How Much is Anxiety Costing You?

clockicon 4 minute read

 

 

Have you ever been on the verge of buying something, only to hesitate when you go to reach for your wallet? That’s purchase anxiety. And it’s the number one source of checkout friction.

 

Retailers can help shoppers feel comfortable reaching for their wallet and drive more sales by reducing anxiety.

 

But how can you lower anxiety? Read on and find out.

 

Why Credibility Works

 

Considering we’ve all heard stories of dubious online sellers, it’s no surprise that consumers are cautious about giving out their payment information. So prove you’re a legitimate company by establishing credibility.

 

Social Proof

One of the best ways to build credibility with shoppers is by leveraging social proof. Social proof is the psychological principle that people tend to follow the actions of others, and you can use this behavior to gain credibility with new shoppers.

 

In fact, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of their peers and 70% will even trust recommendations from strangers.

 

Testimonials let shoppers read how others have benefited from doing business with you. Reviews allow customers to share their opinion and for browsers to read about past purchasing experiences of others. And these strategies make a difference: testimonials have been shown to increase sales 34%.

 

Even negative reviews can increase sales. That’s because negative reviews serve as an opportunity for additional engagement and gives you chance to do right by your customers.

 

5

 

Take this Facebook comment as a great example. We have no idea what the “hiccup” was but clearly the retailer did a fantastic job of responding to this customer’s concern. This comment is perhaps even more valuable than a strictly positive one, as it shows that the company is quick to address customer concerns.

 

Authority

Another strategy retailers can use to build credibility is to establish themselves as an authority figure. Studies have shown that people tend to obey those that they perceive as an authority figure. Here are a few ways brands can become seen as an expert:

  • Leveraging credentials
  • Showing off awards
  • Displaying notable mentions
  • Publishing expert content

 

Why Education Works

 

Uncertainty is one of the main sources of anxiety. Shoppers will feel less concerned if you give them the information they want upfront. So give it to them.

 

Price

Being upfront and transparent about pricing ensures that your customers aren’t surprised with unexpected charges such as shipping charges, sign up fees, and so on.

 

Shoppers also get anxious wondering how they will fit the cost of an item into their budget. Especially for higher priced products, retailers can reduce this concern by showing the price as monthly installments rather than a one big lump sum.

 

Return Policy

 

Some of the most successful companies also have the best return policies. Just take a look at Zappos. They offer an incredibly comprehensive and customer-friendly return policy: shoppers that aren’t 100% satisfied are provided with free returns and 24-hour support.

 

This policy drastically reduces the anxiety involved with making a purchase in the first place. Zappos offers this knowing that by having an incredibly easy return policy more customers will commit to buying a pair of shoes, yet only a few of those people will actually make a return.

 

Value

Shoppers want to know exactly what they are going to get out of a product, so educate them about your product’s functional and emotional appeal.

 

Functional videos are a great way to see your product in use. GoPro, for example, has a channel dedicated to photos and videos that show off the many ways people use their cameras. But it doesn’t even have to be anything this complicated. A simple list of benefits will suffice.

 

Robert’s Camera makes sure shoppers know exactly what they are getting by providing both a list of benefits as well as a list of what is included “in the box.”

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.22.17 AM

 

However, appealing to emotion is the real gem. There’s the old saying that people buy on emotion and rationalize with logic, but it’s not just a wishful idiom.

 

Imagine, for example, that you sell activewear. You aren’t just selling training bras and running shorts, you’re selling a healthy lifestyle, longevity, and self confidence. It just happens to be in the form of athletic gear.

 

Emotional appeal not only reduces shopper anxiety but it also boosts an offer from simply a good deal to a deeply valued opportunity.

 

Why Consistency Matters

 

Consistency is not often considered as a method for reducing anxiety, but it’s the final touch that ties all your other efforts together. Consider for example marketing maestro, Seth Godin’s definition of a brand:

 

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

 

This definition captures the importance of being consistent in appearance, presence, and messaging. Because your brand depends on customer expectations. Memories. And Stories.

 

Here are a few areas to keep consistency in mind:

  • Social media – social media is a part of your brand and as such requires a consistent look and personality
  • Visual experience – consistency in colors, logos, and images will help to create seamless transition across channels
  • Advertising – your promotions need to be consistent with what the product actually delivers

 

Build a Sense of Security

 

You don’t actually have to increase security in order to reduce the anxieties around it. By proving to customers that you respect and protect their information, you can reduce concerns around credit card security without actually increasing your budget for security.

 

For one, be sure to have a privacy policy that reassures shoppers that you don’t share their information with anyone else.

 

Security seals will also help to reduce this type of anxiety. And by placing these seals directly beside buttons and forms, you will reduce the anxiety associated with submitting personal information as soon as it arises.

 

Organizations such as the BBB, VeriSign, and TRUSTe are among the most trusted security seals today.

