June 17, 2015

7 Factors that compel
Customers to Buy Online

Author Chris Wilson
Category Blog | eCommerce |

Online shopping has been a great way for many retailers to make their presence felt. Many retailers have moved from conventional brick and mortar stores to online store. However, they fail to generate enough revenue from their online stores although they have a great website and all their products are listed.

Unlike the real world, where in-house sales persons assist a customer, the online world of retail is a different ball game altogether. In this blog post, we shed light on the various factors that come into play which compel the customer to make a purchase online.

It is essential to know the motives behind the rise of the online shopping industry. Some of the factors that come into play are:

1. Convenience

One of the most basic and fundamental factors which makes online shopping click is the convenience. Customers can sit in the comfort of their homes and browse through the catalogue offered by industry players from across the world. Conventional retail stores open and close at a particular time; buyers can browse a website at odd hours of the day or night and make purchases.

2. Variety

It is safe to say that online shopping has better variety when compared to orthodox retail stores, businesses are no longer constrained by the real estate of their physical store. Buyers can choose from a plethora of colors and sizes that might not be available in conventional brick and mortar stores. If an item or product is not available in a particular online store, the customer moves onto the next one. This variety is not limited to sizes and colors; buyers can make purchases from other countries without having to leave the comfort of their homes. International trends are now being sported locally; customers often keep a close eye on their favorite celebrity and go to many lengths to dress like them. Online shopping has made this possible. Customers can also make discreet purchases, which is not possible in regular retail stores.

3. Product Discovery and Comparison

Online commerce has also benefited a lot because of the ease of product discovery (ease of finding the right product matching their requirements) and the ease to compare products across categories and sellers. This not only helps users find the product of their liking but also find them quickly.

4. Pricing

We all love a good deal. Competitive prices and amazing offers and deals played an important role in making online shopping mainstream. From retailers’ perspective, the lower operational costs help them discount the products and attract customers.

5. Payment

There are only a handful of payment models, such as cash, credit & debit card, in conventional retail shopping. With eCommerce you have multiple payment options like cash on delivery, credit & debit card payments, e-wallet payments, coupons etc. making it a robust in terms of payment. Additional security feature such as PCI Compliance is to be adhered by e-tailers, which ensures that customers’ data is not manipulated.

6. Shipping

Shipping places a pivotal role in the online shopping industry. A majority of retail customers shift to online shopping thanks to the free shipping option that is being provided. This feature was not provided by all e-tailers initially; over the course of time, almost all e-tailers have started to provide free shipping to their customers. There are many sub-domains within shipping such as, one-day shipping, same-day shipping, fast shipping, drop shipping etc. These add to the fact that the customer does not have to leave the comfort of his home to purchase anything. Customers do understand that there is a minimum threshold amount that needs to be crossed in order for the item to be shipped for free. In case of paid shipping, the customer has the flexibility to choose the carrier as well.

7. Returns

If a customer is not satisfied with the item he purchased, he should have the ability to return it. This is obviously possible in conventional retailing; the catch is however, that the customer has to go to the store to return the item. The great thing about returns in online shopping is that you can return the item directly from your home. Many conventional retail stores vex the customers whenever a ‘return product protocol’ is initiated; the online shopping industry does not tax the customer in any which way for similar services.

These seven factors compel customers to shop online. For you to become a successful online shopping store you should make sure that your store or business adheres to these seven factors. What are your thoughts on it? Share your feedback and suggestions by commenting below.

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