The more risk a consumer believes there to be, the less like they are to make a purchase. When asking a visitor to take action, it is your job to minimize or eliminate all perceived risks so they can take action with confidence, be comfortable with their purchase, and feel like they made the right choice.
Mitigating risk is about more than just moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS. In fact, there are 8 key areas you can focus on to mitigate risk and improve website conversions:
01. Manage Objections
Objections are unavoidable. Potential customers are going to have concerns and excuses, they will second-guess their decision to purchase, and they will worry about all sorts of things you may not ever even imagine. Luckily, while objections are inevitable, you have the ability to manage and even squash the most common objections before they ever become an issue.
In a brick and mortar retail location, consumers can speak directly with a salesperson, ask questions, and get the information they need to overcome their concerns or objections. Online it works a little differently. While you can mimic the experience of talking to a live sales person with chat options and support hotlines, not every visitor will take advantage of those tools. This means that your website needs to be able to do the heavy-lifting for you to squash objections.
To effectively manage objections:
- Identify the primary concerns potential buyers may have
- Find out why prospects abandon their cart or make it to the sales page and never buy
- Track what questions visitors are asking about your offers or products
Once you understand why people aren’t buying, you can create content to specifically address those issues and help visitors overcome their objections on their own.
- “Even If” statements on the sales page or in the product description like, feel warm and cozy even if you’re someone who is always cold
- A frequently asked questions page or an FAQ section on a product page
- Every single detail you have or know about the product, service, or program being offered
- Why this offer or product is better than one they may have already tired but didn’t work
- Case studies, testimonials, and reviews
- Images of a product actually being used
Ultimately, your responsibility as the site owner is to preempt buyer objections by providing the information, reassurance, and social proof needed to feel great about making a purchase and communicating benefits that outweigh their concerns.
TAKE ACTION: Do you know why prospective customers don’t buy or abandon their cart? Have you done the work to uncover their objections or concerns? If not, now is the time so you can proactively manage those objections and close more sales.
02. Highlight Social Proof
One of the simplest ways to reduce risk is to use social proof—to highlight and feature real testimonials, actual customer reviews, influencer endorsements, subscriber counts, and results oriented case studies. This mid-funnel content helps move visitors interested in your offer closer to making a buying decision.
Social proof is basically leveraging third-party influence to sway potential customers and it works like a charm. In fact, a study by Zendesk revealed that 88% of respondents admitted that positive and negative reviews influenced their buying decisions.
Why does social proof work so well? Consider this: If you walked by two restaurants on a Saturday night at 7:00 pm and one was empty and one was full, you would automatically assume the empty restaurant wasn’t very good. An empty restaurant on a busy Saturday night is a signal that if you dine there, you’re risking bad food, high prices, and/or poor service.
The same logic applies to online purchases because people want to have what others have, experience what others experience, achieve what others have achieved, and be who others are; they want to be part of the club, feel in the know, and have common ground with others; and they definitely don’t want to miss out or lose an opportunity.
If you can show social proof that others are buying, having a great experience, and achieve amazing results, it reduces the associated risk and signals to prospective buyers that they too can enjoy the same things if they also buy.
TAKE ACTION: How are you currently highlighting social proof on your website, sales pages, and/or product pages? Are you using multiple forms of social proof? Are you displaying testimonials or stellar reviews next to your calls to action and buy buttons? Can you do more to leverage social proof?
03. Offer A Clear Privacy Statement
In today’s media, it seems as if a new security breach or data breach happens every week and if major corporations can’t keep their data safe, how can a small online store or retailer? At least that’s what some consumers are beginning to think…
04. Display Payment Icons
When the conversion is a purchase, display the logos for all payment options you accept below or near the payment button to help prospective customers quickly identify that you accept their preferred form of payment. This not only make them feel more comfortable during the checkout process, but assures them that you are legitimate and credible.
TAKE ACTION: Do you display the credit card and payment icons on your sales pages? Are they visible (and obvious) on your product pages and checkout pages?
05. Provide A Guarantee
Many people are scared to purchase a product, invest in a program, or hire a service provider without some form on guarantee. As a result, without a risk-free guarantee, you jeopardize conversion rates and compromise sales.
