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What is E-commerce Failure – The Six Main Reasons

September 29, 2017

It is an interesting question as to what makes customers purchase in a web shop. But it is more useful to study why the customers DO NOT finally make a purchase, and what are the most important factors that hold them back from the purchase. Here we present the six main reasons what e-commerce failure is.

The list is not complete of course but on the basis of my experience the following six factors are the main reasons why a customer does not finally make the purchase:

1. They do not find the optimal product In most of the cases the first reason is that the customer does not even get to the optimal product – they do not encounter any offer that would convince them. This is the choice-helping topic: an effective web shop is like a good salesperson and helps the customer to find the optimal product. Choice-helping is ignored most of the time thanks to the fact that different types of customers have to be helped differently. But the good news is that there are a number of tools and methods to help make the choice. If you integrate them into your web shop you can experience a notable increase in quality so this sector has probably the most potential.

2. Our offer is not convincing enough If the customer reaches the optimal product they can see and review our offer: what will they get and for how much. In the best case scenario, this is exactly what they want and for them the product is more valuable than how much it costs so they order it right away, but unfortunately this is not what happens most of the time. In most cases, they think it is too expensive and will look around further or think about it etc. Fortunately there are many methods to increase the effectiveness of the offer; the more of these we use the more convincing we will be.

3. They do not trust some details of the offer This is a real sneaky killer – it can prevent the purchase without making the customer aware of why they did not make the final purchase. If the customer does not trust something they will not buy it. If some parts of the offer are not clear and the customer cannot see exactly what, when, for how much and how they can purchase, they really have to want the product to buy it.

4. The process of the purchase is difficult and illogical According to statistics, at least half of the purchases fail because of an illogical and difficult purchasing process. A web shop is only good if the customer can use it instinctively and the web shop adapts to the logic of the customers and not the other way around. It is hopeless if there is a need for instructions on how to make a purchase in a web shop.

5. They cannot choose from our range of products This is the problem of merchants offering many products: if the customer faces too many similar offers that seem equally good for them, and does not get any useful advice towards making the decision, they will not purchase but postpone the decision for later ‘to come back later’. Or they will go to another merchant who can help them decide.

6. They do not find an appropriate method of payment Through my work I often face the question of how to pay for products or services sold on the internet. There is no general solution; everybody has to decide on the basis of customer preferences. So the answer lies in research.

Less than a decade ago an e-commerce salesman could work well by only ensuring the purchase without any real customer assistance. However, today it is not possible to ignore these viewpoints in the face of strong competition from other web shops (which are only one click away from each other).

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