Make customers comfortable buying from your site

Purchase anxiety – that feeling you get when you’re thinking about buying something, but not completely sure you want to spend the money on it. The feeling is usually attributed to a large purchase or buying something on the internet.

Online shoppers tend to feel more purchase anxiety than offline customers, according to Derek Gehl at Entrepreneur.com. Spending a lot of money on something you can’t hold in your hand, by a person they’ve never seen before may cause serious purchase anxiety for online customers.

The goal of your website is to help customers overcome anxiety and feel comfortable enough to make a purchase. Gehl outlines a few elements you can add to your site to reassure visitors that you are a reputable seller with a quality product.

Here are a few of his tips to make customers comfortable enough to click the checkout button:

Show proof that you value and will protect customer privacy. Include a privacy policy, clearly displayed on your site to reassure customers that you will not share their personal information. Process purchases through a secure server and include “security seals” on your site to let customers know you have done everything to keep your site safe from hackers. Popular security seals are VeriSign, TRUSTe and Hacker Safe.

Use testimonials. We know you think you’re the best company out there, but we want to know what everyone else has to say. Post a few testimonials from valued customers who can vouch for the quality of your product or service. Try to include as much information on the testimonial provider as possible.

Include contact information. Show that you are open to customer calls by providing as much contact information as you can on your site. Create a contact information page and link to it on every page on your site.

Don’t forget to follow up. Even after the purchase, customer anxiety may develop into “post-purchase anxiety.” Be sure to thank the customer for their purchase and keep them updated on their shipment status. It is your responsibility to keep the customer informed until it has made it into their hands.

For the full list of tips, please see Gehl’s article on Entrepreneur.com.

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