The fastest way to increase sales is to decrease the steps in your customer’s journey. By making buying from you online as seamless as possible, not only will you generate more repeat purchases, but you’ll ensure that nothing stands in the way of your sale. Too often health brands create unnecessary friction in the buying process that makes it inherently difficult for consumers to get the items they want when they want them – without having to jump through online hoops to get them. And with 81% of consumers abandoning items in an online cart, eliminating any barriers to buy is mission-critical for your sales. You need to reduce selling friction.
Top seven ways create selling friction
Here are the top seven ways you create selling friction.
1. Your website is slow can create friction in selling
Considering that 62% of consumers shop using a mobile device, loading speeds can be disastrous for your sales. You want to make sure your website loads quickly across all platforms and consumers can easily navigate back between their online cart and browsing without screens freezing or timing out.
2. Your online search is hard to navigate
If your customers can’t find the products they need, they are not going to buy from you. Your website should be self-explanatory with products categorized in a user-friendly way and with a clear search function prominent on your website. Also having professional images, well-written (but concise) product descriptions, and leveraging recommended product popups can be great ways to get your customers exactly what they’re looking for as quickly as possible.
3. Your checkout process is too long cause selling friction
Studies have found that customers will abandon items in their cart, not because of the purchase total, but because the checkout process required too many steps. And, this loss in revenue amounts to a staggering $18 billion a year! Ideally, your checkout process should require no more than three steps, have auto-populated fields for repeat customers, and offer a wide range of payment options, including PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
4. Your customer has unanswered questions
E-commerce brands are notorious for having lackluster (and slow) customer service. However, if you enable chat features on your website that connect customers with representatives in real-time, you can increase the number of purchases on your site by 40%.
5. Your return process is too complicated
The shopping experience extends well beyond the sale, which is why your return policy could be the culprit behind a decrease in sales. Customers want flexibility (even if they’ll never actually return an item). By charging return shipping fees, having limited return time windows, or by not offering returns at all will introduce friction into the selling process. Second only to price, return policies are an important part of your customer’s decision-making process.
6. Your products are out of stock
Having accurate inventory levels is very important to not just manage your sales, but to establish your brand as one that customers can trust. Marketing surveys have found that 56% of consumers experienced stock outages during the COVID pandemic which resulted in them buying from a competitor or skipping the purchase altogether. Though access to inventory, especially during times of global crisis, can be challenging, keeping a healthy inventory to fulfill orders dramatically reduces the friction in the selling process.
7. You require a customer account to buy
It may seem like a useful step in gathering customer data, to require an account to checkout on your website. However, the data proves otherwise. 34% of people will not complete a purchase that requires them to create a user account prior to checking out. That’s why offering the option to create an account or to check out as a “guest” is vital to not cannibalizing your sales.
Not sure if your e-commerce store is causing friction that is preventing you from maximizing your sales? Let’s talk because making your customer’s shopping experience as seamless as possible will be key for health brands in the next 12-18 months.
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