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Understanding and supporting the decision making process

There are many steps a customer takes before getting to payment during an (online) purchase.

For many retailers, the moment of payment is the most important part of a purchase, but they tend to forget that if the customer’s buying and decision making process is not supported from the beginning, they sometimes miss the opportunity of a successful sale. So what makes a customer buy and how can you, as an e-commerce manager, support this decision making process?

During a decision making process, the consumer is aware of their needs and thus gathers the necessary information to satisfy those needs. For all companies in all industries it is important to understand the decision making process, but mainly in e-commerce. 

First of all, e-commerce managers can generate much more data from online shoppers than shoppers in physical stores. They can then use this data to devise and implement conversion-enhancing strategies to their webshop.

In addition to making sure that customers don’t leave your website and proceed to payment, of course you also want them to not return your items, due to an incorrect size, for example. Therefore, optimize your assortment and website, as we explained in last week’s blog. Use tools such as our size advice solution to prevent customers from returning items due to incorrect sizing.

Understanding and supporting the decision making proces in a nutshell:

Step one is recognizing your needs as customer.
If a customer is aware that he or she needs a new pair of shorts for the warm days ahead, the search process for these shorts begins. 

That’s step two: the search process.
The needs are clear, so now we start searching. Before making an online purchase, customers usually want to have all the information they can get. Which webshop has the nicest shorts, shortest delivery time, at a competitive price, etc. They want to have all their options laid out in front of them. 

Then it’s time to make a choice, which is the third step.
This is where the customer is going to review and evaluate all the options. Which option can best satisfy the customer’s needs. 

Once the choice is made, you move on to step four, which is turning the buying process into a payment process.
This is where most retailers already pull their hands back because they think the purchase is already pretty much complete and this customer will not leave. 

But, nothing could be further from the truth. The payment process is a make or break for many online shoppers.

Did you know that a total payment process should not take longer than 4 minutes?
Research by Capterra shows that:

  • Two in three consumers (66%) expect online checkout to take four minutes or less.
  • Consumers will not hesitate to leave their shopping cart behind: A whopping 82% of consumers have abandoned an online purchase because the registration process was too complicated.
  • Today’s consumers don’t share their valuable email: Most consumers (75%) use a burner email account for online shopping.
  • Guest checkout can help close the deal: 43% of consumers prefer guest checkout when making an online purchase.

So it is important to make it easy for consumers to become customers. 

Consumers just want to make their purchase quickly and easily, without releasing too much personal information to a website they don’t know. Switch to social login or guest checkout options to make payment faster instead of fully registering. That’s a thing of the past. 




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