A recent survey by Harris Interactive and IMShopping concluded that more than half of consumers make purchase decisions “at least sometimes” based on their abilitity to get help from another person. Of those surveyed, 52% said they had decided NOT to make a purchase because they weren’t able to get any human interaction for assistance before the sale.
In most cases, the respondents indicated that they sought out assistance in the first place because there either wasn’t enough detailed information on the ecommerce website, or a lack of customer service functionality which made them feel insecure about making a purchase. Others just wanted a little personal reassurance before making the purchase, especially with larger ticket items. 93% of the people surveyed indicated that they had a question about an online purchase within the last six months, and more than half of the respondents said they hadn’t been able to find the answers they were looking for within the site.
The good news is, even small operations can give their websites a more human touch by taking a few simple measures. The easiest way to lessen purchase anxiety for your visitors is to give clear product descriptions and detailed explanations of payment functions and delivery methods. The more information you give to visitors right off the bat, the less likely they’ll need to contact you, but make it easy for them to do so by providing contact information on every page of your site. These small steps will go a long way toward lessening purchase anxiety, but be sure to also respond as quickly as possible when you do receive questions from customers since that’s the best way to build trust.