 

Picture1  Picture3  Picture2

 

 

clockicon 4 minute read

 

 

Have you ever been on the verge of buying something, only to hesitate when you go to reach for your wallet? That’s purchase anxiety. And it’s the number one source of checkout friction.

 

Retailers can help shoppers feel comfortable reaching for their wallet and drive more sales by reducing anxiety.

 

But how can you lower anxiety? Read on and find out.

 

Why Credibility Works

 

Considering we’ve all heard stories of dubious online sellers, it’s no surprise that consumers are cautious about giving out their payment information. So prove you’re a legitimate company by establishing credibility.

 

Social Proof

One of the best ways to build credibility with shoppers is by leveraging social proof. Social proof is the psychological principle that people tend to follow the actions of others, and you can use this behavior to gain credibility with new shoppers.

 

In fact, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations of their peers and 70% will even trust recommendations from strangers.

 

Testimonials let shoppers read how others have benefited from doing business with you. Reviews allow customers to share their opinion and for browsers to read about past purchasing experiences of others. And these strategies make a difference: testimonials have been shown to increase sales 34%.

 

Even negative reviews can increase sales. That’s because negative reviews serve as an opportunity for additional engagement and gives you chance to do right by your customers.

 

5

 

Take this Facebook comment as a great example. We have no idea what the “hiccup” was but clearly the retailer did a fantastic job of responding to this customer’s concern. This comment is perhaps even more valuable than a strictly positive one, as it shows that the company is quick to address customer concerns.

 

Authority

Another strategy retailers can use to build credibility is to establish themselves as an authority figure. Studies have shown that people tend to obey those that they perceive as an authority figure. Here are a few ways brands can become seen as an expert:

  • Leveraging credentials
  • Showing off awards
  • Displaying notable mentions
  • Publishing expert content

 

Why Education Works

 

Uncertainty is one of the main sources of anxiety. Shoppers will feel less concerned if you give them the information they want upfront. So give it to them.

 

Price

Being upfront and transparent about pricing ensures that your customers aren’t surprised with unexpected charges such as shipping charges, sign up fees, and so on.

 

Shoppers also get anxious wondering how they will fit the cost of an item into their budget. Especially for higher priced products, retailers can reduce this concern by showing the price as monthly installments rather than a one big lump sum.

 

Return Policy

 

Some of the most successful companies also have the best return policies. Just take a look at Zappos. They offer an incredibly comprehensive and customer-friendly return policy: shoppers that aren’t 100% satisfied are provided with free returns and 24-hour support.

 

This policy drastically reduces the anxiety involved with making a purchase in the first place. Zappos offers this knowing that by having an incredibly easy return policy more customers will commit to buying a pair of shoes, yet only a few of those people will actually make a return.

 

Value

Shoppers want to know exactly what they are going to get out of a product, so educate them about your product’s functional and emotional appeal.

 

Functional videos are a great way to see your product in use. GoPro, for example, has a channel dedicated to photos and videos that show off the many ways people use their cameras. But it doesn’t even have to be anything this complicated. A simple list of benefits will suffice.

 

Robert’s Camera makes sure shoppers know exactly what they are getting by providing both a list of benefits as well as a list of what is included “in the box.”

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 11.22.17 AM

 

However, appealing to emotion is the real gem. There’s the old saying that people buy on emotion and rationalize with logic, but it’s not just a wishful idiom.

 

Imagine, for example, that you sell activewear. You aren’t just selling training bras and running shorts, you’re selling a healthy lifestyle, longevity, and self confidence. It just happens to be in the form of athletic gear.

 

Emotional appeal not only reduces shopper anxiety but it also boosts an offer from simply a good deal to a deeply valued opportunity.

 

Why Consistency Matters

 

Consistency is not often considered as a method for reducing anxiety, but it’s the final touch that ties all your other efforts together. Consider for example marketing maestro, Seth Godin’s definition of a brand:

 

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

 

This definition captures the importance of being consistent in appearance, presence, and messaging. Because your brand depends on customer expectations. Memories. And Stories.

 

Here are a few areas to keep consistency in mind:

  • Social media – social media is a part of your brand and as such requires a consistent look and personality
  • Visual experience – consistency in colors, logos, and images will help to create seamless transition across channels
  • Advertising – your promotions need to be consistent with what the product actually delivers

 

Build a Sense of Security

 

You don’t actually have to increase security in order to reduce the anxieties around it. By proving to customers that you respect and protect their information, you can reduce concerns around credit card security without actually increasing your budget for security.

 

For one, be sure to have a privacy policy that reassures shoppers that you don’t share their information with anyone else.

 

Security seals will also help to reduce this type of anxiety. And by placing these seals directly beside buttons and forms, you will reduce the anxiety associated with submitting personal information as soon as it arises.

 

Organizations such as the BBB, VeriSign, and TRUSTe are among the most trusted security seals today.

 

Picture1  Picture3  Picture2