Online shopping continues to grow. If you are an e-tailer, understanding the factors that influence e-commerce buying decisions are important to growing your business.

So what influences people to buy online?

Studies prove that it is convenience, ease and smoothness of buying. Any friction or problems can cause shopping cart abandonment and loss of the sale.

As an online store owner, you may be so close to any problems you are unable to see them. Familiarity with your ecommerce store makes things easier for you than the public.

Testing, either professional or having friends test the site, will help you find areas that may confuse or frustrate consumers.

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Factors that influence online shoppers.

Trust:

Make it easy to contact your company. Be visible on social media platforms. The more visible your business is, the more trust people will have in dealing with you.

Customer reviews:

Both good and bad reviews can help consumers’ make a purchasing decision. Encourage online reviews and be sure to provide positive outcomes to anyone who is less than happy. This allows shoppers to see you care about your brand and their experience.

Easy return policy:

When purchasing online, products are not always what they seem. Almost every e-consumer has been burnt with an item that was not as promised. As a result, your return policy is an influencing factor.

Returns cost your company money, but that is a part of doing business. One way to lower returns is to have color-accurate product photography and well written descriptions. Those along with an easy money-back return policy will do wonders.

A fast, adaptable website:

This falls under convenience. People don’t like to wait, and if your website loads slowly, they will go somewhere else. Today people shop on computer, tablet and phone, so a mobile friendly website is important for e-commerce.

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Ways to to influence consumer e-commerce buying decisions.

Shipping charges:

Shipping charges are a major factor in e-commerce sales. Even with a great price, expensive shipping charges can kill a sale.

When possible, you should incorporate shipping charges into product pricing. One way to keep shipping charges from spiking prices is to offer free shipping with orders over a certain dollar amount. Then you are able to distribute the charges and encourage higher sales.

If someone does not meet the free shipping amount, their shipping charges will seem lower because part of the shipping is in the purchase price. It is psychological, but it works.

Availability:

There was a time when you would order from Amazon and the item would arrive the same or next day! Lately the shipping seems to take longer, at least in my area.

Availability is a huge factor that influences e-commerce buying decisions. If they can order and have it within a day or so, that will increase the likelihood of a purchase.

Sales:

Comparing online pricing is easy. While you can’t always offer a sale price, discount strategies can help.

Some businesses offer a 10% discount on your first order when you sign up for their email list. 10% is a small amount for something that helps you stay in touch with customers.

Emotional purchasing:

Another way to influence consumer buying decisions is by highlighting a product’s benefits instead of features. For example, software that allows you to finish tasks faster, give you more time to spend with loved ones doing the things you enjoy.

Sell what people receive as a result when they buy your product.

Social media:

When friends recommend a product or service on social media, it carries a lot of influence.

One way to stay top of mind is to have a strong social media presence. You can share what is new, sales information, offer advice and provide insights into your brand.

You will also be able to see what people say about your business and interact with them. Having online conversations is one way to learn what people want and finding a way to give it to them.

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A factor of e-commerce you can’t influence.

Personal financial situations also play a major role in consumers’ online buying decisions. While you can’t control their situation, you can offer alternatives that allow them to do business with your company.

Many credit companies and e-banking services offer buy now pay later options. While you really don’t someone to go into debt, if your product or service can help them, you should offer the possibility.

There are a lot of factors that influence a consumer e-commerce buying decision. Understanding the factors influencing online businesses and what drives a customer to buy online helps you create a better experience for consumers.

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