customers told us what they consider a “significant” or “very significant” influence on their decision to purchase from a specific brand. First up is a strong quality or satisfaction guarantee, with 61% of customers identifying this as important.
  • Next is an excellent past service experience, with 60% saying this was a “significant” or “very significant” influence. Finally, 58% of customers voted for the ability to reach customer service in the channel of their choosing. That means providing multiple avenues of contact, whether via email, social media, or live chat.
  • Businesses identified three areas where they’d be investing in shipping for 2022: reducing shipping costs with free and flat-rate shipping, improving flexibility of shipping and return policies, and changing shipping strategies to reduce impact of global shipping delays.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer