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How To Successfully Sell Products Online – Pt 3

187351142At last we come to the concluding part of this frankly rather epic blog series about selling online and how to do it better. Part One & Two covered the earlier stages in the process – making a good first impression and then building trust with your customer.

Finishing Touches

As the title suggests this time we are going to look at how to close the deal or to put it another way – how to turn the visitor into a happy customer.

How Do We Do This?

When your dealing with a customer face to face it is easy to gently persuade someone into purchasing. OK, well easier. Common tactics include the offer of a one off discount, or you can show them it’s your last item in that colour.

Online its not so easy, people have their own control of whether they leave or not, but don’t despair as there are a few ways you can tempt them into buying now instead of later:

Stock Counter

Having a stock counter on a product is known to influence people into buying at that precise moment rather than thinking about it longer. When people see ‘only two available’ people instantly worry that they might miss out if they don’t purchase immediately, especially if there is a specific offer on that product.


Not surprisingly having an offer can force people to purchase now rather than next week. So if your store is able to put things on sale with an end date it can be a brilliant selling technique whether it is a promo code or an offer of money off a product.

Random fact in here, but did you know women are more likely to see an offer than men according to the site

Count Down

Another trick to get people to order now instead of tomorrow is a count down timer, this can be either advertising a special offer that finishes at a certain time, or it can be of a cut off point for delivery. For some reason when people see count down timers people worry they will run out of time, even though something like delivery is not essential, it still puts that slight panic at the back of peoples minds.

No… Don’t Go

Now you’ve got some ideas for how to gently nudge your customer into the buying stages, its time to look at how you can make sure that they go through with it and don’t abandon their basket at the last minute. According to research published by in a recent infographic, 67.4% of people will abandon their basket.

Whilst there are various reasons for this which we will explore below you should look at it more positively and see them as things to avoid! Here they are:

1. No Hidden Fees

41% of people who drop out do so because of hidden charges at the checkout. This falls slap bang into the building the trust section. Make sure everything is outlined from the outset so people know what they are expected to pay. If there are extra charges then as long as the customer is aware well in advance of the basket stage then it isn’t going to sour the process for them and potentially turn them away.

2. Guest Check Out

People think that by creating an account they are going to be bombarded with marketing material from the company and also think this process will take longer to complete. In fact 29% were found to see this as the reason to abandon their basket.

If you have a check out as a guest option people who are worried about this won’t abandon. The popular online fashion store ASOS halved their checkout abandonment rate by adding a checkout as a guest option to their site back in 2011.

3. Clear Delivery Options

If your delivery options are not clear and the customer cannot easily see when their product will arrive they can be put off. 11% of people drop their order because of unclear delivery details. If you can offer next day delivery then do it as this is becoming more and more popular with consumers and understandably so.

4. Quick Checkout

10% of people are driven away by a lengthy checkout process. It’s well worth remembering that we are all getting lazier and don’t want to spend hours filling in details. Top tip – e-commerce checkouts should ideally have no more than 5 steps.

I personally like having a checkout progress bar along the top, so I know how far through I am. Also make sure you are not asking people for information twice, this will definitely put them off.

5. Visible Phone Number

Again not having a phone number is all part of the building the trust with the customer section as well, but it is also a abandon basket reason, so even more reason to make sure it is clearly displayed on your website. 8% of people said this would make them jump ship. With such an easy thing as adding a phone number there is no excuse not too.

5. Payment Number

Once they get to actually paying, 59% will leave if their preferred payment method is not in place. I have to admit I am guilty of this, I am the person who does not get off the sofa to find my card if PayPal is not offered I will go somewhere else, obviously this is my personal preference, but with a massive 60% of web transactions going through PayPal, it is suggested to have it on your site.

And It’s In The Bag…

You’ve done it. The hard work is over and the sale is made. Now you’ve got to ensure the customer gets their product on time and are totally satisfied with it and that is the subject of another blog for another day.


Sources – The statistics in this blog were taken from an infographic by Marketing Donut.

About Nick

I now head up the WordPress Team and I am managing projects and staff and still enjoy turning bespoke designs into working websites while listening to heavy rock music and drinking tea.

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