A guarantee is a form of risk reversal. By providing a money-back guarantee and including it in a highly visible location on your sales pages and through your store, cart, and checkout pages, you remove one of the most common purchasing obstacles, demonstrate your confidence in the offer, help customers feel good about their purchase, and communicate that they won’t lose anything if it doesn’t work out.
Worried about offering a money back guarantee? The truth is most people don’t have the initiative to pursue the guarantee even if they are not satisfied.
When offering a guarantee, you have several options:
- A Money Back Guarantee: Get your money back no questions asked
- A Satisfaction Guarantee: If you’re not happy we’re not happy
- A Risk-Free Guarantee: Try before you buy, cancel at any time
- A Time-Based Guarantee: 14 day, 30 day, 90 day
- A Results-Based Guarantee: Achieve a specific result or your money back
- A Partial Guarantee: Get all of your money back except the non-refundable deposit
- A Requirement Guarantee: Prove you did the work/provide me these things and receive your money back
- A Lifetime Guarantee: Get a replacement or return it at anytime forever
- A Low Price Guarantee: This is the lowest price or you get the difference refunded
- A Price Match Guarantee: You’ll match any other price so customer gets the lowest price
Remember, you always have the option of offering no guarantee at all, which is becoming more and more common with digital products and online courses, or combining multiple types of guarantees to create your own super guarantee.
TAKE ACTION: Review your current guarantee. If you don’t have one, could you offer one to sweeten the deal and reduce risk? If you have a guarantee, is it the best you can offer?
06. Make Returns Easy
Buyer’s remorse is never a good thing. Buying the wrong item, making a purchasing error, realizing this isn’t what you needed, or buying too many of an item is frustrating and when the return process is difficult, it sours the customer on not only the purchase but the brand.
More and more online shoppers are reviewing return policies before making a purchase—and how easy or hard the process is affects whether or not they buy from you.
- If your customer has to pay to ship the item back, but your competitor offers free returns, who is going to earn the sale? Not you
- If your return policy is hidden or vague and unhelpful, prospective buyers will move on and buy elsewhere
- If it takes your 14 days to process a return, but your competitor processes returns right away, chances are, they’ll earn the sale and you’ll lose out
When purchasing online, consumers don’t have the option to try it on, try it out, or see it up close, so a clear and generous return policy will reduce risk and give your customers confidence in their purchase.
TAKE ACTION: Do you have a return policy? Is it easy to find and crystal clear? Is it all about protecting your interests or reducing risk for your customers?
07. Use Badges And Icons
Trust has a huge impact on website conversion rates and sales and trust signals help people feel safer and more secure in their decision to purchase a specific product, program, or service. While various forms of social proof act as important trust builders, there are other trust signals you can leverage to put your prospective customers at ease, including:
- Security logos: Tell customers they are sale
- Industry and business memberships: Demonstrate you’re credible and not fly-by-night
- Client or customer logos: Show that others trust you
- As seen on logos and media mentions: Prove that others listen to you and believe in you
As online fraud and identity theft threats increase, trust signals like logos and badges are playing an even more important role in the website conversion process. They create perceived security and safety that helps consumers feel better about entering their personal information into a website.
Just be sure you don’t overdo it with too many logos and badges!
TAKE ACTION: Do you display security logos throughout your ecommerce store and on your check out pages? Do you display customer or client logos or have a portfolio to demonstrate that others trust you? Are there media logos you can feature to further build trust with new visitors?
08. Include Contact information
Inspire confidence and deliver assurance by making it easy for visitors and shoppers to find your complete contact information. Provide options to contact you, your team, or your company in as many ways as possible &#$8212; by phone, email, fax, chat, or form — and provide a mailing address.
If you really want to connect with your audience, don’t make your contact page an afterthought. Instead, make it part of your brand story and show the real people behind the brand.
- Include photos of the people they will be speaking with if they call or of the executive in charge of customer service
- Share a personal message from the owner along with their photo
- Add in some human details like: We’re located at 1234 Street Name next to the Awesome Deli, where you’ll usually find at least a few of us chowing down at lunch.
TAKE ACTION: Are you hiding contact information that your clients, customers, or prospects need and are looking for? Are you potentially turning people away by only offering a generic contact form? How can you improve the user experience when someone wants to contact you, visit your offices, or talk to someone?