The folks over at the Better Business Bureau commissioned a study of the adult online shopper’s most important issues.
It seems that approximately 60% of those surveyed are primarily concerned about two things: (1) that their personal information could be stolen and sold online or reused by someone else, and (2) that their credit card information could be hijacked by some unscrupulous operator (59%).
However, despite these concerns, people are increasingly becoming accustomed to the ease and convenience of shopping online. The popularity of sites like Amazon and eBay attest to the many shoppers that are getting more and more comfortable with Internet buying.
Holiday spending forecast by Forrester Research painted a rosy and exciting picture of continuing increases in spending over the previous year!
The online commerce spending and the forecasts for the near future numbers are hard evidence for any large or small business owner to ignore when it comes to purchasing online.
The survey also concluded that many of those polled feared that if they shopped online, they would receive an increased amount of spam and junk emails.
Other lesser concerns were:
- That the user would have a difficult time navigating shopping sites;
- That the user would have to wait too long for purchases to arrive at their destination.
I think most business owners are aware that they need to make their site user experience one that is pleasant and intuitive.
Concerned web site owners need to aggressively address these issues and concerns of their customers if they expect to sell actively online today and into the future.
What can the shopping site owner do to provide a great user experience?
1. Use safe and secure shopping cart software or service providers with an excellent reputation of safeguarding customer information and credit card numbers.
3. Keep good documentation of each and every purchase so that in case there is a discrepancy, the record of purchase and shipping (if applicable) can be reviewed.
4. Accept the most popular credit cards, not just 3rd party payment solutions. Credit card use can be disputed though the process is sometimes lengthy and often intimidating and confusing.
5. Make sure the site is secure and display the logos of the security measures you’ve taken (if any.)
6. Make your whole buying experience as easy, intuitive, and simple as possible so the buyer isn’t confused or left wondering what she should do next. Lead her by the hand through the entire transaction. Visit the stores of some of the most popular shopping sites and see how they set up their shopper funnel.
7. Offer to take orders by mail or over the telephone as well as online. Some purchasers will call their order in rather than trust the security of the Internet. In addition, some customers might want to ask questions or confirm their ideas about what a product is or how it works.
8. Protect personal information files in as secure a manner as possible. Don’t share them with anyone.
Hopefully, these simple suggestions will help you to “set to rest” the fears of many online shoppers so that your business will grow and prosper. Your reputation and future business credentials are at stake. It is always better to be a little overly cautious than to not pay enough attention to personal and financial information!
To your online business success,